On Saturday, Rep. John Lewis (D-Georgia) attended the Atlanta March for Social Justice and Women. In addition to marching with the group of over 15,000 people, Lewis also delivered an inspiring speech, thanking participants for their support and encouraging them to continue to speak up for what is right.
Lewis drew chants of “We love you, John” when he said:
‘SometimeS, you have to turn things upside down instead of right side up. When you see something that is not right, not fair, not just, you have a moral obligation, a mission, and a mandate to say something, to do something. We cannot afford to be silent now. I just want to thank you. You look so good. This is unbelievable, there’s hundreds and thousands of people, I tell you! I want to thank you for standing up, for speaking up, for getting in the way, for getting in trouble, good trouble, necessary trouble.’
Lewis also drew a parallel between today’s march and his past civil rights activism. Lewis reminded the people at the march that he knows “something about marching.” He added:
‘When I was much younger and had all of my hair and was a few pounds lighter, I marched in Nashville. I marched in Washington. I marched from Selma to Montgomery and I’m am ready to march again.’
Lewis went on to say that he wants everyone in attendance to “never, never ever give up” and to “never lose hope.” He then reminded the audience about who they were fighting for:
‘We’re fighting for our sisters, for our mothers, for our daughters. But we’re also fighting for our brothers, for our sons, for those who are not able to stand up and fight for themselves. We have a moral obligation to fight, so never ever lose hope.’
Lewis’s presence at the Atlanta march was fitting not only because of his past as a civil rights leader, but also because he has made it perfectly clear in recent weeks that he does not think much of Donald Trump, the man whose disrespect for people of color, immigrants, and people with disabilities led to today’s marches. On NBC’s Meet The Press, Lewis said he doesn’t view Trump as a “legitimate president.”
Lewis has not backed down from his stance, even though Donald Trump and his supporters have attacked him mercilessly on Twitter. Lewis even boycotted Trump’s inauguration, and dozens of others congresspeople joined him in avoiding the event.
Watch Rep. Lewis’s speech in the video below.
Featured image is a screenshot from the video.