“Never, ever be afraid to make some noise and get in good trouble, necessary trouble.” – John Lewis
We are with you, feeling the darkness and heaviness of this moment, friends, as the forces of repression appear to be growing bolder. But we draw inspiration, now as always, in our movement elders and leaders who came before us. It felt fitting for this month’s editorial to share this reflection from the late Civil Rights icon and US Rep. John Lewis:
“I heard Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. say on many occasions, ‘The arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends toward justice.’ I still believe we will get there. We will redeem the soul of America, and in doing so we will inspire people around the world to stand up and speak out. I believe that it’s true today, and it was true when Dr. King said it years ago. I tell friends and family, colleagues and especially young people that when you see something that’s not right or fair, you have to do something, you have to speak up, you have to get in the way. When I was growing up, my mother and father and grandparents would tell me, “Don’t get in trouble. This is the way it is.” But then I heard Dr. King speak when I was 15…
Dr. King and others inspired me to get in what I call good trouble, necessary trouble. And I think we’re going to have generations for years to come that will be prepared to get in trouble, good trouble, necessary trouble. And lead us to higher heights. It’s a struggle that doesn’t last one day, one week, one month, one year. It is the struggle of a lifetime, or maybe many lifetimes. You have to be hopeful. You have to be optimistic. If not, you will get lost in despair. When I travel around the country, I say, “Don’t get down–you cannot get down.” I’m not down. I got arrested, beaten, left bloody and unconscious. But I haven’t given up. And you cannot give up.”
With appreciation for all of you getting into good and necessary trouble; for all of your daily courageous acts, big and small, to confront oppression and protect and care for your community. We love this great movement of movements. We know that, together, we are unstoppable.
Christina, Tanya, Tiffani, and Anna
P.S. For solidarity actions with the struggle against federal occupation, check out this article in It’s Going Down. And this Instagram post from @theslacktivists has helpful information on how to prepare for federal intervention in your city.
Header image: Protesters gathered at the Multnomah County Justice Center in downtown Portland. Photo by Mason Trinca for The New York Times