Rev. Jesse Jackson and Bishop William Barber Arrested at Filibuster


Civil rights leaders Rev. Jesse Jackson and Bishop William Barber were arrested outside the Senate during a protest calling for the abolition of the ongoing filibuster.

Jackson and Barber were among a group of civil rights and religious activists demanding West Virginia Sen. Joe Manchin and other lawmakers end the filibuster and pass voting rights legislation.

Senate blocked the voting rights legislation, known as the For the People Act, which would undo recent limits on mail-in voting and polling hours in Georgia and several other states.

Barber stood in the middle of Constitution Avenue as hundreds of demonstrators marched behind him outside the Hart Senate Office Building. He was eventually arrested for blocking the street.

“We come not as an insurrection group, but as a resurrection group,” Jackson shouted, according to the Religion News Service. “Today we must fill up the jails. … If you call yourself a child of God, you oughta act like it sometimes.”

During the protest, Barber came face to face with Manchin.

“We are also here to say to Manchin: Any so-called Democrat who claims to support the nonconstitutional filibuster over the constitutional guarantee that no state can deny or abridge the right to vote … you are assisting the Republicans in their extremism,” he said.

Barber also informed Minority Leader Mitch McConnell McConnell that he still had time to “repent.”

Earlier this month, in an op-ed published in the Chicago Sun-Times, Jackson urged voters to “just say no” to the Republicans.

“Of course, when they run for re-election, Republicans will take credit for Biden’s American Rescue Plan that was passed without one Republican vote,” he wrote.

“No one should be fooled,” Jackson added. “At a time when America faces cascading crises, Republicans just say no. If we want even to begin to address the troubles we have, voters will have to say no to those who are standing in the way.”

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