On Nov. 17, A slew of demonstrators marched down Black Lives Matter Plaza to protest outside of the White House demanding for the Biden Administration to pass federal voting rights protections for Americans. Yahoo News noted that more than 200 protesters joined in on the second day of the massive rally. Some were even arrested.
One of the organizers, Dr. Rev. Williams Barber, sent a clear message to Biden as he gave a speech alongside the crowd of demonstrators.
“Mr. President, we want you to succeed and we will stand with you, but we need you to fight against the filibuster because [it] is being used to fight against us and bring down our democracy,” Dr. Rev William Barber reportedly said. “We also need you to invite us in to talk to you in the White House,” he continued. “You need to bring religious leaders and women activists and poor and loneliest people — the people you say you care about — you need them in the Oval Office. You’ve met with the senators. You’ve met with the corporate leaders. Now meet with us who make this country run.” The event comes voting rights activists have urged for the Democrats to push back against Republicans who have passed laws making it harder for Black and minority communities to vote.
Earlier this month, Biden passed his long-awaited Infrastructure bill set to pour trillions into roads, bridges, and job opportunities for struggling Americans amid the pandemic, but some of his supporters have grown skeptical of how the money will be used. Dr. Rev William Barber told theGrio in an exclusive interview that the president failed to address voting laws in the newly passed bill adding that his plan left out other critical areas crucial for Americans.
“There are three infrastructures. The infrastructure of our daily lives, which is education, healthcare, and wages,“ Barber explained. “The infrastructure of our democracy, which is voting rights, and the infrastructure of our bridges, roads, and technology. We don’t want some of it. We demand all of it,” he added.
Initially, Democrats were steadfast in their decision to pass the infrastructure bill along with the president’s social welfare and climate change proposal estimated at $1.85 trillion, but the idea was shot down by House officials. Black Caucus members helped to push House Speaker Nancy Pelosi to pass the bill immediately with the hopes of holding a vote for the larger climate bill come mid-November, The New York Times noted.
Watch a few videos from the protest below.