Barack Obama’s former Attorney General Eric Holder went on MSNBC on Thursday to tell host Rachel Maddow that protesters needed to be “in the streets” getting arrested in the political fight over voting laws.
“What do you make of the direct action strategy that is being brought by voting rights advocates?” Maddow asked. “Obviously, Vice President Harris and President Biden are very much in support of the reforms like The For the People Act, and they’ve advocated for it. We know that. We’ve heard all the speeches. We know their position.”
“Yet you’re seeing increasingly relentless focus by moral leaders getting arrested at the Senate office building, at the Supreme Court, at the White House,” she added. “We’re expecting this summer of direct action on voting rights to accelerate to where there will be considerable civil disobedience outside the White House, people trying to set off a moral alarm here. What do you make of that strategically, as someone who has been a target of that in the past and someone who knows the people being targeted by these activists?”
“Power concedes nothing without demand,” Holder replied. “We too often underestimate the power we have as regular American citizens by marching, by protesting, by raising our voices. That’s a really important part of the thing that I’m leading, The National Democratic Redistricting Committee. We have a big advocacy campaign to get American citizens involved in this fight. If we make our voices known if we demand the kind of change, the fair change we’re seeking, I think it will help in the process.”
“Raising the consciousness of people by demonstrating, by getting arrested, by doing the things that ending segregation,” he continued. “If you asked people back in the 1950s, do you think marching, demonstrating will bring down a system of American apartheid? You probably would have said, no, that won’t happen. We shouldn’t lose faith right now. We shouldn’t lose faith. Citizens can make a change. Citizens need to be in the streets. Citizens need to be demonstrating. Citizens need to be calling representatives to demand the kind of change that will make this country more representative, make our democracy more fair.”