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Jesse Jackson makes stop in Birmingham

Discusses fight for equal rights

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. —Civil rights activist, the Reverend Jesse Jackson is in Birmingham this weekend, addressing the ongoing need for equal rights.

Reverend Jackson discussed a number of issues during his Saturday night press conference at Birmingham’s Bethel Missionary Baptist church, including voting rights and equal opportunity employment. However, a federal ruling allowing same sex couples to marry in Alabama starting this Monday was not on the table for discussion, despite being listed as a topic on the press release for the news conference.

“Don’t want to discuss that,” Jackson said. “I really don’t want to discuss that. It’s, it has its place and it’s law, but it’s a diversion from the subject I’m on tonight. I’m concerned about stacked and packed districts. About the diminished right to vote. About corporation not having fair hiring and contract policies. Please, allow us to have our own press conference tonight. We can talk about that another time.”

During the news conference, Reverend Jackson took time to credit President Lyndon B. Johnson for all that he contributed to civil rights, calling him the most productive civil rights president since Abraham Lincoln.

“The `64 Civil Rights Act, Lyndon Johnson,” Jackson explained. “The ’65 Voting Rights Act, Lyndon Johnson. The ’68 Fair Housing Act, Lyndon Johnson. Strengthening social security, Lyndon Johnson.”

As for the Voting Rights Act of 1965, Reverend Jackson says it can no longer be celebrated because it no longer exists.

“I got the distinct impression that many will be marching across the bridge on March 8th or 9th, that weekend, thinking they are marching behind the Voting Rights Act of 1965,” Jackson stated. It was diminished and undercut June 25th, 2013 in Shelby.”

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