Advocates Supports The Right to Protest in Tennessee

The right to protest is sacred in this country.  It is an important tool for young people seeking to create change in a country where political processes often don’t include them and legislators often don’t heed them. In Nashville this week, students exercised that right, demanding their legislators take action to reduce gun violence in Tennessee. Democrat representatives Justin Jones (the body’s youngest member), Justin Pearson, and Gloria Johnson joined the protest. Now, these members have been stripped of committee assignments and face expulsion from the legislature – after Republican leadership cleared the protest by force.  

Advocates for Youth demands that the legislature cease its actions against Rep. Jones, Pearson, and Johnson. Leaders should not be punished for standing with their constituents. Subduing protest is one of the hallmarks of fascism; lawmakers in Tennessee should listen to young people and work with protestors rather than resorting to force. This generation demands safety for all students in schools and they have the right to make that demand. Advocates for Youth commends Reps. Jones, Pearson, and Johnson for supporting young people in this moment.