• Wed. Sep 22nd, 2021

Ohio’s Only Black Congresswoman Arrested While Standing Up for Voting Rights

Herald Staff Report

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Ohio’s only Black congresswoman and head of the Congressional Black Caucus was arrested during a pro-voting rights demonstration at the Hart Senate Office Building. Joyce Beatty (D-Ohio) led a group of women into the building urging Senators to stand up for voter’s right.

Beatty’s arrest occurred as Democrats try to get Voting Rights legislation passed in the Senate, but have a hard time getting past the filibuster.

In a statement released after her arrest and posted on social media, Beatty said, “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. Be assured that this is just the beginning. This is our power, our message.”

Capitol police officers arrested Beatty and 9 others in the Senate Hart Building after being warned that the demonstration was illegal. Arrested with Beatty was Melanie Campbell of the Black Women’s Roundtable. In fact, according to news reports and social media posts, Campbell’s organization, National Coalition on Black Civic Participation, financially covered the bail money for those arrested.

Once out of custody, Beatty made the rounds of news shows detailing the arrest and why it was needed to be done. Throughout her various interviews, Beatty noted that once the women were warned that they were demonstrating illegally, they were arrested when they didn’t stop demonstrating.

According to the Hill, Beatty noted during an interview on SiriusXM Urban View’s “The Joe Madison Show,” that it was illegal to protest where she was. There is a rule for the Hart Senate Office Building that protesting is illegal. She said it was interesting that she was quickly arrested, but the people demonstrating on January 6 were not quickly arrested.

Also participating in the demonstration but not arrested were Tamika Mallory, LaTosha Brown of Black Voters Matter and former Washington First Lady, Cora Masters Berry.

On Friday, the demonstrators met with Vice President Kamala Harris at the White House.