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From San Antonio to Washington D.C., some of our city’s young activists are taking their voices to the nation’s capital.
“If we want our supporters to continue to beat the streets and make good trouble, then they have to understand why we’re doing this. And it’s to facilitate change on a national scale. That’s why coming here to Washington D.C. is a pivotal moment for our organization, because this is one of the first of many steps in taking our fight for social and civil justice on a national scale,” said Jolene Garcia, a member of the organization Reliable Revolutionaries.
Reliable Revolutionaries is a civil rights group made up of several San Antonio organizations all after the same mission: justice for all. Three members of the group recently made a trip to Washington D.C. to march in the name of Vanessa Guillen, the slain army soldier from Fort Hood.
Pharaoh Clark was among them. You may remember him from when he presented city council with a list of demands regarding police reform and racial inequality. This came after weeks of Black Lives Matter protests nationwide and in San Antonio. But Clark says his organization stands for all marginalized communities.
“As a civil rights organization, we wanted to make sure that people understood that we’re here for all rights, not just the rights of one particular race. We’re here to fight for any injustice,” Clark said.
Back in San Antonio, Valerie Reiffert is doing her part by amplifying the power of voting. She is part of the group Radical Registrars which formed amid local protests following the death of George Floyd. The group has registered more than 500 people to vote since June 3rd.
“This upcoming election, it’s so important. And I know that 80,000 people in San Antonio voted for Barack Obama the first time and they never voted again. So I really want to reach all those people and just let them know people fought their whole lives just for our right to vote,” Reiffert said.
These young activists are following in the footsteps of former U.S. Representative and civil rights activists John Lewis who passed away July 17. As he was being laid to rest, the Reliable Revolutionaries were marching in Washington and Reiffert was registering voters.
“The John Lewises of today. They’re here. They’re out there. They are men and women. They are the young, ambitious activists. They are the Radical Registrars. They are the Reliable Revolutionaries. They are everybody who has decided that this is bigger than themselves and that they want to help. That’s who John Lewis is today,” Reiffert said.
Watch the original story: Legacy of Congressman John Lewis lives on, say local activists, NAACP chair