Across Washington, D.C., multiple individuals are taking part in hunger strikes to protest against the stalled Biden voting agenda, which was recently blocked in the Senate. Several protestors have pledged not to eat until the Democrats pass the election reform bills, and multiple protestors formed a barricade outside the U.S. Capitol on Thursday.
After warning the protestors three times to disperse, Capitol Hill police began making arrests, with 23 individuals in total arrested. Of the 23 individuals, one arrestee was none other than a Democrat congressional representative, Jamaal Bowman.
Bowman, a highly progressive representative from New York, apparently decided to join “a voting rights non-violent direct action at the North Barricade of the U.S. Capitol Building,” according to Marcus Frias, Bowman’s director of communications.
“[Bowman] was arrested by the U.S. Capitol Police,” Frias added in remarks to The Washington Post.
Nonetheless, the hunger strikes were hit with another significant setback on Wednesday evening, notably when the Democrats lost in a 51-49 vote, falling more than 11 votes short of the number needed to overcome the filibuster and proceed to voting on reform bills.
Chuck Schumer, the Senate Majority Leader, voted alongside the Democrats before siding with Republicans in order to move towards breaking the filibuster. However, Schumer’s efforts were stymied by moderate Democrat Senators Krysten Sinema and Joe Manchin, who voted alongside Republicans in a 52-48 vote to keep the filibuster in place.
The filibuster requires a minimum of 60 votes in the Senate to pass legislation. Consequently, a vote to keep the filibuster in place essentially equates to the imminent failure of both the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act, as well as the Freedom to Vote Act.
Unsurprisingly, the arrested Democrat rep’s director of communications lavished praise upon Bowman for defying the police.
“To have [Jamaal Bowman] as a boss is to have a fighter in your corner, always,” Frias proclaimed, adding that he is “honored every day to be in the fight with him.”
Ever since ascending to the Oval Office, President Joe Biden, along with other Democrats, has been assailing Republican election laws as direct attacks on minority voters. Biden has gone as far as to characterize voting integrity bills that require photo identification as “Jim Crow 2.0.”