By Darla Shelden
City Sentinel Reporter
On Saturday, April 2 a rally for “Just Lawmaking & Sensible Lawmakers” will be held to protest what local organizations feel is unjust legislation being heard and passed in the 2016 legislative session. The event will take place from 12 – 2 p.m. on the South Capitol plaza, 2300 N Lincoln Blvd, in Oklahoma City.
“This is and will be a peaceful and nonviolent protest,” says organizer and Oklahoma City activist Mark D. Maxey. “It is to help educate and empower the citizens to exercise their rights in voting and in democracy by holding legislators responsible for their actions or lack of actions.”
Speakers will include State Rep. Jason Dunnington, D-Oklahoma City; Nathaniel Batchelder, director Peace House OKC; Saché Primeaux-Shaw, founder, Empowering Our Urban Girls; Rev. Jesse Jackson, pastor East Sixth Street Christian Church; and Dr. R. Mitch Randall, pastor of NorthHaven Church.
The rally will feature live music by Oklahoma City artist Jerry Griffin.
Kingston, Oklahoma resident Dennis Moore called for the rally so that the citizens of Oklahoma could unite against a Legislature who he contends “acts in defiance of the will of the people.”
Organizations sponsoring the event include the Democratic Socialists of America OKC Chapter; ACLU of Oklahoma; Change Oklahoma: Oklahoma Coalition for Reproductive Justice; and Amnesty International Oklahoma City.
“The current awareness is that our legislators follow the lead of lobbyists from big businesses and Wall Street bankers, it is time the people learn to take control of democracy as it was intended,” Maxey said.
“We are more aware today at just how rigged the political system is in Oklahoma. Much of the legislation being heard is trying to legislate morality upon the citizens. We, the citizens of Oklahoma, will speak up and demand a change even to the point of voting these legislators out of office.”
Maxey says the march is in protest of the recent attempt by the Legislature to submit bills contrary to the well being and safety of the public, as well as their attempt to mandate morality rather than jurisprudence.
“Instead of honestly looking at fixing our crippled economy they are passing bills that are simply unconstitutional,” Maxey continued. “Such legislation as State Questions 777 should have never been written. It is neither for the benefit of the small farms nor of the citizens of Oklahoma. In fact, it favors the large corporate farms which are even worse on our environment.”
Moore added “The people of this state who feel they have been denied equal representation and whose civil liberties and rights have been abandoned or marginalized are those whose voice will be heard.”
Rally speakers will share strategies and successes of their work to fight recent legislation they feel is “illogical.”
“The people are sick and tired of this nonsense and our rally will give them the empowerment that democracy is afforded to each citizen, of the people, by the people and for the people,” Moore said.