Activists call for passage of US vote protection law

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On Monday, the family of Martin Luther King Jr. demanded that the United States Senate pass voting rights legislation and said lawmakers who truly honor the late civil rights leader’s legacy must “be of the right side of the story”.

“No matter what happens tomorrow, we must keep up the pressure and not say any more empty words. Don’t tell us what you believe, show us with your votes. History will be watching what happens tomorrow,” Martin Luther King III, son of Martin Luther King Jr., said in a speech in Washington.

“Black and brown Americans will be watching what happens tomorrow. In 50 years, students will read about what will happen and know if our leaders had the integrity to do the right thing,” he added.

The comments come on a federal holiday honoring the late civil rights leader and a day before the Senate votes on voting rights legislation that faces uncertainty amid opposition among Democrats.

The King family and activist groups have been pushing President Joe Biden and Congress to act on voting rights legislation that is stalled in the Senate.

“If you can deliver an infrastructure project for bridges, you can deliver voting rights to Americans. If you don’t, there is no bridge in this nation that can bear the brunt of this failure.”

On Monday morning, the King family met with other activist groups and marched across the Frederick Douglass Memorial Bridge with a message to Biden and Congress: “You’ve delivered bridges, now deliver voting rights.”

They marked what would have been King Jr.’s 93rd birthday in Phoenix on Saturday, where they pressed for the president and Congress to pass the legislation.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Black Congressional Speaker Joyce Beatty, Alabama Representative Terri Sewell, D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser, and activist groups also joined the King family at the press conference this morning. Monday, asking the Senate for action.

“If you really want to honor Dr. King, don’t dishonor him by using a congressional custom as an excuse to protect our democracy,” Pelosi said, referring to changing Senate obstruction rules needed to pass the legislation.

“Whose side are you on?”

During the annual breakfast National Action Network Paying tribute to King on Monday, Biden repeated the same message he delivered in Georgia last week, when he said lawmakers should choose to side with civil rights leaders like King or side with segregationists like the former Alabama governor. George Wallace.

“The attack on our democracy is real, from the January 6 insurrection to the attack on Republican anti-voting laws in several states,” Biden said in pre-recorded comments.

“It’s no longer just about who can vote. It’s about who can count votes and whether your vote counts. It is about two traits: voter suppression and electoral subversion.”

The president continued: “We are in another moment now, where the mirror is being lifted for America, being lifted again. The question being asked again: where are we? Which side are we on?”

Vice President Kamala Harris also called on the Senate to pass voting rights legislation, saying during Martin Luther King Jr.’s Beloved Community Commemorative Service at Ebenezer Baptist Church to truly honor King Jr.’s legacy: “We must continue fighting for the freedom to vote, for freedom for all”.

“Today, our freedom to vote is under attack,” Harris said in virtual comments on Monday. “It’s time for the United States Senate to do its job… The Senate must pass this bill now.”

Pressure on two Democrats

Democrats have been looking for a way to pass voting rights legislation amid pressure and resistance from members of their own party.

Influential moderate senators Joe Manchin of Virginia and Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona, two Democrats who have long voiced opposition to changing the obstruction rules — necessary for the election legislation to come to an end — remain impassive.

“Senator Sinema and Senator Manchin want a supermajority. Well, a supermajority of citizens support this legislation,” Arndrea Waters King, wife of Martin Luther King III, said Monday, adding that if both senators stand by their positions, “they will extend the stranglehold of white supremacy in our democracy. ”

Martin Luther King III also criticized the two senators and said that “history will not remember them kindly”.

A CNN contacted the Sinema and Manchin offices for comment but received no response.

This content was originally created in English.

original version

Reference: CNN Brasil

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