Late civil rights leader and Georgia congressman John Lewis said, “Never, ever be afraid to make some noise and get in good trouble, necessary trouble.” In the fight for voting rights, Democratic representatives such as Rep. Al Green of Texas, Rep. Hank Johnson of Georgia, Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee of Texas, and the chair of Congressional Black Caucus, Rep. Joyce Beatty of Ohio, have all carried on his call to action in protests for voting rights.
The voting rights bill in Lewis’s name was stopped in the Senate (again) due to the inability to carve out an exception of the filibuster. Despite that, representatives like Jamaal Bowman of New York continue to fight. According to CNN, Rep. Bowman was arrested on Thursday during a voting rights protest at the U.S. Capitol.
The Capitol Police stated they had arrested 27 people in total, saying “demonstrators started blocking one side of the North Barricade outside the U.S. Capitol,” The arrests happened after three warnings were issued.
Bowman’s office provided a statement to CNN:
“Today, Congressman Jamaal Bowman joined a voting rights non-violent direct action at the North Barricade of the US Capitol Building and was arrested by the US Capitol Police,” Marcus Frias, a spokesman for Bowman, said in a statement. “We will provide more information and updates as we gather them.”
On Wednesday, Rep. Bowman had visited the protest and tweeted that the Senate must act with urgency to pass voter protections. Notice that five Black representatives of Congress have been arrested in various demonstrations. I have to wonder–where are their white colleagues in their party? While these protests are symbolic, the fight to make sure every vote counts shouldn’t fall on the shoulders of African-Americans alone.
It’s a pillar of democracy that hits everybody–no matter who you are or what background you come from. If the Democratic party wants to have a shot at keeping House and Senate control for 2022, they should take up the example of Reps. Bowman and Jackson to do something about it.