There’s nothing more American than our freedom to demand change

There’s nothing more American than our freedom to demand change


This story was originally published in the KC Labor Beacon, the only labor paper in the Greater Kansas City Metropolitan Area that is officially endorsed by all of the Major Labor Councils in this area.

Across the country, and across our history, we have a strong powerful tradition of taking to the streets to demand change. Without our freedom to assemble and protest, we would not have won civil rights, the right to vote, and the right to collectively bargain.

The expulsion of Tennessee Representatives Justin Jones and Justin Pearson earlier this month has spotlighted the anti-democratic forces at play in statehouses nationwide. 

It’s clear that anti-protest bills, attacks on the initiative petition process, voter suppression, and the criminalization of political speech and expression are all plays we know too well. They hope that by spreading lies and blaming Black and Brown Americans, we will turn against each other and the efforts our communities demand.

Missouri legislators are currently considering Senate Bill 684, an anti-protest bill that could severely criminalize actions such as union picket lines, rallies for healthcare, and marches for Black Lives Matter.  

We reject their attempts to silence and divide us. We will use every tool we have to take action when our leaders refuse to deliver for our families. We will keep raising our voices and take to the streets in solidarity until justice is truly for all.

Richard von Glahn
Missouri Jobs with Justice Political Director
Member of the United Media Guild, TNG-CWA 36047

Additional Resources

If you’re a Missouri resident, take action right now & demand your State Senator stop all attacks on our democracy and freedom to protest.

On April 19th, Alicia Hernández joined Francesca Menes for “Voices from the Battle Front” with Jamala Rogers. Listen in to hear more about defending our right to protest – and how that’s playing out across the country. These attacks on democracy are particularly aimed at criminalizing speech and actions of Black and Brown activists & communities.

Dr. Dave Derossett, Springfield Workers’ Rights Board Co-Chair, breaks down the Missouri bills, and bills in statehouses across the country, designed to criminalize and silence our voices. What’s at risk? More than you might think – including picket lines, strikes, marches, and *LoUd NoIsEs*.