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Texas Teenagers Throw Quinceañera to Fight Back Against SB 4

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Fifteen Texas teenagers today gathered on the steps of the Capitol in Austin, Texas to demonstrate against SB 4, the state’s new anti-immigrant law. But this was no ordinary protest — in a show of creativity that has drawn attention from outlets from Univision to People Magazine, the rally took the form of a quinceañera in which the girls danced, spoke out, and recited the reasons why they opposed SB 4.

As one of the girls said today, “SB 4 is not only an attack on immigrant communities, it is a threat to the lives of all people of color.”

The girls, who are 15 and 16, wore traditional bright, puffy dresses and sashes saying “No SB4”, “accountability”, and “family unity”. They chose songs to dance to that had political messages, including K’naan, Residente, Riz MC, and Snow Tha Product’s “Immigrants (We Get the Job Done)” and Los Tigres del Norte’s “Somos Más Americanos”. The protest was organized by Jolt Texas, and is part of Basta Texas, a summer-long campaign to fight against SB 4. The idea for the quinceañera came from a Jolt volunteer. As Tania Mejia, Jolt’s communications director said:

She had been going to the Capitol for rallies and events against SB4 and saw young women taking quinceañera photos at the Capitol. We thought that this event would be a great way to show people that this is our home, celebrate our culture, and send the message that young Latinas are standing up to the ongoing attacks on our community by our elected officials who work at the Capitol…

Quinceañeras aren’t just about parties—they are coming-of-age celebrations that strengthen the bonds of family. They are also about uniting community in celebration, which is what we need to do to stop hateful and racist policies that hurt Latinos.

View some of the beautiful photos from today’s quinceañera against SB 4:

Read more about SB 4, Texas’ anti-immigrant law, here.