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Rep. Jamaal Bowman (D-N.Y.) holds a rally outside the U.S. Capitol to urge the Senate to pass voting rights legislation on January 19, 2022.

Rep. Jamaal Bowman (D-N.Y.) holds a rally outside the U.S. Capitol to urge the Senate to pass voting rights legislation on January 19, 2022. (Photo: Tom Williams/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images)

Jamaal Bowman Arrested Alongside Other Voting Rights Protesters

"In the tradition of the late Rep. John Lewis, Jamaal got himself into some good trouble."

Andrea Germanos

Democratic Congressman Jamaal Bowman of New York drew praise Thursday for "standing with the people" after being arrested outside the U.S. Capitol for taking part in a voting rights protest.

"Breaking News," tweeted the Sunrise Movement. "Fighting for voting rights is an arrestable action."

"Why is this the length [he] has to go?" the climate group added in a later tweet.

Bowman had "joined a voting rights nonviolent direct action at the North Barricade of the U.S. Capitol Building and was arrested by the U.S. Capitol Police," according to a statement from Marcus Frias, communications director for the congressman.

The Capitol Police said they made a total of 28 arrests after demonstrators blocked one side of the North Barricade just before noon.

Those arrested included protesters with the group Un-PAC who'd been on "a hunger strike for democracy" and demanded Senate passage of the Freedom to Vote Act.

Bowman's action drew support from fellow Congressional Progressive Caucus member Rep. Jesús "Chuy" García (D-Ill.).

"I stand in solidarity with Rep. Bowman, who was arrested while fighting for the voting rights of millions," tweeted García. "In the tradition of the late Rep. John Lewis, Jamaal got himself into some good trouble."

Bowman's arrest came a day after he joined for several hours a group of the hunger strikers outside the Senate as they engaged in an ongoing effort "to save our democracy from restrictive voting laws that harm working Americans."

Sharing a photo of himself next to that group Wednesday, Bowman tweeted: "Our democracy is on the line, and the Senate must act and pass voting rights immediately. We're outside the Senate steps sounding the alarm."

Later Wednesday, Democrats' voting rights megabill, the House-passed Freedom to Vote: John R. Lewis Act, was blocked in the Senate after right-wing Sens. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) and Kyrsten Sinema (D-Ariz.) joined with all the Republicans to reject a proposed change to the filibuster.


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