Civil rights leaders are planning several marches across the country on Aug. 28 to push Congress to move on stalled Senate legislation aimed at changing how elections are carried out.
Martin Luther King III, the Rev. Al Sharpton and Alejandro Chavez, the grandson of activist César Chavez, are leading the marches set to take place in major cities in states that have recently passed legislation seen by the left as placing more restrictions on voting, Axios reports.
The states that have passed such laws, which are majority Republican, assert that the laws often provide more opportunities to vote, not fewer, and are intended to prevent fraud, not to keep anyone with the right to vote from casting a ballot.
The regional marches are set for Atlanta, Houston, Miami and Phoenix. There will be a national march in Washington at the same time. More than two dozen "sister marches" are being held in other cities as well to support the cause.
The leaders say the marches are needed because they want to see the federal legislation passed before the 2022 midterm elections, when many of the state laws are to take effect.
"On the 28th, we're going to be in thousands upon thousands in the streets, [and] we got to keep pushing until America becomes the America it ought to be," King told reporters during a press call on Thursday.
Sharpton said that the march would peaceful, contrasting it to the Jan. 6 march on Washington at which then-President Donald Trump spoke. Sharpton pointed to the riot at the U.S. Capitol that occurred after that rally and march, which did contain some of the same people, though many rallygoers did not participate in the violence, and some at the Capitol didn't attend the rally.
"People [who] are coming understand they're coming in the spirit of Dr. King, they're coming in the spirit of César Chavez," Sharpton said. "If you don't have that spirit, you're not invited down."
Organizers want to see legislation passed before they fear Republican-held states can use 2020 Census data to use redistricting to cement majorities and make the wait longer to pass such legislation.
The bill, S-1, is stalled 50-50 in the Senate, which is evenly split between Democrats and Republicans. With 60 votes needed to avoid a Republican filibuster, two moderate Democrats, Sens. Joe Manchin of West Virginia and Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona. are typically under pressure to change the filibuster rules.
Manchin told Politico for a Thursday story that he has not been under such pressure lately.
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