Civil rights activists protested stricter voting laws Saturday with a march from the New York offices of Koch Industries, whose owners have supported an organization that favors tighter safeguards against election fraud.
“You can’t accomplish anything if you’re not prepared to fight,” said U.S. Rep. Charles Rangel, wearing a hat with embroidered with “NAACP.” Rangel and other labor leaders and politicians said they wanted to roll back new voting rules passed in several states.
Some of the laws passed in more than a dozen states around the country include requiring photo IDs at the ballot box and restricting voting by ex-felons. Critics say the laws will have a negative effect on blacks, Latinos, students and the elderly.
“Voting rights are being challenged all across the United States,” said Diane Sanders, 50, an organizer with 1199SEIU, the service employee’s international union and one of the nation’s largest unions. “People have died for the right to vote. We can’t just sit by and let our rights be taken from us.”
The group met and rallied among the tony Upper East Side buildings where Koch Industries has New York offices. The company is headquartered in Wichita, Kan. The protesters say Koch is directly responsible because it funded the political lobbying group that helped pass the laws.
Though Koch Industries is the oft-cited corporate sponsor of the lobby group behind the voting laws, and is one of its largest, there are others, including Wal-Mart, Coca-Cola and AT&T. Koch, owned by billionaire brothers David and Charles Koch, is one of the nation’s largest privately held companies with business interests that include refining, chemicals and commodities trading.
Full Article: Civil rights activists in NY protest voting rules – WSJ.com.