I had never heard of Park Cannon until I woke up this morning and saw that lots of my social media friends had retweeted a thread from her about being arrested yesterday. She's an African-American queer state legislator representing an Atlanta district. You can see a gang of white Georgia cops dragging her away for... knocking on the governor's door-- not even barging in; just knocking. Here's her thread in paragraph form:
We will not live in fear and we will not be controlled. We have a right to our future and a right to our freedom. We will come together and continue fighting white supremacy in all its forms. And make no mistake, when I say hate, I mean white supremacy. The closed-door signing of SC 202 and the senseless murder of AAPI Georgians are both products of a white supremacist system. Different tactics, same goal: fear and control.
I am grateful that my pastor Reverend Warnock & community held witness and prayed for me, my family & our state. Electing Ossoff and Reverend Warnock to the Senate united Georgia in hope and gave us the courage to stand up against the hate we face.
In November and January we refused to be controlled at the ballot box. SB 202 is a direct retaliation. Who-- and what-- are they protecting when they work this hard to suppress our vote? SB 202 restricts many methods of voting. These restrictions serve no purpose other than to keep voters from exercising their constitutional right to vote.
As you know by now, earlier today I was arrested outside Gov. Kemp’s office door as he signed SB 202. But someday soon that last person will step out of jail for the last time and breathe a first breath knowing that no one will be jailed again for fighting for the right to vote.
Hey everyone, thank you for your support. I’ve been released from jail. I am not the first Georgian to be arrested for fighting voter suppression. I’d love to say I’m the last, but we know that isn’t true.
This morning, NPR reported that all she was doing was knock, knock knocking on Kemp's door and not stopping when the white piggies ordered her to. "Democratic state Rep. Park Cannon, a Black woman, continued knocking on Kemp's office door after Georgia State Patrol troopers instructed her to stop. Cannon is facing a charge of obstructing law enforcement officers by use of threats or violence and she faces a second charge of disrupting general assembly sessions or other meetings of members. It's unclear what was said between Cannon and one state trooper guarding Gov. Kemp's office door. Several videos posted online of the incident clearly show arresting officers were told repeatedly Cannon was a state lawmaker. As she is being pulled away, Cannon identifies herself as a Georgia state lawmaker and demands to know why she is being arrested. She is seen yelling in one video, 'There is no reason for me to be arrested. I am a legislator!' Other officers then come to block onlookers from interfering. They eventually bring a shouting Cannon backwards outside and into the back of a Georgia State Capitol patrol car... Georgia's constitution says lawmakers 'shall be free from arrest during sessions of the General Assembly' except for treason, felony, or breach of the peace."
Politically-speaking, Kemp is among the walking dead. Her is a primary primary target for Señor Trumpanzee, who has been working to recruit candidate to run against him. In the unlikely event that he survives a Trumpist primary challenge, he'll have to face Stacey Abrams again, who beat him in 2018 but was cheated out of the win by the Secretary of State-- Brian Kemp.
Kemp is trying to salvage his career with the >immensely unpopular SB 202. A poll from TargetSmart found that "Most Georgia voters also oppose the SB202 plan to restrict the right to vote early or by absentee ballot. Roughly 7-in-10 voters oppose shortening the early voting period (27 percent support-- 71 percent oppose) and restricting Sunday voting (28 percent support-- 69 percent oppose), which a previous version of SB202 would have done. About 6-in-10 oppose shortening the absentee ballot request period (38 percent support-- 60 percent oppose) and restricting and limiting the use of voting drop-boxes (36 percent support-- 59 percent oppose). Notably, half of Republican voters, 8-in-10 Democrats, and 7-in-10 independents are against shortening the early voting period and restricting Sunday voting."
Kemp wants to rally the Trumpist right to his side with the racist bill, while, of course discouraging African-American turnout in 2022. The Georgia state legislature consists of 103 Republicans and 76 Democrats in the House-- where SB 202 passed 100-75-- and 34 Republicans and 22 Democrats in the Senate-- where the bill passed 34-20. Kemp signed the bill minutes after the state Senate passed it. During his press conference yesterday, Biden called the Republican efforts "un-American" and "sick... The Republican voters I know find this despicable, Republican voters, the folks outside this White House. I’m not talking about the elected officials. I’m talking about voters."
This morning, reporting for the NY Times, Nick Corasaniti. Mark Leibovich and Richard Fausset explained how SB 202 is meant to suppress the African-American vote. "After record turnout flipped Georgia blue for the first time in decades, Republicans who control the state Legislature moved swiftly to put in place a raft of new restrictions on voting access, passing a new bill that was signed into law on Thursday. The law will alter foundational elements of voting in Georgia, which supported President Biden in November and a pair of Democratic senators in January-- narrow victories attributable in part to the turnout of Black voters and the array of voting options in the state. Taken together, the new barriers will have an outsize impact on Black voters, who make up roughly one-third of the state’s population and vote overwhelmingly Democratic. The Republican legislation will undermine pillars of voting access by limiting drop boxes for mail ballots, introducing more rigid voter identification requirements for absentee balloting and making it a crime to provide food or water to people waiting in line to vote. Long lines to vote are common in Black neighborhoods in Georgia’s cities, particularly Atlanta, where much of the state’s Democratic electorate lives. The new law also expands the Legislature’s power over elections, which has raised worries that it could interfere with the vote in predominantly Democratic, heavily Black counties like Fulton and Gwinnett."
Democrats say that Republicans are effectively returning to one of the ugliest tactics in the state’s history-- oppressive laws aimed at disenfranchising voters.
“Rather than grappling with whether their ideology is causing them to fail, they are instead relying on what has worked in the past,” Stacey Abrams, the voting rights activist, said as the bill made its way through the Legislature, referring to what she said were laws designed to suppress votes. “Instead of winning new voters, you rig the system against their participation, and you steal the right to vote.”
The Georgia law comes as former President Donald J. Trump has continued to publicly promote the lie that the election was stolen from him, which has swayed millions of Republican voters. It also puts further pressure on Republican state legislatures across the country to continue drafting new legislation aimed at restricting voting rights under the banner of “election integrity” as a way of appeasing the former president and his loyal base.
New restrictions on voting have already passed in Iowa, and multiple other states are lining up similar efforts, while the Supreme Court signaled this month that it was ready to make it harder to challenge all sorts of limits on voting around the nation.
Should the high court make changes to Section 2 of the Voting Rights Act, which allows after-the-fact challenges to voting restrictions that may disproportionately affect members of minority groups, Democrats and voting rights groups could be left without one of their most essential tools to challenge new laws.