Celebrities and Activists Urge Congress to Stand Up for the People in New Video

Actress and activist Rosie Perez addresses Congress.

At last count, Hillary Clinton was ahead in the popular vote by almost 2.9 million, winning 48 percent to President-elect Donald Trump’s 46. And while for some this fact has raised concerns about the function of the Electoral College, for others it’s leverage. On Monday, Humanity for Progress released a video demanding that Congress hold Trump’s administration accountable — especially because the majority of the American people oppose it.

In the video, which is called #StandUpForUs, celebrities and activists including Rosie Perez, Keegan-Michael Key, Tavi Gevinson, Lea Delaria, Sally Field, and Janet Mock speak to members of Congress directly, demanding they fight Trump’s administration should it seek to do harm to marginalized groups. It’s accompanied by a petition addressed to the House of Representatives and the Senate. “The old adage is ‘silence equals death,’” said Liz Garbus, who directed the video. “We need to show lawmakers and representatives that we won’t be silent. Ultimately, we gave those in Congress their jobs. And we’re watching.”

Actress and activist Rosie Perez said that when she was approached to do the video, her response was “Hell yeah.” “I think that a lot of Americans don’t understand the power of our elected officials,” she said. “They think the only effective way to protest [is] against the White House, and that’s not the case.” She added that she’s long taken advantage of her right to protest policy she disagrees with. “I was born into the system as a ward of the state, and every time there was a policy change it either affected my life for the better or for the worse,” she said. “So I understand what it means to really fight to have effective policy in the United States.”

Both Perez and Garbus agree that Trump’s election has a silver lining: It’s galvanized people to speak up. “We’re going to rise to the top,” Perez said. “We have it in us to do so, we’ve done it before, and we can do it again.”

Celebrities and Activists Tell Congress: Stand Up for Us