Four hundred and fifty bills target LGBT in 44 states, with Florida leading the way. Three hundred anti-abortion bills in 40 states, including Florida. Fifty-four anti-Black studies bills in 20 states, once again led by the Republican-fascists in Florida.
Enough. The people are coming together and fighting back.
On July 2 starting at 9 a.m. in Esplanade Park in Fort Lauderdale, thousands will gather for We The People National March. While there have been plenty of rallies, marches, and protests during the past couple of years, this one stands out.
We The People is a collection of groups fighting for social justice. LGBT groups will be represented, but so will organizations like Planned Parenthood and League of Women Voters. Bertisha Combs of Florida Rising, which works to empower Black and Brown communities, says this is the right event at the right time.
“We’ve been sounding the alarm like forever,” she said. “We see how they’ve been silenced in schools, when it’s access to housing, access at the voting booth. We’re trying to say enough is enough and fight back against the oppressive bills that have set us back years.”
One of the keys to success is showing unity in common cause. The various groups coming together may have different goals and plans to make society better. But it’s often too easy to get compartmentalized and not see friends all around.
“We embrace everybody. It doesn’t have to be the same political spectrum,” Combs said. “Everybody realizes when rights are under attack.”
Pride Center CEO, Robert Boo, says LGBT allyship found in this event will grow and prosper.
“We advocate for our community. We need to be there to represent all marginalized aspects of our community to ensure voices are heard.”
AHF (AIDS Healthcare Foundation) is organizing the march in several cities across the U.S. Despite being primarily a health-issues oriented organization, they see the importance of creating a coalition that will stand together for all issues.
“As a public health organization, it’s important to keep in mind who is and who isn’t in care,” AHF’s Ebonni Chrispin said. “These bills across the nation aren’t just harmful, they’re violent. They’re unkind and don’t consider what people are struggling with.”
Over the past two years, the Republican-fascists in control of the legislatures in Florida and other states, have moved against LGBT health, especially trans health, they’ve banned books, tried to silence drag entertainment, enacted “Don’t Say Gay,” and more.
Federal courts are beginning to strike down the laws as unconstitutional and openly targeting one segment of the community.
Anger and outrage haven’t had much success in deterring these blatant attacks by right wing officials, supported by vile but vocal minorities.
To learn more about the We The People March, visit WTPMarch.org.