California Rep. Maxine Waters doesn’t duck or hide from situations that directly affect the Black and brown community. Last weekend, she joined hundreds of protesters who packed out Brooklyn Center, Minnesota, and disregarded the 11 p.m. curfew as the seventh night of civil disobedience continued against the police killing of Daunte Wright, George Floyd, and other victims of state-sanctioned violence.
“We’ve got to stay in the streets, and we’ve got to demand justice,” Waters urged the crowd, according to one tweeted clip.
The California congresswoman was speaking ahead of Monday’s closing statements regarding the murder trial of Derek Chauvin, the Minneapolis officer who knelt on the neck of George Floyd for more than nine minutes last May, resulting in his death and sparking global protests and policy reforms. “I’m going to fight with all of the people who stand for justice,” said Waters. “We’ve got to get justice in this country and we cannot allow these killings to continue.”
With tensions high in Minneapolis and around the country–even amid a guilty verdict for Chauvin– Kevin McCarthy, Republican minority leader in the House of Representatives, and Marjorie Taylor Greene, an extremist congresswoman who champions “Anglo-Saxon political traditions,” do not make matters calmer in demanding action against Waters.
On Sunday night (Apr. 18), Rep. McCarthy said, “Maxine Waters is inciting violence in Minneapolis — just as she has incited it in the past. If Speaker [Nancy] Pelosi doesn’t act against this dangerous rhetoric, I will bring action this week.” McCarthy then sought formal censure of Maxine Waters, which was blocked by House Democrats Tuesday afternoon.
Meanwhile, McCarthy’s fellow party member, Georgia representative Marjorie Taylor Greene compared Waters’ words with those of Trump, when he told supporters to march on Congress and overturn his election defeat, resulting in the deadly Capitol riot of Jan. 6, 2021. “Speaker Pelosi,” she tweeted. “You impeached President Trump after you said he incited violence by saying ‘march peacefully’ to the Capitol. So I can expect a yes vote from you on my resolution to expel Maxine Waters for inciting violence, riots, and abusing power threatening a jury, right?”
“We’re looking for a guilty verdict,” Waters said in the same video. “And if we don’t, we cannot go away. We’ve got to get more confrontational.”
Maintaining her position, Waters told theGrio: “I talk about confronting the justice system, confronting the policing that’s going on, I’m talking about speaking up. I’m talking about legislation.”
“I am not worried that they’re going to continue to distort what I say. This is who they are and this is how they act. And I’m not going to be bullied by them,” she added.
While Waters said she wouldn’t stay out at the protest much longer personally, she encouraged everyone else to keep at it prior to the decision, which was handed down by the jury on Tuesday. “I came here for one reason, just to be here, to make sure that I let my thoughts be heard among all of those who have spent so much time on the streets. And so I’m hopeful that the protests will continue.”
Protesters led people in chanting and playing music outside the Brooklyn Center Police Department last weekend, where earlier nearly 100 people were arrested after the crowd tried to tear down a fence around the police station.