Raphael Warnock Recalls 2017 Capitol Arrest As He Returns As A Senator

Written by on January 22, 2021

Lengthy earlier than Rev. Raphael Warnock (D) turned Georgia’s first Black senator, he was the pastor of Atlanta’s historic Ebenezer Baptist Church, the previous non secular dwelling of Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.

That legacy behind that pulpit ― and the activism that stemmed from it ― generally acquired Warnock into what the late civil rights icon Rep. John Lewis may need referred to as “good hassle.” 

Warnock mirrored on his previous in his first tweet from his official Senate Twitter account on Friday.

The final time he was on the Capitol in 2017, Warnock stated, he was arrested by Capitol Police throughout a nonviolent protest. This week, Capitol Police led him to his new workplace.

In July 2017, Warnock and different non secular leaders got here to the Capitol to satisfy with senators and representatives and categorical opposition to former President Donald Trump and different Republicans’ plans for the federal price range. That yr, the Trump administration had proposed a price range that deeply slashed funding for Medicaid, in addition to for the Nationwide Institutes of Well being and the Facilities for Illness Management and Prevention. The cuts would have impacted well being care and meals help for the poor, aged and disabled. 

On July 18, the day of the protest, Home Republicans unveiled a price range plan that proposed paring again social welfare applications, reducing tax charges for companies and people, and growing navy spending.

A video of the protest exhibits Warnock kneeling in a good prayer circle within the rotunda of the Russell Senate Workplace Constructing with 4 others. A police officer may be seen guiding the pastor onto his ft and inserting him in handcuffs.

Warnock was charged with crowding, obstruction and incommoding, held for 3 hours, and launched after paying a $50 superb, in keeping with Atlanta NBC affiliate WXIA.

“As a pastor, I imagine that the nationwide price range isn’t just a fiscal doc, however an ethical doc,” Warnock later stated in a press release. “It displays what we imagine and who we’re for each other. And if this imply spirited price range have been an EKG, it will point out that America has a coronary heart situation.”

“We got here to Washington as voices of therapeutic and justice. America is best than this,” he added.

Warnock was additionally arrested in 2014 whereas protesting state Republicans’ refusal to develop Medicaid. 

Warnock’s marketing campaign platform referred to as for expanded entry to voting and well being care, an finish to mass incarceration and a residing wage for employees, amongst different sometimes liberal priorities. His opponent, Republican Sen. Kelly Loeffler, sought to color the pastor as a radical left-wing candidate by highlighting out-of-context snippets from his sermons at Ebenezer Baptist Church. He ousted Loeffler throughout Georgia’s Jan. 5 runoff elections. 

On Friday, Warnock stated he’ll proceed to give attention to well being care as a senator. He added that he sees his service as a “continuation of my life’s work.”

“The final time, I got here engaged in protest,” he stated in an interview with MSNBC. “Now I get to be engaged as one who can create public coverage.”

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