Several demonstrations organized to defend minority voting rights

(Washington) Thousands of people were expected in Washington, Houston, Atlanta and dozen other American cities on Saturday to defend minority voting rights, organizers said through laws passed in several Conservative states this year.

Posted on 8/28/2021 11:23 AM

The date of these meetings was not chosen by chance: on August 28, 1963, Martin Luther King called out “I have a dream” in front of almost 250,000 people in a speech that became a reference for the struggle for civil rights.

“We will make history” by “carrying the torch of justice carried by my father and so many others” 58 years ago wrote his son Martin Luther King III, who will speak with many other speakers in Washington starting at noon.

PHOTO HENRY ROMERO, REUTERS

Martin Luther King III

In the humid heat of the federal capital, demonstrators had already gathered in the early morning.

“I feel like we’ve been going backwards,” said Rikkea Harris, a 25-year-old college student who traveled from Colorado to join the protests with her father.

It is necessary “that everyone contributes to the lifting of these restrictive electoral laws,” added his father Rickey Harris, 65 years old.

In 1965, Congress passed the Voting Rights Act, which bans discriminatory voting. But states have continued to restrict access to the ballot box for minorities, especially for African Americans, who mainly vote Democrats, with often very technical measures.

This process has recently accelerated in the Republican states against the background of unproven allegations of massive election fraud committed by Donald Trump since the presidential elections in November 2020.

At least 18 states have passed 30 restrictive electoral laws since January, and dozen more are under review, according to the Brennan Center for Justice think tank.

PHOTO EVELYN HOCKSTEIN, REUTERS

At least 18 states have passed 30 restrictive electoral laws since January, and dozen more are under review, according to the Brennan Center for Justice think tank.

From the obligation to register in the electoral roll to the prohibition of car voting, the regulations vary from state to state.

“Racist, anti-democratic laws,” denounced the organizers of the protests on Saturday, who are calling for a response from Congress.

The Democratic majority in the House of Representatives passed two electoral reform projects this year, which aim in particular to limit these restrictions, but these texts currently have no chance of overcoming a Republican blockade expected in the Senate.

Thousands of people gathered in Washington last year to commemorate the anniversary and call for an end to police violence against African Americans in a demonstration that marked the vivid memory of the death of George Floyd in May 2020.

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