HATTIESBURG, Miss. - Protestors stood outside Forrest County Circuit Court in downtown Hattiesburg Friday morning to raise awareness on modern day political lynching.
The 15 protestors believe there's still modern day lynching in the political realm against African-American figures in the local community.
In a pamphlet the protestors passed out it stated its stance against local political lynching:
"The 2013 city of Hattiesburg Mayoral election produced a bitter racial divide putting the incumbent Mayor, Johnny DuPree, who is African-American, against a sitting City councilman, Dave Ware, who is white. Following a win by the incumbent, Dave Ware and his supporters challenged the validity of the election, charging rampant voter fraud. A new election was court ordered and the incumbent was once again successful. What turned out to be a win for Mayor DuPree resulted in an all out effort to punish DuPree's supporters by those who lost the race, using local, county, state and federal relationships in law enforcement and in government to bring about the prosecution an persecution of high profile DuPree supporters."
Glenda Funchess, one of the leaders of the protest said African-Americans fought voting rights intimidation and suppression during the 1950's and 60's in front of the courthouse and the group will continue to fight.
She said, "We will not be intimidated from the polls, and we will vote."
Funchess added, "Forrest county has one of the worst history when it comes to voting rights, and it is a shame, that here we are 60 something years later tying to stand up for our right to vote."
The group said locals must stand-up against voting intimidation before local elections next March 2017.