United States – The family of Martin Luther King joins the call to reform the electoral system

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Family members of Martin Luther King Jr took part in protests in Washington on Monday demanding Congress pass suffrage reform.

Martin Luther King III (center), during the march in Washington DC for the reform of the electoral system on Monday.

AFP

Family members of Martin Luther King Jr took part in protests in Washington on Monday demanding Congress pass suffrage reform as the United States commemorates the assassination of the civil rights leader.

The famous Reverend’s son, Martin Luther King III, spoke at the march, warning that many states ‘have passed laws that make it harder to vote’, more than half a century after historic speeches by his father. Participants in Monday’s march echoed demands made by Martin Luther King more than 60 years ago by chanting, “What do we want? The right to vote! When do we want it? Now!”

“We are marching because our right to vote is under attack right now,” Pastor Wendy Hamilton told AFP at the protest. “In fact, our democracy is very fragile,” added Wendy Hamilton, a local elected official from Washington. Many carried posters printed with the likeness of the civil rights icon, and bearing his famous 1957 appeal “Give us the ballot”, which called on the federal government to uphold the right to vote of black Americans in all the countries.

The Martin Luther King Jr Memorial in Washington DC.

The Martin Luther King Jr Memorial in Washington DC.

Getty Images via AFP

The protest was in support of the free vote law currently being considered by the Senate, passed by the House of Representatives last week. Speaker of the House of Representatives, Democrat Nancy Pelosi, also spoke at the march, along with Martin Luther King’s 13-year-old granddaughter.

A fierce political battle

“If these laws suppressing voters in the States persist, the America my father dreamed of will never see the light of day,” wrote Bernice King, the daughter of Martin Luther King on social networks. This bill is the subject of a fierce political battle, President Joe Biden having to negotiate with two recalcitrant senators from his own Democratic party to be able to modify a rule of procedure and allow Congress to pass the law without the support of the republicans.

Joe Biden argues that the bill is key to protecting American democracy from attempts by Republicans to exclude minorities, who historically lean Democratic, from voting through a series of laws recently passed at the grassroots level. . Martin Luther King “defended racial justice, economic justice, and the freedom that enables all others: the freedom to vote,” Vice President Kamala Harris said at the White House.

“To truly honor the legacy of the man we celebrate today, we must continue to fight for freedom to vote, for freedom for all,” she added. Joe Biden and Kamala Harris last week visited the crypt where Martin Luther King, assassinated in 1968 at age 39, and his wife, Coretta Scott King, are buried in Atlanta.

(AFP)

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