By Sable Harris
Alabama Political Reporter
MONTGOMERY—On Tuesday legendary Tuskegee Mayor Johnny Ford took his fight to the Alabama State house. Ford’s goal was to be arrested for civil disobedience. “I am here and I am prepared to go to jail not for gambling but because they are violating our voting rights, our civil rights and our economic rights. That’s what this struggle is all about,” Ford said.
Alabama Bingo casino VictoryLand was seized earlier Tuesday as Ford began his non-violent protest as the state troopers surrounded building. “This morning I took that protest to VictoryLand. I trespassed on VictoryLand, which has been closed by the state troopers they should have arrested me.” Ford says.
The Mayor believes that the closing of VictoryLand will be devastating for Macon County. He expressed that the closing “hurts employment, schools in the city and the county,” something that the Mayor Ford sees unfair and unjust.
“We cannot get any justice because the supreme court of the state of Alabama today is the one that over rules the circuit judge in our district,” said Ford. The Mayor contends that the Supreme Court had no right to overrule Macon County Circuit Court Judge Tom Young. Also said, “He [Luther Strange] has no grounds to close down a legal industry that employs more the 2000 people, billions of dollars for our schools, our city and our county,” explained Ford.
Ford relentless efforts at civil disobedience took him to the governor’s office, but unfortunately for a Ford, the Governor was out of town.
Ford also spoke to Senator Bobby Singleton, eager to find support.
“I’m going to take my protest to the senators, I’m going to start by talking to Bobby Singleton who is the chair of the legislative black caucus. He understands what we are against and I’m going to ask for help from the senate, and I’m going to try to see I can get arrested here.”
Yet after another failed arrest attempt, Mayor Ford walked right across the governor Bentley’s lawn to the Attorney General’s office demanding arrest from someone in the office. Shawn Smith, an employee of the Attorney General’s office, assured the Mayor that he would not be arrested and sent him on his way.