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Democratic Representative Hank Johnson was arrested Thursday in Washington, DC, for participating in a voting rights protest near the United States Capitol, his office confirmed.
The 66-year-old Georgian congressman is the second House Democrat to be arrested for participating in a vote for the right to vote last week.
Johnson spoke at a rally organized by the Black Voters Matter group and aimed to pressure Congress to pass two federal voting rights bills, the For the People Act and the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act.
Today, Congressman Hank Johnson (GA-04) was arrested along with a group of black suffrage activists protesting the Senate’s inaction on voting rights legislation and reform of the ‘obstruction,’ Johnson’s office said in a statement. Johnson’s office said the congressman attended the rally as part of his efforts to tackle GOP voter suppression measures in Georgia and other states, which target students, the elderly and people of color.
“In the mind of his dear friend and mentor – the late Congressman John Lewis – Representative Johnson was in ‘big trouble’ fighting and protecting civil and voting rights for all Americans,” his office said. .
Eva Malecki, director of communications for the Capitol Police, told USA TODAY that 10 people were arrested for “illegal protest” outside the Hart Building and that each was charged with crowding, obstructing or Caused embarrassment.
The People’s Law would expand voter registration and access to vote, among other measures. The bill passed the House in March, but stalled amid GOP opposition in the Senate. The second measure, named after the deceased civil rights icon, Georgia Representative John Lewis, would restore voter protections included in the Voting Rights Act of 1965.
Following: The House passed a radical law on the right to vote. What’s inside ?
Democrats say the bills are key to countering Republican-led efforts in state legislatures to enact new voting restrictions that target minority voters and other Democratic-leaning constituencies. Republicans say the new restrictions are needed to guard against voter fraud.
Several other members of Congress appeared alongside Johnson at the rally, including Rep. Jamaal Bowman (D-NY), Rep. Emanuel Cleaver (D-MO), Rep. Troy A. Carter (D-LA), Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee (D-TX) and Rep. . Al Vert (D-TX).
The group of protesters, including Johnson, marched to the Hart Senate office building, chanting “This is what democracy looks like”. according to an NBC News reporter in the field.
Following: Ohio Rep. Joyce Beatty Arrested During Voting Demonstration
Ohio Democratic Representative Joyce Beatty was arrested on July 15, along with eight other protesters, after being warned three times to stop “illegal protest activity.” Capitol Police wrote in a statement on Twitter That day.
“I stand in solidarity with black women and their allies across the country in defending our constitutional right to vote,” Beatty wrote in a statement posted on Twitter after his arrest. “We have gone too far and fought too hard for everything to be systematically dismantled and restricted by those who wish to silence us.”
This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Voting Rights: Georgia Representative Hank Johnson Arrested During Protest Near Capitol Building