Arizona college students go on hunger strike, demand that White House and Cinema make progress on suffrage

Twenty students from the University of Arizona, the University of Arizona and other state colleges are on hunger strike to pressure one of the state’s senators, Kirsten Cinema, to take the necessary steps to see Senate voting rights legislation.

Nearly two dozen students held a press conference Monday in the Phoenix state capital, saying they plan to wait indefinitely for their hunger strike, while Ms. Cinema agreed to support the Freedom of Vote Act and the separation of the filibuster. necessary for the passage of legislation through the Senate from the past of the united republican opposition.

The group was formed by students gathered by UN-PAC, a group that describes itself as a non-partisan group supporting efforts to restore the Voting Rights Act through the Freedom of Vote Act, which aims to reduce abuse, dark money and other issues raised by election experts on both sides of the aisle as threats to fair representation.

In an interview with The Independent, one of the students who went on hunger strike, explained that the group sees the legislation as non-partisan, although it is almost entirely supported by Democrats.

“We want this to be a non-partisan bill. We want this to have an effect forever, and we want everyone to support this. This is not a Democrat, a Republican or a progressive bill, “said Lauren Dorn, a student organizer at UN-PAC.

“We have plans to camp here outside the capital building,” Ms Dorn continued, adding that the group would be there indefinitely until we took action from it or heard a response.

“Her support is the most important aspect of what we do,” Ms Dorn said. “I think she should listen to us at this point. We are here in Arizona, we were here in front of the Senate building … we are telling her that this young generation is ready to do the things she is not. ”

Ms. Cinema’s office and the White House did not immediately return requests for comment The Independent about whether they will meet with activists in the near future. Support for voting rights legislation is almost unanimous among the Democratic Senate group, and the current iteration of the legislation is co-authored by Sen. Joe Manchin, another Conservative Democrat who, like Ms. Cinema, voiced strong opposition to the rule change. for filibuster in a way that will actually make legislation possible.

The two have opposed months of growing pressure from activists to support the president’s agenda more vigorously, including on the right to vote. Earlier, Mr Manchin expressed optimism that he and other centrists could find enough support from the Republican Party to pass a bill on voting rights, but that support has not yet materialized.

The lack of progress on the issue has disappointed both the White House and supporters of the legislation, who question the seriousness of both Manchin’s and Ms Cinema’s support for the legislation.

“Manchin cannot rightly argue that Republicans have reasonable objections to his own compromise efforts.” Washington Post Jennifer Rubin, centrist conservative colonist, last month.

Mr Biden seemed ready to change the rule of the filibuster during CNN’s town hall last month, citing complete Senate inaction on the issue, while warning he would likely lose the votes of both senators and another Democrat (he did not name them). doing so.

“We will have to move to the point where we will fundamentally change the flibuster,” the president said last month.

Ms Dorn said in an interview that the group “hopes to make a splash” with media coverage of the hunger strike and to encourage Washington to move forward with the bill, which currently aims to put an end to previous Democrat-led legislation. for voting rights, unless the party’s strategy changes radically.

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