Rep. Joyce Beatty, D-Ohio, chairwoman of the Congressional Black Caucus was among nine protesters who were arrested by U.S. Capitol Police after leading a peaceful demonstration to advocate for voting rights inside the Hart Senate Office Building.
At least 20 Black women activists joined Thursday to rally against legislation across the country which Democrats argue is restricting Americans’ right to vote. They called for federal intervention and specifically the end to the filibuster rule, so the U.S. Senate may pass the For The People Act.
Protesters walked hand in hand into the Senate office building Thursday, singing and chanting, “Let the people vote!”
“This afternoon, nine people were arrested for demonstrating in a prohibited area on Capitol Grounds. At approximately 3:30pm, the United States Capitol Police responded to the Atrium in the Hart Senate Office Building for reports of illegal demonstration activity,” a U.S. Capitol Police statement said.
“After officers arrived on the scene, they warned the demonstrators three times to stop. Those who refused were arrested for D.C. Code §22-1307. Two males and seven females were transported to USCP Headquarters for processing,” the statement continued.
Leading the demonstration was LaTosha Brown, cofounder of the Black Voters Matter Fund, Tamika Mallory, founder of Unit Freedom, Dr. Johnetta Cole, national chair and president of the National Council of Negro Women, Cora Masters Barry, CEO of the Recreation Wishlist Committee, Dr. Barbara Williams-Skinner, CEO and co-founder of the Skinner Institute, and Melanie Campbell, president of the National Coalition of Black Civic Participation.
The demonstration comes just two days before the one-year anniversary of the death of the late Rep. John Lewis, a civil rights icon who marched alongside Martin Luther King Jr. in Selma, Alabama, on “Bloody Sunday” in the Civil Rights movement.
Following her arrest, Beatty tweeted in Lewis’ honor with the caption, “#goodtrouble.”
ABC News’ Benjamin Siegel and Libby Cathey contributed to this report.
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