Democratic Rep. Hank Johnson of Georgia, who has labeled participants in the Jan. 6 Capitol incursion “insurrectionists,” was arrested Thursday in a protest at the Hart Senate Office Building on Capitol Hill.
Johnson became the second black member of Congress to be arrested this month for participating in an illegal demonstration.
Last week, Democratic Rep. Joyce Beatty of Ohio was arrested after she led protesters inside the office building.
Prior to the carefully staged protest, Johnson participated in a “Brothers Day of Action on Capitol Hill” rally sponsored by Black Voters Matter, according to The Washington Post.
Capitol Police said they arrested 10 people Thursday for “unlawfully demonstrating outside of the Hart Senate Office Building” and charged them with “crowding, obstructing or incommoding.”
The arrests came after the group was told to disperse and refused to do so.
Capitol Police are ordering Hank Johnson and a small group of protesters demanding an end to the filibuster and protection of voting rights to disburse pic.twitter.com/0oFZ2JSahe
— Chris Cioffi (@ReporterCioffi) July 22, 2021
Last week, a total of nine people were arrested in the protest in which Beatty was detained.
Johnson sought to cover his actions with the gloss of the civil rights movement by citing the late Democratic Rep. John Lewis of Georgia, who also had been invoked by Beatty.
“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,” he tweeted.
.@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
In a statement, 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.”
“It was also in response to voter suppression bills and laws throughout the county, including Georgia, that target students, the elderly, and people of color,” the statement said.
A group seeking to ensure fair elections says that an in-depth analysis of mail-in ballot images it obtained through a court order shows that the hand count audit in #FultonCounty, #Georgia, last year “was riddled with massive errors and provable fraud.” https://t.co/bVuvs0UKdO
— The Epoch Times (@EpochTimes) July 15, 2021
House Democrats have claimed that election integrity bills passed by states such as Georgia will result in limiting the ability of black voters — traditionally a Democratic constituency — to cast ballots. Republicans have said they are designed to address holes in the system revealed in the 2020 election.
Left-wing Democrats have also been pushing for the elimination of the filibuster, a Senate parliamentary procedure that Republicans have used to block passage of a Democratic bill that would revamp election rules to suit Democrats.
Despite the pressure, moderate Democratic Sens. Joe Manchin of West Virginia and Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona have said they will not support abolishing the filibuster.
President Joe Biden said this week that he also opposes eliminating the filibuster.
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