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LULAC Civil Rights Meeting

By Joe Starkey



The meeting was scheduled from 6 PM to 8 PM. A sparse crowd was gathered at the fellowship hall of St. Vincent’s at 6 but by the time Dr. Leroy Gillman arrived about 6:30, most of the chairs were filled. The President of LULAC announced that the meeting would be an open forum. At this time, {{more}} Ms. Zena Crenshaw, a lawyer and legal activist for the National Judicial Conduct and Disability Law Project, Inc. asked members of the audience to give a general description of their problem so they could hear the most people while looking for a pattern of violations or if the complaints were isolated incidents. When asked about filing civil cases against violators, many people responded that you could not get attorneys living in Abilene to take such cases even when there was money to pay them. After hearing many people tell their stories Dr. Gilliam stood and indicted the crowd. “Things like this are sickening!! Realize that you have rights and need to deal with these things intelligently. IT IS TIME TO STOP WRITING FOR HELP. WHAT’S HAPPENING IS WRONG!!!!Get out and Vote.” He asked where is the NAACP? Where are the preachers? . “I’m more than angry. We are going to Boycott this city. We are going to file lawsuits! This is what they did to us the 20s and the 1800’s. “IN FOUR WEEKS, WE WILL MARCH!” He then left the building. Mrs. Crenshaw then stood and told the crowd that it was evident that there are widespread symptoms of a breakdown in the local legal system. She said it would require work to document that and if the local people don’t do something and care about results, it will not be done. The meeting had to clear the room as time was up but she asked all persons wanting to present a problem to meet outside and guaranteed that everybody would be heard before they left. Dr. Gilliam and his team are scheduled back in Abilene on 19 August 2006.

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