Last May, I walked with over 10,000 people of all ages, colors, and genders to protest the passage of Georgia's Heartbeat Bill, which states that abortion is banned after a woman is pregnant for six weeks. If she were to continue with an abortion, she will be indicted with homicide and perhaps sentenced to lengthy prison sentences.
Thus, this bill targets and eliminates a woman's free choice to her body. This is the definition of restrictive interference. Georgia's heartbeat bill does not provide any resources for women if were to be found pregnant after the designated time frame. With the lack of financial and physical resources, mothers around the state suffer as their constitutional rights to privacy are ripped away in a 'heartbeat.'
So together with my friends, we took to the streets around Centennial Park in downtown Atlanta with the DoBetterGA Campaign. Created by some of GaTech's finest students, over 10,000 people showed up, creating a line that stretched miles into sights, but what captured me was the passion, and the fiery that everyone brought to the scene. Chanting in harmony, we became united in faith, standing together for justice and equality, and this is why we were successful that day.
1. We had a voice.
As my first protest I took the liberty to create signs that reflected the need to address the issue. Using creative slogans, even those relating to food, we cultivated a message that appealed to audiences of all ages and demographics. But most importantly, we all had a voice. Through social media, chants and even megaphones, people rose up in defiance against Kemp's decision, barricading the State Capitol with a wall of feverish and angry bodies.
We rose up against the unjust laws of the government for the sake of women's rights. Never before had I seen something so magical as that moment, when everyone had their signs, heads and hearts held high and firm in passionate belief.
2. There were no counter protestors in sight.
I was expecting resistance. I was expecting crowds of pro-lifers hurling insults at our faces, yet none seemed to show. No stragglers harassed any of us and no one tried to block our way. The moment was beautiful as it was, everyone protesting for something they believed in. However, there was one perpetrator: our own government.
At the State Capitol, they put up barricades in front of the steps where speakers delivered their inspiring messages. They put up barricades to block out the sound of our cries. This is a sign of cowardice, a chance to shrink away from the fervor and not do anything to address the problem. This was the moment of strict realization. I found where the true problem lay.
So DoBetterGA was the key to our problems. With a platform that attracted young and old citizens, whether they be students or not, this campaign prompted discussion and pioneered as a leader to fight against the injustice of the government. Without such resources and starting points, we would be unable to have such discussions and experience a world where democracy reigns while upholding the laws of free speech, press and assembly. This protest became the epitome of faith that captured the essence of how powerful people can be if they only work together. To embrace the hot-water topics that plague this world, we must turn to unity, compassion and bare humanity.
Without DoBetterGA, the success of May 25th would not have been possible. So thank you for everything that you do to better the lives of women around the globe. Thank you.
Keep fighting the good fight.