- Title: Thousands march and rally in Washington for voting rights
- Date: 28th August 2021
- Summary: WASHINGTON, D.C., UNITED STATES (AUGUST 28, 2021) (REUTERS) WIDE OF CROWD LISTENING
- Embargoed: 11th September 2021 21:25
- Keywords: March on Washington Martin Luther Kinig III Rev. Al Sharpton Sheila Jackson Lee Yolanda Renee King voting rights
- Location: WASHINGTON, D.C., UNITED STATES
- City: WASHINGTON, D.C., UNITED STATES
- Country: USA
- Topics: Diplomacy/Foreign Policy,Government/Politics,United States
- Reuters ID: LVA007ES6ZVIF
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text:Thousands marched, then rallied in Washington on Saturday (August 28) to demand protections for voting rights, aiming to pressure lawmakers to pass legislation to counter a wave of ballot restrictions in Republican-led states.
Held on the anniversary of Martin Luther King Jr.'s historic 1963 March on Washington, organizers of the "March On For Washington And Voting Rights" say the state-level moves to curb voting access disproportionately impact people of color.
In Washington marchers held "Black Lives Matter" flags and signs called for federal legislation to protect voting rights. Large crowds marched from McPherson Square near the White House to the final meeting point at the National Mall, where King gave his iconic "I Have a Dream" speech 58 years ago.
There were some in the crowd who attended the march in 1963 and once again came to Washington to push for the passage of a federal laws that would outlaw discriminatory voting practices.
The bill, named after the late civil rights hero John Lewis, was approved in the U.S. House of Representatives this week but faces poor prospects in the Senate due to rules that allow a minority to block legislation.
After Democrat Joe Biden won the 2020 presidential election, Republican lawmakers in many states reined in use of dropboxes and mail-in voting. The moves came after former Republican president Donald Trump tried unsuccessfully to overturn the election based on unsubstantiated claims of widespread voter fraud.
So far this year, at least 18 states have enacted laws restricting voter access, according to the Brennan Center for Justice at New York University.
Organizers expected 50,000 demonstrators in Washington, where civil rights leaders including Martin Luther King III and the Rev. Al Sharpton are scheduled to speak. Rallies have also been planned in Phoenix, Miami and several other cities.
In addition to the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act, a more expansive voting reform bill was also passed by the House earlier this year but Senate Republicans blocked it in June, saying voting rules should be left to the states.
The lack of meaningful Republican support appears set to doom any legislation in the Senate, which is divided 50-50 along party lines and where filibuster rules mean Democrats need to secure the votes of 10 Republicans to advance measures.
(Production: Kia Johnson)
- Copyright Holder: REUTERS
- Copyright Notice: (c) Copyright Thomson Reuters 2021. Open For Restrictions - http://about.reuters.com/fulllegal.asp
- Usage Terms/Restrictions: None