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Students march on Louisiana governor’s mansion against GOP agenda

By Carson Cruse

Protesters in Baton Rouge gather with mock body bags in protest against reactionary republican agenda. | Fight Back! News/staff

Baton Rouge, LA – On April 22, over 50 students and community organizers rallied on the steps of the Louisiana State Capitol demanding an end to the GOP’s reactionary agenda. The protesters then took to the streets and marched to Governor Jeff Landry’s mansion for a rally. This action served to unite the people against the Republicans and bring the people to the march on the Republican National Convention this summer in Milwaukee.

The demands made during the action included the need for community control of the police, protecting LGBTQ youth, defending DEI programs, legalization for all immigrants, enshrining workers’ rights, and ending U.S. aid to Israel.

Protesters called out the state senate, which was set to vote on SCR 21, a resolution that affirms Louisiana’s undying allegiance to Israel. Chants like “GOP, KKK, IDF they’re all the same!” disturbed legislators taking calls and posing for photo ops on the capitol steps.

At the pre-march rally, student organizers spoke on the struggles they face on campus and how they relate to the legislative session. “You are trying to silence students who are against the funding of a genocide and the funding of an occupation – looking at you, Tulane University. You are scared as a revolution is happening, a revolution where all nations deserve to be free of oppression,” asserted Anthony Franklin, a member of Tulane Students for a Democratic Society.

As the demonstrators marched toward the mansion, organizers chanted, “Not the church, not the state! Trans people decide our fate!” and “Racist, sexist, anti-gay. GOP, go away!” energizing the crowd. Once they gathered at Governor Jeff Landry’s mansion, more speakers highlighted the importance of keeping the fight in the streets as legislators attempt to remove the people’s democratic rights.

Ryan Spalt, a member of LSU SDS, stated, “At the beginning of 2023, legislators attempted to pass the ‘trans bathroom bill’ and ‘don’t say gay bill’ both of which didn’t pass because of actions like this one. And here we are, in 2024, seeing the same bills that seek to erase trans people’s existence, and once again, we see LSU administration support this sentiment by shooting down our student government’s trans housing bill!”

Organizations from across the state joined in solidarity for this multifaceted event. Multiple SDS chapters (LSU, Tulane, and Loyola), the Queer and Trans Community Action Project (QTCAP), Unión Migrante, New Orleans for Community Oversight of the Police (NOCOP), and New Orleans Stop Helping Israel’s Ports (NOSHIP), Freedom Road Socialist Organization, and the Democratic Socialists of America made this action possible. The broad coalition shows the importance of solidarity among struggles and the need to unite against the reactionary Republican agenda.

#BatonRougeLA #NewOrleansLA #LA #StudentMovement #PeoplesStruggles #LGBTQ #DEI #GovLandry #SDS #QTCAP #NOCOP #NOSHIP #FRSO #DSA