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Counter-protest against anti-trans hate group at RI Statehouse on Saturday

Queer activists and allies in Rhode Island are planning to stand against hate on Saturday, April 13, when national anti-trans organization Don’t Mess With Our Kids is planning to hold a rally at the statehouse from 1-3 p.m.

Options Magazine first saw the counter-rally advertised by local abolitionist group Wide Awakes Collective (@wideawakescollective on Instagram), which focuses on the achievement of restorative and transformative justice through the practice of mutual and material aid and also engages in activism and advocacy via direct action.

Wide Awakes Collective explained in an email to Options Magazine that they are not the organizers of the counter-rally, but rather were amplifying a call to action put out by a queer antifascist Instagram account called @tranarchist161.

That account described Don’t Mess With Our Kids, which has issued a “Call to the Capitols” to hold rallies in all 50 states and Washington D.C. on Saturday, as “an anti-LGBTQ right-wing extremist group with many violent members. The group is fighting things like life-saving trans healthcare, trans affirmation in schools, and LGBTQ representation in schools.”

The group describes itself on its website as follows:

“Our nation is in a crisis - families are being ripped apart at the seams by an agenda determined to sexualize our kids. ENOUGH IS ENOUGH. Mama bears across the nation are rising up to join the #dontmesswithourkids movement and pray, fast, and stand for their families.

But how did we get here? Check out this short message from Jenny Donnelly (YouTube), founder of our partnering ministry, Her Voice MVMT, to hear how #dontmesswithourkids began in the United States.”

According to the bio on her YouTube channel, Jennifer Donnelly (@jennyldonnelly on Instagram) is the founder of The Collective Church in Portland, Oregon and the founder of Her Voice MVMT, a movement described in the same YouTube bio as “committed to freeing the voice of women so they can turn their families and America back to God.”

On the Her Voice MVMT website’s about page, it says, “Dear friend, our nation is in a crisis. One in five Generation-Z self-identify as LGBTQ+, and there are still states where abortion remains legal, some even up to full-term. How did we get here and what can we do about it?”

All of this exposition of the groups behind the anti-trans rally is to posit that these groups seem to fall into the familiar vein of describing themselves as essentially “pro-Christian values” while in practice being essentially “anti-LGBTQ people.”


The Rhode Island contact of Don’t Mess With Our Kids for Saturday’s rally is a man named Dave O’Brien. Don’t Mess With Our Kids quite thoughtfully published his email address on their website for anybody who has questions or comments about the event – They also provided the link to the Rhode Island rally’s Facebook event page.

To get ahead of any potential conservative crocodile tears in the wake of a hopefully successful counter-protest action, Options Magazine’s editor-in-chief would like to state here that he does not consider publishing Mr. O’Brien’s email address in this post to be “doxxing” given it has already been openly published on the Don’t Mess With Our Kids website.


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