The chairwoman of the Congressional Black Caucus celebrated her arrest Thursday after leading an incursion of protesters into the Hart Senate Office Building on Capitol Hill.
Democratic Rep. Joyce Beatty of Ohio said that breaking the law was an important way to illustrate her belief that voting reforms passed by state legislatures will disenfranchise black voters.
“I stand in solidarity with Black women and allies across the country in defense of our constitutional right to vote. We have come too far and fought too hard to see everything systematically dismantled and restricted by those who wish to silence us,” Beatty said in a statement on her website.
“You can arrest me. You can’t stop me. You can’t silence me,” Beatty said on Twitter.
NBC News reported that the protesters who joined Beatty in the incursion demanded passage of the so-called For the People Act, a Democrat bill that would largely put elections under the thumb of the federal government instead of the states.
Capitol Police said the demonstrators were arrested after refusing to disperse.
“This afternoon, nine people were arrested for demonstrating in a prohibited area on Capitol Grounds,” the department said in a statement on Thursday.
“At approximately 3:30pm, the United States Capitol Police responded to the Atrium in the Hart Senate Office Building for reports of illegal demonstration activity. After officers arrived on the scene, they warned the demonstrators three times to stop. Those who refused were arrested for D.C. Code §22-1307. Two males and seven females were transported to USCP Headquarters for processing,” Capitol Police said.
Unlike the coverage of the Jan. 6 incursion of the U.S. Capitol by supporters of then-President Donald Trump, there was no hue-and-cry in the media about Beatty and the other protesters staging an “insurrection” or “threatening our democracy.”
Many Republicans have said the fight over election reform legislation is an attempt by Democrats to use their current congressional majority as a means to cement leftist rule in America.