Congressman Jamaal Bowman Arrested While Protesting For Voting Rights Legislation
"Our democracy is on the line," Bowman said.
January 21, 2022 at 3:40 pm
New York Democratic Rep. Jamaal Bowman was taken into custody for participating in a voting rights protest at the U.S. Capitol, his office said in a statement, CNN reports.
"Today, Congressman Jamaal Bowman joined a voting rights non-violent direct action at the North Barricade of the US Capitol Building and was arrested by the US Capitol Police," Marcus Frias, a spokesman for Bowman, said in a statement on Thursday. "We will provide more information and updates as we gather them."
Bowman's office reports that some of the demonstrators who were arrested were "faith leaders and youth who have been hunger striking for our democracy."
The U.S. Capitol police arrested the protesters after giving them three warnings for blocking the side of the north barricade outside the Capitol.
On Wednesday, the day before he participated in the Capitol demonstrations, Bowman visited youth demonstrating for democracy at the capitol steps.
He posted an image to his Twitter account with the caption, "Our democracy is on the line, and the Senate must act and pass voting rights immediately. We're outside the Senate steps sounding the alarm."
Our democracy is on the line, and the Senate must act and pass voting rights immediately. We’re outside the Senate steps sounding the alarm. pic.twitter.com/2Y5h5G7dnL
— Jamaal Bowman (@JamaalBowmanNY) January 19, 2022
More than two dozen protesters were arrested, according to the police department. The protests were spurred by the Democrats' failure to change the rules of the filibuster to pass the voting rights bill before the 2022 midterm elections.
Sens. Joe Manchin and Kyrsten Sinema opposed the change, siding with the GOP senators.
According to CNN, Sinema issued a statement Wednesday explaining why she rejected the change, saying she did not agree with "actions that would deepen our divisions and risk repeated radical reversals in federal policy, cementing uncertainty and further eroding confidence in our government."
Bowman joins other Black Democratic lawmakers who were arrested last year for engaging in protests in support of voting rights legislation.
In August, Rep. Al Green (D-Texas) was arrested while demonstrating outside the Supreme Court and the U.S. Capitol. In July, Reps. Sheila Jackson Lee (D-Texas), Hank Johnson (D-Ga.) and Joyce Beatty (D-Ohio) were all arrested for taking part in various protests.