This is a Setback for Voting Rights, Not Defeat
January 19, 2022
In response to conservative legislators blocking the Freedom to Vote: John R. Lewis Act in the Senate, Greenpeace USA Democracy Campaign Director Folabi Olagbaju said:
© Tim Aubry / Greenpeace
“By blocking the Freedom to Vote: John R. Lewis Act, the most important voting rights bill in a generation, Republicans have once again made clear that they support racist anti-voter bills and partisan gerrymandering, and not the will of the people. It’s incredible to see these supposed ‘leaders’ of our democracy so actively working to undermine the will of the people and our planet.
“Throughout our history, Americans have protested, marched, and sacrificed their lives to cast their ballot. But greedy politicians have attacked our freedom to vote, time and time again. Mitch McConnell and his fellow Republican senators blocking progress today are no different from the legacy of racist and narrow-minded legislators of years past, they are on the wrong side of history. Every senator who failed to rise up and protect our freedom to vote will contribute to the irreversible decline of American democracy and the push towards authoritarianism. Their legacies and our legacy as a country are on the line.
“Supposed democrats, Senator Manchin and Senator Sinema have shown their true colors by blocking a bill so popular with their constituents. While representing many poor communities hit first and worst by pollution and state voter suppression laws, who overwhelmingly want national standards that ensure voters can safely cast their ballots, the Senators instead seem to believe the lies spread by Republican leaders, infecting our country, and sowing distrust in our election system.
“Every single moment of progress in our country’s history has been met with resistance and required Americans to rise up to demand change. This moment is no different. We know that a healthy democracy is a precondition for a healthy environment and that as the threat to democracy grows, so does the threat to our environment. The freedom to vote is too important and we must do everything in our power to ensure it is protected. We only have a handful of years left to reduce the power of fossil fuel companies polluting our communities, our climate, and our democratic systems before we will rocket past climate thresholds and find ourselves at a catastrophic point of no return. This is a setback, not defeat. We will not give up, because there is too much at stake.”
Contact: Valentina Stackl, Senior Communications Specialist, Greenpeace USA, [email protected], (734) 276-6260