Lawmakers and activists slam GOP-led voting laws on 58th anniversary of “March on Washington”
Activists from across the country and lawmakers representing a number of states gathered in Washington, DC on Saturday morning for two rallies to mark the 58th anniversary of Dr. Martin Luther King’s “I Have a Dream” speech in 1963.
Much of the conversation at the “March on for Voting Rights” and “Make Good Trouble Rally” rallies focused on what speakers described as little change over the past 58 years, with members of Congress and activists giving speeches denouncing the enacted GOP-led voting laws. after the 2020 presidential election and arguing for DC statehood as well as the right to vote for criminals.
“Fighting is literally every second of every day of every week of every year of our lives,” Representative Jamaal Bowman, DN.Y., said in a Saturday morning speech at the Lincoln Memorial. “… It is no surprise that the Supreme Court took a hatchet against the Voting Rights Act when Barack Obama was president because they are afraid to transfer power from our government to the people.”
Bowman, a freshman congressman, added that states across the country and Republican leaders are “undermining our right to vote.” He then called on his fellow Democrats to eliminate the filibuster.
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“Congress, like education, like any American institution, is rooted in European settler colonialism and white supremacy,” he said, later adding that “too many members of the police seem to believe that we are still in 1845 “.
Mayor Muriel Bowser followed up and called for a Washington state to “set 700,000 Washingtonians truly free.”
Photos and videos posted to social media showed hundreds of people walking the streets of DC and gathered at the National Mall, chanting slogans such as “Black Lives Matter” and “Trans Lives Matter.”
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Speakers at Saturday’s events included several close to MLK, including Martin Luther King III; Reverend Al Sharpton; Representative Sheila Jackson Lee, D-Texas; representative Al Green, D-Texas; Washington, DC, Mayor Muriel Bowser, the family of the late civil rights leader, Representative John Lewis; George Floyd’s brother, Philonise Floyd; Randi Weingarten, president of the American Federation of Teachers; and other big names.
The Justice Department filed a lawsuit against Georgia in July targeting a number of provisions of the state’s new electoral law, including banning government entities from distributing unsolicited mail ballots; fines imposed on civic groups, places of worship and rights organizations for distributing ballots by follow-up mail; and shorten postal ballots; restrict the distribution of food and water near a polling station; and shorten postal voting deadlines to 11 days before election day.
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Democrats argue that Georgian law and laws like the one enacted this year make it more difficult for minority populations to vote. Republicans argue the laws make elections safer because they limit new rules that were established during the COVID-19 pandemic to limit crowds and person-to-person contact.
The Democratic-controlled House on Tuesday passed the Voting Rights Act named after late Congressman Lewis, which outlines a new, expanded formula the Department of Justice can use to identify discriminatory voting patterns in states and jurisdictions. local jurisdictions.
Fox News’ Liz Friden, Brooke Singman and Andrew Mark Miller contributed to this report.