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LETTER: Maine People’s Alliance protests “voter suppression effort”

To the Editor:

I’m writing in response to State Rep. Richard M. Cebra’s unbelievable rant in the October 13, 2011 issue of the Twin City TIMES (Letter to the Editor: “Maine People’s Alliance doesn’t represent the people of Maine,” page 3).

For those of you who missed it, he equated the Maine People’s Alliance with a fringe group of anti-corporate hooligans. He cited an action that we undertook in June of this year at a Bank of America in Brunswick to help prove his point. He stretched this to try to invalidate the efforts of over 20 coalition partners in gathering more than enough signatures in just over three weeks this summer to get the election-day registration issue on the ballot.

I’m a proud member of the Maine People’s Alliance. I am a volunteer and not a professional protestor. I was one of the people who spoke at the Brunswick Bank of America this past June. We are part of the 99%.

I find it really ironic that Representative Cebra would choose to attack not only voting rights, but also freedom of speech. Civil disobedience has been personified by the Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr. His monument was recently dedicated in Washington D.C.

We followed some of the happenings in Augusta this year. With unions under attack, healthcare under attack, women’s rights under attack, voting rights under attack—just to mention a few—it’s no wonder that the issue to focus on for a people’s veto took careful deliberation.

LD 1333, the healthcare industry deregulation law, will hurt us. But to attack a fundamental American right, such as the right to vote, is unfathomable.

Therefore, over 20 allied organizations joined to protest this voter suppression effort. We collected over 70,000 signatures, validated by the Secretary of State, in just over three weeks. Now we need to win this battle in November. Please vote yes on question one to preserve voting rights and keep election-day voter registration.

Heidi Brooks, M.D.

Lewiston

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