Dozens Gather in NYC Rally for Jussie Smollett
A “solidarity rally” of around 60 people gathered in New York City, NY, on Friday against what its organizers described as a “racist” and “anti-LGBTQ political agenda” related to an alleged attack on actor Jussie Smollett.
The event’s Facebook post characterized its mission:
“We’re going to continue to resist. And we’re going to continue to love,” said Jason Walker, the rally’s lead organizer, at the event.
Walker added, “I want this rally today to be a message that people of color, if you’re gay, trans, gender non-conforming, bisexual, lesbians — we’re going to live our lives and that we’re going to be proud,” Walker told the crowd. “We’re going to continue to resist. And we’re going to continue to love.”
Walker also led a chant, “When queer communities are under attack, what do we do? Stand up, fight back. When people of color are under attack, what do we do? Stand up, fight back.”
Some of the rally’s featured speakers linked President Donald Trump to the aforementioned alleged assault on Smollett.
The Hollywood Reporter wrote:
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Via statement to BET, Smollett’s family assessed the claimed attack on their relative as a “racial and homophobic hate crime.”
MSBNC’s Sharpton echoed Smollett’s family’s statement in describing the alleged violence as “racist” and “homophobic.”
Smollett claims to have been assaulted in Chicago on Tuesday morning around 2 a.m. His manager told authorities he heard the attackers say, “This is MAGA country.”
Via statement to Essence, Smollett linked his claims — which he described as “100% factual” — to what he framed as a broader American pathology: “As my family stated, these types of cowardly attacks are happening to my sisters, brothers and non-gender conforming siblings daily. I am not and should not be looked upon as an isolated incident.”
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