Civil Rights Icon Congressman John Lewis on Democracy Now!
Democracy Now! brings civil rights icon Rep. John Lewis on for a full hour to talk about the “struggle to win – and now protect – voting rights in the U.S.”
In this extended interview, Rep. Lewis recalls many moments of personal struggle, including the day in 1964 when he and other African Americans were arrested for attempting to register to vote. Today, 16 states have passed restrictive voting laws that could shape the 2012 election, including the vital swing states of Florida and Pennsylvania.
“That’s why it is so important for people to understand,” says Rep. Lewis, “to know that people suffered, struggled. Some people bled and some died, for the right to participate. You know, the vote is the most powerful non-violent tool that we have in a democratic society. It’s precious; it’s almost sacred. We have to use it. If not, we will lose it.”
Much of the interview is spent on the new photo ID to vote laws enacted in many states, including Tennessee. Listen to or watch the interview at DemocracyNow.org.