Activists Push for Voter Rights Protections as they Honor Martin Luther King Jr.

U.S. civil rights activists marched in Washington to urge President Joe Biden’s Democrats to pass a law protecting voting rights on Monday (January 17), the federal holiday honoring Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.

King’s eldest son, Martin Luther King III; his wife, Arndrea Waters King; and their daughter, Yolanda Renee King led the march.

The march took place a day after President Joe Biden traveled to Philadelphia to honor the legacy of slain civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr., as he continues to press for voting rights legislation and concerted action to combat rising extremism.

Biden and first lady Jill Biden volunteered on Sunday (January 16) at Philabundance, a hunger relief organization in Philadelphia, to mark Monday’s Martin Luther King Jr. Day holiday.

In a proclamation on Friday (June 14), Biden warned against complacency and said it was crucial to continue King’s work by enacting legislation to protect voting rights, opposing the rise of white supremacism and other forms of extremism, and pressing for greater economic justice.

Biden’s push to enact voting rights legislation appears doomed after Democratic Senators Kyrsten Sinema and Joe Manchin said they opposed changing the Senate’s filibuster rule, which requires that 60 of the 100 senators agree on most legislation, in a chamber where Democrats now hold only 50 seats.

(Production: Julio Cesar-Chavez and Deborah Gembara)

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