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Politics

Austin Justice Coalition Rallies Against New Laws Saying They Limit Rights Of Texans

A coalition of civil rights and social justice organizations host The People vs. The State of Texas rally at the Capitol in response to recent Republican-led legislation on Saturday.
Gabriel C. Pérez
/
KUT News
A coalition of civil rights and social justice organizations host The People vs. The State of Texas rally at the Capitol in response to recent Republican-led legislation on Saturday.

The Austin Justice Coalition hosted a rally Saturday to protest the slew of laws recently passed by the Texas Legislature that the coalition says strips Texans of rights. These laws include the ban on abortions after about six weeks, limits on voting opportunities and restrictions on talking about race in Texas’ public schools.

Speakers at the rally encouraged Texans to donate to funds to help people access abortion and vote Gov. Greg Abbott out of office when his term is up in 2022.

Rockie Gonzalez, the deputy director of the Austin Justice Coalition, told the crowd it was fitting they were all gathering on the 20th anniversary of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.

Pro Choice Protesters
Gabriel C. Pérez/KUT
The Austin Justice Coalition, which hosted Saturday's rally, says a number of laws recently passed by the Legislature limit Texans' rights when it comes to voting, teaching and access to abortion.

"It's been 20 years of rhetoric about freedom, about liberty, about this war being necessary because we have to be free," she said. "Yet here we are 20 years later and we are seeing one of the most extreme legislative rollbacks of our freedoms and of our liberties. So, when we're talking about war, the war on terror and freedom, somehow that doesn't apply to our bodies, somehow it doesn't apply to our votes."

Greg Norwood, an activist with Pure Justice, spoke about the new law that limits voting rights. He said these kinds of laws are meant to keep people of color from voting.

"Everybody should have the right to vote," he told the crowd. "Voting is an essential right. John Lewis said it best: voting is the most powerful, non-violent weapon we have in a democratic process. And the [people] who occupy this house behind us understand that well. In fact, they saw in 2020 what happens when people get together and vote."

There is a nationwide women's march to protest the Texas abortion law before the U.S. Supreme Court convenes Oct. 4.

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