2012 Thunder & Lightning Awards Celebration

Honoring South Carolina’s outstanding agitators

Feb. 18, 7pm

The Big Apple

1000 Hampton, downtown Columbia

Silent auction.  Finger food.  Cash bar.

This year’s Thunder & Lightning honorees were instrumental in successfully blocking the voter photo ID law in South Carolina, a major victory that showed grassroots activism at its best.

HONOREES

Larrie Butler was born at home in Calhoun County in 1926 and never had a birth certificate. Mr. Butler exposed the governor’s lack of knowledge about the law by having sufficient photo ID to buy Sudafed and a plane ticket, but not to vote in South Carolina. He was featured in local, state and national news programs, and his story illustrated how the new law would prevent some people from voting. (See video the SC Progressive Network shot of him in his home.)

Delores Freelon, a Columbia resident, never had a first name on her birth certificate, so the SC DMV would not issue her a driver’s license — in spite of having a valid license from another state and plenty of other identification. Her story was picked up by the media. (See video the SC Progressive Network shot documenting her story.)

Sen. Gerald Malloy, a Darlington County attorney, took the point with the US Dept. of Justice, packaging our grassroots testimony into a clear, compelling case.

Virginia Sanders, a Richland County resident and SC Progressive Network co-chair, is being honored for her tireless dedication in raising public awareness about the ID law by working the radio call-in shows and organizing in Midlands communities. (See photos of her in action here.)

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