Toni Dupelchain-Jones

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Toni Dupelchain-Jones is a New Orleans activist.

Real Name protest

Serena Sojic-Borne July 21, 2021. Baton Rouge, LA - On July 20 at 11:30 a.m., a group of protesters interrupted the Louisiana legislature’s veto override session to denounce the proposed transgender sports ban.

Members of Real Name Campaign NOLA, a trans community organization, dropped a banner reading “Protect trans youth” from the balcony of the House floor. They chanted “Senate Bill 156 has got to go!” and “Trans kids are here to stay!”

Capitol police groped, shoved and choked protesters to push them out.

Eden Abraham, an organizer with Real Name Campaign, said, “Security immediately grabbed us and violently dragged us down the stairs.” He added, “Even after we said we’re calmly going down the stairs, we’re not resisting, we’re not resisting, they continued to snub us, pushing us into marble and concrete, our heads, our limbs.”

Protesters went on to hold a rally on the capitol steps. They condemned Senate Bill 156, which threatens to prohibit transgender athletes from playing from kindergarten through college. It would also green-light violations of kids to inspect their presumed genders. State Senator Beth Mizell authored the bill.

Mar Ehrlich of the Campaign stated, “We are here today to declare that trans kids are not the problem and will never be a problem.”

Abraham stated, “This is the same sports ban that has been introduced in 30 states in just the past year. SB 156 is part of a nationally conservative plan orchestrated by conservative lawmakers.” He also noted, “They’re more interested in fighting a cultural war that they’re losing than serving the actual needs of their constituents.”

The legislature’s special veto override session is unprecedented in modern Louisiana history. Republican Party leaders Page Cortez and Clay Schexnayder specifically called for the session to push the sports ban.

Governor Edwards vetoed the ban in June, calling it “a solution in search of a problem.” He stated that there were no trans athletes in Louisiana to be concerned about.

Toni Jones of Real Name Campaign and Freedom Road Socialist Organization responded, “SB 156 is worse than a solution looking for a problem, because trans kids are not a problem and do not need to be solved.”

She also raised attention to the Olympics recently banning several Black women for being “too masculine.” SB 156 has clear racist implications as well.

The Senate has voted 26-12 in favor of the ban, just the amount of votes they needed for a veto-proof majority. The House has yet to vote. The Senate vote proves the trans movement’s strength, since reactionaries had more votes in favor of the ban during the regular legislative session.

The movement remains ready to fight. Real Name Campaign commits to resisting all the state’s anti-trans attacks.[1]

George Floyd solidarity

Case R. and Serena Borne March 10, 2021 New Orleans, LA - On March 8, killer cops Derek Chauvin and Michael Mattioli’s original trial date, the New Orleans Freedom Road Socialist Organization hosted a socially distant march for George Floyd and Joel Acevedo. Twenty protesters and four community organizations gathered in solidarity at Duncan Plaza.

On May 25, 2020, Chauvin, former officer of the Minneapolis Police Department, took George Floyd’s life. A month earlier, the lesser-known but equally deadly police officer Michael Mattioli strangled Joel Acevedo to death in Milwaukee. The protest demanded convictions for both and an end to police crimes.

They marched in a two-by-two formation to show their unity and disciplined organization.

The march responded to a call for solidarity from the Minneapolis anti-police crimes groups. Outside the Hennepin County Government Center in Minneapolis, 20-plus local organizations held a large protest. They demanded the maximum penalty. Video evidence and the presence of multiple witnesses prove that charges should be severe.

The March 8 demands centered around an end to the white supremacy deeply sewn in the birth and history of the police. Only months of consistent pressure and organizing on the ground have caused the actions of Chauvin and his three accomplices to take some degree of heat.

Chauvin is only the tip of an iceberg that absolutely needs to be unearthed and shredded. Real oversight and accountability of police departments, including the New Orleans Police Department, is necessary. Reparations are due, and control should not be in the hands of racist and oppressive forces, dead set on incarcerating and oppressing Black and brown communities.

At the protest, Toni Jones of the New Orleans FRSO told participants: “Think about the Black men, all the Black women, all the other oppressed nationalities who are being killed by cops and getting no justice at all. So it’s not a done deal, we don’t know that we’re going to get a victory here today, but we’re still out here fighting because we know it’s making a difference.”

Sage Michael of the Orleans Parish Prison Reform Coalition added: “OPPRC is a group that started back in 2004 when we had the most dangerous jails in the country and we had over 6000 people in local jails, which made us the incarceration capitol of the world in our time at that time. We have under 1000 people in our jails now, down from 6000, and that happened because of people organizing like us.”

Other organizations present included New Orleans Democratic Socialists of America and Abolish Tulane PD. The group closed out with a discussion on the importance of winning community control over the police.[2]

FRSO ML School

Freedom Road Socialist Organization/FightBack! ML School public FB group, October 2 2020 members included Toni Dupelchain-Jones.

Southern Solidarity

Toni Jones, is a Southern Solidarity member.

Mutual Aid and Building Power in New Orleans

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Freedom Road Socialist Organization/FightBack! was live. September 2020.

Mutual Aid and Building Power in New Orleans

Powered by Restream https://restream.io/

We are hosting this event in memory of Katrina, as well as to uplift the ongoing solidarity of New Orleans' workers and oppressed people. As revolutionaries, we believe in serving the people to sustain our fight back against white supremacist heteropatriarchal capitalism.

With Jenna Grant New Orleans Mutual Aid Society, Dortanyia McIntyre Peoples Defense League, Jasmine Araujo Southern Solidarity.

Real Name Campaign

On the morning of September 12 2020, trans activists and supporters gathered in front of New Orleans City Hall for a press conference and community update. Participants celebrated the trans and gender non-conforming (TGNC) people’s victories of the summer, and talked about next steps.

Real Name Campaign NOLA organized the event, with House of Tulip in support. The Real Name Campaign is an organization fighting for accessible ID changes, like name changes and the “M” and “F” on IDs. Incorrect IDs insult TGNC people’s dignity and expose us to discrimination. House of Tulip is creating sustainable housing for Louisiana’s TGNC people. This organization’s Black trans leaders come from the oppressed communities that they fight for. Both organizations’ causes are essential for TGNC people to live full lives with shelter, employment and healthcare.

Dylan Sojic-Borne spoke for the Real Name Campaign. She highlighted how the people’s pressure forced Civil District Court to drop name change fees from $506 to $250 in mid-August. The Court only did this because they lost two business days when campaign supporters crammed their phone lines. More change will come from the people’s struggles. Full demands include non-binary gender markers (“X”) and accessible ID changes for incarcerated people. Next up, the group will take the fight to the Department of Motor Vehicles in response to its transphobic harassment and ID restrictions.

Milan Nicole Sherry spoke as the co-president of the House of Tulip. Her speech emphasized how TGNC people and supporters never stop the fight: “I’d like to give a shout-out to community, because community always shows up and shows out, and I never doubt that.” She announced that the organization has found a property, and will soon offer housing aid. She said that the House of Tulip will have a spot for donations by mid-October, and asked for clothing - especially jackets, sweaters and chest binders.

Toni Dupelchain-Jones of both the Real Name Campaign and House of Tulip summarized the event’s message to Civil District Court judges and other officials: “If you don’t see us, if you don’t hear us, you best believe you’re going to fear us.”[3]

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