Thousands Join Voting Rights Marches, Rallies in DC and Nationwide
Thousands of people marched and rallied peacefully in the nation’s capital and cities nationwide to demand swift federal action around voting rights.
A series of events on Saturday, August 28, coincided with the 58th anniversary of the historic “March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom” in 1963. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. delivered the now famous “I Have A Dream” speech before more than 200,000 attendees. That day, John Lewis was the youngest speaker.
Decades later, Martin Luther King III, wife Arndrea Waters King and their daughter, Yolanda Renee King, 13, are among those proudly carrying freedom’s torch. Along with Rev. Al Sharpton, they helped lead the multiracial, intergenerational March On for Voting Rights held on the National Mall.
“I march because I’m tired of elected officials putting themselves first. To be honest, I am disgusted by the behavior of many of our leaders,” said Yolanda, who is Dr. King’s granddaughter. “In this country, it’s easier to register to own a gun than it is to register to vote. Think about that.”
The event was organized by the Drum Major Institute, March On, the National Action Network (NAN), Future Coalition, SEIU, and 51 for 51. Nearly 200 partner organizations offered support. Marchers protested some 400 bills introduced in state legislatures nationwide. At least a dozen, including in Georgia and Arizona, are now law. Democratic lawmakers in Texas left the state in protest. While Republican lawmakers say the measures are about protecting election integrity, Democrats contend the intent is to suppress votes, especially among people of color.
“This is a battlefield of morals and you are armed with the truth, and the truth is a flame you cannot extinguish,” King III, chairman of the Drum Major Institute, told the crowd. “We will demand federal voting rights until we have them. So don’t give up, don’t give in and don’t give out. You are the dream, and this is our moment to make it true.”
Read the full article in Essence.