Jailed for Justice Tour Stops in Macon

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Updated: Sat, 09 Aug 2014 12:01:26 EST

A new movement visits Macon Friday evening to rally supporters against moral injustices advocates say were presented at the 2014 legislative session.

The Moral Monday Georgia Coalition is on its  "Jailed for Justice” Tour. It's a statewide event where group members visit Georgia towns and speak about their arrest at the capital this year in the pursuit of social justice. This state NAACP led group aims to shift southern politics through protests and civil disobedience.

"So I was actually arrested three times this past legislative session," coalition advocate Jackie Rodriguez said.

The group is modeled after North Carolina's "Forward Together Movement."

This year, the multi-racial, multi-issue advocacy group focused on various legislative hot topics including Medicaid expansion and expanding gun rights.

"Even though we didn't defeat the stand your ground laws in the state what we did do was bring national attention to the injustices that were going on in our state and that's something we wouldn't have achieved if we hadn't highlighted them with arrests," Rodriguez said.

Now the group is looking to recruit more people and hear local issues. Macon NAACP branch president, Gwenette Westbrooks said in Bibb County that's youth crime and prison inmates re-entering society.

"It's very important that we deal with that and we're going to have to deal with it in a way that's most effective," she said.

Even though the first year group didn't win some of the larger battles at this year’s legislative session, Rodriguez said their presence has influenced decisions.

"We were able to stop other bills from being able to be brought to the floor such as the voter rights bill that would've slashed early voting and shorten the poll times," she said.

It's one of many battles the movement plans to continue fighting to protect human rights.

The “Jailed for Justice” tour will visit Rochelle, Ga Sunday. On Aug. 23, the coalition will participate in a summer solidarity action at the capital.

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