Report on counter-mobilization against a far-Right anti-trans rally in Jefferson City, Missouri.
A coalition of Missouri and Kansas-based leftist organizations came together on Monday, March 20th, to intervene in an aggressive and genocidal rally to ban trans health care in Missouri. The rally was organized by various far-Right and fascist organizations dedicated to vilifying and erasing trans people from public life. Trans youths are specifically under attack by SB-49, a bill created by senators Bill Eigel and Rick Brattin, which would ban gender-affirming care for children. SB-49 would effectively ban any “physician or health care provider provid[ing] gender transition procedures to any minor or refer any juvenile to another health care provider for such procedures.” People’s Spark, the Kansas Trans Guard, and members of the YDSA of the University of Missouri Columbia congregated after a multi-hour journey from various locations across Missouri and Kansas to take a defiant stand against these fascists.
Included below are a list of the open supporters of SB-49 and the “Kids First” rally:
Scott Newgent, featured in the documentary “What is a Woman?”
Chris Barrett, Missouri Chapter Leader of Gays Against Groomers
Dr. Bob Onder
Catherine Dreher, Vice Chair, Missouri Libertarian Party & Mom
Adam Dommeyer, Turning Point USA Faith
Pastor Kirk DeMars from House of Prayer, Jefferson City
Senator Mike Moon
Senator Bill Eigel
Senator Jill Carter
Senator Andrew Koenig
With only a couple of days to prepare, various leftist groups coordinated a multi-pronged infiltration and counter-protest to display an active resistance to this legislation, the different hate groups who back it, and their political cronies who devise heinous bills intended to ban an entire demographic’s health-care. To accomplish these objectives, we staggered our arrival. We sent in scouts to assess the situation and feed information to the ground team, who would arrive later, to prepare them for whatever they encountered. Some comrades brandished firearms to keep one other safe in case openly hostile far-Right activists sought to engage us, while others posed as alternative and right-wing media to get names, faces, and interviews from rally attendees. Of course, several of us also formed a wall of black behind the rally participants to counter the opposition’s vile rhetoric and hysteria with a staunch display of solidarity.
Antifa ain’t taking MO nazi shit anymore ❤️🖤
We’ll be at your events. .
We’ll be in your chats. .
And we might be in your crosshairs, but @kcpeoplesspark @GuardTrans and our allies have you in ours; we’re staying ready
Thanks for the coverage @ColbyZak_News #LGBTQ #antifa https://t.co/JXpr9I5Kfb
— KC People’s Spark (@kcpeoplesspark) March 20, 2023
A few key events transpired during the rally, such as the crowd openly videotaping and taking photos of us in a blatant attempt to doxx certain members. Capitol police even escorted a member of People’s Spark out of the rotunda for voicing verbal discontent against the rally. While all this was occurring, leftist counter-protesters closed ranks, not about to allow the fascists to intimidate or single us out. Members from each organization continued to express hostility where security could not hear nor act against us: chanting, yelling, booing, and displaying various signs of discontent. After being removed from the scene for “failing to show proper procedure and etiquette” to those attempting to erase our trans comrades from public life, we moved to the exterior sidewalks, regrouping to continue the struggle outside. Only a few fascists were outside the rotunda, such as an individual clad in Confederate attire with a Christian nationalist flag, an open partner of Jodi Grace – an organizer for the event and an open Christian nationalist organization.
Though our trans and non-binary comrades were forced to endure rhetoric referring to their identities as “mutilations of the human form,” we received support from various attorneys, journalists, community members, and staff, who thanked us for coming out to oppose the rally when so few felt safe enough to do so. With the far-Right increasingly embracing openly genocidal rhetoric against the trans community, such as that touted by Michael Knowles and Donald Trump at CPAC this year, we must remember that resistance is the only path to survival. We cannot allow ourselves to be cowed by the prospect of confrontation. If we give in to fear and pray that the liberal establishment will somehow save us from erasure, we will be erased. If we allow ourselves to be intimidated by fascists, and cancel protests and counter-demonstrations in the face of far-right aggression, then we submit ourselves to their continued assault. We are anti-fascists; wherever the far-Right rears its head, you can bet we’ll face it.