|Citezens gathered in the State Capital rotunda for a rally in opposition to a constitutional amendment that would require Minnesotans to present a photo identification to vote on Thursday, February 9, 2012. (Pioneer Press: Ben Garvin)|
More than 400 activists, including CWAers, rallied at the Minnesota state capitol to protest efforts to adopt a strict voter ID law in the state.
The demonstration was organized by TakeAction Minnesota, a coalition of labor, environmental and disability groups, who stress that business and financial organizations are bankrolling Republican legislators as part of an effort to require all voters to show photo ID at the polls.
Activists walked around the legislative chambers wearing hundred-dollar-bill stickers across their mouths, to symbolize how the 1 percent wants to silence the voices of ordinary Americans.
CWA President Larry Cohen addressed TakeAction Minnesota activists during the week of actions that ended at the state capitol.
The Republican-controlled legislature has introduced a state-issued photo ID requirement as a proposed amendment to the state's constitution that would be placed on the ballot in November.
Dan McGrath, executive director of TakeAction Minnesota, said "the proposed photo ID amendment will make it harder if not impossible for hundreds of thousands of Minnesotans who are eligible to vote, to cast their ballot.'' The ID requirement, by making it harder for elderly, poor and disabled people to vote, is part of an effort to keep power and wealth concentrated within the 1 percent and make public institutions less accountable to voters.
In another event, more than a dozen religious leaders delivered a letter signed by hundreds of clergy members to legislators, in opposition to the voter ID requirement.
"We believe that democracy at its best engages participation from the most diverse and gifted gathering of God's whole people," the letter reads. "The proposed voter ID referendum in Minnesota seeks to reduce the number of people who participate in our democracy."