Racial inequity is the foundation of systemic injustice in this country. And the right to protest allows everyone to join in that fight against injustice.
Today, that right is being severely threatened not only by the president and the attorney general but by scores of passed and proposed laws across the country that would criminalize First Amendment protected assembly and speech.
Protest and civil disobedience are the life blood of positive social change — from shutting down bridges and freeways in the fight for civil rights, to shutting down pipelines across Indigenous lands; from suffragettes illegally stuffing ballots in the ballot box, to LGBT activists fighting for their lives. Disruption and dissent are often the only avenues available to stop legal, yet devastating, practices.
The call today is clear: We must defend Black lives. We must protest.
It is impossible to not be outraged by the far too frequent murder of Black people and people of color in the United States and the institutional inaction and indifference that follows. We cannot stay silent. It is impossible not to protest. And it is our right to protest.
Yesterday, the president continued to incite violence and racism. He threatened military action against American citizens exercising their freedom of speech and right to assemble. He used tear gas and police violence against peaceful protestors all so that he could walk across the street to take a photograph. His administration is threatening to charge protestors as terrorists.
But we will not be silenced.