Democrat Rep Arrested at U.S. Capitol During Protest
Rep. Hank Johnson (D-GA) among several arrested for blocking Senate office building
Democrat Rep. Hank Johnson (D-GA) was among several arrested during a protest at the U.S. Capitol building on Thursday.
Johnson was taken into custody by Capitol Police while protesting Senate "inaction" on filibuster reform and voting legislation.
66-year-old Johnson, who has represented a majority-African American district east of Atlanta since 2007, posted on social media that he was "protesting against" Republicans' efforts to secure future elections against fraud.
"In the spirit of my dear friend and mentor – the late Congressman John Lewis – I was getting in #goodtrouble," Johnson said on Twitter alonside a video of himself being led away in handcuffs.
.@BlackCaucus I was arrested today protesting against Senate inaction on voting rights legislation & filibuster reform. In the spirit of my dear friend and mentor – the late Congressman John Lewis – I was getting in #goodtrouble pic.twitter.com/JjN51mRpaC— Rep. Hank Johnson (@RepHankJohnson) July 22, 2021
The congressman was surrounded by other protestors detained by Capitol police who chanted, "Whose street? Our street. Whose house? Our house."
Johnson gave a speech at the voting rights rally in front of the Supreme Court, where he was joined by other members of the Congressional Black Caucus including Democratic Reps. Jamaal Bowman of New York, Emanuel Cleaver of Missouri, Troy Carter of Louisiana, Jackson Lee of Texas, and Al Green of Texas.
The group of protestors then marched over to the Senate office building to protest in front of the entrance while chanting, "This is what democracy looks like."
Capitol Police told Fox News they arrested 10 individuals for "unlawfully demonstrating outside of the Hart Senate Office Building."
Johnson’s office said the congressman was arrested with a "group of black male voting rights activists protesting against Senate inaction on voting rights legislation and filibuster reform."
All individuals were charged with "Crowding, Obstructing, or Incommoding."
Johnson is now the second Democratic House member to be arrested this month, following the arrest of Rep. Joyce Beatty (D-OH) on Jul 15.
Beatty was taken into custody with eight other protestors over "illegal demonstration activity" in front of the Hart Senate building.
"I stand in solidarity with black women and allies across the country in defense of our constitutional right to vote," Beatty said in a statement.
"We have come too far and fought too hard to see everything systematically dismantled and restricted by those who wish to silence us."
House Democrats and civil rights activists have called on the Senate to pass the "For the People Act" and the "John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act" to counter what they argue are targeted attacks against minority voters by the Republican Party.
Republicans say their opposition to the federal legislation and their efforts on voting bills in the states are an attempt to prevent voter fraud.