Wanted Senator Sinema to oppose filibuster, now vows to take fair voting rights fight to Texas
Reverend Jesse Jackson was arrested along with 30 others Monday, July 26, outside the office of Arizona Senator Kyrsten Sinema, a Democrat, who opposes the abolition of the filibuster, and he was charged with a third-degree misdemeanor and trespassing on private property.
Arrested with Jackson were Reverend Dr. William Barber, head of the Repairers of the Breach and co-chair of the Poor People’s Campaign; Attorney Barbara Arnwine, president/founder of the Transformative Justice Coalition; her chairman, Attorney Daryl Jones, and 26 others who were part of the multi-racial coalition fighting to get Republicans to pass two key civil rights bills.
“Reverend Jackson and those arrested were engaging in demonstrations which may result in civil disobedience outside of the office of Senator Sinema and other senators later this week in Texas,” said Reverend Janette Wilson, senior adviser to Jackson. “He was charged with third-degree misdemeanor and trespassing on private property.”
Reached in Phoenix, Arizona, Arnwine said, “The people did a good job. They protested peacefully. They sat down outside of her office and sang freedom songs. It was a beautiful multi-racial coalition of people.
“We went to Senator Sinema’s office to demand that she vote to end the filibuster,” Arnwine said. “We were protesting for all of the voting rights legislation and against the voter suppression here in the state of Arizona.”
She praised Jackson and how he handled his arrest. “He was bold. He was handcuffed and arrested. He and I were in the police paddy wagon together. He was brave and courageous all the way. He led the way walking a good portion of the march, and he gave a dynamite speech to open up the entire program. During the arrests, he gave another speech. He’s been active and doing great this whole time,” Arnwine said.
“This is part of a national movement demanding that the Senate act on the “For the People Act” and the other voting rights legislation. We want to make it clear that we will be doing action across the country every single day until these acts are enacted,” Arnwine said.
“The purpose of these demonstrations is to highlight the need for the Senate to join the House in passing H.R.1/S.1 and H.R.4, “For the People Act,” better known as the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act,” said Wilson.
Asked by the Chicago Crusader why is it important to Jackson to continue putting his life on the line fighting for the right to vote, Wilson said, “Just as our foreparents marched across the Edmund Pettus Bridge in the 1960s, we are now launching these demonstrations across the country fighting for a federally protected right to vote.
“The Voting Rights Act of 1965 has been gutted by the U.S. Supreme Court. There is a need for the U.S. Congress, which includes the Senate and the House, to pass a law guaranteeing every American the right to vote without allowing states to determine the process for voting and the opportunities that people have to cast their ballots,” Wilson stated.
Jackson is pushing for passage of the “For the People Act” that expands, not restricts, voting rights. However, Republicans blocked the bill with a filibuster on June 22, 2021. It failed to secure the 60 votes needed to invoke cloture after a party-line vote of 50-50.
Jackson is vowing to carry his fight for the passage of the civil rights bills to Texas later this week.
Thanks to the generosity of funding provided by The Field Foundation of Illinois, Inc. in producing this article.
(Published in the Chicago Crusader Newspaper July 31, 2021)