On Saturday, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez attended the 2019 Women’s March and gave a powerful speech at the Women’s Unity Rally about civil rights, justice, and why being polite is not the same as being quiet.
The representative from New York started out her speech at the rally — which was co-chaired by the Women’s March NYC and the New York Immigration Coalition — by thanking the crowd before asking, “Are you all ready to make a ruckus? Are you all ready to fight for our rights? Are you all ready to say that in the United States of America, everyone is loved, everyone deserves justice, and everyone deserves equal protection and prosperity in our country?”
She went on to speak about the fact that the rally occurred the weekend before Martin Luther King Jr. Day, saying that she believes “this moment and where we are right now is a resurgence from where the civil rights movement left off. And we are here to carry the torch forward.” Ocasio-Cortez noted that discussions around the issues of racial and social justice have since been extended to include economic and environmental justice.
“Justice is not a concept we read about in a book. Justice is about the water we drink. Justice is about the air we breathe. Justice is about how easy it is to vote. Justice is about how much ladies get paid,” Ocasio-Cortez told the crowd. The Bronx native continued, “Justice is about making sure that being polite is not the same thing as being quiet. In fact, oftentimes the most righteous thing you can do is shake the table.”
As she wrapped up her powerful address, said that she was sure that she was addressing future congresswomen and City Council members in the crowd — and even a future president. “Let us remember that a fight means no person left behind,” she said. Ocasio-Cortez concluded, “Because this is not just about identity, this is about justice. And this is about the America that we are going to bring into this world.”
This post has been updated.