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Protesters decry Louisiana Education Superintendent meeting with far-right extremist group

By Quest Riggs

Protesters gather outside Jones Creek Library.

Baton Rouge, LA – On July 24, protesters from across Louisiana gathered outside Jones Creek Library in East Baton Rouge Parish. They chanted and waved signs, voicing their opposition to Louisiana Superintendent of Education Cade Brumley’s meeting with Moms for Liberty, a far-right national organization identified as an extremist group by the Southern Poverty Law Center.

The demonstrators marched around the library and received supportive honking from passing highway traffic. They chanted “Ban hate, not books!” and “Defend trans youth!”

Moms for Liberty was founded in Florida and was initially focused on supporting Governor Ron DeSantis’ in efforts against COVID 19 regulations. They have since spread across the country, taking advantage of pre-existing wealthy Republican funding infrastructure. They have shifted their goals to promoting censorship in schools, advocating for “Don’t say gay” bills and against “critical race theory.”

Moms for Liberty faced national condemnation earlier this summer, when one of its chapters used a quote from Adolph Hitler in its inaugural statement.

The protesters denounced Superintendent Brumley for meeting with the reactionary group. “When we look at the power, the control and the influence this individual has on our education system, even sharing beliefs with a group like this becomes very dangerous for the people who live here. My hope is that groups that spout and spew and condone hateful rhetoric in their speech don’t have an ear when it comes to our education system,” said Pearl Ricks of the Reproductive Justice Action Collective.

The demonstrators then sat in the meeting, which Moms for Liberty hosted. Protesters held signs and submitted questions for the superintendent, but the hosts discarded their questions.

After answering a series of preselected questions, the chair attempted to close the meeting. One demonstrator tried to ask the superintendent if he would field more questions from his concerned constituents. Brumley then abruptly rushed out of the room to get to his car.

Some protesters attempted to engage him as he walked to his car. They told him how disappointed they were with his conduct in the meeting. Activists said they will continue to pressure him to represent all Louisiana students, regardless of the “culture war” politics sweeping the country.

#BatonRougeLA #Antiracism #Antifascism #GovernorRonDesantis