On Thursday Central State University alumna Joyce Beatty was arrested while fighting for voting rights, and now she’s sounding off about her experience. Learn what she had to say about disparities in voting and now policing at the Capitol in a recent article by Jordan Williams at The Hill below.
Congressional Black Caucus Chairwoman Joyce Beatty (D-Ohio) discussed the “disparities of treatment” in her arrest at the Capitol on Thursday.
Beatty was arrested for “illegal demonstration activity” after leading a group of pro-voting rights demonstrators into the Hart Senate Office Building.
In an interview on SiriusXM Urban View’s “The Joe Madison Show,” Beatty said “the No. 1 question” about her arrest was that it was illegal to protest where she was.
“Here is what the No. 1 question has been about the arrest: There is a rule in the Senate and in the Capitol buildings, I guess — but more specifically where we were — that is was illegal to do what we did after being warned to leave,” Beatty said.
The congresswoman then said it was “ironic” how quickly she was arrested for violating the rule, compared to “thousands of thousands of people” who were “not peacefully protesting,” apparently referring to the pro-Trump rioters who violently stormed the Capitol on Jan. 6.
“Kind of ironic, isn’t it? That we were arrested quickly for violating the rule of it was illegal to protest as we were doing after being warned to stop. So, again, here we are with the disparities of treatment with less than 100 people and then thousands of thousands of people who were not peacefully protesting,” Beatty continued.
Beatty’s arrest comes as Democrats try to get voting rights legislation past the Senate filibuster.
Democrats and voting rights advocates argue that the For the People Act and John Lewis Voting Rights Act will help counter a trend of legislation being passed in GOP-led states that tighten the rules on voting, prompting a new urgency to get rid of the filibuster.
“We are in a critical point right now because we don’t have the John Lewis Voting Rights Act passed. And we thought it was important because the Senate has not been acting on anything,” Beatty told Madison.
“So we thought it was important for us, one, to demonstrate our power. Two, to educate the American people that this is a big issue especially for us who are the most disenfranchised and demonstrated against,” she said.