Rev. Jesse Jackson and William Barber arrested as pressure mounts to denounce Manchin for obstruction


Police at the United States Capitol Building said Jackson and Barber were among 21 people arrested near the United States Supreme Court building on Wednesday for congestion and obstruction. Video footage shows the religious leaders were outside the Hart Senate building at the time of their detention.

“When you start canceling voter registration, canceling early voting, undermining mail in the ballot, limiting that people can even get water, doing racist gerrymandering, gerrymandering based on class, you hurt blacks, you hurt whites, you hurt Asians, Natives, Latinos, youth and the disabled, ”Barber told CNN’s Chris Cuomo.

Religious leaders are among several prominent figures and organizations demanding that state and federal lawmakers cease efforts to enact bills restricting access to the vote and support the For the People Act, a draft the voting and election law Democrats introduced to counter state-level efforts.

Prior to their arrest, Barber organized a rally outside the United States Supreme Court as part of the “Moral March on Manchin and McConnell”. The event hosted by popular faith-based organization The Poor People’s Campaign aimed to call on Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell and Democratic Senator Joe Manchin of West Virginia to end filibustering.
Manchin has previously said he will not pledge to vote to open the debate on the For the People Act. On Tuesday, a procedural vote to open debate on the legislation was beaten by 50-50. The bill needs the support of 60 senators to break the filibuster and start a debate.
After speaking at the United States Supreme Court, Barber and Jackson led the protesters to the nearby Hart Senate building, where they marched down the sidewalk. Video broadcast live by Repairers of the Breach, a group led by Barber, shows the religious leaders then marched down the middle of the street, blocking traffic with a smaller group of people holding a sign calling on Manchin to stop the obstruction. Minutes later, Capitol Hill police began warning the group that they were engaging in “illegal demonstration activities,” the video shows.

Video footage captured by CNN shows the group were then escorted to the sidewalk by officers.

This is not the first time Barber has led a demonstration against filibuster. Last week, Barber and dozens of people marched to the Manchin, West Virginia office.

“They are tired of Manchin supporting filibuster and not supporting them. Talking about bipartisanship rather than talking about the needs of West Virginia,” Barber told CNN earlier this month of Manchin voters. .

Civil rights groups should continue their efforts in their fight against voter suppression. Earlier this week, a group of civil rights groups announced on August 28 “March On for Voting Rights,” which will mark the 58th anniversary of the historic March on Washington where Martin Luther King Jr. gave his famous speech. “I Have a Dream”. .

Martin Luther King III, the eldest son of Martin Luther King Jr., will lead the march with his family’s organization, the Drum Major Institute, as well as March On, Service Employees International Union and the National Action Network.

“It is time for all Americans to come together and join this non-violent, non-partisan movement in the spirit of Dr. King and the values ​​he pushed this nation to stand for,” said Rev. Al Sharpton, who heads the National Action Network. . “I am proud to be part of the March for the Right to Vote because there is no democratic right more sacred than the right to vote, and it is under threat across America. We must fight for it. protect him.”


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