Former AG Holder: Americans "need to be in the streets" getting arrested over election reform

"Power concedes nothing without demand," said Holder, who is currently leading the National Democratic Redistricting Committee.

Updated: August 13, 2021 - 8:31am

Obama-era Attorney General Eric Holder told Rachel Maddow on Thursday that protesters ought to be getting arrested "in the streets" in the fight to impose Democrat-backed proposals to federalize election law and relax voting security safeguards.

When asked by the MSNBC host about the "increasingly relentless focus" and "direct action strategy" of politicians and advocates for such bills as the For the People Act, Holder said: "Power concedes nothing without demand. We too often underestimate the power we have as regular American citizens by marching, by protesting, by raising our voices."

He added that he is currently at the front of an organization that utilizes similar tactics to advance their ideas. "That's a really important part of the thing that I’m leading, the National Democratic Redistricting Committee," he explained. "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." 

Like many Democratic politicians, Holder drew lines connecting the recent push for a federal takeover of the country's historically and constitutionally state-based election system to racial inequality and the civil rights movement of the 1960s.

"Raising the consciousness of people by demonstrating, by getting arrested, by doing the things that ending segregation," he told the host. "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. 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."