A Democratic congressman was arrested Thursday during a protest against “inaction” by the U.S. Senate, Fox News reported.
According to Fox, Rep. Hank Johnson (D-GA) was taken into custody by Capitol Police for what authorities later described as an unlawful demonstration.
Capitol Police told Fox that as many as 10 individuals had been arrested for “unlawfully demonstrating outside of the Hart Senate Office Building.”
Charges handed down included “crowding, obstructing, or incommoding,” police said.
“What democracy looks like”
The incident began with Johnson giving a speech on voting rights in front of the Supreme Court building. According to ABC News, the speech came as part of a rally that was attended by Johnson and other members of the Congressional Black Caucus.
The protesters were specifically pushing for Congress to pass both the Democrats’ “For the People Act” and the “John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act.” Democrats say the measures are necessary to fight back against GOP-backed election reform efforts across the nation.
After his speech, Johnson and a group of protesters proceeded to the Senate, where they continued their protest at the front entrance of the office building. “This is what democracy looks like,” they chanted ahead of the arrests of nearly a dozen demonstrators, according to Fox.
Later Thursday, Johnson said in a tweet that he had gotten into “good trouble.”
“I was arrested today protesting against Senate inaction on voting rights legislation & filibuster reform,” the Democrat wrote. “In the spirit of my dear friend and mentor — the late Congressman John Lewis — I was getting in #goodtrouble.”
The congressman’s tweet included a video showing himself and other protesters who appeared to have been detained. In a statement, his office said Johnson was arrested with a “group of Black male voting rights activists protesting against Senate inaction on voting rights legislation and filibuster reform.”
“It was also in response to voter suppression bills and laws throughout the county, including Georgia, that target students, the elderly, and people of color,” the congressman’s office said of the protest, according to Fox.
.@BlackCaucus I was arrested today protesting against Senate inaction on voting rights legislation & filibuster reform. In the spirit of my dear friend and mentor – the late Congressman John Lewis – I was getting in #goodtrouble pic.twitter.com/JjN51mRpaC
— Rep. Hank Johnson (@RepHankJohnson) July 22, 2021