Originally reported by www.chicagocrusader.com
Arnwine says our democracy is under attack because Senate Republicans continue to block two key voting rights bills while their other Party members pass voter suppression bills restricting the right to vote for Blacks and other people of color.
Arnwine gave an example how last year during the Georgia special election, volunteers from her organization provided food, water and chairs for voters who waited from 3 to 14 hours to vote. Since then, Republicans passed a bill criminalizing that assistance.
“Today, it is a criminal offense if we feed and provide assistance to people waiting in line to vote. That is just how desperate they are,” she told the Chicago Crusader.
In another example, Arnwine said in Fulton County, Georgia, which is mostly African American, voters once had 100 drop boxes for their ballots. However, Republicans passed a law and now they only have 23.
“At this moment when our democracy is under attack and when the voting rights of millions are being denied, when the people are purposefully engaging efforts to undermine the protections of everybody’s citizenship right to vote, it is critical that every single American see themselves as having the power and responsibility to fight for voter justice.”
“You don’t have to be a Ph.D. or any kind of degree to do this,” she said. “You can be a Rosa Parks,someone who cared deeply in her heart and was moved against injustice. She was a seamstress who changed the world.
“We are saying to people do what you can do visually. Everybody eats. Make a decision on Thursday to commit your body to this moral imperative to voting rights and democracy by not eating, by fasting,” she said.
Understanding that not everyone can fast for one day, some for medical reasons, Arnwine said they should do what they can.
She spoke of radio show host Joe Madison who has been on a hunger strike for two months for the same cause. Activist Reverend Stephen Green, chair of Faith of Black Lives, and 25 other clergy from across the nation, launched a hunger strike on the first-year anniversary of the January 6 insurrection. They too are fasting to highlight the passage of the two voting rights bills.
Arnwine is asking everyone to call their U.S. Senators at 202.224.3121 and ask them to support rules reform to pass the Freedom to Vote Act and The John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act.
Taking a popular quote from the late Representative John Lewis’ page, Arnwine is calling for national support in making “Good Trouble“ by putting pressure on the Senate to pass the “For The People Act of 2021 (H.R.1/S.1) And “The John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act of 2021 (H.R.4).
Arnwine’s call for a one-day hunger strike comes just six days before Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer’s January 17 deadline for the Senate to vote on a filibuster rules change if the Republicans continue to block the legislation.
Arnwine is also pushing for passage of “The Washington, D.C. Admission Act of 2021 (H.R.51/s.51). In D.C., residents cannot vote because the District of Columbia is a federal district and not a state. The proposed bill would admit D.C. as the 51st state allowing residents to vote and have a full self-government.
Her call for a one-day hunger strike also comes on the heels of President Biden and Vice President Harris calling on the Senate to change the filibuster needed to pass the voting rights bills.
Speaking on the grounds of Clark Atlanta University and Morehouse College, Biden said he was tired of being quiet on this issue and that it’s time to choose “democracy over autocracy.”
People are engaging to undermine the voter rights protections, Arnwine said. “It is critical that every single American see themselves as having the power and responsibility to fight for voting justice.
“You don’t need to have a Ph.D. or any kind of degree to join the one-day hunger strike,” she said. “You can be a Rosa Parks, someone who cared deeply in her heart who moved for justice. She was a seamstress who changed the world.”
Arnwine asked everyone to join in this “moral imperative for voter rights by fasting.”