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Voting rights activists flock to Washington DC to march for federal election reforms

Hundreds of activists are marching in Washington D.C. Saturday for a pair of rallies to demand federal voting rights protections and a variety of civil rights reforms.

The marches coincide with the 58th anniversary of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.’s historic “I Have a Dream” speech on the Nationwide Mall. Organizers are urgent for the Democratic-led Congress and White Home to enact daring, sweeping election reforms they are saying are wanted within the face of voter suppression efforts in locations like Texas and Florida. 

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WASHINGTON, DC - AUGUST 28:  Voting rights activists participate in a pre-march rally during a March On For Voting Rights event at McPherson Square August 28, 2021 in Washington, DC. Activists gathered in Washington to mark the 58th anniversary of the 1963 March On Washington, where Dr. Martin Luther King delivered his "I Have a Dream" speech, and urged the Senate to pass voting rights legislations.  (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)

WASHINGTON, DC – AUGUST 28:  Voting rights activists take part in a pre-march rally throughout a March On For Voting Rights occasion at McPherson Sq. August 28, 2021 in Washington, DC. Activists gathered in Washington to mark the 58th anniversary of the 1963 March On Washington, the place Dr. Martin Luther King delivered his “I Have a Dream” speech, and urged the Senate to cross voting rights legislations.  (Picture by Alex Wong/Getty Pictures) (Picture by Alex Wong/Getty Pictures)

“We’re marching to guard our energy, to guard our voice, to guard our voting rights!,” tweeted Martin Luther King III, the son of the late civil rights chief.

The “March On for Washington and Voting Rights” on the Nationwide Mall is organized by King’s group, the Drum Main Institute, the Rev. Al Sharpton’s Nationwide Motion Community, the Service Staff Worldwide Union (SEIU) and different voting rights organizations. 

WASHINGTON, DC - AUGUST 28:  Voting rights activist Regina Cosio of Syracuse, New York, dresses as "Ms. Liberty" as she participates in a pre-march rally during a March On For Voting Rights event at McPherson Square August 28, 2021 in Washington, DC. Activists gathered in Washington to mark the 58th anniversary of the 1963 March On Washington, where Dr. Martin Luther King delivered his "I Have a Dream" speech, and urged the Senate to pass voting rights legislations.  (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)

WASHINGTON, DC – AUGUST 28:  Voting rights activist Regina Cosio of Syracuse, New York, attire as “Ms. Liberty” as she participates in a pre-march rally throughout a March On For Voting Rights occasion at McPherson Sq. August 28, 2021 in Washington, DC. Activists gathered in Washington to mark the 58th anniversary of the 1963 March On Washington, the place Dr. Martin Luther King delivered his “I Have a Dream” speech, and urged the Senate to cross voting rights legislations.  (Picture by Alex Wong/Getty Pictures) (Picture by Alex Wong/Getty Pictures)

They’re calling for the passage of Democrats’ sweeping election reform plans – the For the Folks Act, the John Lewis Voting Rights Development Act and making Washington D.C. the 51st state. All three of these initiatives handed the Home this yr, however face an uphill climb within the Senate the place 60 votes are wanted and Democrats management simply 50 seats. 

HOUSE DEMOCRATS PASS JOHN LEWIS VOTING RIGHTS ACT

Organizers for the “Make Good Bother Rally” on the Lincoln Memorial are demanding rather more than voting reforms and D.C. statehood. Their requires motion additionally embody progressive priorities of ending the Senate filibuster, passing slavery reparations, elevating the minimal wage to $15, canceling pupil debt, ending gun violence, legalizing undocumented immigrants and reversing local weather change. 

WASHINGTON, DC - AUGUST 28:  Voting rights activists participate in a pre-march rally during a March On For Voting Rights event at McPherson Square August 28, 2021 in Washington, DC. Activists gathered in Washington to mark the 58th anniversary of the 1963 March On Washington, where Dr. Martin Luther King delivered his "I Have a Dream" speech, and urged the Senate to pass voting rights legislations.  (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)

WASHINGTON, DC – AUGUST 28:  Voting rights activists take part in a pre-march rally throughout a March On For Voting Rights occasion at McPherson Sq. August 28, 2021 in Washington, DC. Activists gathered in Washington to mark the 58th anniversary of the 1963 March On Washington, the place Dr. Martin Luther King delivered his “I Have a Dream” speech, and urged the Senate to cross voting rights legislations.  (Picture by Alex Wong/Getty Pictures) (Picture by Alex Wong/Getty Pictures)

Chants within the crowd embody “Black Lives Matter” and “Trans Lives Matter.” 

Each rallies have a gradual lineup of audio system all through the day, together with members of congress, relations of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr., the late Rep. John Lewis, D-Ga., and George Floyd, who was killed by former Minneapolis Police Officer Derek Chauvin in Might 2020.  

Floyd’s demise sparked nationwide Black Lives Matter protests that summer time and calls for for racial justice, policing accountability and defunding the police.

Fox Information’ Liz Friden contributed to this report. 

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