Skip to main content

We will keep fighting for all libraries - stand with us!

tv   March On for Voting Rights Rally  CSPAN  August 29, 2021 3:01am-7:00am EDT

3:01 am
3:02 am
washington led by martin luther king junior.
3:03 am
>> please welcome the hosts. his career in music and entertainment spans three decades. in 1988, -- quincy jones, and the dj of heavy d and the boys. has work spring stems -- stems from his upbringing and he was raised under the risible, to whom much is given, much is required. please welcome this host. these are your radio hosts.
3:04 am
>> -- they think i'm a hero, they don't pay attention to me but they are in love with his brother. i know it's hot, we are going to be getting right to the program. the reason we are here and not in front of a memorial is because he is dead, these folks are alive and our future and our vote is in their hands. so we come here to show up and show out. and that is why we are here. do you want to come in? go ahead, man. do your things. >> peace and blessings, kings and queens in the nations capital. what an amazing day this is. reverend sharpton, martin luther king iii, his amazing first lady, constituents, it's truly
3:05 am
amazing. you being here, this is amazing. it is all about voting rights. what the church say amen. -- let the church say amen. one of our nation's youngest leading voices, a recent graduate of north carolina amt state university and member of phi beta sigma fraternity. his current capacity as national action network, he helps move the organization from demonstrate to love his -- legislation. he hopes to inspire other young people to make being involved in policy a new norm, not just an extension. the national director of youth
3:06 am
and college national action network. >> we are going to have that young person come out, and this is intergenerational. everybody has to be on target here. she is going to come on just before the young man and then we are going to keep this rolling and let me share with you, those of you that don't know alecia, outstanding. she believes, witty -- ladies and gentlemen that the black community deserves what all communities deserve. in every aspect of their lives. she is an innovator, a strategist, and organizer, and a cheeseburger enthusiast, and she founded the black dust lab to
3:07 am
make black communities powerful in politics. she is a powerhouse, a #, -- hashtags don't start movements, people do. ladies and gentlemen, a round of applause. come on. you're are starting it off. you ready to roll? >> how y'all doing? i said how y'all doing? alright, first let me say thank you to rev. al sharpton, founder and president of the national action network, thank you to mr. king the third for convening us in this historic gathering on the 50th anniversary of the very first march on washington, can we give it up? my name is alecia garza, i am
3:08 am
the principal of the black for the future action fund and a cofounder of the black lives matter global network. and i believe that black people deserve to be powerful in every aspect of our lives. we are here today, we are marching today, yes, because we want congress to pass the john lewis voting rights advancement act. yes, because we want congress to pass the for the people act. yes, because we must have statehood for d.c.. but bigger than that, we have marched today because we intend to build and wield power. we aim to wield our power and we aim to transform how power works so that never again will anyone
3:09 am
he denied their rights to be fully human and make decisions over their own lives. my friends, our job today is to build the power we need to determine our present and our future. i don't have to tell y'all that protecting our right to vote isn't just about power. it has always been about power and the desire of a small group of people to try and hold all of the power at the expense of the rest of us. they know if they can keep that power, they know they can steal more resources from our communities. they know in order to keep that power, they have to work real hard to leave us out and leave us behind. they know that in order to do so, they have to rig the rules
3:10 am
so that we can never get ahead. now, they are working hard, y'all, to keep us from building our power. so what does that mean? it means we have to work harder and build even more power. on this historic anniversary, let us remember that history repeats itself until the people intervene to create a new path. back then, president lyndon b. johnson told organizers he did not have the power to tackle voting rights. but our people took our power, and we were limitless in our pursuit of justice. we would not allow process to hinder progress. today we face the same dilemma, do we not? we face the same rhetoric, do we
3:11 am
not? bipartisanship is being used as an excuse to not be bold with the power that we delivered in november. the power that we delivered in january. but this is not about bipartisanship. it is about the cowardice of people who know better but refuse to do better. we know they want to keep us from being powerful, am i right? so what do we do when we see that our representatives, our president lacks the courage and the will to do the right thing? well, as one of my mentors says to me all of the time, when people lack the courage, it sounds like they need to be strengthened. so let's go ahead and strengthen them. we marched today, what are we going to do? we are going to light up those phones, we are going to clog up
3:12 am
those emails, if we have got to go every day that is what we do until we prevail. we've got to keep fighting until victory is one because there is too much at stake and too much on the line. --won. are you with me? are you ready to fight? are you ready to build power? are you ready to win? all right, y'all, let's go. let's do this. ♪ >> i got a little pole -- this afternoon. all of you outside of this gated area and now, -- come on inside, so while we are pulling that together, let us fill all the seats up. initially they were -- how do i
3:13 am
do it mildly, they were saving them for vips. well, now all of y'all are vips. so come on in. you got it? now, social distancing, now. we are not leaving here super-spreader's. so everybody keep her mask on. get your mask on if you don't have one, there you go. because we can't afford to lose any of you, we need all of the votes that we can get. all of you out there, you can grab a seat. we are all vips and we are going to let that united states senate know they don't have any choice, because we are very important
3:14 am
people. and we have got their vote. let me now introduce a master organizer, a strategist, a highly skilled trainer. she has been on the frontline of aggressive social transformation -- progressive social transformation for more than 25 years, serving as the ceo of georgia stand up, a think and act think -- tank for working families, and a 2012 white house champion of courage. please put your hands together for deborah scott. ♪ deborah: welcome to washington, d.c.!
3:15 am
we're here, y'all! we're here! we are here because we're fighting for our lives. we are fighting for our votes, we are fighting for our democracy, we have been on the front lines. we have -- got people out in georgia. georgia, georgia, georgia, georgia. georgia elected its first black senator of the united states. georgia did that. where is georgia at? can i see georgia? so i want you to turn to the georgia people and say thank you for saving democracy. thank you for saving democracy, thank you for saving democracy. i come today as a student of the civil rights movement. i give honor to my heroes,
3:16 am
reverend james orange, reverend joseph lowery, maynard jackson and john lewis. we are from good trouble. you know about getting in good trouble? good trouble means we register people to vote. if you are willing to register people to vote, raise your hand. if you are willing to get other people to the polls, raise your hand. because that is what we need. we need people on the frontline. so when i say stand up, you say fight back. stand up, fight back. stand up. stand up. stand up. stand up. what are we fighting back for? we are fighting back because they got there knee on our neck. get your knee off of our neck. i said, get your knee off of our
3:17 am
neck, and your foot off of our vote. your knee off of our neck, and your foot off of our vote. georgia came, georgia already knows how to do it in the heat, so, we marched in the heat. in the heat. because we know we have to go back home, they are stealing our votes every single day. they are trying to kill us every single day. and we say no, we are sick and tired of being sick and tired and we ate -- eight -- ain't going to take it no more. i said, we will not take it no more. i said we will stand up and fight because our democracy is at stake. this is 58 years after martin luther king, and john lewis stood and said let us not do this again, the promissory note was not cashed. in this day and age, we have cash and we want it now. we got cash and we want it now.
3:18 am
we want to get free now. so i say, stand up. we need you all to stay encouraged. this is a reunion, a family reunion. we came to get stronger, we came to work together, we came to strategize, organize and mobilize. we are going to keep coming, we are going to keep coming. we are going to stand up and vote, because that is what we have to do. now look, the numbers are on our side. i said the numbers are on our side. we got time, and while we have time we will keep organizing and mobilizing and getting people registered to vote and getting people out to vote. it is against the law in georgia to give people water when they are standing in line for seven hours. shame! we need that voiding rights bill passed, the john lewis voting rights bill passed and that
3:19 am
needs to pass this week. pass it. and if it doesn't, we will keep coming, and we will keep coming, because time is up. we have waited for too long for our freedom, we have waited too long and suppressed our power. we are the most powerful people on this earth. we are resilient, we have come through slavery, jim crow, reconstruction and all of it. and so 2021, this ain't got nothing on what our ancestors had to do. we are hot and tired but we will keep fighting. when i say stand up you say vote. stand up. vote. stand up, vote. stand up, bow. be blessed, and stay in love. [applause] ♪
3:20 am
al b. sure: ladies and gentlemen, kings and queens, right here in the nation's capital and watching around the globe, this is such a significant day in the continental united states and this is why we are here, march on for voting rights, can we say that one more time, march on for voting rights. all right. this is somebody really dynamic, we going to do it one more again. one of our nation's youngest leaders, tyleek, a recent graduate of north carolina a&t state university. ok. and a member of phi beta sigma fraternity inc., in his current capacity at national action network he helped move the organization from demonstrate to legislation. he hopes to inspire other young
3:21 am
people, to make being involved with policy the new norm, not just an exception. tyleek mcmillan, national director of youth and college national action network. can we hear it for this man? ♪ tyleek: no justice. >> no peace. tyleek: i said, no justice. >> no peace. tyleek: i have come by to let you know that democracy is under attack. i said, democracy is under attack.
3:22 am
i am going to take you to church if you let me look at your neighbor and tell them that democracy is under attack. in light of what we are seeing across the country, and just around the corner at the supreme court, we saw a decision which further gutted the voting rights act. at this moment, we need to escalate where we are, because we cannot afford to sit still with where we are. we cannot afford not to have legislation to answer what is clearly not only a legislative but a judicial leaning, on not only voter suppression but voter suspension. you heard me right. i do not know about you, but i cannot seem to understand the limit to early voting. i cannot seem to understand the need for more than one id. i cannot seem to understand the removal of drop boxes in partisan control. i cannot seem to understand the
3:23 am
over 700,000 residents of washington, d.c. not having their voice counted in congress. [applause] so, family, i am clear in this work, i am clear that medgar evers was not murdered on the lawn in front of his children so -- in front of his life by the clansmen, so we can hold positions and be in charge. i am clear that samuel hamner did not say i am sick and tired of being sick and tired. martin luther king was not jailed in alabama, knifed in his chest and shot down in a balcony in memphis so we could bury our heads today and seek position and not power. i am clear that john lewis did not get beat over the head walking across the edmund pettus bridge so we can experience symbolism and not the things that we know we deserve. so, i come here today, standing on the shoulders of ida b wells, standing on the shoulders of the ella baker, standing on the
3:24 am
shoulders of bob moses to say that we deserve, demand, and we require from the streets to those seats that the united states senate, pass the john lewis voting rights advancement act. that the united states senate passes the for the people act. that the united states senate passes d.c. statehood. that the united states senate ends the filibuster. because we cannot wait and we will not wait. so i have come by to let you know if you've gotten comfortable, we have not yet arrived. we have not yet arrived. i said we have not yet arrived. we are fighting for generations yet unborn, and there will come a time in our nation's history when our children's children will read about this moment and
3:25 am
i ask you this question, senators, and we ask you this question, senators, what side of history will you stand on? so i implore you this question, will you do what is right and necessary because the soul of our democracy is dependent on it. no justice. >> no peace. tyleek: all power to the people. ♪ joe: i know that -- i know i am stating the obvious that it is hot. but, let me say to those of you,
3:26 am
58 years ago it was hotter than it is today. 58 years ago it was hotter than it is today. am i right? my man, there. and folks who are in the reflection pool, they had their feet in the water, probably half of the marchers were in the shade, but they were here. and, you are here, but it was a lot hotter. not temperature wise, but it was a lot hotter in congress. because, you had dixiecrats and reactionary republicans who did not want civil rights bills to pass. and, a year later, they certainly did not want the voting rights act to pass. those same speeches that were
3:27 am
delivered 58 years ago could be delivered today. and so as hot as it is today we still must put the heat on the members of congress. let me introduce now the president of the national action network michigan chapter and the pastor of king solomon missionary baptist church, the historic pulpit where martin luther king jr., malcolm x, thurgood marshall, ts boone and a host of america's leaders use d that pulpit as a stage to spread a progressive message of change. brothers and sisters, put your hands together for the reverend charles williams. ♪
3:28 am
rev. williams: no justice. >> no peace. rev. williams: no justice. >> no peace. rev. williams: no justice. >> no peace. rev. williams: what do we want? when do we want it? >> now. rev. williams: take your hand off of your vote, take your hand off of my vote. take your hand. everybody make some noise. all my life i had to fight and i ain't going to stop fighting now, we ain't going to stop fighting now, we had to fight for the 13th and 14th amendment, 15th, 1964 civil rights in 1965 voting rights. and i will tell you right now, in 2021 we will keep this fight alive over our bodies. we will not allow them to take
3:29 am
our vote. we will not allow them to ignore our cause. senators and congressional representatives, they are putting together trillions of dollars that they can spend in their district, while at the very same time the people who sent them there, voters are being disenfranchised. we are standing up today and saying hell no, we want our vote. and so, we will not stop. we marched last year, and we will march this year and we will march tomorrow, and next year, and we will march march until justice comes by any means necessary. so, we come with a simple message, and that message is the message that dr. king left us a long time ago. if you can accept it you will do something to transform the
3:30 am
conditions in america. i am not worried no matter how dark it might be, no matter how difficult it might be, i know that it is true that truth is on the scaffold and yet the scaffold sways the future. there is a god keeping watch in the shadows keeping watch above us all. william was right, truth crushed to the earth will rise again. the bible is right, you will reap what you sow. if you do not give the children of god the right to vote, we going to keep fighting. take your hand -- >> off of my vote. rev. williams: no justice. >> no peace. ♪
3:31 am
al b. sure: no justice. >> no peace. al b. sure: no justice. >> no peace. al b. sure: in the 1960's, jim crow kept black americans away from the ballot boxes and this discriminatory law of the past is making a significantly stronger come back all over our country and that is why we are here today, just as dr. martin luther king was here on august 28, 1963. so please, tell congress that the time is always right to do what is right. let the church say amen. >> amen. al b. sure: be sure to visit if you are a silent you are a bigger part of the problems. let the church say amen, one more time. >> amen. al b. sure: serving as a houston naacp president and pastor of the community of faith church,
3:32 am
bishop james dixon. ♪ rev. dixon: good afternoon, brothers and sisters. my name is james dixon from houston, texas. before i start we want to give it up for the craziest members -- courageous members of the texas delegation who broke quorum fighting for rights all across the united states of america. [applause] come on, give it up, they left
3:33 am
their families, businesses, homes, children, and they are eight weeks out of the texas legislature refusing to support corruption in state government, give it up. and we want all other state legislators to follow this example, because all over the united states of america, we are fighting to protect democracy and to preserve the right to vote, give a big shout for these patriots of democracy. [applause] >> i want to thank god for this opportunity and thank reverend al sharpton, martin luther king iii, let us give it up for our leaders and organizers, national action network, all of
3:34 am
the volunteers. my name is james dixon, i lead a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization called push democracy forward. i have been the president of the houston naacp. our national president was here, derek johnson, i have been part of nan for 30 plus years. today i want to thank martin king the third for his family's commitment to keeping justice moving forward in the united states, let us give it up for the king family. [applause] and senator reverend al sharpton whose be a list, thankless leadership -- fearless, thankless leadership has made it possible for so many of the least, last, and left out to be included and empowered, let us
3:35 am
it up for our leader, dr. rev. al sharpton. [applause] james: brothers and sisters, today, 58 years ago, reverend dr. martin luther king jr. led this march on this historic ground. and, he fought until he died. i want to announce today that we have come back to washington 58 years later, still demanding the same thing that he shed his blood for in 1968. today, we have come because 58 years ago, dr. king invited all of america to the table of brotherhood. and today we come to announce that there are still too many empty seats at the table. there are empty seats at the table because there are brothers
3:36 am
and sisters that we have who refuse to come reason together, to talk about how to preserve this democracy. they don't want to sit with us. and have the real conversation, the real conversation about voting rights. the real conversation about critical race theory. the real conversation about mass incarceration based on color and based on economic status. they do not want to come to the table to have the real conversation. but i am asking you to join us in texas and around the nation, inviting all of them to the table. i want you to shout with me, come to the table. >> come to the table. >> say it again. come to the table. but the word of god says, and -- come and let us reason together. let us have a real conversation about what is wrong with these 400 plus laws and bills that you are pushing across the united
3:37 am
states of america, that will lock out black and brown folks, or modes and elder photo -- modes and the modes of those who are disabled. -- votes of those who are disabled. let us come to the table. let us come to the table and discuss why blacks make up 12% of the population but over 40% of the prison population. let us come to the table. let us come to the table because should not have we marched enough already? should have we not have enough protests already. haven't we spoken out enough already? don't we all understand that all americans deserve the right to vote, and be protected by the government, and from the government? do we understand that? shout with me. come to the table. white folk, come to the table. black folk, come to the table. indigenous, come to the table. asians, come to the table.
3:38 am
gay and straight come to the table. catholic and protestant, come to the table, let us reason together, to pass the john lewis voting rights act and for the people act. when i think about this and i will go to my seat, thinking of your sacrifices, lot has been -- one -- lead has been shed -- blood has been shed. that makes the right to vote a sacred right. because, blood has been shed. we are urging president biden to use your might, and your muscle to fight to end the filibuster, yet these bills passed, no -- get these bills passed, no excuses, come to the table. we are saying to the u.s. senate, this is not a black issue, or a white issue, it is a wrong or right issue, come to the table. we are saying, with your vote, you vindicate the blood of those who died and suffered to give
3:39 am
black folk and others the right to vote. vindicate the blood of medgar evers. vindicate the blood of billy robinson. vindicate the blood of john lewis. vindicate the blood of martin luther king. and vindicate the blood of the jew that died on the cross at calvary. come to the table. stand up with me and shout, come to the table. voting rights, now, voting rights forever. god bless america, peace. ♪
3:40 am
joe: she was not wiping off covid-19, she was cooling that mic down. i am getting more and more inspired and again, again, i want us to understand. and by the way, all of you who have your iphones, and whatever, start streaming because there are millions of folk who are watching and looking. take photographs, and send them. if this was beyonce wearing a
3:41 am
diamond, you'll would have a million of whatever, images going on. this is important. and so, look, for folk who could not be here, for people who just for some reason could not make it, and by the way can we all do this if you do not mind. i would like to have a moment, just a moment of silence for -- or two people i know would be here. the reverend jesse jackson senior, and jackie jackson, and if we could have just a moment of silence and, pray in your way for their recovery and their health.
3:42 am
joe: thank you very much. a new generation is on the line and this young lady represents that generation. it is a family affair when it comes to the sharpton's, they are all committed. she is an activist, a community organizer, entertainment, media, entrepreneur, podcast host, social media manager and the youngest daughter of reverend al sharpton and dr. kathy jordan's -- gordon sharpton. -- jordan sharpton. and she currently serves as the
3:43 am
director of the national action network youth huddle. put your hands together for ashley sharpton. ashley: peace and power, i will share the microphone with our lead rep. ousmane. ousmane: let us go, clap it up. good morning. good afternoon. i would first like to thank rev. al sharpton and martin luther king iii for convening this march, and allowing me to host space and speak my truth. in quoting the late great dr. king, he said that laws are passed in a crisis mood after a birmingham or a selma, no substantial fervor survives the formal signing of legislation. our birmingham and selma was last year. during a global pandemic when the whole world had stopped but
3:44 am
the disease and cancer known as white supremacy was still slithering and killing off of -- our people. and instead of a worldwide demonstration leading to legislation to combat the disease, we instead got blm painted on streets. instead of institutions of black intellectuals, we got hashtags on instagram. and while i respect the continue efforts to dramatize the shameful conditions that america has constantly put my people in, it is truly not enough. all last year we have heard democrats and progressives say that if you want change, we must get trump out of office. and we did just that. then they said they needed the majority in the senate. we got them just that. so, when will our chance come? when will we get the cancellation of student debt? when will we get the passing of
3:45 am
the george floyd justice in policing act. when will the john lewis voting rights act become law? democrats? when will you stand up and do the right thing? no justice. >> no peace. >> justice. -- no justice. >> no peace. ashley: peace and power. peace and power. no justice. >> no peace. ashley: when i first heard my father utter those words i was a little girl and i did not quite understand the meaning. when i got older and saw what people like reverend sharpton and others did to raise awareness the definition became more and more clear. no justice, no peace meant we will not stop, we will not rest until there is justice for all. there is no shortage of challenges and problems in front of us today. for my generation and those even younger, if you ever wish that you were alive for the
3:46 am
fights in the 1960's, well, your time is now. everything that our parents and ancestors fought for, many even gave their lives for is on the line and one of the most significant rights under attack is our fundamental right to vote. they are trying to tell you and i that we cannot vote. they are trying to tell us that we should not build. they are openly telling us that they will try to stop us from voting and they are showing us all that they understand and fear the power of our vote. if your voice and your vote did not matter so much they would not be trying so hard to undermine it. right now there are nearly 400 bills in 48 states being pushed that would suppress the right to vote. this follows years of other repressive laws, as well as the supreme court putting the voting -- gutting the voting rights act in 2013. this is why we at the national action network have been fighting so hard for the passage of the for the people act in the john lewis voting rights act.
3:47 am
it is inexcusable that both have not been enacted. we must have federal protections when money states are working to undermine our ability to vote. too many think young people don't care. too many people count is out but is that? no. we understand that when voting rights are under attack we stand up and fight back. we understand that when one group is oppressed we are all held back and we know that none of us are free until all of us are free. i spent most of my adult life fighting for equality for women, communities of color, lgbtqia community and young people. listening to their voices is key to any movement. that is why i started the youth huddle. it carries the torch from our elders into the battles before us now, those of the faces behind me and many gathered here today. sorry.
3:48 am
dr. king said freedom is never voluntarily given, it must be demanded by the oppressed. we are here, ancestor king, making our demands. truth crushed to earth will rise again, truth is rising. we are watching for washington, to get statehood. we are marching for true democracy and standing against people in high places. we are here to demand the powers that be to pass the john lewis bill. black women and young people like me have to put this in a in and kick trump out and i am appalled that we are still fighting, but i am not tired yet. somebody tell the devil that the children of god have risen out. -- up. somebody tell them that the children of david are here. someone tell the republicans and democrats that the children are present and we will not turn back. we are present and we will not turn back. we will not be distracted, we
3:49 am
will get that are for our people. dems, we are your backbone. god bless you. i would like to bring on another to share some encouragement. [applause] ♪ >> ♪ i don't feel no ways tired, i have come too far from where i started from. oh,
3:50 am
nobody told me that the road would be easy, ♪ i do not believe he brought us this far to leave us. take it up from me. let me see it one more time. ♪ i don't feel no no ways tired. yeah, yeah, yeah. come too far from where i have started from. anybody got that testimony today? ♪ i said nobody told me that the road, that it would be easy.
3:51 am
hey, i do not believe that he brought me this far, i do not believe he -- don't believe he brought us this -- let me hear you sing it. ♪ i don't believe he brought us this far, one more time. i don't believe he brought us this far to leave us. ♪ ♪ come on, give it up. ♪ [applause] al b. sure: please, one more
3:52 am
time for her. what an amazing talent that she is. in the 1920 election, america turned out in record numbers. and now a few of our selected officials are signing legislation, jumping through hoops to make certain that it does not happen again. while states passed laws intentionally targeting black and brown voters, we must, and i mean we must, make our voices heard loud and clear, just as dr. king did in august 28, 1963. let the church say amen, one more time. >> amen. al b. sure: peace and blessings, queen. good to see you. i want to learn how to do that. we are going to talk later.
3:53 am
president of the 1.7 million member american federation of teachers, the aft is dedicated to the believe that every person in america deserves the freedom to thrive, fueled by opportunity, justice, and a voice in our democracy. ladies and gentlemen, randi weingarten. [applause] joe: we actually have a triple threat here, because labor is very important to us, labor is extremely important, all of you who are members of a labor union, let me hear you. just yell it out. let me introduce -- they are all going to come out together. so i am going to introduce one more labor leader and you got one to introduce and we will bring them all out together.
3:54 am
the international vice president of the service employees international union, the president of seciu, local 2015, which is california's largest union, and the nation's longest long-term care union, get this, representing over 400,000 home care and nursing home workers throughout the state, and with all of that craziness, can i say that going on? all of that going on in california, and you have some jackass republican -- no. and he wants to get rid of -- >> he wants to get rid of the minimum wage. joe: oh hell, he wants to get rid of the minimum wage.
3:55 am
and i know we will be voting on him. he will not mention his name because we know who he is. this is nonpartisan, but we are not stupid. anyway, ladies and gentlemen, april and then one more labor leader and then we will bring them all out together. al b. sure: let us hear it for the legend joe madison, one of my mentors in radio and just an amazing gentleman, such a legend. [laughter] president of the american federation of state, county, and municipal employees, with 1.4 million members in communities across the nation, serving in hundreds of different occupations from nurses to correction officers, childcare providers to sanitation workers, the first african-american to serve as afscme president, mr.
3:56 am
lee saunders. ♪ randi: i am honored to be here with my brothers and sisters of this movement, the labor movement and the civil rights movement. and this movement gives me hope, hope that just like in 1963, when our mothers and fathers marched for jobs and justice on a day that was this hot or hotter, that marge led to the voting rights act. and this march will lead to the end of the assault on voting rights. [applause] that is why, reverend sharpton
3:57 am
and martin luther king jr. have brought us together today, not just to the commitment to dr. king's dream, but the commitments of the american dream for all of us. so if i sound mad, i am. because here, almost 60 years after dr. king riveted the country as he spoke of a unifying dream for all children, almost 60 years after john lewis almost died on the edmund pettus bridge for voting rights, we are here one more time fighting for voting rights. it is inexcusable. it goes against everything we believe in and teach our children about the american experiment and the promise of
3:58 am
democracy. and i should know diana may social studies teacher who has taught this for years -- and i should note i am a social studies teacher who has taught this for years. every american should be able to exercise that voice without the ridiculous, suppressive who every state after state -- that state after state is trying to do. every american should have a right to good education, good job with the right to a good union, and it is they who represent us. these rights were fought for in 1963 and we will fight for them every single day. speaking of education, it requires us to reopen schools fully and safely, but let me say this. our kids have a right to know i
3:59 am
follow, honest history of the united states, even if some people find that uncomfortable. and i can't believe i have to say that out loud. but i am telling you as the president of a labor union that represents educators, we will defend any teacher who insists on teaching honest history. [applause] all of this, though, depends on our right to vote, because we the people must kick the people in power, not the other way around. and you know that is why there is this assault on voting rights . that is why there are 500 plus anti-voting right bills right now. of course it is fueled by trump's big lie about the 2020 election. but let me end with this, that big lie is not bigger than we
4:00 am
are. that big lie is not bigger than dr. king's dream. that big lie is not bigger than our fight for freedom. and that big lie is not bigger than my grandmother who came from the ukraine without a job, without an education, who made it in america. that big lie is not bigger than any of us standing here. we are bigger than his lies, we are bigger than these attacks on the right to vote. we are bigger than the attacks to our race history. we need to fight and to be a struggle in this fight and solidarity, to fight for the john lewis voting rights, to fight for hr one, and to fight for an america that stands up for everyone. [applause]
4:01 am
april: good afternoon washington, d.c. i am hot too, you all can do better than that. i said good afternoon. [cheering] that is more like it. >> yes ma'am. april: thank you reverend sharpton, martin king iii. and all the beautiful folks who brought us together today. what a beautiful sight in front of me, the site of our people standing up for justice. i am april barret, -- i am april verrett, and it is my privilege to represent 2 million members of the service employees international union. [applause] every single day, i wake up to fight for the 400,000 members of seiu local 2015. we are mostly black and brown women, immigrants who do the
4:02 am
hard work of taking care of the elderly and disabled in their homes and nursing homes. and over the last year and a half during this pandemic, their jobs have been harder than ever before. they have risked everything, their lives, the livelihoods, to care for others and they , continue to do it selflessly. but i am here to tell you, covid ain't the only illness impacting our nation. our nation has been impacted by the plague of hate and racism since the days people landed -- europeans landed on the shores. and across our country, our democracy is under attack by a different plague. the republicans are systemically trying to roll back our voting rights. since january, 48 states have introduced over 389 bills meant to make it harder for all of us
4:03 am
to go to vote. and in some states, they passed laws. we see you, georgia. we see you florida. ,we see you texas. , but the republicans' attack on our democracy are not limited to the old stomping grounds of the confederacy. back in my home state of california, and you cannot get much deeper blue than california, we have a wasteful recall that is meant to roll back the voice of the people. it is just california's version of voter suppression, but we aren't going to stand for it. if they cannot beat us in a fair fight, we know what they do -- they cheat, they rob, and steel, they rig the game. it is the echoes of jim crow, the echoes of history. we know the roadblocks, we know the signs, we know how they intimidate.
4:04 am
but we will win in california, we will win in texas, we will win in georgia, we will win in florida. history may not always repeat itself, but we hear the echoes, history is echoing today. can you hear it? can you hear the echoes of history? >> yes. april: you know it better than i do. august 20 8, 19 63 -- -- august 28, 1963 -- civil rights leaders, faith leaders, labor leaders came to washington for rights. can you hear the echoes of history? >> yes. april: today, we are here in this place marching for our freedom, marching for our jobs, marching for care, marching for justice, marching for our climate.
4:05 am
can you hear the stirs and the echoes of history? we will not be denied our legacy. we will not be denied our freedom. we will not be denied our justice, sisters and brothers. we will not be denied. so what do we do? dr. king said "i have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed, we hope these truths are self-evident, that all men -- that all men," and i will say women, "are created equal" to achieve and live out the stirrings of dr. king, we must rise up. when america does not live up to its ideals, it is up to us to demand that we rise up. are we going to rise up? >> yes. april: i know y'all are hot, but are we going to rise up? >> yes. april: it was hot in 1963, but they rose up.
4:06 am
they fought for justice. the day we will rise up and not be moved until we win the john -- today we will rise up and not , be moved until we win the john lewis voting rights act. we will win the for the people act, and the largest investment in care of this country has ever seen. thank you, sisters and brothers. lee: are you fired up? i didn't hear you, are you fired up? >> yes. lee: good afternoon, everybody. i am proud to be here representing 1.4 million members of afscme, who strengthen their communities every single day through their work in public service. i am proud to be here speaking for a labor movement that believes union rights cannot be separated from voting rights. and i am also proud to be here as a longtime resident of washington, d.c. to speak up for my own voting rights and demand my right to full representation in the united states congress.
4:07 am
[applause] we are here today because the very foundations of our democracy are under siege in state after state. powerful forces have made a ruthless, immoral calculation. they know that when more people participate in our elections, they lose. they know that their agenda doesn't have enough public support to win fair and square. so, they are rigging the political system, doing everything they can to silence the voices and suppress the votes of black and brown people in particular. all of these issues, all of the issues that we care about depend on this struggle to protect and expand access to the ballot box. if you care about strengthening unions and empowering working people, this is your fight. if you care about affordable health care, this is your fight.
4:08 am
if you care about wealth inequality and retirement insecurity, this is your fight. if you care about racial justice this is your fight. , 58 years ago today, our brother john lewis was all of 23 years old, stood on the steps of the lincoln memorial and addressed 250,000 people at the march on washington for jobs and freedom. a you and a half later, he led a peaceful march for voting rights across the edmund pettus bridge in selma, alabama. and he nearly paid for it with his life. so, today, today we march again. because america's pursuit of a more perfect union is incomplete
4:09 am
because john lewis' work is unfinished, because dr. king's dream is unfulfilled. today, we march again, honoring their sacrifice and summoning their courage, standing on their shoulders and carrying on their legacy. today, we march again because 150 years after ratification of the 15th amendment, communities of color are still disenfranchised. today, we march again to pass the john lewis voting rights act and the for the people act. today, we march again. and today, we march, but tomorrow, we returned to our communities and we raise our voices. today, we march. tomorrow, we educate and agitate.
4:10 am
today, we march and tomorrow, we organize and mobilize every hamlet, every city, every state across this country. today, we march. and tomorrow, we continue building a powerful grassroots movement for change neighborhood by neighborhood, block by block. today, we march. tomorrow, we protect our most fundamental right of citizenship, the right to choose our own leaders, the right of self-government, the right to vote in free and fair elections. today, we march. tomorrow, we raise hell. thank you, very much. ♪
4:11 am
>> first and foremost, thank you for activesync social distancing due to this global, man-made endemic. let's say amen on that. >> amen. al b: i want to introduce to you, the legend, joe. joe: that word legend, it just means you are old that is what it means.
4:12 am
but old, younger, everybody talks about passing the torch. i am going to be honest, i am not passing my torch. here is what i am going to do. i am going to light your torch. [applause] like john lewis lit our torch. dr. king that our torch. rosa parks lit our torch. and they held onto their torch. if i pass my torch, i am in the dark and right now, none of us can afford to be in the dark. but what we have to learn to do, what we have to learn to do is like a good relay team -- you got to make sure you grab that
4:13 am
torch, because none of us have time to drop it. so, we are here to light torches. go back to your communities and light the torches of fraternities and sororities and hbcus and organizations, the folk behind us in that congress, and think about this -- we are not building gallows. we are not climbing over walls. we are here peacefully. and joe manchin has got to decide what side of history he wants to be on. do you want to be on the side of john lewis? i am tired of folks talking about, i love john lewis.
4:14 am
well, if you love john lewis, you vote for the john lewis voting advancement build. [applause] hailing from the state of new york, talking about lighting the torch, he serves as the freshman representative to leadership in the 117th congress, making him the youngest member, the youngest member of the democratic house leadership team. he serves as deputy whip for the congressional progressive caucus and has cochaired the agbtq equality caucus. please put your hands together and welcome representative
4:15 am
mondaire jones of new york's 100th. representative jones: good afternoon. i can't hear you all. good afternoon. >> good afternoon. representative jones, thank you for that generous introduction, and to all the incredible organizers are convened this event, and mostly to all of you for descending upon washington dc and elevating your voices, and making it known to those in power that we will not turn away, not so long as we have got work to do. we have come this far by faith and have never been more powerful in the history of this nation. but there is still work to do. our democracy is in crisis.
4:16 am
the insurrection at the capital in january 6 -- insurrection at the capitol on january 6 told us so. so did a number of republicans failed to sign on to bipartisan legislation simply to investigate what happened on january 6 and we reached what may well be our last chance to rescue this nation for racist, minority rule -- this nation from racist, minority rule. this nation can ill afford to allow white supremacists, misogynist, homophones, folks who deny the effectiveness of vaccines and don't want to certify presidential elections to take back control of the united states government through disenfranchisement. now, there are some who suggest that we do nothing, don't they?
4:17 am
that we accept the status quote that has led us to the moment of this crisis. but those here today understand that if the senate and white house do not act -- yes, the white house, catch that, the white house, because during the civil rights movement, we had a president of the united states who didn't just throw up their hands and say that is the senate's responsibility to pass voting rights legislation, we need the white house to get involved and say we need to get rid of this jim filibuster, -- this jim crow filibuster, don't we? if we fail to act in this moment, we are on a path by which democracy dies in darkness. allow me to paint a picture of that dark future for you.
4:18 am
thanks to partisan gerrymandering, first, the party of donald trump will take back control of the house next year even as democrats continue to win more votes nationwide. hell no, indeed. but let's make sure that doesn't happen. the parting of donald trump would also take back the united states senate through voter suppression in states like georgia, and we have to make sure raphael warnock comes back to the united states senate. [applause] the party of donald trump under the status quote would win back the presidency in 2024, whether because of voter suppression, the anti-democratic electoral college, or because red states have had success in overturning the results of free and fair elections. the supreme court, which is
4:19 am
already under radical, right-win control, will do nothing to stop this. the gop's two stolen seats will ensure that happens. we will all feel the consequences of far-right minority rule. power will continue to concentrate in the hands of a few. corporations will deny science and pillage our planet as we will hurtle full speed toward climate catastrophe, wealth inequality will widen while the tax bills of the superrich continue to shrink. they will spend billions to send themselves into space while people on earth starve. the cost of housing, health care and education will grow further out of reach for everyday americans.
4:20 am
civil rights and civil liberties will continue to erode, and our government will have learned nothing from the murder of george floyd last year. shame, indeed. shame. shame. the next pandemic under the status quote of voter suppression -- status quo of voter suppression, were people who believe in science are denied the opportunity to serve in government, will rage and controlled causing massive and preventable suffering of the federal government, captured by powerful special interests and insulated from the will of the american people, the will of all of you, will remain in different to that suffering -- will remain indifferent to that suffering. i know not of you to go down the road. thankfully, it doesn't have to be this way. we are not powerless to stop it.
4:21 am
we have a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to achieve the long-held promise of a permanent, multiracial democracy, a democracy or your vote and every vote matters because we have ended the scourge of partisan gerrymandering, where you never have to worry about whether yourself or your friends or family or register to vote, because they are registered automatically, we don't need to justify exercising your right to vote by mail, amen. where teachers and bartenders who aspire to run for office can mount competitive campaigns even if they don't come from money or a political family. [applause] where candidates for office make the case to we the people that they deserve our support, rather than being anointed by billionaires and corporations.
4:22 am
where elections are won by a blip in voters rather than suppressing their votes. that is a democracy where the american people are in charge, not a select, powerful few, where every voice and every vote matters. it is a promise that is every bit worth fighting for as it was when heroes like dr. king, bayard rushton, marcia b johnson , john lewis and so many others fought for our right to vote, and for dignity. and in several instances, took to these steps in the year 1963. and it is an opportunity that we have never been closer to grasping. the senate could bring about this vision tomorrow.
4:23 am
but a small handful of senators are standing in, what. -- standing in our way. these senators cling to the delusion that 10 republican senators of good conscience are somehow going to join them in a fight for democracy when we couldn't even get a republican vote for the john lewis voting rights act a couple of days ago. even as we fall further into crisis, these senators have found comfort in a white house that has failed to call for an end to the jim crow filibuster. i am here to tell you power concedes nothing without a demand. that is why we are here today, to demand president biden call on the senate to abolish the filibuster and pass the for the people act in the john lewis voting rights act. [applause] we know the future we want for ourselves, our families, our
4:24 am
country, and we are not going away until the future is won. thank you so much, and god bless america. ♪ lee: peace and blessings, kings and queens. let the church say amen. >> amen. al b: i want to share something short. imagine being this young man from a place called mount vernon, with rheem's of being a nuclear medicine technologist, musician or athlete -- with dreams of being a nuclear
4:25 am
medicine technologist, musician or athlete needed then i find myself in the nation's capital with martin luther king iii, misses king, the entire action network family, global strategist rachel dominique ashley, the entire mann family. what an honor. these give them a round of applause for putting this together. [applause] i am so honored, you have no idea. now, to the business. serving her sixth term representing alabama's seventh congressional district -- you all know about selma -- she is one of the first women elected to congress from the state of alabama and is the first black woman to serve in the alabama congressional delegation.
4:26 am
responsible -- listen to this -- responsible for introducing the john lewis voting rights advancement act, or some people call it hr 4. and the democrats's latest bid to protect the ballot and restore the gutted voting rights act of 1965. can we get a round of applause for that? this amazing, accomplished woman is in the building. ladies and gentlemen, representative terri sewell. ♪ representative sewell: good afternoon, everybody. i am congresswoman terri sewell and i proudly represent alabama's seventh congressional district, the civil rights
4:27 am
district, birmingham, montgomery and my hometown of selma, alabama. when i say selma, you say now. selma. when i say selma, you say now. selma. selma. >> now. congressman sewall -- congresswoman sewall: and it is now because john lewis lives on. all those foot soldiers marched on a bridge in my hometown and have become our cause. progress is elusive and every generation has to do everything we can to make sure we keep the progress and we advance it. two weeks ago, august 17 at of getting into good trouble. i introduced for the fourth congress in a row, hr 4, now
4:28 am
proudly renamed the john robert lewis voting rights advancement act. [applause] i did so at the foot of the bridge to remind all of us that our work is not done. it is not ok to say that you stand on the shoulders of these amazing heroes and heroines, and not do your own work. so here we are, marching to do our own work. and as long as a supreme court is hell-bent on rolling back voting rights, selma is now. as long as we have a senate that is entrenched in a procedural vote called a filibuster and not restoring voting rights, selma is now. we must do our part. i know you will because all battles have become new again. no longer are we counting how many marbles are in a jar. let's be clear -- modern-day
4:29 am
suppression is alive and well and we have to do our part roll it. this is the first time i have introduced this bill without john lewis. since the shelby versus older decision in 2013, we worked to come up with a modern-day formula to put full protections of the voting rights act back into our law. what we have seen across this nation's state legislatures imposing more restrictive laws. over the summer, 400 voting laws were actually introduced in more than 49 states -- in 49 states, and 30 voting laws were passed in 18 states making it harder for us to vote. now more than ever, we need your mobilization. we need you to participate and we need you to call on senators
4:30 am
and tell them they must pass hr 4 now. hr 4 now. john lewis said ours is not a struggle of one year, one day or one lifetime, hours is a struggle for all of us in every generation. so, let's do our part. i have the great honor because i represent selma and birmingham in congress of having someone who at 103 was my special guest 2015 to the state of the union. she was precious cargo and had opportunity to meet barack obama in the vestibule off the capitol before his state of the union. everybody came up to amelia boynton robinson and said miss
4:31 am
emilia, -- miss amelia, we stand on your shoulders. and she got tired of standing on her shoulders and she said get off my shoulders, your own work. and i say proudly, we are doing our work for hr 4, but we need help. we need to make sure senators know we will not stand by idly and let them filibuster hr 4. too much is at stake. federal protections must be restored and the only way is to pass hr 4. when i say hr4, you say now. hr 4. hr 4. when i say selma, you say now. selma. selma. when i say voting rights, you say now. voting rights. voting rights. let's move onward, get into good trouble and let's pass hr 4.
4:32 am
♪ joe: there are several members of the congressional black caucus today, but the next speaker is serving his ninth term in the house, representing the ninth congressional district of texas. he is a member of the house committee on homeland security and serves as chair of the financial service subcommittee on oversight and investigations. he has a name you can't forget,
4:33 am
and you might even stand up and dance to it. ladies and gentlemen, congressman al green. ♪ >> he is going to play "love and happiness." joe: the band don't know "love and happiness." representative green: let's give joe robinson an expression of love. you can do better than that. let's hear it. let's hear it for the honorable carol sharpton -- the honorable al sharpton and let's hear it for martin luther king iii. [applause] i will be concise.
4:34 am
and laconic. we cannot as democrats control the house, senate and the presidency and not deliver on the things the people who sent us here to do. -- on the things that the people sent us here to do. when you control the house and presidency or the senate and presidency, there is an expectation. but when you control the house, senate and presidency, there is an obligation. we have an obligation to pass the george r. floyd justice and policing act. no knock laws should be eliminated. breonna taylor would still be with us. we have an obligation. we have an obligation to pass legislation that will give the district of columbia statehood.
4:35 am
here are some facts you need to know, some inconvenient truths we have to deal with. d.c. has a higher capital tax rate than most states in the country. d.c. has been trying and has been denied statehood for centuries. friends, it is about more than taxation without representation. it is about over-taxation because of underrepresentation in the senate that the united states of america. that it is what -- that is what it is about, and we have an obligation to pass the john lewis voting rights advancement act. here's why. we have a right and obligation to do it because dr. king marched so we might have these voting rights.
4:36 am
goodman and cheney gave their lives so we could have these voting rights. metzger evers was murdered on his front porch so we could have these voting rights. we have a duty to those who shed blood on the edmund pettus bridge. the voting rights act may have been signed in ink by president johnson, but was written in the blood of john lewis and medgar evers and goodman and cheney and we must pass this and you have to help us get it done. let's stand up and give the voting rights act the emotion and energy it deserves. are you with me? are we going to move? that we do it?
4:37 am
let's do it together. i am al green. let's have some love and happiness for the good times. let's stay together. ♪ al b: what a dynamic man he is. and he has the name al green. i have to tell you a story. i was nominated for four grammys, lost creek, but won a grammy -- lost three but won a grammy with reverend al green for a gospel record. ♪
4:38 am
but he is a cooler al green right here. alright, down to the business. known as an influential and forceful voice in washington, she is serving her 14th term as a member of the u.s. house of representatives representing the 18th congressional district of texas centered in houston, energy capital of the world. i had the privilege of meeting this dynamic queen at the congressional black caucus a few years ago. ladies and gentlemen, representative sheila jackson lee. ♪
4:39 am
representative jackson lee: what a privilege. what a moment. what a time. i am going to ask you to do something with me that has not been done yet. i want the world to see that all of us who are descendants of enslaved africans or people of color who shed our blood for this nation, so if you would, take a little bit of my time to have a moment of silence. for those soldiers -- have a moment of silence for those soldiers who fell in afghanistan wearing the uniform. so many of our fathers and sisters and brothers and mothers
4:40 am
are buried in faraway places, but for some reason, america is not think we have shed our blood. let us do a moment, i will take my time to be able to honor them. you please, with me. please, ssshhhhhh. thank you very much. the reason i did that is because i am tired being tired. i am sickened tired of being tired. i don't want the clock to stop me from finding my justice. i don't want the clock to tell me, wait a little longer. i don't want it to be said, be patient just a little longer. so, i am here today to reflect upon our ancestors, those who were enslaved for 246 years. most people don't want to be
4:41 am
reminded of that time in our history. and in that time of slavery, we suffered the brutality of the whip, separated from our families, longing for freedom. and in that emancipation proclamation and in that juneteenth federal holiday, somebody said you are free. with freedom comes privilege and rights, the honest ability to own property. i saw a brother out there and he said, can you tell them homeless people need rights? i told him i would say it. it gives us a privilege of not being homeless, not being hungry, not being thirsty, not being without a job. that is what freedom is about. and yet we come to this time in this moment when people are telling us, continue to be homeless, be evicted, don't have the george floyd justice in policing act, don't worry about voting, you can't have a 51st state in washington dc, they don't to vote.
4:42 am
i am ready now as i have been ready before. i don't know if you already, but i am. i have got these shoes on and i am not going to stop, i'm not going to wait anymore. i am going to say all things and as well say we are blessed with inalienable rights, life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. for that reason, we are gathered here today. thank you, reverend, martin luther king iii and your family, thank you, all, for laying the groundwork. now is the time for us to run without ceasing. we cannot have full taxes again. we cannot be counting the jellybeans in the jar again. right now, we have the most suppressive voting laws in the history of america. we cannot be worse than 1965. maybe you didn't walk across the
4:43 am
edmund pettus bridge, but you have got to take these shoes and begin to walk. in a couple weeks, the senate will return. it is my mission to show them respect of their position, but i will not wait. my conscious -- my conscience, my courage, the question is your conscience and courage. is there courage in the u.s. senate? is there courage in america? is there a time when we cannot rest, but must go word and determined it is time now for the voting rights act the past. it is time for the commission to study and develop reparations. it is time for george floyd. it is time for all that brings dignity to human beings. so, my brothers and sisters, i am a student of the movement. i am a card-carrying member but the question is, are you a
4:44 am
member of the movement? are you prepared to drive that movement? are you proud to stand and say, i am a member of this, this, the first baptist church in america, but are you paired to be a soul-driving fighter for justice? are you prepared to engage in nonviolence, civil disobedience, get arrested, stand up for justice? i got arrested because i believe voting rights is determining what we are all about. do i legislate with courage or do i step backwards? if you are out here, where to our free -- where to or three are gathered. so i am saying you is congresswoman sheila jackson lee from texas, that has the worst voting laws that deprive texans from voting, texas is the worst
4:45 am
state to vote in in the entire nation. so i am empowered in the spirit of mickey leland, who held the seat before me, empowered by their spirit and hoping i am driving you that in this book john lewis provided in his last days, he often mentioned conscience, he offered messages of justice, do not step back when justice is trampled on. is there courage here? is there courage out there? something is happening in america, something we have got to overcome in health care, covid-19, delta, justice. we must take our shoes and carry on. we must take our shoes and carry on. i am going to carry on.
4:46 am
♪ >> john lewis, we love you. ♪ joe: i am very proud to say that i am a native ohioan. i know there are many of you here, but this young lady has represented her district, city, state, country, and i was extremely proud, extremely proud
4:47 am
to see her on television the other day being arrested, being arrested along with other members of the congressional black caucus. the third congressional district , she is currently the 27th share of the congressional black caucus. they descend dental and -- ladies and gentlemen, please put your hands together to give the chairwoman of the congressional black caucus, representative joyce 80 -- joyce beatty. representative beatty: give it
4:48 am
up for joe madison. we are talking about freedom and voices and standing on the shoulders of our ancestors. can't you just hear martin luther king jr. speaking to us? can't you just hear fannie lou hamer speaking to us? as chair of the congressional black caucus, it is my honor to stand on this stage following the members of the congressional black caucus. we are united, but we come to you today with an ask. we ask you to stand with us, to fight with us. we ask you to mix justice for us because we know that there are so many injustices. we know far too many of our little black boys and girls are being killed. far too many of our boys and girls are in the system into
4:49 am
funny sentencing and unequal treatment. we know if we do not stand up for voting rights, if we do not stand up to get people registered to vote, then we can't make a difference. let me say thank you to my good friend, the reverend dr. al sharpton and the national action network. thank you to martin luther king iii and his lovely wife, andriy a waterskiing and my favorite, the granddaughter of martin luther king junior, yolanda renee king, who will be with us today. we are here. let it be clear, 58 years ago, 25,000 people came on these hallowed grounds. they came because they knew if they could look to the future, they would need to give us a
4:50 am
blueprint. so when people ask why we are here, tell them we know what we have to lose. i want you to tell them it was the congressional black caucus that led the vote this week for hr 4, the john lewis voting rights advancement act. i want you to tell them there was a black woman in the speaker's chair during the debate on hr 4, and that little lack woman was me, joyce beatty from dayton, -- mental black woman -- and that there was a little black woman in the speaker's chair during the debate on hr 4 and that little black woman was me, joyce beatty from dayton, ohio.
4:51 am
black folks and brown folks and white folks got out and got people registered to vote. our work is not over. i don't want you to get comfortable. we have to continue in this fight. our work is far from over. we have got folks in the senate that think they are not going to vote for this, but they don't know the power of the people. they don't know the power of the folks that are gathered here today. you should never come to the microphone without a call action. you should never come to the microphone and not ask people what to do. we know what we have to do. ♪ [indiscernible]
4:52 am
♪ al b: so powerful. what a dynamic between she is. that the church say amen. the president of the largest and
4:53 am
oldest hispanic organization in the united states, the league united latin american citizens. -- citizens, his life is that of self-made public service spanning decades of hard work and sacrifice. mr. domingo garcia, national president of lulac. mr. garcia: good afternoon. my name is domingo garcia. when i was 10 years old, my father and mother didn't speak english at work illiterate were going through a small town in texas and stopped at a gas station to get burgers. when we got there, a white man pointed out a sign. my father couldn't read and asked me to read it for him.
4:54 am
the sign said no mexicans, no negroes, no dogs allowed. that struggle continues today. i am from texas and yesterday, a republican court approved of the legislature because voter suppression bill. should it be illegal to give people who have waited six or seven hours to vote water? should it be illegal to give an absentee ballot to a senior citizen so they can vote by mail? should that be illegal? should it be illegal to take souls to the polls? we need to fight back. your vote is your voice. the are people trying to stifle our voice, but we won't let them.
4:55 am
let me tell the governor of texas, governor abbott. as soon as you sign that voter suppression bill, lulac will file a lawsuit the next day to stop you from taking our right sometimes come a good trouble, you got to start it. sometimes, you got to break the law to change the law. i don't have a problem giving water to a senior citizen waiting for voted if i am arrested, i want to go to jail. so was rosa parks. so was set on chavez. we have to defend everybody's right to vote. for every jose and maria toiling in the fields today to put crops on our tables, every jose and maria washing the bathrooms at our hotels and restaurants, to the people working in meatpacking plants to put
4:56 am
porkchops and meet and chicken on our tables, they need a voice to stand up and say we need to raise their wage to $15 per hour. we need to enforce worker protections against covid. they are essential. that is the way we are going to do it. i look forward to working with martin luther king iii for immigrant rights at the border so children won't be put in cages. i want to thank al sharpton and everybody who is working to make sure that when we say with liberty and justice for all, we mean all. thank you. muchas gracias. ♪ joe: let me
4:57 am
welcome now a good friend, a major leader of a major organization that has been around since 1909 and still going strong. they understand the importance of registering people to vote, turning people out to vote, and when it comes to public policy, they are always at the table. ladies and gentlemen, the current president and ceo of the naacp, a title he has held proudly since 2017, please
4:58 am
welcome derrick johnson, head of the naacp. [applause] derek: thank you, joe madison. for many of you who know joe madison, he was one vote for -- from being the head of the naacp. he is one of the best organizers the naacp ever had. he was effective because he understood that marches and demonstrations and rallies are the events between the work. the work is when we leave here to make sure we put the demand on 50 senators to pass voting right protections. at the end of the day, people would try to have a debate about the filibuster rules and what
4:59 am
the president is going to do and this thing over there, and our demand must be clear -- get it done. that if you can find the ability to pass an infrastructure bill for $3.5 trillion, you damn sure can find the political will to protect the rights of artists across the country. if you can find the political will to put $2 trillion into afghanistan for 20 years, it is no excuse why you can't protect our right to vote. at the end of the day, it is about the right to vote. everything is secondary. because our community and wants us to support climate change you as if they are protecting our right to vote. if you get ask you going to protect the rights for workers,
5:00 am
u.s. if they are going to protect our right to vote. you say, are you going to stand up and protect our right to vote? at the end of the date, our vote is our currency. our currency collectively elected two senators from georgia. we put joe biden in the white house. we collectively together elected the first black president, the first black female vice president. our currency collectively deposited together cannot be suppressed. so as we leave here and prepare for the next phase of this fight, we don't want to hear any excuse about joe manchin and the senator. i want to know if all 50 members in the senate, who depend on black votes, are ready to protect
5:01 am
our votes. that is the question we need to ask state by state by state. and that will be our work moving forward. naacp, 112 years old. we started this around our franchise, we have stepped into the gap in this moment to fight for our franchise. my question to all of you here and listening, are you ready to stand to protect the right to vote? peace and power. [applause] ♪ joe: ladies and gentlemen, once again, let's hear it for the ceo of the naacp, mr. derek johnson. [applause] when people ask her what she wants to be remembered for, it
5:02 am
comes down to this -- a relentless commitment to a fair shot for every d.c. resident. ladies and judgment, the mayor of the district of columbia, the honorable muriel bowser. [applause] ♪ mayor bowser: good afternoon and welcome to washington, d.c. [applause] my hometown, the greatest city in the world, and soon to be the 51st state. i want to thank reverend sharpton and the national action network for bringing us together on this historic occasion. today we stand on the shoulders of giants, generations of civil rights leaders and activists.
5:03 am
to my friend the late congressman lewis and so many others in between. they would want us all to stay on this stage every day to keep pushing, to keep fighting and to keep demanding. we know that it shouldn't take this long to secure our fundamental rights. we shouldn't have to keep marching. we shouldn't be here 58 years later to stop the disenfranchisement of people. but we will march, we will vote, we will organize, and, ladies and gentlemen, we will run for office. and speaking for the 700,000 residents of washington, d.c. who don't have a single vote in that house, we will become the 51st state. are you with me? [applause] as i told the senate earlier
5:04 am
this year, and i promise you today, d.c. residents have been in this fight for nearly 220 years, and we will not quit until we achieve full democracy. i refuse to give up my birthright. i refuse to let 100 people in the senate off the hook and not perfect our democracy by making d.c. 51st state. too many americans don't know our place. -- our plight. we are americans. we pay taxes. we pay actually more taxes than 22 states and more per capita than any one of them. we send our people to war to fight for our democracy. we send our public servants in that building to save it from
5:05 am
insurrectionists, yet we don't have a vote. we know that d.c. statehood is constitutional. and we know that just like the voter suppression we are talking about today, the refusal to grant d.c. statehood is a legacy of slavery and jim crow america, and we refuse to let it stand. above everything else, we know that statehood is the only way to right an historic wrong. the senate has a job to do.
5:06 am
the house has done it's job. now we demand that they figure out a way to get it done in the united state senate. we cannot just celebrate small victories. we have to push for the ultimate victory. that is when our votes, black, brown votes are protected all across the united states of america and that is when d.c. becomes the 51st state. black americans have fought for every single right have today. black women have fought for every single right have today. we fought for our freedom, for our citizenship, for access to the ballot box, and we are not done, and we won't be done until we have true equality. so let's keep pushing, keep making our voices heard, and demand that we protect every vote and that we grant the statehood. thank you. ♪ now, ladies and gentlemen, i have the great privilege of
5:07 am
introducing a young lady that i had the pleasure to meet one called martin luther king day on martin luther king avenue in washington, d.c. she is the first and only grandchild of dr. martin luther king jr. and caretta scott king and is no stranger to the stage. at the age of 13, she is an absolute powerhouse. please welcome yolanda renee king. [applause]
5:08 am
yolanda: hello washington. my name is yolanda renee king. i am the proud granddaughter of caretta scott and dr. martin luther king jr. [applause] today is a historic day because on this date, the that years ago, grandfather led a march on washington. to demand that black americans to have the same rights as white americans. it is the same day that emmett teal -- just about my age. for every life lost to racism like to observe a moment of silence. [moment of silence]
5:09 am
yolanda: leading up to this day, people have been asking me what i am for voting rights. what is my role in all of this when i am just 13 and can't vote? here is what i tell them, my generation cannot vote, but your vote affects us. we have to demand that our leaders do their jobs. marching and activism are the tools that we have and we need to use them. i march because this is not a game, this is about the issues and policies that affect our lives. it's about the kids who are skilled to go to school because of gun violence, the black women who are fighting hard to make it easier for people to vote. i march because i am tired of electing officials that put themselves first. i am disgusted by the behavior of many of our leaders.
5:10 am
in this country, it is easier to register to own a gun than to vote. think about that. if you are a congressperson protecting firearms, why won't you protect the right to vote? i march because i want change, not just for me but for everyone who comes next. my grandmother said that every generation has to earn their freedom. i believe that our generation can free the generations yet to be born. adults have failed us, so we need to take matters into our own hands. i march because i know activism works. i have seen it in my own family. when reagan refused to pass the bill to make martin luther king day an official holiday, my grandmother met with many political leaders to tell them why it was so important. people march and use their voices and eventually reagan signed the bill. activism works.
5:11 am
as a 13-year-old, here is my question to elected officials, why are you in office? are you here for power or are you here to use your platform for good? if you say you're here for good, prove it. pass the for the people act, and the -- act, these bills cannot wait and we are being silenced. here is my message to other teenagers. get loud. you can call and email your congressman directly. i will be doing it every day. talk about this on social media and tell your friends about what is going on. the torches being passed to us, it is time for our generation to wake up the world. we can stop talking about the dream and start living it. [applause]
5:12 am
we will be the generation that earns and wins our freedom once and for all. when we are done, we can say libra --[speaking spanish] thank you, d.c. [applause] ♪ joe: reverend richardson. reverend richardson. that is a tough act to follow. you have got to do it. pastor of the historic grace baptist church in mount vernon
5:13 am
new york, he leads the largest african-american church in westchester county, new york. a renowned leader, preacher, who has traveled across this world. one of his most important responsibilities besides serving god, he is chairman of the board of the national action network. please welcome the reverend, dr. franklin richardson. [applause] dr. richardson: thank you. we have been stimulated knowing that our future is intact. we have heard the voice of martin luther king's granddaughter taking us into the future. on behalf of the future action
5:14 am
network, our trustees, chapters, and chapter leaders, i am happy to tell you that we are continuing this long fight. we stand here today in the legacy of those who believed that one day all of us americans will have the right to be fully who god has called us to be. full participants in the struggle. we are here today to hold the legacy of the most suppressed of us. those who came across the middle passage and disembarked and when they got off the boat there were those who said before i will be a slave i will be buried and be buried with my god. we are here to fight until we get what they envisioned. we are here to register to this nation that we will not tolerate inequality in any shape or form under any circumstance, under
5:15 am
any gender, race, under any social class. all of us are equally valuable in the american mosaic. we praise god for that today. i am here to say how important it is that you have come today. it is my privilege to present the visionary for this occasion. i want to celebrate martin luther king iii and his wife and family who have been working with our leader to help us make this a reality. i want to present to you, reverend al sharpton, the person who has held us together. though there have been attempts to abort us, he has held us together. his vision has been clear, he
5:16 am
sacrificed his life, he has been through great trials and tribulations, he is the single most powerful voice for african americans in this country today. we ought to give him praise. we need not wait until he dies, we need to celebrate reverend al sharpton who is our leader and has brought us across these years into a new era. an era of inclusion. my brother, al sharpton. let us receive him, president of the national action network. [applause] >> i am not reverend sharpton. [laughter] it is hot, the water got him. on my way here today, i saw on -- unhoused people in the parks not far from here. what i feel every day is rage, i
5:17 am
feel rage right now that they are trying to take our votes away. that they are trying to take your votes away. they are trying to take our power away. that is what moves me in this movement, to summon that rage and use it. there is someone who i am introducing next, who reminds me that the other thing you have to carry with you is love. in order to achieve dr. king's beloved community, you need love. she is the embodiment of this. i want to introduce andrea king. [applause] ♪ andrea: hello d.c. good afternoon.
5:18 am
my name is andrea waters king, i am the president of the drum major institute which was founded in 1969. i will forever be satisfied to be known as the mother of that incredible young girl who just heard from. [applause] we are in an awakening in this country. i know that you feel it. the roar of the divine feminine will no longer be ignored. the magic of black girls can no longer be overlooked and the power of black women can no longer be underestimated. we have shown up for this country time and time again, even when it has not shown up for us. when i look out today, i am overcome with a sense of pride of america. on january 6th, we saw the worst of our country. it is time to make racists afraid again. this is what democracy looks like.
5:19 am
i want to thank you all for being here. i know that you share this belief. there is no issue more urgent than the attack on voting rights. while your energy inspires me, i know you're tired of the daily trauma of racism and the fighting for the things that should be freely given in a democracy. we are tired of fighting for a world of dignity and love and kindness. sometimes you wonder where is that arc of the universe that bends towards justice? in 2021, there is no longer a voting rights act. where is that arc? it feels like it is bending back towards injustice.
5:20 am
when john lewis and -- were getting beaten by state troopers in selma, you can bet they were asking, when they were getting struck in the face by a violent sheriff, you can bet she was asking. when a man was shot down in his driveway for working to desegregate mississippi and registering voters, you can bet he was asking. when a woman was killed by the ku klux klan after voting rights march, her five children were asking. when caretta scott king laid 39-year-old husband to rest, you can bet she was asking too. they're all great leaders. they were also human. we all have our moments of doubt. let me remind you of something caretta scott king said, freedom is earned and you win it in every generation.
5:21 am
you earn it and win it in every generation. for those secure about their fellow brothers and sisters. we must bend that arc of the universe towards justice. in atlanta, there as an eternal flame that burns for caretta scott and martin luther king. fire is one of the most powerful forces in the world. it can be used to create worms and generate power or can be an instrument of destruction. there is a fire of hatred in the heart of some people. they cannot see the humanity of people or the joy of community. there are smoldering embers of empathy, they see the truth that people are treated differently because of the color of their skin. they would rather turn away and let that forest burned because it is not their forest. in your heart, there is a fire that does not destroy, it fuels.
5:22 am
the same flame that lived in martin king's hearts and the freedom --. the same fire that burned in the parts of our ancestors and pushed them to keep going when they thought all was lost. it fueled your feet today and stands you up tall in the smoldering heat today. the fire of equity, you keep it going and you pass it on. return those smoldering embers to apathy into a flame of empathy until people cannot ignore the difference between right and wrong. that is how you reignite the next generation. that is how we bend the arc. dr. king talked about the beloved community. that we can have a society based on justice, equal opportunity,
5:23 am
and love. it feels like we are far from that dream. i want you to look around. you are the spark of the beloved community. at this very moment, thousands of people are marching with you. across cities across this nation, in atlanta, miami, phoenix, nashville, tulsa, omaha, and more. that is a beloved community. that is your community. communities have power. today is only the beginning. tomorrow, when that flame in your heart with you up and propels you out of bed, pick up the phone. call your senators and representatives. spread the word on every platform you have. demand passage of the voting rights act, the for the people act, and the washington, d.c. admissions act. tell them to stand for laws that lift us up not limit us. to make brotherhood and sisterhood, not empty utterances, but the first order
5:24 am
of business on all legislative agendas. wake up the next day and do it again, until we have created so much power that the forces of injustice cannot stand. do it until we bend that arc of justice. that is how freedom was one -- won in 1965 and that is how justice will win in 2020. then we shall see what has become of the dream. thank you, america. [applause] it is my honor to bring forward the love of my life, the man with whom within a few minutes of meeting who i know was the best man i've ever met. he has done work on all continents except antarctica. he always does what is right. even through that, he carves out time in his schedule to make sure that he takes our daughter to school. he brings me roses once a week.
5:25 am
martin luther king iii. [applause] ♪ martin luther king iii: good afternoon washington, d.c. we stand here today not far from where my father said some very famous words 58 years ago. it was a hot day like this one. the crowd was getting restless. he pushed aside his prepared speech and started talking about a dream. i believe his words have remained so powerful after all of these years because he described a vision for the way america ought to be. he issued a challenge to this country.
5:26 am
to live up to the ideals in its founding documents. like all of us, he read those words since he was a child. before i finished, i will be finished in a few moments, i do not need a lot of time to say what i have to say. i've got to say something about my daughter and my wife. we are so blessed to have a little young lady who is an activist. did you enjoy yolanda king? [applause] yolanda is who she is because of andrea king, my wife. my father saw the hypocrisy of a nation that could shout that all men were greeted equal and while counting some of them as 3/5 of
5:27 am
a human being. beating black children for swimming in a public pool, start throwing japanese children in internment camps. he read our founding documents, he stood on this lawn and said to our government, make them true. you see every person has the right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness? make it true. the most important thing he did that day was to not challenge the powers of the government to make it true. it was to challenge the over 200,000 marchers who came out that day to make it true. it was the challenge to a marginalized voices to make it true.
5:28 am
it was the challenge to white america to not turn the other cheek, to stand on the side of what is morally right and make it true. throughout history, we have been reminded that democracy is not a bank you make a deposit every four years, just when you cast a vote. taking withdrawals from every other day. as john lewis said, in his final message, democracy is not a state. it is an act. he also told us that the vote is not guaranteed, we could lose it. that means we cannot elect leaders and declare victory when our work is not done. we must remain engaged to create the accountability of political power that leads to change. let me tell you a story.
5:29 am
when the civil rights act of 1964 was signed, my father visited the white house. he told president johnson, this is not enough. we need a voting rights bill. at the time, states could pass all kinds of laws designed to keep people from voting. president johnson told my father, i cannot do it. i used up all of my political power to get the civil rights act passed. when my father walked out of the white house, people said, what are you going to do? he said, we are going to go back to the south to get him power. i won't pretend it was simple. people were beaten, some were killed, police turned fire hoses on peaceful marches who just wanted to vote.
5:30 am
every day, the voices got louder, the demonstrations got bigger. the reporters showed up in greater numbers. the moral outrage grew. that is how the voting rights act happened. through the power of the people. today, we need that same nonviolent, but forceful action from every person subconscious -- from every person in america. that is good trouble. starting with the lies that got us to this point. we hear a lot about the big lie, a lie that some of our own legislators in congress are pushing every day. they ask some americans, believing that our last election
5:31 am
was stolen when every review found that votes were counted fairly and accurately. they are using that lie to justify all of those laws that will make it harder for black and brown people to vote. that big lie is not the first in our history. it is born out of the biggest lie of all, some people are inferior because of the color of their skin. that lie justified slavery and a war that nearly tore the country apart. the confederacy was engaged in a noble cause, rather than the evil because of slavery which is not only a treasonous act against our country, but a treasonous act against god. all over the south, monuments to that lie pop up in town squares
5:32 am
as a glorification of white supremacy. an affirmation to those who still believed in it. let us be clear about what we mean, we are talking about statues and flags honoring people who wanted to buy and sell their fellow human beings as property. over the last few years, protesters have stood up to those symbols and torn them down. the biggest monument to white supremacy remains. if we do not tear it down, nothing else matters. it is called the filibuster. i do not know if you guys know what the filibuster is, it is one of those or you hear on the news. people rarely explain it. when they do, they do not tell you the whole story. here is the whole story. the filibuster is an old senate loophole that has been used for more than 100 years to block civil rights legislation. it lets any senator can object
5:33 am
any bill for any reason, and when they do the bill needs 60 votes to get anywhere. not just a simple majority. some people say it is about keeping things bipartisan. let us look at the facts. in the 1890's, the filibuster was used to block legislation that would protect the right of black voters in the south. officials in the south did not want the newly freed slaves to have power. in 1935 it was used to block in legislation bills that americans supported. filibustering the law that says there will be consequences if you hunt and murder someone?
5:34 am
in 1942, 1944 and 1946, it was used to block anti-poll legislation. -- the civil rights act that ended jim crow. that is 100 years. 100 years that our government used the filibuster to keep black americans from having the full promise of freedom. now they are doing it again. our country is backsliding to the unconscionable days of jim crow. some of our senators are saying we cannot overcome the filibuster. i say to you, get rid of the filibuster. that is the monument to slavery we must dismantle. that is the monument to white supremacy we must tear down. i know some leaders want to keep it, their arguments are as ridiculous as the arguments that kept people in shackles for
5:35 am
nearly 250 years. we need to turn up the pressure on the leaders who think they're flimsy talk about bipartisanship is more important than our rights. it reminds me of when james said we can disagree and love each other unless your disagreement is rooted in my oppression. if you are not fighting for voting rights, your disagreement is rooted in the oppression of millions and you do not love us. a lie that says these laws protect election integrity and point to the fact that they do not mean that black and brown people cannot vote. in 1963, there was no law that said black people cannot vote.
5:36 am
that was just a rule in louisiana that said voters have to pass a literacy test that even harvard students failed. the white poll watchers did not make the white voters bother with it. there was a role that said you had to guess how many jellybeans were in a jar before you could vote. somehow, the white voters always got it right. there was a rule that said you had to pay a tax to vote. it cost half a week's wages for black and brown voters. it also locked out women who often did not have access to their own money. laws appear neutral until you
5:37 am
look at the impact, that is where you discover their intent. the same thing is happening today in states across the country. how to prevent certain people from voting without explicitly saying they cannot vote? you cut back on mail in voting, reduce polling place hours, then the voting has to happen during the business day. which happens to be the time the black and brown and poor voters who work service jobs cannot get away. you take away big polling places in the middle of big cities like atlanta where hundreds and thousands of black voters cast their ballots. you make the lines three or four hours long and find anyone who tries to pass out water to those who are waiting in a line so long they had to take off work. you put polling places hundreds of miles away from native american reservations. then you make it a crime for anyone to collect mail in ballots and help deliver them.
5:38 am
you let more than some 700,000 mostly black people vote for a president but would not give them voting representation in congress. that is taxation without representation. that has to change. washington must become the 51st state. this is a moment of profound danger. in a matter of weeks, state legislatures will redraw the lines of congressional districts. they will gerrymander if we do not act. we can do this because when people like you, black, brown, indigenous, asian, and white come together to do what is right, we are a force of nature. this is a battlefield of morals. you are armed with the truth. the truth is a flame you cannot extinguish. people i've done it before, we will do it again.
5:39 am
we will demand a voting rights until we have them. do not give up, do not give in, do not give out. you are the dream, this is our moment to make it true. some asked how long it will be, i do not know. my father said how long, not long. the long arm of the universe is a long, but it bends to justice. the pendulum sways the future. how long? not long. god is still on the throne. thank you, and god bless you. [applause] >> here is one of the most prominent activists in the country. the man who was not afraid to
5:40 am
speak up for the voiceless and stand firm on his beliefs. look on the president and founder of national action network, the reverend al sharpton. rev. al sharpton: no justice. >> no peace. rev. al sharpton: no justice. >> no peace. rev. al sharpton: no justice. >> no peace. rev. al sharpton: what do we want? >> peace.
5:41 am
rev. al sharpton: what do we want? >> peace. reverend al sharpton: when do we want it? >> now. rev. al sharpton: when do we want it? >> now. rev. al sharpton: many came for the march, some waited for this rally. over 20,000 people came through the streets of washington with us today. in the sweltering heat, you can judge by the numbers by the blocks. some fainted, we had to send buses back. you stayed. as we made this point, let me first celebrate the partnership that we have had with the drum major institute and march on washington. thank you to the king family. and the march on family, give them a big hand. [applause] let me say a few things and we will bring out closing speakers. first and foremost, 21 years
5:42 am
ago, martin luther king the third was the president of sclc. we came to washington. we came with his mother, the wife, widow, copilot of the movement with dr. king. she would not speak that day. she introduced he and i. every year we have found our way back to washington to stand on this state of the dream. we were here last year with george floyd. we were not going to do anything this year. andrea said we had to do something around voting. we began organizing. we decided not to go to lincoln memorial.
5:43 am
but to go where you could see over our heads, the capitol building of the united states. the reason you need to see that building is because in that building, the senators will decide whether to continue the segregation of legislative strategy of filibuster or whether they're going to give the people of this country the right to vote without prohibition. that building is the target of our social justice movement. not 58 years ago, but today. the second reason we wanted to come in front of that building. on january 6th, you saw an insurrection against people's right to vote. today, you saw 20,000 walk through the streets to the capital to represent dr. king's resurrection of the right to vote. the insurrection versus the resurrection.
5:44 am
no windows broken, no fighting, no disorder, this is how you come to the capital! [applause] rev. al sharpton: we are supposed to be the radicals. we were the peacemakers. we are the ones who had no incidents. we are the ones who came in best behavior. we are the real patriots, showing america how to be at its best. [applause]
5:45 am
secondly, we have met -- martin, andrea, and i -- with senator manchin, with senator graham, with the speaker, the majority leader. this filibuster cannot be the excuse not to reissue the voting rights act as the john lewis voting advancement act. john lewis' brothers were with us today. we want this act passed and we want them to come with a carveout. to make sure that it passes majority vote or you can repeal the filibuster. either way, we will not sit by and allow you to filibuster our right to vote. we paid too high a price, people died to give us the right to vote. people spend nights in jail to give us the right to vote. people lost their lives to get us the right to vote. people were shot down in their driveway with four children inside to give us the right to vote. there is no filibuster that can stand in the way of a people determined to get their rights.
5:46 am
that is why in the blistering heat, we came to washington to say we are not going to let you filibuster away our voter protections. [applause] this is not a law. this is a senate custom. sitting at the back of the bus was a custom. making us drink from the colored water fountain was a custom. making us stand in the gutter while others walked on the curb with a custom. we are the custom breakers. we are the filibuster busters. president biden met with some of the civil rights leadership. we reminded him.
5:47 am
i want to say publicly, you said the night you won, that black america had your back. you are going to have like -- black americans' back. mr. president, they are stabbing us in the back. in 49 states, they have got their knives out, stabbing us in the back. you need to pick up the phone and call manchin and others, that they can carve around the filibuster. they can carve around the filibuster to bring voting rights for president biden. [applause] it was that carveout that had supreme court vote 6-3 against the whole moratorium on
5:48 am
evictions. it was that carveout that put that supreme court where it is. you know how to carve when you want to carve. we have come to washington to tell you we are going to stay on you until you get your carving knife out again. [cheering] when we came out to the white house that day, we said it would be summer of discontent. it was, and it still is. now we call for a fall of action. believe me, some folks went to jail, we may decide to pitch tents here when the senate comes back in. [cheering] we may decide to pitch a tent
5:49 am
and stay right here all of us, hundreds of us. the filibuster busters. [cheering] we might decide to go to civil disobedience in the end of fall. we are not going to stop until we protect our right to vote. let me close by bringing on some people. we are all in mourning. we are all in morning for those who have lost their lives in afghanistan. those who defended us and those who helped us. how bad is it to bring home people that you do rescue? they have to go through all kinds of impediments to vote. how embarrassing is it to bring afghans here and tell them that the people in the capital of the
5:50 am
united states do not have the right to a federal vote? one that will matter in the congress? you cannot bring people to america and not deal with the shame of what you have done to the voting policies here in washington, d.c. [applause] we want democracy in kabul, we want democracy in washington, d.c. let us talk like we have good sense. i heard martin tell a story about his father. his father said we had to go down south and get president johnson some power. i thought of another power
5:51 am
story martin told me that i have used the last couple of weeks. there was a class that was an english class. there was this young student that was an expert student. it got to the end of the semester, the teacher said i have one more assignment. i want everybody to write an essay of their pet at home. the honor student shrugged his shoulders and said that was easy. he went home over the weekend, he worked out his prose and poetry. he puts his paper down on the teacher's desk. she gives them their papers back at the end of the day. she came out and gave everybody their papers. gave him his paper. everybody look at their grades and was walking out. he was sitting there in shock.
5:52 am
for the first time that semester, he got an f on his paper. he never got anything lower than in a-. he could hardly move. he finally got up and walked to the front of the class as the other students had left. he said, can i speak to you? the teacher said sure. he said i do not understand how you graded my paper. i always got a's, i have been your best student. i have worked all weekend on my essay. i put in the right poetic references. she said no it was well-written. she said the problem you have is not that the paper was not well-written. not that you do not have to write poetry. the problem you have is three years ago i had your brother.
5:53 am
your brother wrote an essay just like this. this time, the young man had to smile. he said, oh, you have it mistaken. you think i'm a plagiarist. you think i copied off of my brother. the problem is not that i am a plagiarist, the problem is that my brother and i had the same dog. we wrote about the same dog. i come to washington recounting what martin just gave to history to tell you that the same dog is -- dogish ways they had in the 1960's. in 1924. the same dogish ways as 1942.
5:54 am
the same dogish ways as we had to fight thurman and others. you may have on a suit and tie , but we are fighting the same dogs. our older brothers and sisters and mothers and fathers dealt with you and we will deal with you the same way. stand up and fight back. do not get tired, do not get weary. we can win, we always won if we kept god on our side. thank you and god bless you. [applause] ♪ let me bring to the stage some of our prominent civil rights leaders. that joined us in the fight. i will let all of the buses go in a minute. i know we sent some back already because of some fainting. let me bring one that has work world -- let me bring one
5:55 am
that has coalesced with us, worked with us, our latino brother and sisters. give him a hand. give a hand to one of our brothers who stood with us and we did the march. he stood with us whenever it was not easy. he is the head of the action committee on reform judaism, rabbi jonah pander. [applause] ♪ >> god once spoke to me and said never follow al sharpton. [laughter] will you help me? everybody say here i am! >> here i am!
5:56 am
>> here i am! here i am for voting rights. the leader of the reformed jewish movement, 15,000 of us mobilized voters in the last election. in coalition with committees of color, committee of scholars, communities in philadelphia, pittsburgh, and atlanta. we believe that every voice must be heard because every vote must be counted. luminaries like martin luther king, the action center of reformed judaism, my predecessors invited dr. king to use a jewish institution to be his base in washington. that is why the voting rights
5:57 am
act of 1965 was drafted in our conference room. here i am for voting rights because the supreme court eviscerated the voting rights act. state after state rolled back voting rights, past voter -- passed voter suppression bills, one so bad it was called racism with surgical precision. here we are to demand from congress that they restore voting rights. here i am, because on january 6th, a violent mob of racist, white supremacists waving the confederate flag and with t-shirts with anti-jewish bigotry invaded that house. our house.
5:58 am
what else happened? in georgia, the first jewish and black senator in history. you know what, that was a temple that was bombed by the kkk. that is where warnock became the pastor. so i close invoking the names of those people. for them, here i am. their memory is with us today,
5:59 am
black, brown, asian. people of all faiths, no face, demanding it, and let the voices of the people be heard. when god called, he said, here i am. he said, if you hear my call, your light shall burst through and your righteousness shall lead to you. can i get an amen? ♪ >> shalom. but don't take my phone. lit is bringing out some civil rights leaders, and then i want to bring out the brother george
6:00 am
floyd, the floyd family, and our attorney general here. not the other one. we are going to close with them, but let me ring out someone who made this happen, people marching and doing things we did earlier today all over the country. the board president, sister jackie -- ♪ [applause] >> good afternoon. i need to hear you. good afternoon. again, i am honored to be here today and stand on this stage, representing march on and
6:01 am
service employees international union. i would like to thank march on, seiu, drum major institute, and reference sharpton's action network for organizing this moment this day. i would also like to thank be the change committee in chicago and throughout illinois, who organized virtual marches today and throughout this week. and the 90,000 members of fdiu health care indiana, illinois, missouri, essential to our country in the fight for voting rights. i am also standing on the shoulders of some very important
6:02 am
people today. anderson, claude and carrie williams, there are two people in this audience who know why those names are important. they are my mother, grandmother, and great-grandparents. these names might not be as important to you, but they mean the world to me, for you see my grandmother was born in 1915, and it was not until the voting rights act passed in 1965 that she was able to vote because state laws like the one they are passing today kept her from the ballot box. i went with her on that day holding her hand as tears streamed down her face because she had the opportunity to cast
6:03 am
a vote for the first time. my great-grandparents marched with them and they were spat upon, beaten and jailed for the rights many have taken for granted. on every election day, my mother drives her neighbors and family members to polling places. i am here to tell you that i hear my ancestors voices in my ears every day of my life, and they are telling me to run, to run. not away from the country, but into the fight, to run into the fight so that everything they fought for is not lost, so that the one other person in this audience, my great granddaughter , will inherit the protection of their legacy so that the
6:04 am
generation that comes next will have voting rights as first rights. i thank you. thank you, america. please know the people i mentioned fought for me and you as well. thank you. thank you drum major institute. march on. seiu. let's do this right now. ♪ >> give her a big hand. [applause] ♪ >> and keep me covid right now. we have melanie campbell and other civil rights leaders who will have to come on and speak, then our family members will close us out, but we keep talking about john lewis, but john lewis sacrifice included his family, and we are honored to have with us two of his
6:05 am
brothers, sammy and grant lewis. won't we welcome them at this time, the brothers of congressman john lewis. come on. you can do better than that. [cheers and applause] ♪ >> good evening. i am the youngest brother of the late congressman john lewis. have my brother samuel with me and my nephew, and i would like to thank reverend sharpton and martin luther king iii. we know that congress passed the john lewis voting rights act. now we are asking the senate to
6:06 am
do the right thing. we know that it will eliminate voter suppression and make it easier for minorities to vote, not harder. 58 years ago. my brother and others spoke at this event. we realize more than ever this fight is not for a day, week, or month, or even a year. we must be committed to fight for a lifetime, so it does not matter what side of the aisle you are on, it is more important to be on the right side of history, so i want to ask the senators, what are you going to tell your grandchildren when they ask you what side did you take? did you pass it or not pass it?
6:07 am
because that is what they will remember their grandfathers and grandmothers by. this bill has a lot of things in it, not just voting, it protects the right, eliminates state putting inflows to make it harder to vote. voting -- in laws to make it harder to vote. voting is not supposed to be her. it is supposed to be easy. it is the rights that our families fought for, it died for , and just think 58 years later, we are still fighting for those same rights. something about that just don't sound right. why should we be fighting for something that was passed in 1965? but they keep chipping away a
6:08 am
little bit, a little bit, and i like to use this analysis and then i will close. if you take a cake, it is a big cake. you keep slicing parts off of it. pretty soon, there is nothing left. so we cannot allow the voting rights to be sliced, sliced, sliced. we have to make it whole and easy again. take you so much for having us here today. reverend sharpton: the brothers of john lewis. give them a hand. [cheers and applause] the president and and ceo of the coalition of black civic participation. our sister beloved, our queen mother, melanie campbell. ♪ melanie no justice.
6:09 am
: no justice. thank you, thank you, thank you reverend al sharpton. thank you, my brother from another mother. thank you. so can we give reverend sharpton a hand? and my brother, my other brother from another mother, martin luther king the third. my sister, and a rising young civil rights and social justice leader, yolanda king. thank you for this invitation on this cool -- can we say cool? it is cool out here. i say it is cool here. because you are here. 58 years ago, the anniversary of the march on washington, and here we are today. one more time, fighting the fight for voting rights. i am here representing the coalition, black women's roundtable, and black youth vote.
6:10 am
i do things for black women, but i have my brothers with me today. is that all right? and my brothers are standing with me today. we are here to send a message, and i think we have done that. i will cut off half of my remarks. melanie but the one thing i want : to focus on is that we are here, standing in solidarity with our brothers and sisters who are out here in this cool heat, who are all across the country, who are fighting this fight in states like florida, georgia, texas. we are fighting against state legislators that are trying to provoke jim crow because they did not like the results of the election. they electcted joe biden. he is our president. and the first black and south asian woman to become vice president of the united states. that is our vice president kamala harris.
6:11 am
that is why they are mad. have you stopped to think about it? why are they working so hard to keep us from voting? look around this crowd that was here, and the votes we have left. look at the racial and ethnic diversity. the diversity among men and women and lgbt community. geographies, cultures, religions, lifestyles, and more. this is why they are afraid. you and i are what they are afraid of. they are afraid of the power our vote has. it w only in the hands of a -- was only in the hands of a select few. they are afraid of the power the vote has to be inclusive and represent the demographic shift of this country. they are afraid of the power our vote has to bring about equity for all people, and it will make our constitution true to its fundamental principle, that all people are created equal. the power that is rooted in our fundamental rights. so repeat after me. we will fight for our voting power. we will fight for our right to vote.
6:12 am
we will go to jail to protect our right to vote. we will vote you out of office. if you don't protect our right, pass the for the people act now, pass the john lewis voting rights act now, pass d.c. statehood legislation now, thank you. let's get this done. peace and love. [applause] ♪ reverend sharpton: the president of the national negro league woman's organization founded by her and continued by dr. jenetta cole. ♪ [applause]
6:13 am
♪ dr. cole my sisters, my : brothers. my siblings all. just do this for me. just take this right hand and move it across your body. just like this. take the other one and move it across your body. i want you to hug yourself. i want you to love yourself. i want you to feel qualified in the struggle. please know that i am so privileged to stand here and speak for the national council of negro league an women. -- and speak for the national council of negro women.
6:14 am
i am here on this historic occasion come the -- occasion, the 58 anniversary of the 1963 march on washington led by dr. martin luther king. as a black woman, i stand on the shoulders of a mighty long list of sheroes. sheroes who in the struggle for our rights to vote, i call the names. dr. mary macleod, ella baker, clarida scott king.
6:15 am
today, though they cannot be seen or heard in the physical sense, the legacy of these warrior women, that legacy lives on. they have joined what the scriptures called that great cloud of witnesses. they are encouraging us by their example. listen to that great cloud of witnesses. as they insist that the right to vote is a sacred right. and those who would dare to deny it to any eligible american voter commits an attack. -- attack on our democracy.
6:16 am
the iconic leader of the national council of negro women says this, when you are a black woman, you seldom get to do just what you want to do. but you always do what you have to do. today, black women are here to do what we have to do. and that is to demand an end to the onslauaught of attacks on voting rights. we are here to demand that the senate take courage from somewhere to pass the john lewis voting rights act, and yes, we
6:17 am
are here to demand statehood. -- demand statehood for washington, d.c. in honor of that great cloud of black women witnesses, and because of our own political power requiring it , and in the interest of a far better future for all of our children, we black women and our allies demand an end to voter suppression and the struggle
6:18 am
always. [applause] ♪ reverend sharpton: lastly, the ceo of the lawyers committee on civil rights. give a big hand for brother damon. ♪ damon: good afternoon. i am damon hewitt. i am the president and executive director for lawyers on civil rights. so much has been said today that i want to repeat. it is duplicating it, but i want to thank reverend sharpton for leadership and vision. for commitment to intergenerational movement and leadership, bringing on the next generation, me and those behind me. i want to talk you today about what others have said about how the filibuster, which is standing in our way to protect voting rights has racist roots.
6:19 am
i want to talk about what racism cost us. it is not just an individual vote or a few votes, or a lot of votes. racism costs us our wealth. black and brown communities make less in terms of payment. but also, in terms of wealth and transference of wealth from one generation to the next, we are way behind. racism costs us our health. this covid pandemic has struck us disproportionately. sadly, i lost my own father to this horrible disease earlier this year. is dragging us with relentless force. racism can also cost us, in the case of my father, our very lives. we have family members of george floyd, breonna taylor, and others. racism can costs us our lives. was somebody who doesn't know us
6:20 am
, love us, understand us has a monopoly on authorized force to kill us. racism cost us our lives. racism can cost us more. it can cost us an entire democracy. not far from here on january 6, a racist, violent mob tried to overthrow democracy, fueled by the lies that black and brown people in atlanta and detroit and philadelphia and milwaukee and other cities with large populations of people of color somehow cheated and stole from thing from trump. they are trying to subvert our entire democracy because of racism. so when we stand up and we call for the senate and for president biden to take action, it is not just for our gain, it is to preserve this entire thing we call democracy. because, my friends, this is what racism can cost us. it is more fragile than we think. thank you for standing in solidarity. we love you.
6:21 am
we are with you. we are going to get it done. [applause] ♪ reverend sharpton one of the : things that we want is the george floyd policing act passed. but if we have our right to don't have our right to vote, we can't get george floyd or nothing else. i want to bring you the man that has stood with this family, has stood with families through the years, and with them, the brother of george floyd and the family of fred, the attorney general of black america, our friend and brother, ben crump. for news floyd, brother of george floyd. -- and the brother of george floyd. [applause] ♪
6:22 am
>> justice marquise martin. reverend al sharpton, it has been 10 years that you've been host to politics nation, we want to salute you for always giving a voice to the voiceless. because without your voice, many of these families come from trayvon martin to george floyd, we would not know, so thank you rev. al sharpton for always being there. give it up for our civil rights leader, rev. al sharpton. [applause] ♪ and we saved the legacy of the dream of martin luther king the third for convening every year so that we will not lose our way. we will remember what we are fighting for.
6:23 am
you are going to hear from the legacy of george floyd. his family is here with us. his nephew and brother. but before you hear from him, we hear from a brokenhearted mother who is going to tell you about how her 18-year-old son who is a hero trying to save people and get them into the church was shot twice in the back by an undercover police officer, and that is why we are here. we have one mission. if you don't remember anything else i say, i just want to make sure you all remember one thing. to the leaders in the united state senate, the leaders in the u.s. congress, and to the president of the united states of america, we don't care how.
6:24 am
pass george floyd act now. [applause] we don't care how. pass george floyd now. we don't care how. pass george floyd now. we don't care how. pass george floyd now. we don't care how. pass george floyd now. because when we pass george floyd act, we respect the life of breonna taylor, who was killed in louisville, kentucky, we respect the life of daunte wright, who was killed in minneapolis. we respect sterling, who was killed in baton rouge, louisiana. we respect the person who was
6:25 am
killed in sacramento california. we respect pam turner, who was killed outside of houston, texas. we respect the person who was killed in fort worth, texas. we respect laquan mcdonald who was killed in chicago, illinois. we respect the person who was killed in los angeles, california. we respect eric garner, who was killed in staten island, new york. we respect the person who was killed in north carolina. we respect andrew brown who was killed in elizabebeth city, north carolina. we respect all of our brothers and sisters who were killed, like the person killed eating ice cream in dallas, texas. we respect the person who had his hands upon video in tulsa, oklahoma. we remember and respect pamela turner.
6:26 am
she was on her back, saying she was pregnant, and the police still shot her in her face and her chest and her stomach. we respect the person who was killed outside of houston, texas. we respect elijah mcclain, who was killed in denver, colorado. reverend al, there have been at least families in the last 10 100 10 years -- 10 years that we know about, and at least more 1000 that we don't know about, and that's why we don't care how. pass george floyd now. we don't care how. pass george floyd now. so now, if you could briefly give your attention, reverend al
6:27 am
, they killed her 18-year-old teenage son while he was trying to get into the church. can you imagine killing a child at the exact place where we want our children to be? and that is in the house of the lord. my lord. the mother of fred coxe. [applause] >> good afternoon. i am from high point, north carolina. on sunday, november 8, 2020, my only child was murdered in a church by an undercover detective, as he ran out of his car to save a mother and her son from gunfire that ignited on the opposite side of the church. even a 12-year-old boy that my
6:28 am
son saved was grazed by the bullet that this officer was reckless shooting. my son was 18 years old, still living life. and as he said, he was in the exact place we want our children to be, and that is in the house of god. so if you don't remember anything else, you remember fred coxe. say his name. say his name. thank you. >> thank you. rev. al sharpton: and now for a young man who you all came to know from the tragic killing of his brother, who was tortured for nine minutes and 29 seconds from a knee on his neck in minneapolis. we sometimes call him little al. [applause] >> how are you all doing? how are you all doing?
6:29 am
i want to thank everybody for coming out to support. i want to thank reverend al sharpton. and martin luther king iii, who organized this march. and i also want everybody to get out and vote for the people back in the dz statehood. we need that. -- washington, d.c. statehood. we need that. [applause] everybody needs to understand that the ground we stand on is soaked in blood. and it will continue to be that way until we pass the george floyd justice for police policy. [applause] we are a law and order country, and even if you are the law, you are not above the law. >> amen. >> so don't be afraid to o vote -- devote for change for a -- to vote for change for a policy if the stats do not add up or the numbers do not add up.
6:30 am
if this is not the best policy,, -- policy, we need to change it because change needs to be now. we are going to coinue to see -- to continue to see young men and young women murdered every day. this is crazy. now if you can make a law for asians, you can make a law for people of color. >> thank you. thank you. thank you. >> [indiscernible] >> hey, you will be surprised what can become when you have the full force of the american justice system behind you. i should not have to feel like a second-class citizen. nobody should have to feel like we second-class citizens. we watched it every day, trying to improve our lives, trying to make sure that we will be able to expand 60 or 70 years on th earth, just like the average amount of people being able to. they cannot cry for justice.
6:31 am
it is up to us to do that. the only weapon these people have is the color of their skin. so the problem i'm having is that, when people see amanda a man get killed, no problem. we see a child get killed, no problem. you see a black person get killed, no problem. but we see a caucasian person get killed, it is an outrage. them is the problems i am having. i should not be a second-class citizen again in my own country, fighting for what is right. people of been beaten and stoned and bitten by dogs fighting for the right to vote. you even had some that died fighting for the right to vote, the right to be free come the right to exist with the right to love. change does not come without cost. the problem is how much you are willing to lose to win the fight.
6:32 am
i will tell you this right now. we are not going to war, but we are not laying down either. [applause] that is why we are going to continue to protest peacefully. you know, because if they can make federal laws to protect a bird, the bald eagle, you can protect people of color. [applause] the bald eagle symbolizes freedom. so if i can't walk to the store, george floyd, or sleep in the comfort of my home like breonna taylor, or enjoy eating ice cream on my couch, where can i do these things? where? where can i live? how can i be the person i want to be? pass the george floyd policing act. >> pass the george floyd
6:33 am
policing act. >> it only takes one person your life to change everything about how you feel about life. and what i want you to know is i want everybody to have that toughness, and i want everyone to have grit. just like a couple of people i am going to mention. and that is the michael jordan of civil rights, ben crump, and jeff storm. also, reverend al sharpton, who is a pioneer for social justice. [applause] the energizer bunny comes in the -- congresswoman sheila jackson lee. you have to take a battery out . and also mr. john lewis, mr. good trouble. [applause] you also have activists like my man slim right here. he has done everything out of
6:34 am
baton rouge, louisiana, to change the way we see life now. so i don't want to hold you all up, but i know i'm giving you right now, but hey, i want you all to be blessed and one thing i want to tell you all before i leave is, and i'm not talking to you all, i talking of the am senate, in the words of al sharpton, get the knee off our neck. because the pain that my family, as well as other families, we have gone through is unbearable. let's take accountability now. i am asking at you not wait -- that you not wait until tragedy hit your front door personally. let's pass the george floyd judging and policing act. say his name. >> george floyd. >> say his name. >> george floyd. >> now be the change and go vote. vote like your life depends on it.
6:35 am
[applause] ♪ reverend sharpton the new york's : bus is going to have to leave. i am going to ask martin and andrea and yolanda to come back to the stage before they have to leave. we will all stand in a line. they have to do the how to show on television in an hour. so they have to go. the mother of eric garner is here. i want her to join us. and i want -- and i want don, you come from earlier, i want you to speak. i want to bring out --
6:36 am
♪ let me also -- ♪ i want to thank before we do this, let us give a big hand to the black eagle who hosted us today. joe madison. always there. activist in his own right. [applause] and the one and only, some of you all grew up swooning to him, the great al b sure. dr. king and them used to sing a song. we shall overcome. we don't sing it no more, but i think it would be appropriate
6:37 am
today, if we went back to that old spiritual, because we are going to overcome. i am honored to sing it with his children. and the victims, the families, this is a rare moment for you to be able to say you stood and sang that old historic song with all of these families. and as we do, i want two to come and carry the program. and please come. you will speak after we sing this. he has been a leader for a long time. the president of the national bar is to speak. but i asked the senior pastor, the super pastor of new birth. in atlanta, georgia. he brought three busloads appear -- up here with him.
6:38 am
he is been my friend and brother when he was preaching the school. he is going to preach. he would only bring me once every five years. pastor jamaal bryant to lead us in prayer. as we will sing we shall overcome. and would you come and stand with us? help jamaal get through prayer. >> every person, would you lift up your hands. good and gracious god, we come to you today simply because you are a prayer answering god. you are the god of our weary years and silent tears. we are appreciative that you never sleep or slumber. god, we ask that you not let any republican who is against the john lewis voting rights a sleep. we ask that any legislator that is against george floyd legislation, don't let them
6:39 am
sleep. anybody who is disrupting our right to vote, do not let them sleep. i pray that you give us a piece peace that passes all understanding. while you are moving, protect the people of haiti. while you are moving, check the people of louisiana. protect people of tennessee. please touch reverend jesse jackson, and our first lady, jackie jackson. while you are moving, bless those who have been exposed to covid 19. while you are moving, bless us to find our voice and our courage, and to find our strength. thank you lord, because whenever you win, we have never lost a battle. this battle is not ours, but this battle is yours. now cover our leader, rev. -- rev. al sharpton. let know hurt, harm, or danger follow him. give us grace. keep us away from the delta variant. we only pray because you are a prayer answering god.
6:40 am
it is your name we pray, amen. those of you that know god answers prayer, make some noise right now. [cheers and applause] ♪ reverend al: ♪ we shall, we shall -- we shall overcome someday oh, deep in my heart, i do believe we shall overcome -- before we do it one more time, you have to remember 58 years ago when they came here, they had to ride in the back of buses
6:41 am
until they got to the mason-dixon line. they had to put sandwiches and breezy paper bags, because there wasn't a restaurant that would sell them a meal until they got over the mason-dixon line. if they had to go to the bathroom, they had to go in the woods because they was not allowed to use a white bathroom. they could not even stop and get a cup of coffee from the lunch counter, but they came anyway, and what gave him the strength to come is they believed that we shall overcome. 58 years later, we can go to any bathroom we want, check into any hotel we want, eat where we want, elect and reelect a black president and put a black woman is vice president, so we know we can get this john lewis bill through, but we have come through more than this. we have come from further down than this. we are going to get this bill and our preparations.
6:42 am
♪ we shall we shall overcome we shall overcome someday oh, deep in my heart, i do believe we shall overcome -- all right, jamaal and them are gonna take goes on as they brought us down. give them a hand. w could not have done ite without you all -- we could not have done it without you all. 51 for 51.
6:43 am
>> clap if you care about voting rights. clap if you care about dz statehood. we are here today from georgetown and other places to join marches from all across the country to march for one time and go for voting rights. we all believe in the unfulfilled promises of this nation, promises that the quality, democracy in the right to vote. generations of advocates, washingtonians have marched, organized, and revolutionize for a more perfect union. at 23 years old, john lewis, the chair of the student nonviolent coordinating committee took the stage. 58 years later, we at 23 years old stand on the stage as lead organizers of 51 for 51. still making the same appeal. still calling for our freedom.
6:44 am
still asking people -- sorry my notes are flying -- still asking people to stand in the streets and fight. still asking for voting rights. where asking the same damn thing we have been asking for 58 years. this time, however we are calling for corrections in history. hundreds of thousands of people came from across the nation to march on washington in 1963, and the civil rights act, but when everyone went back on, residents were left without voting representation. in our democracy over seven decades later, over 700,000 lakh and brown residents fighting for representation in congress. we are native washingtonians. generations of people do not know what it feels like ndc to -- like in washington, d.c. to be able to vote for senator. that is a problem. to stand before the capital, a so-called beacon of democracy, that was built on the back of enslaved people, to deny black
6:45 am
and brown residents right to vote, that is disenfranchisement. that tells us that we cannot teach african-americans hisry in that history in our schools, local walls on how we can spend our local dollars, that tells us how we can -- we cannot spend money on reproductive rights. that tells us we cannot spend money on public health, when we pay more taxes than anyone else in the nation per capita. that is voter suppression at its finest, especially when our country was founded on the purposes of note taxation without representation. we don't even have two the most critical pieces of legislation before congress now. were talking about statehood, we are also talking about voting rights. that is how deep disenfranchisement runs and the district of columbia, so while we are fighting voter
6:46 am
suppression laws, we must fight with the same anger against the injustice here. statehood is the most pressing civil rights issue of our lifetime. i'm going to end with this, statehood is personal for me. when in 2014, when the call to action was call your senator for the affordable care act, and i grew up with a mother who was not insured, when the call to action was call your senator to vote for the affordable care act to give families all across the country affordable health care, i realize my shadow senator did not have a vote and i realized i lived in the shadows of democracy was that we will not relegate to the shadows of democracy any longer. we are going to live up to the ideals of democracy and correct disdain on our country. we are going to preach democracy and we must practice it.
6:47 am
do you feel me? we are going to preach democracy then we must practice it and eliminate the filibuster and not allowed to stop us from reaching true progress was a let's make washington, d.c. the 51st state. >> thank you. thank you for those words. you are absolutely right. we are past the time to make washington, d.c. the 51st state. for those watching across the country, i want to tell you about washington, d.c. that we call home. it's not what you see on television. it is the birth place of go-go music. mambo sauce. howard university. it is where i learned that it takes a village. our history is rooted in blackness and multiculturalism, rooted in the power of women, strong black women who lead and
6:48 am
govern with unrelenting courage and conviction, but are still denied power to call the national guard or vote on the house for. black women in d.c. have d.c. led the fight d.c. for statehood and voting rights for generations. without the recognition we deserve, black women have always led the call for justice, and we are leading the call today. d.c. residents, bodies are on the line in this fight. without senators, our voices are missing from critical issues, reproductive justice, economic justice, and the list goes on. but we will not be left out of democracy any longer. we stand here on this stage, the next and hopefully last
6:49 am
generation to carry the torch of statehood, to send the message to america that the senate and the president, our freedom will not be overlooked any longer. in the words of 23-year-old john lewis, 50 years ago, we did not want our freedoms gradually, but we want to be free now. d.c. when becomes a state, when, not if, it will have a plurality of black residents. we are excluded from democracy today, not by accident, but because some people fear black political power. senators on both sides of the aisle lack the courage and conviction to stand up for what is right, and leaving 700,000 mostly black and brown voters
6:50 am
without a voice in congress is racist and continuation of a long, shameful history. ♪ ♪ [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2021] [captioning performed by the national captioning institute, which is responsible for its caption content and accuracy. visit] ♪ >> before i bring up the last two speakers, repeat after me, we will not stop. we will not stop. we will not stop. so now i would like to bring up the executive vp and chief of operations for the national urban league and the president and ceo of the national bar association. >> let's give those young folks another round of applause. [applause] our future is bright.
6:51 am
58 years ago when john lewis was the youngest speaker at the march on washington, fewer than 20% of african-americans in his home state of alabama will registered to vote. registration offices were open just times a month. anyone who managed to stand in the slow registration line risk harassment, intimidation, arrest, and death. those who made it to fill out a voter registration application and past the literacy test still needed a voter to vouch for him or her. white folks would not vouch for black voters. some were limited in most did not have any register black voters. if a brother or sister managed
6:52 am
to register to vote, a white-run registrar of voters could arbitrarily deny them the right to vote. my grandparents in louisiana, where my father and i both served as state senators, could not vote until they were nearly in their 50's. that was jim crow. now his grandson, you know his grandson, right, jimmy carrero. jimmy carrero is trying to make a comeback and bring back all those -- jimmy crow. jimmy crow is trying to make a comeback and bring all those things back. he carries a tiki torch, like charlottesville. he does not burn crosses. jimmy crow is not only content with keeping black folks from voting, but wants to contest the elections when he does not like
6:53 am
the results of the elections, but reverend sharpton and brother king have cold is here today to stop jimmy crew. the urban league. we were here 58 years ago. we were here early this morning, and we are still here today because our movement has joined jimmy crow to stop. we represent 91 affiliates, 36 states, including the district of columbia. you see, brothers and sisters, the 30 voter suppression laws that have been passed in the year -- past year or so, those laws would not have passed if we passed the john lewis voting rights act, and the people would hold the states to a higher standard of democracy and we would finally be able to fulfill the promise of one person one vote, promise that has been denied the citizens of other district of columbia, who every day have to live and pay taxes
6:54 am
and not have representation. in 1964, brothers and sisters, the supreme court said, "even the most basic rights are illusory if the right to vote is undermined." until the john lewis voting rights act and for the people back become laws d.c. d.c., until becomes a state, ours most basic right are really just an illusion. i would encourage you the way john lewis urge folks, get in and stay in the streets of every city, every village, every hamlet of this nation and to true freedom comes, until the revolution, the american of 70 76 is finally complete. -- 1776 is finally complete. got less use. have a wonderful afternoon. -- god bless you. have a wonderful afternoon. >> no justice.
6:55 am
no peace. >> as the 79th president of the national bar association, i represent 67,000 black lawyers and judges saying that today is the day for change to come, today is the day that we will not keep silent. today is the date we will not go backwards. we demand justice at ballot boxes for black and brown people. today is the day, 58 years ago, our bold and fearless predecessor stood as we stand today called called and out police brutality in alabama and decried the lynchings in mississippi, called segregation and jim crow. dr. king dared to share his dream, and because of 400 restrictive voting bills, it is turning into a nightmare. enough is enough. we are sick of police brutality
6:56 am
and white supremacist. the national bar stands with and thanks rev. al sharpton, martin luther king iii, and all of the parties that work tirelessly to convene this march today, because there is much work left to do. enough is enough. enough of these brazen attacks against our god-given and constitutional affirmed right to vote. enough of the voter suppression. where is the justice? as black lawyers, we stand ready to fight in the halls of congress. we stand prepared to argue in the courtrooms. we say enough of these dirty tricks. we say absolutely not to voter suppression, and we say no more to jim crow 2.0. my brothers and sisters, before
6:57 am
the people back is exactly that, for the people. turn to your neighbor and say, for the people. the john lewis voting bright advancement back, we need it now. the senate must act now. did you hear that? the senate must act now. we must and we will march on to victory as one. we will march until our voting rights are strengthened and we will march until our voting rights are secured. i am judge carlos moore and i say, enough is enough. no justice. no justice.
6:58 am
♪ >> middle and high school students, create a documentary that answers the question, how does the federal government impact your life? c-span studentcam competition has $100,000 in total cash prizes and a shot at the grand prize of $5,000. entries for the competition will begin to be received wednesday, september 8.
6:59 am
for rules and more information, visit our website at >> c-span is your unfiltered view of government, funded by these television companies and more, including spark light. >> at spark light, it is our home and we are facing our rightist challenge. that is why spark light is working to keep you connected. we do our part so it is easier to do yours. spark light supports c-span as a public service along with these other television providers, giving you a front row seat to democracy. >> coming up this morning on "washington journal," senior fellow danielle pletka and frederick kemp discussed the si


info Stream Only

Uploaded by TV Archive on