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Leading Black Civil Rights Group Demands All Charges Against GA Rep. Park Cannon Be Immediately Dropped

National Black Justice Coalition Says Arrest of Black LGBTQ+ Lawmaker Fighting to Protect Her Constituents Voting Rights is Unacceptable

Group Says SB202 Is Horrendous Violation of Voting Rights, Calls for the Bill to Be Overturned

CONTACT: Brett Abrams | 

GEORGIA — Late last night, Georgia State Rep. Park Cannon was arrested and removed from the Georgia Capitol after demanding to witness Governor Kemp’s secret signing of the state’s sweeping elections bill restricting voting access.

According to CNN, Cannon faces two felony charges – felony obstruction and preventing or disrupting the general assembly session.  Cannon was charged with disrupting the General Assembly session because she “knowingly and intentionally did by knocking the governor’s door during a session of singing [sic] a bill.”

In reaction to Cannon’s arrest, and the passage of SB202, David J. Johns, Executive Director of the National Black Justice Coalition, a leading civil rights organization dedicated to empowering Black Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer+ and same gender loving (LGBTQ+/SGL) people, issued the following statement: 

“Rep. Park Cannon’s actions last night demanding to witness Governor Kemp’s secretive signing of Georgia’s oppressive new voter suppression bill – SB202 – were heroic and worthy of praise – not felony charges. 

“The fact that Cannon was arrested for doing her job by ensuring that her constituents were represented tells you everything that you need to know about Georgia’s new bill restricting voting access: it is meant to turn back the clock on civil rights and return Black and poor and already disenfranchised voters in Georgia to second-class citizens without the right to vote or have their needs prioritized by those elected to serve. 

“Rep. Cannon is a member of the General Assembly and, as such, until the bill is signed into law she has a right to engage the Governor on behalf of her constituents. No white member of the General Assembly acting similarly would have faced arrest, let alone felony charges. The fact that Cannon is a proud same gender loving Black woman should not be lost on anyone.  The fact that she has been arrested and charged for doing her job months after mostly white insurrectionists stormed the U.S. Capitol many with impunity also speaks volumes. 

“Make no mistake – the actions of Republicans in Georgia are explicitly anti-democratic and unpatriotic.  Republicans in Georgia saw the power of the electorate in the 2020 election and are doing everything possible to make it more difficult for Black people, poor people, and other disenfranchised people in Georgia to vote in a desperate bid to hold on to power ahead of next year’s elections.

“We will not let this stand. Anyone concerned about and committed to democracy should be outraged.  We demand that all charges against Rep. Cannon be immediately dropped. Park is a shero and is owed an apology. The business of the General Assembly is her business and she has every right to Georgia’s unconstitutional new voter suppression law cannot stand – and we will work to ensure that SB202 is repealed or overturned.”

Call Governor Kemp’s office at (404) 656-1776 and demand that felony charges against Park Cannon are dropped.

The National Black Justice Coalition (NBJC) is a civil rights organization dedicated to the empowerment of Black lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer and same gender loving (LGBTQ/SGL) people, including people living with HIV/AIDS.