joined dozens supporting the #LGBTQ
international community on Sunday, with members marching from #PershingSquare
to a balcony facing the #DTLA’s #FederalBuilding.
The rally opened with the @LALGBTCenter
's organizer, #JenniferRivers,
focusing on the mass arrests of gay men in the Russian Republic of #Chechnya.
She built up her fierce message into a rousing chant, #LetThemOut!
Following Rivers was the re-telling of harsh discrimination and feelings of isolation within her own country experienced by a Chinese transgender immigrant known only to us as Chris. Standing in solidarity for human respect and dignity were advocates from The #ProgramForTortureVictims
a non-profit organization serving immigrants who have survived horrific circumstances to arrive in America seeking asylum. In addition, political statements from U.S. Congressman #AdamSchiff
and U.S. Senator #DianneFeinstein
were read to the gathering crowd.
Every marcher held a @HumanRightsCampaign
heart-shaped sign bearing the words, #UnitedAgainstHate
as the group launched into its trek. #RichardSimmons
joined from Palm Springs. He called upon us to not only fight against brutality abroad, but to also remind us that brutality occurs in our own backyard. He recounted his visit to Laramie, Wyoming, where #MatthewShepherd
was beaten, tortured, and left to die alone.
Secretary for #WorldCongressOfGLBTJews: #KeshetGaavah,
spoke of the inequities, while LA #LGBTCenter's
Policy Director, #DaveGarcia,
delivered an impassioned speech denouncing Chechnya's heinous acts. Councilmember #MitchOFarrell
echoed Garcia's tone, and called out the current Administration, whose Russian ties among a host of other concerns, are a disgrace to our country and detrimental to our democracy.
is 7,000 miles away, we must remember the words of poet #MartinNiemoeller.
For if we remain complacent and silent, while injustices abroad occur, we may become haunted by the final lines of Niemoeller's poem: "Then they came for me. And there was no one left, To speak out for me." We are here. We are proud. We are HRC.