The Hill reported that Rev. Jesse Jackson was taken into custody on Monday during a voting rights protest that took place near the U.S. Capitol.
Jackson, who has for decades been a fixture in the Democratic Party, was arrested along with 200 others who participated in the event.
Dubbed “National Moral Monday,” it was organized by the Poor People’s Campaign and focused on various topics, including eliminating the Senate filibuster, increasing the federal minimum wage, and voicing opposition to anti-voting fraud legislation.
“Why are they waiting?”
Also arrested was Bishop William J. Barber II, who served as co-chair of National Moral Monday and is president of an organization called Repairers of the Breach.
Barber was quoted in a Poor People’s Campaign press release as demanding an audience with President Joe Biden.
“We’re asking the White House why are they waiting?” Barber said. “The president said that ending poverty would be a theory of change. He said it to our gathering in September tied to the election. And we met with the economic policy team.”
Fighting for “voting rights”
Luci Baines Johnson, the daughter of former President Lyndon B. Johnson, suggested that her father would have fought against state-level laws aimed to curb voter fraud.
“The vote gave Americans of all backgrounds the opportunity to address the inequities of our country,” she declared. “Those seeking to limit access to that vote will strangle liberty and justice for all.”
“I cannot speak for our father now, as I dared not in his lifetime,” Johnson added. “But I know for sure that he would want us to be with you in the fight for social justice and voting rights.”
Manchin and Sinema resist
The Poor People’s Campaign event was part of a larger effort by Democrats to pass a bill known as the “For the People Act.” Its provisions would effectively gut state voter ID laws while allowing for ballot harvesting and increased use of mail-in ballots, to include universal mail-in ballots.
The legislation has stalled in the Senate through Republicans’ use of the filibuster rule. That has led to increased calls for the filibuster rule to be eliminated, a move that moderate Democratic Sens. Joe Manchin (WV) and Kyrsten Sinema (AZ) have expressed reservations about.
Sinema wrote in a June op-ed piece for The Washington Post that Democrats “have more to lose than gain by ending the filibuster.”