Reverend Jesse Jackson and 38 others were arrested during a protest of Senator Kyrsten Sinema’s (D-AZ) stance on the filibuster rule outside of her Phoenix office on Monday.
The arrested protestors were charged with trespassing, according to Phoenix Police Public Information Officer Mercedes Fortune. The protestors were voicing opposition to Sinema’s lack of support for the proposed filibuster reform. Without reform or abolition of the 60-vote filibuster rule, Senate Democrats can’t pass massive election reform in the For the People Act.
Another civil rights activist and reverend, Dr. William Barber, published a video of him and fellow protestors singing as they were being detained.
“On the way to jail, we’re gonna let it shine!” wrote Barber. “Arrests happening now in Phoenix.”
On the way to jail, we’re gonna let it shine!
— Rev. Dr. William J. Barber II (@RevDrBarber) July 26, 2021
Another civil rights activist, Kai Newkirk, also documented some of the protestors as they were being detained.
It was a deep honor to lead a march and sit-in alongside the great Rev. Jesse Jackson and @RevDrBarber today.
— Kai Newkirk #EndTheFilibuster (@kai_newkirk) July 27, 2021
Sinema didn’t publish any formal statements on the protest or arrests.
Over a month ago, Sinema published an opinion piece in The Washington Post to explain her rationale for supporting the current filibuster rule. She explained that she’s supported the filibuster rule for years: all throughout her three terms in the U.S. House to now. Sinema reminded readers that Democrats used the filibuster rule last year to accomplish desired police reform and COVID relief.
“Arizonans expect me to do what I promised when I ran for the House and the Senate: to be independent – like Arizona – and to work with anyone to achieve lasting results. Lasting results – rather than temporary victories, destined to be reversed, undermining the certainty that America’s families and employers depend on. The best way to achieve durable, lasting results? Bipartisan cooperation,” wrote Sinema. “My support for retaining the 60-vote threshold is not based on the importance of any particular policy. It is based on what is best for our democracy. The filibuster compels moderation and helps protect the country from wild swings between opposing policy poles.”
Sinema is one of two Democrats holding out on the reform, preventing Senate Democrats from changing the filibuster rule. The other senator to oppose the filibuster reform is Senator Joe Manchin (D-WV).
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