Civil rights groups unify in response to Scott death

In this file photo, Dmitri Ford of Charleston uses a sign to silently express himself at a rally featuring Jesse Jackson, founder and president of the Rainbow PUSH Coalition. Wade Spees/Staff April 16, 2015

Several local civil rights organizations have unified in response to the shooting of Walter Scott and will gather Monday at North Charleston City Hall for a mass demonstration.

The conglomerate has been dubbed the Charleston Civil Coalition for Reform (CCCR) and members will be demonstrating in recognition of the one-month anniversary of Scott’s death.

North Charleston Patrolman 1st Class Michael Slager, who has since been fired, is charged with murder. A video released soon after Scott’s death showed him being shot in the back by Slager as he ran during a traffic stop.

“As a community of conscience, we will meet at city hall to honor Walter Scott, reiterate our demands to the city and launch an aggressive voter registration campaign,” states a media release from CCCR. “The death of Walter Scott and other victims of police violence must not be in vain.”

Organizations that came together to form CCCR include Black Lives Matter Charleston, International Longshoremen’s Association Local 1422, Chicora Cherokee Neighborhood Association, The Coalition, National Action Network, Nation of Islam and Oak Forest Neighborhood Association.

The group’s inaugural meeting took place on April 25 at the International Longshoremen’s Association Hall on Morrison Drive. The release states that the organizations plan to unify around an “agenda of reform that seeks to remove the residue of Jim Crow-ism from the City of North Charleston’s Government.”

“This is our Selma,” the release states. “Walter Scott is our Jimmie Lee Jackson. This is the new Civil Rights era to build on the movement of the 60s, a time for this generation no matter of race or creed to lend to positive reforms, a time for the current people in the movement to bring positive contributions, and a time to bring awareness to the degradations in underserved neighborhoods. A time for change.”

The demonstration outside city hall is set for 4 p.m.