Georgia representative Cannon speaks out after arrest: ‘We will not live in fear’
'I am not the first Georgian to be arrested for fighting voter suppression. I’d love to say I’m the last, but we know that isn’t true,' Rep. Cannon said.
Georgia state Representative Park Cannon spoke out against her arrest after she was released from police custody early Friday morning.
theGrio reported Cannon was arrested after knocking on Governor Brian Kemp’s door and demanding to see him sign into law bill SB202, which enables new restrictions on voting by mail. Kemp drew protests Thursday over the bill which voting rights groups say will disproportionately disenfranchise voters of color. Per the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, the law requires a photo ID to vote absentee by mail, limits drop boxes and changes early voting hours.
“Georgians turned out in record-breaking numbers because they could access the ballot,” Democratic Rep. Rhonda Burnough said. “Lies upon lies were told about our elections in response, and now this bill is before us built on those same lies.”
When Cannon knocks on Kemp’s door, she is arrested by Capitol police. The officers forcibly remove her, drag Cannon through the Capitol and push her into a police car. Protestors are heard repeatedly asking, “Why are you arresting her?”
She has now been released and shared on Twitter the impact of her arrest and what her supporters can do and expect next.
“Hey everyone, thank you for your support. I’ve been released from jail. I am not the first Georgian to be arrested for fighting voter suppression. I’d love to say I’m the last, but we know that isn’t true,” she tweeted on Friday.
“Who — and what — are they protecting when they work this hard to suppress our vote.”
She continued, “We will not live in fear and we will not be controlled. We have a right to our future and a right to our freedom. We will come together and continue fighting white supremacy in all its forms.”
In an additional post, she thanked her pastor Rep. Raphael Warnock for his support.
theGrio reported Warnock visited Cannon while she was still in jail.
“Today is a very sad day for the state of Georgia,” the freshman Senator told reporters outside of the jail. “What we have witnessed today is a very desperate attempt to lock out and squeeze the people out of their own democracy.”
According to CNN, Cannon faces two felony charges — felony obstruction and preventing or disrupting general assembly session. The affidavit viewed by the news outlet stated she was charged with due to the fact that she “knowingly and intentionally did by knocking the governor’s door during session of singing [sic] a bill.”
Cannon is one of the youngest Georgian lawmaker at age 24, and one of three openly gay lawmakers the outlet reported. According to Ballotpedia, assumed office on February 22, 2016. Her current term ends on January 8, 2023.
Cannon assured her supporters that despite arrest, she will not back down.
“My family, team and I are going to take some time to rest and refuel so that we may continue this fight, as this is just the beginning.”
This article contains additional reporting from theGrio’s Ny Magee.
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