Rev. Jesse Jackson and 38 others were arrested Monday for refusing to leave Arizona Democratic Sen. Kyrsten Sinema’s office in Phoenix, Arizona.
Hundreds of activists marched a mile to Sinema’s office chanting “end the filibuster now.” They said removing the filibuster would allow Democratic senators to pass voting-rights laws and raise the federal minimum wage, the outlet reported. (RELATED: Jesse Jackson, Liberal Activists Launch Voter Registration Drives In Ferguson)
Rev. Jesse Jackson, 79, who has Parkinson’s diagnosis is marching in heat & humidity to @SenatorSinema office to end the filibuster & demand voter & workers rights legislation. @azcentral pic.twitter.com/ofsQXCZ3Kr
— David Wallace (@DavidWallce) July 26, 2021
Jackson said the country is in a “civilizational crisis” with “battle lines drawn,” according to the Independent. “The power’s in you, the people,” he said.
“I taught kids for 25 years that this is what you have to do to change things, and now it’s time to step up,” said Barry Smith, a 59-year-old retired school teacher, as he was preparing to be arrested. “We’re supposed to be a democracy, so having a minority running the Senate is just so infuriating.”
The 39 people arrested were charged with trespassing, the Independent reported.
Congressional democrats have been working to pass voting-rights legislation which has been impeded by the filibuster. Sinema and other moderate Democrats have spoken out against making changes to the filibuster. She says it fosters bipartisan cooperation and longer-lasting compromises. “The filibuster compels moderation and helps protect the country from wild swings between opposing policy poles,” Sinema wrote in a Washington Post article.