‘I engaged in civil disobedience’: Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee arrested in Washington D.C. during voting rights march

Lee said she would do it all over again

Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee was arrested Thursday during a protest in Washington D.C. where she was fighting for the expansion of voting rights.

Lee, who represents the state’s 18th district, posted several photos on her Twitter account showing herself being restrained during the protest.

“I will never stop fighting for voting rights. The time is now to move the voting rights bills in the US Senate forward. Enough is enough,” she tweeted.

In a video posted on her social media account, Lee said she engaged in civil disobedience in front of the Senate Hart building in Washington D.C. and was arrested.

“I believe when you’re getting into good trouble, when you realize that the 15th Amendment has guaranteed the fundamental right to vote, any action that is a peaceful act of civil disobedience is worth of more to push all of us to do better and to do more,” Lee said.

Lee said during the protest she and several others decided to block the doors of the Hart building, which led to them being handcuffed and taken into custody.

“We did civilly disobey. We knew that the police officers had to do their job, but we were blocking the door -- that we intended to do -- block the doors of the United States Senate, Lee said. “We were handcuffed, they used the plastic handcuffs. We went into the paddy wagon. There is a DC jail near the grounds of the United States Capitol. The paddy wagon took us to that. We were booked. We were placed in a jail cell. We stayed in the jail cell. At some point, they proceeded to process us. So we spent time being processed. We were able, if we had the money, to be able to process out. But we were booked, we were put in jail, we were put in a jail cell.”

Lee said she spent about three hours in jail before she posted her $1,000 bail.

“The time that we spent in jail, being handcuffed, it’s not pretty. It hurts. But the women did it because we believed in what we were doing,” Lee said.

Texas Democratic Co-Executive Director, Jamarr Brown issued the following statement on the arrest of Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee:

“Texas Democrats are risking it all to protect our democracy -- even at the expense of their own freedom. The Texas Democratic Party stands with Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee as she faces arrest for protesting to defend our right to vote. We’re incredibly grateful to Rep. Jackson Lee for being an unwavering voice for justice. This is what leadership looks like. Throughout history, Black women like Rep. Jackson Lee have led the way on civil and voting rights issues, and today, as we face the greatest civil rights struggles of our time, Black women remain the leaders at the heart of this fight.

“Right now, voting rights are under attack from Republicans around the country, and nowhere more so than in Texas. Our Texas Democratic lawmakers are putting everything on the line to defend our right to vote. There is one reason Republicans are attacking our voting rights: they know their days in power are numbered, and they’re trying to cling to power the only way they can -- by stopping us from voting. Texas Democrats are not backing down. An attack on our voting rights is an attack on our communities and our future, and Texas Democrats will continue to fight tooth and nail to defend our most basic constitutional right.

“Texas communities are the frontline in the national fight for voting rights, and Texas Democrats are responding to these attacks with the urgency our communities need. We urge our federal lawmakers to act with the same urgency, and pass federal protections to ensure that attacks like these never see the light of day again. Democracy can’t wait.”

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