Abolish Slavery National Network Uses Emancipation Day as Platform to Urge Total Abolition of Slavery in the United States 

Photo by Hussain Badshah on Unsplash

By Sofia Hosseinzadeh

WASHINGTON, DC – The Abolish Slavery National Network (ASNN) held a rally and press conference this week for Emancipation Day at the Emancipation Memorial in Lincoln Park here and called for the complete abolition of slavery, according to a statement.

The event centered around a loophole in the 13th Amendment which banned slavery except under the case of punishment for a crime, the statement notes.

“The 13th Amendment maintains legalized slavery under the guise that involuntary servitude is permissible as a punishment for a crime,” said Max Parthas, director of state operations,  and keynote speaker.

“Legalized slavery persists in the United States, and Emancipation Day, akin to Juneteenth, perpetuates a misconception; slavery was transformed, not ended,” Parthas argued in a press statement.

“Today’s gathering is not a commemorative but a strategic move towards effectuating the permanent abolition of constitutional slavery,” Parthas continued.

“(W)e expose the truth behind Emancipation Day in a place where 95 percent of incarcerated people are Black and slavery as a punishment for crime predates the 13th Amendment,” the ASNN wrote in a flier advertising the event.

In the ASNN press release, the organization expressed support for the Federal Abolition Amendment as a solution to implementing total abolition.

The bill, introduced in June 2023 would “prohibit the use of slavery and involuntary servitude as a punishment for a crime,” according to the bill.

“With alarming statistics from the DC prison system… DC must lead by example and support the abolition Amendment. Additionally, we urgently request that the DC Council pass a resolution reflecting this commitment,” stated Sara Corbett, ASNN Student Organizer.

In addition to supporting abolition of forced labor in Washington DC, the ASNN also directed attention to abolition efforts in California.

According to the California Constitution, slavery is banned except when used as a punishment for a crime, but The End Slavery in California Act would amend the California Constitution to abolish slavery in all situations.

“Despite its progressive image, California’s slow progress towards abolition mirrors a national issue. We challenge the DC Council to adopt a resolution that embodies a genuine commitment to ending constitutional slavery,” urged Jamilia Land, keynote speaker and Director of Post Election Campaigns.

As noted in the ASNN press release, the event included guest speakers Ernestine “Tina” Martin Wyatt, civil rights advocate and descendant of Harriet Tubman; Adama Dempster, UN Ambassador for Liberia and Founding National Director of Independent Human Rights Investigators; and JoHanna Thompson, ASNN Development Strategist.

About The Author

The Vanguard Court Watch operates in Yolo, Sacramento and Sacramento Counties with a mission to monitor and report on court cases. Anyone interested in interning at the Courthouse or volunteering to monitor cases should contact the Vanguard at info(at)davisvanguard(dot)org - please email info(at)davisvanguard(dot)org if you find inaccuracies in this report.

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