Rev. Jackson urges absent Texas Democrats to “hold the line” and never give up (Chicago, IL) — With 52 civil arrest warrants signed by the Texas House to have the absent Democrats arrested for fleeing the state to avoid a vote on an unfair election bill, Rev. Jesse L. Jackson, Sr. Saturday urged the Democrats to stay focused and “hold the line” for the sake of justice.
Joining a national zoom conference call with some of the Texas delegation, ministers, activists and supporters, Rev. Jackson said, “Do not to give in and do not to give up. We’ve come too far to throw in the towel. Let’s finish the race. Stay strong and hold the line one more day.”
Also on the national zoom call were: Rev. Dr. S. Todd Yeary, vice president, Rainbow PUSH Coalition, Rainbow PUSH Coalition’s National Field Director Bishop Tavis Grant, Rev. Al Sharpton, founder, National Action Network, Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee (D-TX), her son, Jason Lee, an assistant to Texas Right To Vote, Bishop James Dixon, co-founder of Push Democracy Forward, Attorney Barbara Arwine, president/founder Transformative Justice Coalition, Rep. Nicole Collier (D-TX), Rev. Frederick D. Haynes, III, pastor, Friendship-West Church, Dallas TX; Rep. Al Green (D-TX); Tiffany Dena Loftin, senior program specialist, Center for Social Justice; Derrick Johnson, national president/CEO NAACP; Cliff Albright, co-founder Black Voters Matter; Rep. Ramon Romero (D-TX); Rep. Richard Pena Raymond (D-TX); Rep. Joe Deshotel (D-TX); Rep. Jasmine Crockett (D-TX); Rep. Shawn Thierry (D-TX); Rep. Susan C. Fisher (D-TX); Rep. Barbara Gervin-Hawkins (D-TX); Rep. Penny Morales Shaw (D-TX); Rep. Eddie Rodriguez (D-TX); U.S. Rep. William Gray (D-PA); Claude Cummings, Jr., vice president, Communications Workers of America; Shuronda Robinson, Push Democracy Forward and many others.
Rev. Jackson, Texas Democrats and supporters were responding to a number of Republicans demanding the arrest of the absent Democrats including Texas Governor Gregory Wayne Abbott who is wielding his executive authority hoping to force the Democrats to return to Austin. The Republicans need a quorum to pass Senate Bill 1 (SB1) and House Bill 3 (HB 3) that Bishop Dixon and Democrats call “unjust, voter suppression bills.”
During a national zoom conference call the Texas delegation and supporters, Rev. Jackson said, “The nation is on your side. We cannot let them take our democracy away from us.”
House members voted overwhelmingly to authorize law enforcement to seek and arrest the missing Democrats who flew to Washington, D.C to prevent a quorum on a voter suppression bill.
Bishop Dixon said he is grateful for the leadership of the delegation from Texas “that abandoned the Capital (Austin) in a righteous protest against an oppressive movement that we know is a nationwide movement but Texas has become the epicenter of that. This delegation has done the righteous and just thing by abandoning the state Capital and taking a stand for justice not just on the behalf of themselves…but generations are counting on us standing for justice collectively today…. We applaud all of you for holding the line and keeping justice in mind.”
Rev. Sharpton said to the delegation, “What you’ve done by leaving Texas and denying them (Republicans) a quorum would be part of saving the democracy of this country. The burden of history is on each ones of your shoulders…. You are being tested for all of us.” Sharpton offered his help including donations for the delegation.
Bishop Grant, who has partnered with Attorney Arwine and the family of the late John Lewis in fighting work We would be nothing without the energy, the determination, the fight…. You’ve for the passage of the For The People Act of 2021 (H.R.1/S1) and the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act of 2021 (H.R.4). “They have made a commitment to stand strong with you,” Grant said of the late Rep. Lewis’ family. To the Texas delegation, Bishop Grant said, “ We want to commend you for standing strong and holding the line.”
Congresswoman Lee said, “Your story is your moved the black men, the black women. She told the delegation to “hold on” and don’t surrender to the Republican majority.
Attorney Arnwine thanked the delegation saying, “You’ve changed the entire direction of this movement. We are united with you and will not stop until all our work is done.”
Saying they have begun the second voter suppression session, Rep. Collier said the governor of Texas “won’t back down, and we won’t back down. We are working to make sure that we protect the freedom to vote collectively.”
Rev. Jackson urges absent Texas Democrats to “hold the line” and never give up