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Friday, September 24, 2021

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Texas’s state capitol is the destination of the 27-mile Moral March for Democracy led by Rev. William Barber II and Beto O’Rourke

After a 27-mile trek from Georgetown to Austin, Texas, the four-day protest ended yesterday at the Texas State Capitol.

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After a 27-mile trek from Georgetown to Austin, Texas, the four-day protest ended yesterday at the Texas State Capitol. As part of the Poor People’s Campaign’s season of nonviolent moral direct action, the Poor People’s Campaign organized the Georgetown-to-Austin Moral March for Democracy. 

The petitioners want Congress to end the filibuster, pass all provisions of the For the People Act, restore the 1965 Voting Rights Act, reach a $15 minimum wage and create permanent protections for 11 million undocumented immigrants in the U.S. 

The Reverend Jesse Jackson and former Republican Representative Beto O’Rourke marched to Austin’s State Capitol carrying signs and chanting to protest the same aforementioned regulations. Demonstrations like this were inspired by the 1965 Selma-to-Montgomery March that was influential in the passing of the landmark Voting Rights Act. 

While this march was meant to protest Senate inaction towards the For The People Act and the John Lewis Voting Rights Act and Republican initiatives to pass restrictive voting laws throughout the country, it was also meant to protest the ongoing Republican effort to pass restrictive voting laws. Texan lawmakers are currently embroiled in a power struggle over one of the most controversial voting rights bills. Approximately 18 states have passed laws restricting voting rights in 2021, according to the Brennan Center for Justice. 

NBC News reported that thousands of people turned out for the rally at the Capitol in Austin. The crowd was treated to a barrage of stirring messages from dozens of speakers, thought leaders, and organizers. “There are people here from every corner of this state standing up and being counted right now on behalf of our state, our country, for democracy,” O’Rourke said. Do we intend to fight for voting rights? Definitely. Are we going to give up until we get it? No. We’re gonna push through. We’re gonna push through until we win this.” 

It is the most serious attack on voting rights since the Civil War, and that needs to change, Barber said. “The answer to the problem must address the challenge We’re gathered in Austin today since the voter suppression efforts being conducted in this statehouse extend beyond Texas. Our political system is not just about black people; it’s also about women, rural and urban voters. This is why we take action now, because the foundations of democracy are threatened.”

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