"Poverty politics and the war in Iraq"

Saturday, February 25, 2006

HAMMOND, LA Covington attorney Annie Spell is the only white, female NAACP chapter president in the United States. On Saturday evening, she was among the speakers to address the Greater Tangipahoa NAACP's Freedom Fund Banquet on the SLU campus. She pulled no punches.

In a drum beat of criticism against the Bush administration, Spell called the government to task on such hot-button issues as "illegal" wiretaps, Katrina relief, the occupation of Iraq, inadequate public education, and what she called "poverty politics" in Louisiana and across America. "Today, we suffer from poverty politics and an unchecked totalitarian administration. African Americans, in particular, suffer from voter disenfranchisement, limited access to polling places, and outdated technologies." She pledged that she would "Speak truth to power" and encouraged the audience to join her by actively participating in the NAACP.

Spell is no stranger to controversy. With her husband and law partner, felony defense lawyer Buddy Spell, she spent most of last August in a tent camped out in a ditch in Crawford, Texas with her seven year old daughter and her cat while her husband represented antiwar activist and Gold Star Mother, Cindy Sheehan. Prior to what she refers to as the "Crawford Uprising," the Spells organized the 1996 counter-inaugural demonstration in New Orleans, "Jazz Funeral for Democracy," before traveling to Harlem, Montgomery, and Biloxi to assist other antiwar organizers with their own actions. Following the storm, she organized the disbursement of NAACP funding to Katrina survivors in her home town.

Her antiwar sentiments revealed themselves Saturday night. "In December, the Louisiana NAACP State Conference passed a unanimous resolution calling for an immediate end to the war in Iraq", a resolution she, herself, put on the agenda. An organization her husband has founded since Katrina, the Covington Peace Project, will, along with the NAACP, sponsor an antiwar demonstration with the message "Make Levees, Not War" on March 18th, the third anniversary of the invasion of Iraq, in downtown Covington.

She told the crowd, "I stand before you this evening to pledge that I will never stand silently by in the face of evil by any nation, state, or group which seeks to diminish me by discriminating against another". "Join the NAACP and express yourself", she pled. "Do not let your silence ratify evil".

Spell invites the community to join the Greater Covington Branch NAACP at its own Freedom Fund banquet scheduled for June 17, 2006.

Tags: Annie Spell, Hammond, katrina, Louisiana, NAACP (all tags)


1 Comment


Thanks for the diary.

As your diary shows, the NAACP is not just a "black" organization.  I am an active member of the local NAACP chapter here in Longview, Texas as an Indian-American.  Our chapter also has white and hispanic members.

by v2aggie2 2006-02-26 01:17PM | 0 recs


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