Congressman Jamaal Bowman was arrested in Washington, D.C. on January 20th along with at least 20 other protesters. The group was voicing their support for the John Lewis Voting Rights Act. According to the Brennan Center for Justice, “the bill would restore much-needed protections against discrimination targeting voters of color.”
Rep. Bowman attended a protest at the Capitol on January 19th and peacefully showed his support for the bill. The next day, he was arrested for crossing the police line while encouraging protesters. Rep. Bowman’s Communications Director, Marcus Frias, provided a statement of the events.
“Today, Congressman Jamaal Bowman joined a voting rights non-violent direct action at the North Barricade of the U.S. Capitol Building and was arrested by the U.S. Capitol Police,” Frias stated. “We will provide more information and updates as we gather them.”
The controversial John Lewis Voting Rights Act failed to pass in the U.S. Senate during a vote on January 19th. The protests were led by #Hungerstrike4democracy and Un-PAC. Rep. Bowman’s arrest gained the attention of progressive group Frontline who criticized the arrest of a congressman standing up for voter rights.
“Congressman Jamaal Bowman was arrested outside the Capitol as part of a voting rights protest,” Frontline posted. “So police can’t arrest a bunch of right-wing terrorists storming the Capitol and killing officers, but they can manage to arrest a standing Congressman at his place of work because he supports voting rights.”
Despite his arrest, Rep. Bowman remained steadfast in support of the protests and the John Lewis Voting Rights Act.
“We have to pass the For the People Act in the Senate, and the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act in the Senate,” he said. “The House has already done its job, so the Senate has to step up and do its job. But the Senate is not going to do its job if we do not exercise our unlimited power as the people of the United States of America.”