Hundreds protest Manchin over his opposition to voting rights legislation

·1 min read
Protesters marching against Sen. Joe Manchin.
Protesters marching against Sen. Joe Manchin. AP Photo/Cuneyt Dil

Hundreds of demonstrators marched through Charleston, West Virginia, on Monday to protest Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.V.) and his opposition to the For the People Act, which would reform U.S. election law.

The Poor People's Campaign organized the "Moral March on Manchin" after he said he opposed passing election reform along party lines, as this could divide the country further. The Senate is evenly split and his vote is necessary for Democrats to change the filibuster, a prerequisite for passing the law in this Congress. Supporters say the law would counteract strict voter restrictions being put in place by Republican-controlled state legislatures in the wake of former President Donald Trump's loss in November. Manchin supports a narrower election-reform law.

Manchin also opposes a $15 minimum wage and was against President Biden's first $2 trillion infrastructure proposal. The Rev. William Barber, co-chair of the Poor People's Campaign, spoke to protesters at a Charleston park on Monday, and urged them to put pressure on Manchin to do more to help working people. "West Virginia needs a real senator," he said.

The demonstrators walked about a mile from the park to Manchin's office, where an aide said the senator was unable to meet them as he was in Washington. They left behind a letter, signed by the protesters. Charleston resident Chuck Overstreet told The Associated Press he attended the march to send a message to Manchin. "With our senator pretty much controlling this thing, we want to be here to say we're not on the same page," he said.

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