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Building Movement Power at the #LawStrikesBack Rally

SRLP Movement Building Team member, Kimberly McKenzie, speaks out at the #LawStrikesBack rally. She is holding a megaphone is her hand and is standing in a crowd of protesters.

SRLP Movement Building Team member, Kimberly McKenzie, speaks out at the #LawStrikesBack rally

Last week on the 17th of February, I, as a member of the Movement Building Team of the Sylvia Rivera Law Project, along with members of legal agencies, activists, and social service communities, gathered to resist President Donald Trump and his racist policies at the #F17 Law Strikes Back rally in Foley Square. Along with many powerful speakers, including public defenders and representatives from Black Lives Matter and the National Lawyers Guild, we spoke out about the importance of unifying in resistance and coming together to support each other.

Due to the current political climate and a government that marginalizes people of color, immigrants, trans people and Muslims, we must stay in a mode of resistance. Throughout the rally, “we the people,” “no ban no wall,” and other chants were heard loud and clear. Organizers talked about the right to speak out and have our voices be heard, where to go for support, and how we need now more than ever to stand up for each other and unify. I was very honored to lend my voice as well, saying what members of the Movement Building Team have long called for:

“Resistance is power! We each have the responsibility to look out for each other, support each other, and love each other. Legal communities have the power to put policies in place and must protect our rights. We have these rights from a constitution that supposedly honors our identities, cultures, and places in society. This being said, the legal community must support all our diverse communities against the threats of the Trump administration.

It is important to be out here today to show visibility and to structure our policy-making to be inclusive to our TGNCI community. We must all have the right to equal opportunities. Our communities are so beautiful because it is a collective of diversity and cultural backgrounds. We are the people and we have the power!

We must stand in solidarity to express our voices and represent resistance to a white supremacist system.”

I am very thankful to have been there for SRLP. Hearing all the other affirming statements was also moving. We must all move in resistance against Trump. This day gave hope to resilience and emphasized the importance of staying grounded in self-care and supporting one another; it also made me mindful of how together, we are more powerful than any governing system.