Rep. Joyce Beatty, chair of the Congressional Black Caucus and 71-year-old Ohio Democrat, was arrested by US Capitol Police on Thursday afternoon after marching on the Senate Hart Office Building atrium. Beatty and others—CNN says there were only a dozen—had first gathered outside the Supreme Court building to rally for voting rights. Once inside the atrium, police warned the group to leave, then arrested first Beatty and then other members of the group. "Let the people vote. Fight for justice," Beatty tweeted later alongside images of her arrest. Per the Grio, Vice President Kamala Harris invited the protesters to the White House to discuss voting rights Friday.
The group chanted in favor of the For the People Act, the Democrats' elections bill looking to push back against Republican attempts to curb voting rights in certain states; it passed the House but GOP senators blocked it in that chamber last month. They were also marching for the passage of the John Lewis Voting Rights Act. Ultimately, nine protesters including the congresswoman were arrested, the Guardian reports. "I stand in solidarity with the Black women and allies across the country in defense of our constitutional right to vote," Beatty said in a statement. "Be assured that this is just the beginning. This is Our Power, Our Message." (Beatty was once pepper sprayed while protesting the killing of George Floyd.)