ACLU of Alabama Comment on Arrests of Protesters
MONTGOMERY, ALA. – Today, nine people were arrested while protesting in front of the Alabama Capitol, just days after a memorial service honoring Representative John Lewis was held on the same steps. This comes less than a week after a previous arrest in front of the Capitol, where five people were issued warrants and subsequently arrested after voluntarily surrendering themselves for their acts of civil disobedience. Yet, even when complying, the two Black women arrested were unnecessarily strip searched, while the men who were arrested were not. Faya Rose Toure, 75, was one of the women arrested, and has written an open letter to Mayor Steven Reed to detail her humiliating and wholly unnecessary experience.
Randall Marshall, executive director said:
“Once again, we see Alabama police officers using the power of the government to unnecessarily seize and detain people who are exercising their constitutionally protected First Amendment right to assemble and protest. While the Constitution does not explicitly protect people from legal repercussions when protesting crosses into civil disobedience, we paid tribute mere days ago to the life and legacy of Representative John Lewis, a man dedicated to peaceful civil disobedience. His phrase “good trouble” was called that precisely because protesting unjust laws means breaking those laws. Nevertheless, we have seen time and again that change does not happen without protesters who are willing to accept these consequences in order to upend the status quo and those who uphold it. We stand with these freedom fighters–in Montgomery, Hoover, and across the state of Alabama–who are continuing to fight for a more just and equitable world where every social problem is not addressed with handcuffs.”
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