Texans march on capitol to protect voting rights

a group of people standing in front of a crowd: People participate in a rally to support voting rights at the Texas sate capitol in Austin.When a legion of Texans descended on their state capitol on Saturday morning, the signs they carried conveyed raw terror about the erosion of their democracy. Slogans included “Protect Voting Rights”, “End the Filibuster” and “Say No to Jim Crow”.

Some had just concluded a days-long, 27-mile march from Georgetown to Austin, praying with their feet in a desperate attempt to safeguard access to the vote. For hours, they withstood blistering heat to rally round a casket – a poetic nod to lawmakers in states across the country they say are trying to bury voting rights.

“When you look out here today and see the thousands, and you look at the diversity in this crowd, this is the America they are afraid of,” cried the Rev Dr William J Barber II, co-chair of the Poor People’s Campaign.

The high-stakes protest mirrored a historic march in 1965, when voting rights advocates risked their lives in Selma, Alabama, before the Voting Rights Act was secured. More than half a century later, a new generation of activists hope to protect and expand on those victories.

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