'Old battles have become new again': Thousands march in Washington, DC, and across the US in push for voting-rights legislation

John Lewis Voting Act is named after the Civil-Rights icon and long-serving Congressman who died last year. It would, notably, restore federal pre-clearance requirements under the Voting Rights Act 1965, which were weakened in Shelby County v. Holder (2013). Since decades, all states and jurisdictions that have a history of discrimination required permission from the federal government to make voting changes or create new legislative maps.
Although the House passed the bill, it is stuck in the Senate. To advance the legislation, Democrats must have 60 votes. Republicans are refusing to sign H.R. 1. The opposition of former President Donald Trump, who long has made unsubstantiated claims about voting fraud, even prompted the filibustering of the bill in June.

For the People Act, the Democratic Party’s marquee voting rights bill, would eliminate partisan gerrymandering and expand early and absentee voter voting. It also establishes national standards for voter registration and blunts voter purges. This bill would require states to offer mail-in voting and same-day registration. Conservatives in many states have long opposed this.

Marchers urged lawmakers to adopt voting-rights legislation that has stalled in Congress, the For the People Act (H.R. 1) and the John Lewis Voting Advancement Act. (H.R. 4)

The March On for Voting Rights organizers are using the event in Atlanta, Houston, Miami, Phoenix and Miami to protest voter suppression and advocate for fair elections.

On Saturday, thousands marched through Washington to mark the 58th anniversary the March on Washington in 1963. They were there to urge Congress to pass federal voter-rights legislation in order to combat the string of restrictive voting laws being implemented across the country.

The Senate faces uncertain futures for the legislation that passed the House on Tuesday in a 219 to212 vote.

H.R. is sponsored by Terri Sewell, a Democratic Rep from Alabama who represents the birthplace of civil-rights movements. 4 and invoked Lewis' legacy in calling for the bill's passage.

"Here we stand, marching to our own work. Selma will be there as long as the Supreme Court is determined to roll back voter rights," she stated. Selma will remain so long as there is a Senate that insists on a procedural vote known as a filibuster, and not restoring voting rights, she said.

She said that "Old battles are being re-fought." Modern-day suppression is alive today, and we must do our part to reverse it."

Activists listen during the March On For Washington, August 28, 2021. Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images

"You are not going to filibuster away the voting protections"

The 50-50 Senate is controlled by Democrats thanks to Vice President Kamala Harir's tiebreaking vote. However, the party has not been able to reach the 60 votes threshold to defeat legislative filibusters of its voting-rights legislation.

Moderate senators have been urged by progressive lawmakers. While Joe Manchin from West Virginia and Kyrsten Silena of Arizona wanted to eliminate or weaken the filibuster to pass voting-rights legislation they passed, they chose to continue the practice, which demonstrates the need for bipartisanship.

The Rev. Al Sharpton, one the organizers of this march, delivered a stirring speech in support voting rights and argued that the filibuster couldn't stand in the way progress.

He said, "We won't sit by and let you filibuster your right to vote." We paid too much. To give us the right of vote, people died. To give us the right of vote, people spent nights in prison. To give us the right of voting, people gave their lives.

He said, "There is no filibuster to stop a people from obtaining their rights." We came to Washington in the heat to tell Washington, "You are not going to filibuster away voting protections."

Despite legislative setbacks civil rights and labor leaders consider voting rights extensions of the Rev. In his "I Have a Dream” speech, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

King's son Martin Luther King III fought for federal voting rights legislation on Saturday.

He said, "We are a force for nature." This is a battleground of morals, and you are armed only with truth. Truth is a flame you can never extinguish. It's been done before and it will be repeated. We will continue to demand federal voting rights until they are granted. Don't lose heart. Don't give in. Don't give out. This is your chance to realize your dream.

New York Democratic Rep. Mondaire, a New York first-term legislator, has called for the abolition and expansion of the Supreme Court. He warned the crowd that GOP rule could be in place if voting rights legislation is lost.

He said, "If we fail in this moment to act, we are on the path by which democracy will die in darkness." "Permit me to show you a dark future. Partisan gerrymandering will ensure that Donald Trump's party takes back the House control next year. Democrats are still winning more votes nationally.

He said: "The party Donald Trump would also retake the United States Senate through voter suppression states like Georgia. We gotta ensure that Raphael Warnock returns to the Senate."

The march organizers also wanted to highlight issues like reparations for slave descendants, a $15 minimum income, student loan cancellation, Washington statehood, and criminal justice reform among others.

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