Why did Alyssa Milano get arrested during a protest aimed at Joe Biden?
“Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.” These are the words in the United States Constitution that protect all citizens’ right to protest.
There are over 300 million people in the United States. It’s easy for someone to feel that their voice gets lost in the thunder of 300 million conversations. Protesting has long been the way people have found to be heard, and it’s becoming more & more common. The top fifteen most attended protests have happened since 1970, with four of the top five happening since Donald Trump took office in 2016.
Joe Biden Administration
Every presidential administration sees its fair share of protest & unrest, and Joe Biden isn’t an exception. Beginning with the January 6th protest at the Capitol, which ended in a riot, and continued with multiple ongoing Black Lives Matter protests. The anti-lockdown protests are another example of ongoing demonstrations that continue during his administration.
Voting rights is one of the most significant social issues facing Joe Biden and his administration. Since January of this year, forty-eight states have passed 389 bills that some contest as an attack on voters and amount to voter suppression. The result has been a considerable backlash, including op-eds, petitions, and protests across the nation.
Voting Rights Act
The 2020 election of Joe Biden over Donald Trump drew the highest voter turnout in more than a century. Despite the Covid-19 pandemic, the election turnout broke records. During the count, accusations of fraud & stealing the election ran rampant and began the conversation surrounding the securing of the election process.
States have responded to this situation in different ways. While nineteen states have enacted thirty-three laws that have received criticism for making voting more restrictive, twenty-five states have enacted sixty-two laws that received praise for expanding voting access. Which side a state falls on the list pertains to how they viewed Joe Biden’s victory.
Alyssa Milano cut her teeth in activism in the 1980s when she kissed a boy whom she had befriended on the Phil Donahue show to prove that you cannot get AIDS from casual contact. Since then, she’s been an activist for UNICEF & PETA. She’s also been at the forefront of many different social causes. The most recent was a call for celibacy in the form of a sex strike to protest for the #MeToo movement.
Milano, 48, was arrested on Tuesday while advocating for voting rights. “I was just arrested for demanding the Biden Administration and the Senate to use their mandate to protect voting rights,” Alyssa Milano tweeted. Park Police warned the protestors that they could be arrested due to laws prohibiting crowding or obstructing streets.
“Stand with me and @peoplefor and tell the Senate and the White House that voting rights shouldn’t depend on where you live. #DontMuteOurVote,” the actress continued. In addition to Alyssa Milano, twenty-three others were arrested at the event organized by People for the American Way.
Senate is primed to vote on the Freedom to Vote Act, which would reform voter registration and widen all voters’ access to vote nationwide. It would also make election day a national holiday. Republicans in the Senate blocked a similar bill back in June. Milano is advocating that Biden and the Senate use this as an opportunity to expand all voting rights.
Being arrested has been a right of passage for all protestors since the 60s. Anti-war demonstrators were arrested many times as they spoke out against America’s presence in Vietnam. As demonstrations continue to be more & more commonplace while Americans find their voices, arrests are almost sure to follow.