New York Rep. Jamaal Bowman arrested outside US Capitol during voting rights protest




  • In Politics
  • 2022-01-20 19:31:36Z
  • By USA TODAY
 

Rep. Jamaal Bowman, D-N.Y., was arrested outside the U.S. Capitol building on Thursday during a protest over voting rights, according to his office.

U.S. Capitol Police arrested Bowman along with about 20 other demonstrators that have been on a hunger strike in support of voting legislation, said Marcus Frias, Bowman's director of communications in a short statement.

Frias said Bowman was participating in a non-violent action at the North Barricade of the Capitol Building.

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Frias told The Journal News that, as of 1:15 p.m., Bowman had not been released. He said Bowman was the only House member arrested.

On Twitter, police said demonstrators began blocking one side of the North Barricade outside the Capitol just before noon. There, warnings were issued and demonstrators refused to get out of the way, so officers made arrests, the tweet said.

In total, police arrested 27 people accused of crowding, obstructing or incommoding, and one for allegedly violating crowd control laws.

Social media posts on Bowman's Twitter account showed him on Wednesday outside the steps of the Capitol with other protestors with a banner reading "HUNGER STRIKE 4 DEMOCRACY." In one post, Bowman said he joined protestors in reading off 33 bills that civil rights advocates say restrict voting rights across the U.S.

An email to U.S. Capitol Police was not immediately returned Thursday.

On Wednesday night, Senate Democrats failed to pass a voting rights bill already passed by the House. They also failed to change filibuster rules to pass the bill with a simple majority.

Bowman is serving his first term in office after ousting former longtime congressman Eliot Engel in a Democratic primary in 2020. Bowman is one the more progressive members in Congress.

On the House floor Thursday, House Democrat Mondaire Jones, also in his first term, spoke in support of passing the voting rights bill, calling this era the worst assault on enfranchisement since Jim Crow.

Referring to senators who opposed the bill via the filibuster as white nationalists, he said the fight would continue.

"We, the people, aren't giving up that easy," Jones said. "We never give up."

David Propper covers Westchester County. Reach him at dpropper@lohud.com and follow him on Twitter: dg_props.

This article originally appeared on Rockland/Westchester Journal News: NY Rep. Jamaal Bowman arrested during voting rights protest at Capitol

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