Breonna Taylor's Mom Hits The Streets With State Of The Emergency Tour: 'I'm Voting Because Breonna Can't'
The State of the Emergency Vote Tour covers six states and 12 cities.
October 27, 2020 at 8:31 pm
The State of the Emergency Tour is doing its part to ensure that everyone uses their voting power in the upcoming presidential election in November. Organizers with the tour made their way to Birmingham, Alabama, to make sure their message was heard.
The one-hour rally, which aired live on WVTM- 13’s Facebook page, was a culmination of leaders and activists who reinforced the importance of voting in this year’s presidential election.
Tamika Palmer, Breonna Taylor’s mother, had a special message for potential voters to honor her beloved daughter’s memory. The stoic woman joined the tour in a continued effort to spark change by urging Americans to vote.
“I’m not going to talk about that night,” Palmer said, addressing supporters in front of the 16th Street Baptist Church while referencing the night her daughter was shot to death by Louisville police.
“I’m voting because Breonna can’t because she couldn’t get justice,” Palmer said. “It’s not the first time I voted, but it’s the first time I’m voting like my life depended on it.”
Palmer was also seen canvassing.
Tamika Palmer, Breonna’s mom is out here in Alabama knocking doors. She’s doing her part, please do yours. VOTE. VOTE. VOTE. #stateofemergency
The site of the rally was a solemn tribute to the victims of another horrific tragedy.
According to History.com, the Ku Klux Klan detonated a bomb on the morning of September15, 1963. As 200 parishioners attended various Sunday School classes before the start of the church service, a bomb went off.
Most of the church members escaped the deadly blast. But after rubble from mortar and bricks was cleared, the bodies of four young girls were discovered in the basement of the historical church. More than 20 people were also injured in the devastating blast.
Activist and survivor of the church bombing Sarah Collins Rudolph reiterated the importance of voting.
“Today, I stand for all the girls because they didn’t get a chance to vote, so I’m marching for them today,” Collins Rudolph said. “I was in the hospital, and my mother told me all the girls in the church were killed and I was the only survivor.”
Rudolph referenced the Birmingham church bombing that claimed her sister Addie Mae Collins' life along with three other girls– Cynthia Wesley, Carole Robertson and Denise McNair. The blast also left Collins Rudolph with one eye.
The President of the Black Lives Matter Birmingham Chapter, Cara McClure, also told attendees time was of the essence, and citizens are living under a state of emergency.
“Vote like our lives depend on it,” she stressed.
She urged attendees to “stand up and fight.”
Mallory also emphasized that Taylor’s death was the fire that will spark change in the nation.
“She didn’t just get a call that her daughter was murdered,” Mallory said, referencing Taylor’s mother. “Tamika Palmer understands. She got a call to stand and fight for justice.
“Breonna Taylor’s death will now be used as a catalyst for a movement that will change the conditions for Black people and Black women in America,” she said.
DeJuana Thompson, the founder of Woke Vote, spoke about why voting is so important.
“History has taught us time and time again; if we want to change in this country, we have to fight for it ourselves. So this is a state of emergency — it is a righteous call to action,” she explained. “Our collective existence, the justice for every name we’ve ever had to hashtag, it’s on the ballot this year; every policy that could help or further harm our community, it’s on the ballot this year; who we love, how we resist and what we value, it’s on the ballot this year. This moment, this tour, this vote — it’s about us.”
The State of the Emergency Vote Tour covers six states and 12 cities. The Orlando Sentinel reported the two voting rights groups, Until Freedom and Woke Vote, also stopped in Orlando on Friday to spread the word about the importance of voting this November.
The organizations continued their focus on minority groups engaging in the electoral process. Activists and leaders spent three hours in the city launching grassroots initiatives to ensure a large voter turnout.
The tour also stopped in Miami before it left the state of Florida and is expected to travel and focus on voter education until the election is over.
Amid the other cities that the tour will visit, leaders say the selected locations are pivotal "critical turnout hubs" for the 2020 election.