Jesse Jackson arrested with voting rights protesters at Capitol

Julia Nikhinson

The Rev. Jesse Jackson was arrested outside the U.S. Capitol on Monday during a protest urging Congress to eliminate the filibuster, protect voting rights and raise the federal minimum wage, according to The Washington Post

The civil rights icon was among the more than 200 people arrested at the protest, including the Rev. William J. Barber II, the president of advocacy group Repairers of the Breach. As Capitol Police arrested protesters near the Senate office buildings, protestors were heard chanting, “Everybody’s got a right to live.”

The demonstration comes after two major pieces of voting rights legislation have stalled in Congress and amid a push by Republican-led legislatures to tighten voting restrictions following the 2020 election. 

GOP-led legislatures in states such as Georgia and Arizona have passed sweeping election reform bills that tighten voting restrictions on mail-in voting, voter ID requirements and ballot drop box locations. 

A group of Texas Democrats last month fled their home state to Washington, D.C., to block a quorum needed to pass another piece of state voting legislation. The Democrats met with Washington lawmakers and leaders including Vice President Harris and Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) to talk about the importance of voting rights. 

Some of the more than 50 Texas Democrats later tested positive for COVID-19 following their visit to Washington.

The demonstration on Monday was organized by the Poor People’s Campaign and focused on urging lawmakers to protect the Voting Rights Act, pass the For the People Act, increase the federal minimum wage to $15 per hour, eliminate the legislative filibuster and provide “fair and respectful treatment” of the country’s 11 million immigrants. 

Sen. Raphael Warnock (D-Ga.) also attended the protest.

Democrats have urged their moderate colleagues including Manchin and Sen. Kyrsten Sinema (D-Ariz.) to nix the the legislative filibuster, which would allow the Senate to pass legislation with a simple majority. However, both Manchin and Sinema have indicated that their steadfast position to keeping the measure intact. 

Barber and the Rev. Liz Theoharis, co-chairs of the Poor People’s Campaign, joined Rep. Cori Bush (D-Mo.) outside the Capitol Sunday night to protest the expiration of the federal eviction moratorium, the Post noted.

Jackson and Barber were previously arrested in June during a protest urging Manchin to end the filibuster and pass the For the People Act. 

Tags $15 federal minimum wage 1965 Voting Rights Act Filibuster For the People Act Jesse Jackson Joe Manchin Kyrsten Sinema Raphael Warnock

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