These members of Congress are pressuring the Senate on voting rights.

Azmi Aaron, Tyler Simon Mitchell.

  • Four black American representatives have been arrested during protests in support of the right to vote.

  • He is calling for the abolition of the file buster in the Senate to allow voting rights in the upper house.

  • Activists and religious leaders have also been arrested during various protests.

  • See more stories on the Insider Business page.


For the past few months, black US representatives have been pressuring their counterparts in the Senate to pass broader voting rights laws. Many protesters have been arrested for trying to send messages.

On Tuesday, the John Lewis Voting Rights Act passed the House of Representatives, but is unlikely to pass in the U.S. Senate, where 60 votes are needed to ignore a file buster.

An additional bill, For the People Act, was passed in the House in March but struck down in the Senate in June.

The John Lewis Voting Rights Act focuses on reviving the Voting Rights Act, which was repealed after two major Supreme Court decisions. The People’s Act focuses on facilitating voting in federal elections, reforming campaign finance laws, and aims to protect US elections from foreign interference. If approved, institutional changes will begin with the 2022 midterm elections.

Members of Congress who took part in the proceedings requested the inheritance of the late civil rights icon John Lewis, which was passed in July 2020.

Lewis was instrumental in securing the right to vote during the civil rights movement. Lewis, along with activist Hussey Williams, organized a peaceful demonstration in support of the right to vote. About 60 out of 60 attendees were injured. The demonstration was called Bloody Sunday.

As of August, GOP legislators in a total of 17 states have passed 28 bills tightening access to the ballot box, according to the Brennan Center for Justice. At the federal level, Republicans are pursuing a legislative strategy to block voting rights legislation, as Trump and his allies try to discredit the 2020 election results on the basis of lies.

A demonstration outside the capital in early August focused on “voting rights, immigration reform, the $ 15 (U AU21) per hour federal minimum wage and the abolition of the Senate filebuster which blocked the relevant federal legislation.” And more than 200 arrests, according to Religion News

These are the lawmakers who have been arrested this year in protest of their right to vote:

Joyce Betty, Ohio Representative.

Rep. Joyce Betty, D. Ohio, was taken into custody by U.S. Capitol Police officers at the Hart Senate Office Building after a July 15, 2021, demonstration in Washington in support of the right to vote. AP Photo / Jose Louis Megana

The Ohio representative was Joyce Betty. Arrested Capitol police led a July 15 demonstration in support of voting rights in the Senate office building.

Betty presided over the Congressional Black Cox and demanded the passage of the John Lewis Voting Rights Act, along with the People’s Act.

I stand with black women and allies across the country in defense of my constitutional right to vote. We have come a long way and struggled so hard to systematically eliminate and limit all those who want to silence us. “Believe me, this is just the beginning. This is our strength, this is our message.

Georgia Representative Hank Johnson

Representative Hank Johnson speaks in support of voting rights behind the platform at the rally.

Representative Hank Johnson, D-Ga, addresses a rally for voting rights at Black Lives Meter Plaza, Washington, on Saturday, July 17, 2021. AP Photo / Jose Louis Megana

Georgia Representative Hank Johnson took part in several demonstrations in support of voting rights in the capital, and was arrested in a July 22 demonstration.

Following his arrest, he tweeted: “C Black Cox I was arrested today in protest of the Senate’s inaction on voting rights legislation and filebuster reforms. My dear friend and mentor – the late Congressman In the soul of John Lewis – I was in #good trouble.

Texas Representative Sheila Jackson Lee.

Correspondent Sheila Jackson Lee was arrested during a demonstration on July 29, 2021.

U.S. Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee (D-TX) (2nd L) was arrested by a member of the U.S. Capitol Police for allegedly engaging in civil disobedience during a protest outside the Hart Senate Office Building on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C., on July 29, 2021. Was co. Black women’s voters and allies took part in the “Day of Action on Capital Hill” event, which called on the US Senate to pass an act for the people and end the file booster. Alex Wong / Getty Images

Rep. Sheila Jackson-Lee was the third black member of Congress to be arrested on July 29 in a similar operation to support voting rights outside the Hart Senate office building.

“Any action that is a peaceful act of civil disobedience is able to push us all better,” Jackson said in a video posted on Twitter after his arrest.

Republic of All Green of Texas.

Republic of All Green of Texas.

Republican El Green, Texas, speaking during a “Commitment March: Take Our Neck Off Your Necks” protest against racism and police brutality in Washington, D.C., on August 28, 2020. Jacqueline Martin / Getty Images

Rap Al Green, a longtime participant in various civil rights demonstrations, was arrested on August 3 during a voting rights demonstration with Texas lawmakers.

Rap Green posted a video on Twitter with Democratic Texas State Representative Ron Reynolds as the two were arrested by Capitol Police. Its caption “Good Trouble, Necessary Trouble” pays homage to one of John Lewis’ famous sayings.

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