Some civil rights groups that supported Democrats in Georgia and helped U.S. President Joe Biden win the state in the 2020 election plan to boycott his speech in Atlanta on Tuesday because they are disappointed by the lack of action on voting rights.
Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris will speak in Atlanta about the need to guarantee voting rights in the United States and change the Senate filibuster rule in the face of new Republican-backed laws that Democrats say will suppress minority votes.
“It’s very disappointing that we used our voice and our vote to elect Democrats to address this issue and it just didn’t get the priority it should,” April England Albright, legal director of the activist group Black Voters Matter, said in an interview.
The group, which last summer organized a bus tour of southern states to mark the 60th anniversary of the historic “Freedom Riders” campaign, will boycott the speech along with the New Georgia Project Action Fund, the Asian American Advocacy Fund and the GALEO Impact Action Fund, which represents Latinos.
Biden will be joined in Atlanta by NAACP President Derrick Johnson and leaders of other civil rights groups. In a statement, the groups that will not attend called Biden’s visit an “unacceptable” empty gesture, unless it includes “an announcement of a finalized voting rights plan that will pass through the two Houses, will not be interrupted by the filibuster and will be sanctioned.”
Senate Democrats tried to bring the voting rights bill to a vote on the floor four times last year, and were repeatedly blocked by Republicans, who made use of the filibuster rule that requires 60 of the 100 senators to agree to advance most of the bills.
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