The Rev. Jesse Jackson and Bishop William Barber II were both arrested Wednesday in Washington D.C. at a protest against the filibuster and the Republican opposition to a federal minimum wage increase.
“We come not as an insurrection group, but as a resurrection group,” Jackson shouted to fellow protesters. “Today we must fill up the jails. If you call yourself a child of God, you oughta act like it sometimes.”
Barber said, “We are also here to say to Manchin: Any so-called Democrat who claims to support not 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.
“Manchin, don’t you let sin block the salvation of this democracy and its soul,” he added.
Barber said of Mitch McConnell, “There’s still time for McConnell to repent.”
From Religion News:
Shortly thereafter, police led Barber and a dozen other demonstrators away — including Jackson, 79, who was assisted by his son and another demonstrator.
The arrests were the culmination of two-hour-long demonstration that began a block away outside the U.S. Supreme Court. There, faith leaders and activists spoke out against the recent failure by the Senate to take up voting rights legislation, known as the For the People Act, which would undo recent limits on mail-in voting and poll hours passed in Georgia and other states.
On Tuesday, a motion to debate the bill failed, as the senators deadlocked at 50-50. Advocates of the For the People Act, including Barber, have urged Manchin to agree to change Senate rules to eliminate the filibuster, which would allow Democrats to pass the bill with a simple-majority vote. Manchin and another Democrat, Sen. Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona, have vowed to keep the rule in place.
…Other speakers at the event included Jim Winkler, head of the National Council of Churches, a group that advocates for 38 member communions representing between 30 million and 40 million people — including entire denominations such as the African Methodist Episcopal Church, Episcopal Church and Presbyterian Church (USA).
“The John Lewis Voting Rights Act, the For the People Act, the American Jobs Plan, the $15 hourly wage — these should be passed into law,” he said. “The only way this is going to happen is for the filibuster to go.”
Accompanied by a heavy police presence, the group marched from the court to the Hart building, where the arrests took place while the demonstrators looked on.
The action was peaceful, with protesters repeatedly drawing a contrast between their tactics and those who stormed the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6.
When two people began shouting at a Capitol Police officer while Barber was being detained, the North Carolina pastor briefly approached them to deescalate the situation before allowing himself to be led away.
Went to visit a friend at the Capitol & walk into the #PoorPeoplesCampaign protest over the #FILIBUSTER. Next thing I know, Rev. Jesse Jackson & Pastor Dr. William Barber II are getting arrested! pic.twitter.com/x6YRw2IUCI— Shardé M. Davis, Ph.D. (@DrShardeDavis) June 23, 2021