March on Tallahassee

As many as 20,000 protestors from across Florida are expected to board buses in the next few hours and head to the capitol.

They came by the thousands four years ago, and they were angry. The issue in 2000 was the governor's proclamation ending affirmative action. Now, history is about to repeat itself.

Organizers have been planning for months. Flowerbeds have been taped off and stages are being constructed. Thousands are expected on the steps of the state capitol, this time their complaints are much broader.

"In 2000 many people were denied the right to vote, we should have been able to vote.
They were legally denied, and they have yet to be restored," says Rev. Nelson Rivers, NAACP chief operating officer.

In addition to believing the 2000 election was taken from them, complaints about FCAT tests and affirmative action remain. Jeb Bush says those complaints are unfounded. He says the real motivation is much more basic.

"Maybe the protests are geared towards the political campaign rather than anything related to policy," says Gov. Jeb Bush.

Marchers will arrive at the capitol just before the governor starts speaking to the Legislature, they say they will listen in and then provide real time commentary and rebuttal.

Organizers don't dispute the political nature of what they are doing, and they have high hopes.

"For people to take their government back in their hands. Give them a reason to know that it's time for them to go back to the polls, to be participants of the American democratic process," says Dr. Anthony Viegbesie, national VP for the NAACP.

And if there is any doubt about the political nature of the event, there will be voter registration efforts led by Jesse Jackson.

Organizers of the march will gather Monday at Tallahassee's Bethel AME Church for a spiritual revival. The message: “tonight we pray, tomorrow we march, and in November we take our country back.”


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