Skip to main content

Assemblymember Gipson Denounces Tennessee Republican’s for Attempting to Expel Democratic Lawmakers after Peaceful Protest

For immediate release:

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (April 4th, 2023) --- Last Thursday, three Tennessee Lawmakers Representative Gloria Johnson of Knoxville, Representative Justin Jones of Nashville and Representative Justin Pearson of Memphis led a protest on the House floor. The goal of this protest, which gathered more than 1,000 peaceful protestors, was to urge the Tennessee Legislature to pass more common sense gun control in the aftermath of the mass shooting at Nashville’s Covenant School, which took the lives of three nine-year-old children and three staff members.

“These three Democratic lawmakers were marching against gun violence, which is a public health crisis that continues to kill our babies, our family, and our community,” said Assemblymember Mike A. Gipson (D-Carson) Chair of the Democratic Caucus. “These lawmakers were doing their job by representing the people who elected them and fighting to keep their constituents alive. There is no reason these representatives should have been stripped of their committees, let alone face expulsion from the body. This attempt to expel these lawmakers is motivated by racism and sexism. This is not the early 1900s when women and people of color couldn’t exercise rights that should have been inalienable in the first place. We as Americans have a first amendment right to protest, petition the government to redress grievances, and freely express speech. This attempt to expel them is nothing but thinly veiled racism and sexism. Nothing about what these three legislators did was unethical or illegal.” 

“Furthermore, the voices of the Black community, women, and others that have been oppressed have been silenced for far too long, but we will not be silenced anymore. We need to let the Republicans of the Tennessee House know that what they are doing is wrong and that we notice. We must gather support from our activist groups, our gun reform groups, and other allies, including other lawmakers and communities, to stand in solidarity with these three lawmakers and make our voices heard before this Thursday, April 6th, when they face expulsion.” 

Republican lawmakers filed three resolutions on Monday, one each to expel Representative Gloria Johnson of Knoxville, Representative Justin Jones of Nashville, and Representative Justin Pearson of Memphis. A vote on whether to expel the three members is scheduled for Thursday, April 6th, 2023. The Tennessee House Democratic Caucus has unanimously opposed these baseless resolutions for expulsion and will continue to oppose them if they should be heard on the floor.