Voting rights ‘worth going to jail for,’ says Senfronia Thompson

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In a virtual press conference with Texas House Democrats from Harris County, members gave updates about their activities in the nation’s Capitol.

The lawmakers fled Austin last week in order to break quorum and prevent Republican legislation that would restrict access to the vote. 

When asked if members were concerned about Gov. Greg Abbott’s threat to arrest members for leaving the state, longtime legislator Rep. Senfronia Thompson said no. 

“Nobody is afraid of getting arrested,” said Thompson. “If they wanna arrest us, let them bring it on. We’d rather go to jail. This fight is for the freedom to vote, the constitutional right to vote in America. It’s worth going to jail for.”

“If they want to go that step further to put us in jail because we stand for the rights guaranteed under the constitution of America and Texas,” Thompson continued, “then I am ready to be arrested.”

“Same,” added Rep. Gene Wu. 

Rep. Armando Walle said the main goal of Democrats in Washington was to create a national awakening about voter suppression. Walle said Democrats were committed to staying in Washington for this special session but acknowledged that the governor could keep calling special sessions. He said it wasn’t fair to speculate how the caucus would react for future sessions. 

Rep. Shawn Thierry said Democrats were prepared to stay the course until August 7. 

“We consider this the third quarter of a basketball game, and our knees may be tired but we’re not going to quit,” Thierry said.

Photo: Kevin Dietsch/Getty Images

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