Rep. Al Green and Texas State Rep. Ron Reynolds arrested, cited during voting rights rally
“Good Trouble Necessary Trouble,” Rep. Green captioned with a clip of his arrest.
Rep. Al Green and Texas State Rep. Ron Reynolds were issued a citation during a voting rights rally held in Washington on Tuesday.
Rep. Green of Houston, State Rep. Reynolds of Fort Bend County in District 27, and Michael Cooper, the NAACP Beaumont branch leader were all arrested after a planned rally with the National Clergy United for Justice in an appeal to the U.S. Senate in favor of voting rights legislation, Click 2 Houston reported.
Green’s office issued a statement that the Houston Democrats and civic leader were cited and released for civil disturbance and obstructing traffic.
Green, Reynolds, Luci Baines Johnson, the daughter of former President Lyndon B. Johnson, Rev. Jesse Jackson, Rev. Al Sharpton, and Texas pastors were part of a delegation advocating for voting rights. Their protest took place at the U.S. Capitol. Following the demonstration, they began to head toward the U.S. Supreme Court.
Green shared a clip of him and Reynolds standing on a street across from the Supreme Court in Washington, D.C., belting the spiritual “We Shall Overcome.” An officer approaches and places green bands on their wrists before leading them away.
“#GoodTrouble#NecessaryTrouble,” Green captioned the clip, an ode to the famous saying of the late Rep. John Lewis.
Green also tweeted that he was “proud to fight for voting rights of those I serve by any means necessary.”
Reynolds’ office released a statement about being detained by the U.S. Capitol police and their reasoning for causing ‘good trouble.’
“I stand on the shoulders of giants who came before me that made tremendous sacrifices to end Jim Crow laws that disenfranchised Blacks and Hispanics from voting,” Reynolds said in a statement.
There was also an update posted to his social media.
“Rep. Reynolds was arrested today along with @RepAlGreenTX in Washington D.C. while peacefully protesting against voter suppression, protecting access to the ballot and preserving our precious right to vote. #TeamReynolds #goodtrouble #JohnLewisVotingRightsAct”
“Standing up for our rights sometimes demands ‘good trouble,’ and today we saw Congressman Green do what was necessary to call attention to the voting rights crisis we are facing as a nation,” Harris County Democratic Party Chair Odus Evbaghar said in a statement following the arrests.
“Republican lawmakers in our state capitals are attempting to restrict the voting rights of fellow citizens. We cannot stay silent. We must speak out against this injustice and work to ensure all of our citizens have an equal opportunity to participate in the elections that define who we are as a nation.”
The protest and arrest come a month after 51 Democrats of the Texas legislature fled Texas last month to prevent the GOP from passing voter suppression laws in the Lone Star State. As theGrio reported, some of the proposed changes included provisions to ban drive-thru voting, new voter ID requirements to absentee ballots, and prohibiting local elections officials from proactively sending mail-in ballot applications to voters.
The laws were ultimately passed in an 18-4 party-line vote.
Today’s demonstration and detainment were applauded by Texas Democrats.
“Texas Democrats are still risking it all to protect our democracy — including facing arrest for protesting to defend our right to vote.
‘We proudly stand with @ronereynolds and @RepAlGreen for being unapologetic voices for our rights during this movement. #GoodTrouble,” the social media account for the Texas Democrats tweeted on Tuesday.
The visible display of civil disobedience by Green and Reynolds is one that other Black legislators have taken part in this summer. In July, Congressional Black Caucus Chair Joyce Beatty was one of 10 Black women arrested by Capitol Police officers who had gathered to push senators on voting rights reform.
“You can arrest me. You can’t stop me. You can’t silence me,” Rep. Beatty tweeted on July 15.
Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee was also arrested last week after she participated in a demonstration over voting rights.
“I engaged in civil disobedience today in the spirit of John Lewis in front of the Senate Hart Building and was arrested. #GoodTrouble,” she shared in a clip on Twitter.
“The people of Texas are desperate and need it…the people of America are desperate and need it, and the Constitution provides that support for the fundamental right to vote,” she said of the John Lewis Voting Rights Act.
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