Speeches in English

Terri Frances – My speech is dedicated to all the Trans Women in our country who have been victims of brutal violence, discrimination, rape, and murder simply because they were being their authentic selves. This administration will never erase us, our freedom, legacy, and most importantly our Human Rights!

Fatima Younis – I acknowledge that this is stolen (Piscataway) land and that there is no justice in stolen land. I stand here today unapologetically Muslim because of the sacrifices of African slaves, 30% of whom were Muslim who sacrificed for me to be Muslim in these United States of America. I’m here because my Muslim faith tells me to stand up for those in need. I’m here because I care about my country – dissent is the highest form of patriotism. I’m here because I don’t want to look back and regret not showing up when I needed to. Redefine radical – that people frame it as a bad thing but it is a GOOD thing. Inspire people about what steps to do to move forward. How we can all work together for a better America. Assata Shakur – it is our duty to fight for each other. It is our duty to win. We must love and protect one another. We have nothing to lose but our chains. Everyone needs to be involved in activism for it to be successful. Things we are doing might seem small but an ocean is made up of many drops of water

Aisha Mershani – I am fairly new to Frederick, spending most of my life in either big US cities or living abroad. Most of my adult life I’ve worked in solidarity with the Palestinian people, a struggle that directly links to numerous struggles here in the US. Many might wonder how Palestinian rights connects with women’s rights, as we are at the women’s march. This might be especially curious to those who consume US news, which positions Palestinians as the problem, all the while never actually listening to the Palestinian voice or looking at the context of Israeli violence. You probably have a negative view about the oppressed Palestinians, this has been manufactured for you by our media and our government. It’s easy to demonize when you are not part of the group in question, or have proper facts about such group. Imagine that group was you, it would be infuriating right? There are many women here today that know this feeling. Men in government make decisions about our bodies and our pay, and they control issues pertaining to us through this patriarchal society, we are voiceless in this regard and it’s infuriating. When the narrative gets decided for the marginalized by those in power oppression is able to continue. If you let it happen, and support the narrative through lack of resistance, you are part of the problem. You do not need to be part of the group in question to resist, you just need to have knowledge to join the struggle for justice. The narrative of patriarchy is not only upheld by men, but also women, and on the flip side feminism is also adopted by all. Feminism is a form of resistance against patriarchy, and resistance is key to transforming oppression, but in order to build stronger movements we must look deeper to identify the links between struggles, going way beyond just gender. We need to work together against this entire system that attempts to keep most of us down. To only work against a singular oppression is to miss the powers of activism. Oppression is intersectional, the more labels you add to your identity the more difficult your existence becomes. This does not mean that white women are not suffering, but your suffering is far less than a black queer woman, or even a black queer man for example. I say this as a gender queer, Jew and Arab with Muslim origins. At times my identity is a hindrance, and like most I am not allowed to forget this as I move through society. But my identity also gives me privilege, and this is where I focus my attention. I don’t have to agree that it should exist for it to be reality, and therefore I continually question how to use my privilege to support ongoing movements. We all have privilege, some more than others; whether it be white privilege, gender privilege, religious privilege, or educational privilege, it exists. Recognizing our privilege is the first step, then we must work towards not abusing it but channeling it in our resistance against this violent system. I am an academic, this is a form of privilege, and my scholarly work always connects to my activism. I engage with numerous forms of resistance methods, whether it be traditional resistance such as taking the streets, or in the form of media activism. We all have the power to engage in resistance even if in distance of the issue, especially with social media campaigns. I work in solidarity with many struggles working towards justice, such as the BDS campaign (Boycott Divestment and Sanctions), which is getting a lot of attention in the government right now, they recently attempted to stifle our right of free speech for Palestinian rights. https://bdsmovement.net, I also support the Black Lives Matter https://blacklivesmatter.com movement and the Mijente movement, https://mijente.net, hearing their calls and following their leads. These are all ongoing organized movements and they invite all of us to work with them to support their struggles. This collaboration ultimately builds the bridges needed to combat systemic violence. There is power in numbers, and once we connect our skills and join in solidarity we hold the power. To sum up, oppression does not limit itself to gender, and if we are not able to make the numerous connections to another’s struggle we become part of the problem. Let’s start working together, identifying our privilege, when to use it and when to leave it at the door to let others take up the space. We are greater in numbers and when we work together we can build something stronger and force the change we are seeking for the sake of justice that we deserve.

Flor Garay – It is time for the people of Frederick to unite their voice because change starts here locally! Let your immigrant sisters and brothers know they are not alone in this fight. Believe women. Believe black and brown women. Speak up against local racists policies like 287g. Let them know we are watching and will not be silenced. Believe in a new Frederick. Believe in humanity! Comunidad inmigrante eres fuerte!

Laurelle Maubert – I’m Laurelle Maubert, I’m 15 years old, and I’m the Student Leader for the Frederick Chapter of Students Demand Action. My generation has grown up in an America where as soon as we started school, we were taught what to do in case we heard gunshots. Active shooter drills have become ritualized into our schools just like football games. This is the America we live in right now, but I am choosing to stand up against gun violence. Currently, gun violence is the second leading cause of death for children and teenagers and the first leading cause of death for Black children and teens in America. I don’t know about you, but I don’t think gun violence should ever be a cause of death, especially for children. If we are ever going to reduce gun violence in our country, we must look at gun violence for what it is. A disease. But we also know diseases can be treated and even cured. In this case, gun violence can be cured by collectively standing up and calling for common sense gun legislation. We the people, need to stand up because we deserve to feel safe in our schools, places of worship, theaters, clubs, workplaces, and communities. Register to vote, show up at the polls, contact your politicians, and give them a piece of your mind. Muchas gracias y te amo!

Tara Treacy – Good afternoon, I’m Tara Treacy  from the Maryland Chapter of Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America. I’m glad to be here with you today. We are a group of committed women and men who take action to change our laws and change our culture to save lives from gun violence.  Over 90 people a day are victims of senseless gun violence. And we are with you today, because gun violence is a women’s issue. When it comes to gun violence against women, the United States is the most dangerous country in the developed world.   Approximately 4.5 million American women alive today have been threatened with a gun by an intimate partner. And of that 4.5 million nearly one millions women alive have been shot or shot at by a partner.  Women in the U.S. are 16 times more likely to be killed with a gun than women in other high-income countries. And gun violence affects women of color specifically.  Black women are 4x more likely than white women to be killed.  Additionally, in 2018 there were 19 known transgender homicides in the US,  and 14 of those victims were killed with a gun. Of those killed over 1/3rd have been women of color.  These women are more than just statistics.  They each had stories to tell. They each had people who loved them.  They each had lives to live that were senseless ended by a firearm. But standing in the face of this reality, it isn’t time for despair. We can honor these women with action.  It is time to to show up, like we all have here today. It is time to resist, insist, persist, and enlist. If we have learned anything since we began marching again in 2017, it’s that our voice matters.  And collectively we can move us forward. November 2018 was the first step in the fight. And on Thursday the 31st Moms Demand Action will be holding our lobby day in Annapolis, to speak with our newly elected legislature to take action.  So that our representatives know that we are in this for the long haul. That no woman suffers at the hand of a gun. I invite you to join us at 10 am at the state house.  There is strength in numbers and if we show up, we win. And don’t wait, pull out your phones right now and text JOIN  to 644-33 to get involved. Because it isn’t time for despair. It isn’t time to wait. It’s time for action.

Discorsos en Español 

Terri Frances – Mi discurso está dedicado a todas las mujeres trans en nuestro país que han sido víctimas de violencia brutal, discriminación, violación y asesinato simplemente porque estaban siendo su auténtico yo. ¡Esta administración nunca nos borrará, nuestra libertad, nuestro legado y, lo que es más importante, nuestros derechos humanos!

Fatima Younis – Reconozco que esta tierra es robada (Piscataway) y que no hay justicia en la tierra robada. Hoy estoy aquí sin pedir disculpas a los musulmanes debido a los sacrificios de los esclavos africanos, el 30% de los cuales eran musulmanes que se sacrificaron para que yo fuera musulmán en estos Estados Unidos de América. Estoy aquí porque mi fe musulmana me dice que defienda a los necesitados. Estoy aquí porque me importa mi país: la disidencia es la forma más alta de patriotismo. Estoy aquí porque no quiero mirar atrás y lamentar no haber aparecido cuando lo necesitaba. Redefinir radical: que la gente lo trama como algo malo, pero es algo BUENO. Inspire a la gente sobre los pasos a seguir para avanzar. Cómo podemos trabajar todos juntos por una mejor América. Assata Shakur: es nuestro deber luchar el uno por el otro. Es nuestro deber ganar. Debemos amarnos y protegernos unos a otros. No tenemos nada más que perder que nuestras cadenas. Todos deben participar en el activismo para que tenga éxito. Las cosas que estamos haciendo pueden parecer pequeñas pero un océano está formado por muchas gotas de agua. En resumen, la opresión no se limita al género, y si no somos capaces de hacer las numerosas conexiones con la lucha de otros, nos convertimos en parte del problema. Comencemos a trabajar juntos, identificando nuestro privilegio, cuándo usarlo y cuándo dejarlo en la puerta para permitir que otros ocupen el espacio. Somos más numerosos y cuando trabajamos juntos podemos construir algo más fuerte y forzar el cambio que buscamos por la justicia que merecemos.

Flor Garay – ¡Es hora de que la gente de Frederick unifique su voz porque el cambio comienza aquí localmente! Hazle saber a tus hermanos y hermanas inmigrantes que no están solos en esta lucha. Cree en las mujeres. Cree en las mujeres negras y de color. Habla en contra de las políticas racistas locales como el 287g. Hazle saber que estamos observando y no seremos silenciados. Creer en un nuevo Frederick. Creer en la humanidad! Comunidad inmigrante eres fuerte!  

Laurelle Maubert – Soy Laurelle Maubert, tengo 15 años y soy la Líder Estudiantil del Capítulo de Estudiantes de Frederick Demanda Acción. Mi generación creció en una América donde apenas comenzamos la escuela, nos enseñaron qué hacer en caso de que escucháramos disparos. Los simulacros de tirador activo se han ritualizado en nuestras escuelas al igual que los juegos de fútbol. Esta es la América en la que vivimos en este momento, pero estoy optando por luchar contra la violencia armada. Actualmente, la violencia con armas de fuego es la segunda causa de muerte en niños y adolescentes, y la primera causa de muerte en niños y adolescentes negros en los Estados Unidos. No sé sobre usted, pero no creo que la violencia con armas de fuego deba ser una causa de muerte, especialmente para los niños. Si alguna vez vamos a reducir la violencia con armas de fuego en nuestro país, debemos considerar la violencia con armas de fuego por lo que es. Una enfermedad. Pero también sabemos que las enfermedades pueden ser tratadas e incluso curadas. En este caso, la violencia con armas de fuego puede curarse levantándose colectivamente y pidiendo una legislación sobre armas de sentido común. Nosotros, las personas, debemos levantarnos porque merecemos sentirnos seguros en nuestras escuelas, lugares de culto, teatros, clubes, lugares de trabajo y comunidades. Regístrese para votar, asista a las urnas, contacte a sus políticos y déles una idea de lo que piensa. Muchas gracias y te amo!

Tara Treacy – Buenas tardes, soy Tara Treacy del Capítulo de Mamás de Maryland que exige acción por el sentido de las armas en Estados Unidos. Me alegro de estar aquí con ustedes hoy. Somos un grupo de mujeres y hombres comprometidos que tomamos medidas para cambiar nuestras leyes y nuestra cultura para salvar vidas de la violencia con armas de fuego. Más de 90 personas al día son víctimas de violencia armada sin sentido. Y estamos con ustedes hoy, porque la violencia con armas de fuego es un problema de mujeres.  Cuando se trata de la violencia armada contra las mujeres, Estados Unidos es el país más peligroso en el mundo desarrollado. Aproximadamente 4,5 millones de mujeres estadounidenses vivas hoy en día han sido amenazadas con un arma por un compañero íntimo. Y de esos 4,5 millones, casi un millón de mujeres vivas han sido baleadas o disparadas por un compañero. Las mujeres en los Estados Unidos tienen 16 veces más probabilidades de morir con un arma que las mujeres en otros países de altos ingresos. Y la violencia armada afecta específicamente a las mujeres de color. Las mujeres negras son 4 veces más propensas que las mujeres blancas a morir. Además, en 2018 hubo 19 homicidios transgénero conocidos en los EE. UU. Y 14 de esas víctimas murieron con un arma. De los asesinados más de 1/3 han sido mujeres de color. Estas mujeres son más que simples estadísticas. Cada uno tenía historias que contar. Cada uno tenía gente que los amaba. Cada uno de ellos tenía vidas para vivir que carecían de sentido y terminaban con un arma de fuego. Pero frente a esta realidad, no es hora de desesperarse. Podemos honrar a estas mujeres con acción. Es hora de aparecer, como todos tenemos aquí hoy. Es hora de resistir, insistir, persistir y alistarse. Si hemos aprendido algo desde que comenzamos a marchar de nuevo en 2017, es que nuestra voz importa. Y colectivamente podemos avanzar. Noviembre de 2018 fue el primer paso en la lucha. Y el jueves 31 de Acción de Demanda de las Mamás celebrará nuestro día de cabildeo en Annapolis, para hablar con nuestra legislatura recién elegida para tomar acción. Para que nuestros representantes sepan que estamos en esto a largo plazo. Que ninguna mujer sufra a mano de un fusil. Los invito a unirse a nosotros a las 10 am en la casa del estado. Hay fuerza en los números y si aparecemos, ganamos. Y no espere, saque sus teléfonos ahora mismo y envíe un mensaje de texto con ÚNETE al 644-33 para participar. Porque no es hora de desesperarse. No es hora de esperar. Es hora de actuar. 

If a speech is not showing up here, we sincerely apologize as the speaker did not provide it to us ahead of time.