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|Sarah Jane Stone, LL.M|
|Spouse(s)||James Lee (m. 2022 - death)|
|Alma mater|| B.A. in Political Science from Stony Brook University
LL.M from New York University
Sarah Jane Stone (April 12, 1992 - May 6th, 2028), was a lawyer, social activist, philanthropist, and poet. She is best known for leading the Social Justice Movement, a social movement that demanded racial, sexual, and economic equality and also demanded more accountability within the United States Government. She became a prominent world figure due to her belief in the ideals of social justice, and inspired social justice movements worldwide.
Raised in a working-class home by a single mother, Stone had a heart for the poor from a young age. She developed a desire to change the existing systems in America she saw as unjust. To this end she pursued a career in law, and attended Stony Brook University where she studied Political Science. While she was there she worked with several social activist groups, and was involved in the Occupy Wall Street movement. When the movement fell apart in mid-2012, she learned from the mistakes made by the movements leaders and began developing her own methods for pursuing social justice; while also studying the methods used by Martin Luther King, Gandhi, the demonstrators who overthrew the regime of Hosni Mubarak in Egypt, and studied Marx and Max Weber. It was also at Stony Brook that she met her partner and close friend Lizzie Riley, the two became members of the American CIvil Liberties Union.
After graduating from Stony Brook, both her and Riley attended the New York University Law School where they both earned their Masters in Laws. However, after they graduated they found themselves thousands of dollars in debt; along with many other students their age. Stone, with the backing of the ACLU, led a protest movement demanding that all student debts be forgiven. She successfully defended four African-American teenagers wrongfully convicted of murdering two police officers. She then became a household name when she, along with a group of demonstrators, occupied the US Capitol for two days; in order to force Congress to sign an act that would forgive all student loan debts. Stone gained national prominence, became the face of the fledgling Social Justice Movement, and many youth began to look up to her as someone who represented them politically and socially. She also became friends with several politicians world figures such as the Dalai Lama, Bono, and Rand Paul; and her social justice movement spread all over the world. Due to her actions, she became the object of both scorn and adoration.
She was assassinated by a ultra-conservative militia known as the Golden Eagles, after speaking at NYU's Commencement Exercises. It is later revealed by a whistleblower that the government conspired with the Golden Eagles to kill stone: Giving stone less security, giving the assassins the weapons to do the deed, and obstructing justice. Her assassination lit the tinderbox that eventually led to the Second American Civil War. Sarah Stone is considered by many to be the greatest freedom fighter of her generation, often mentioned in the same light as her heroes Martin Luther King, Gandhi, and Susan B. Anthony. Her detractors saw her as a rabble-rouser who misled the youth of America, and whose actions led to the social turbulence that prevailed during the Attitude Era.
Sarah Stone was born on April 12, 1992 in Staten Island, New York to Tina Stone, a nurse. Sarah's father left her mother shortly after she was born, and as a result she never met him and was raised by her mother. For much of her life she saw her mother as her hero, due to the fact that she raised her single-handedly:
- The person who inspires me the most is my mother, Tina Stone. She raised me all by herself, encouraged me to think for myself, and instilled in me the values of social justice and hardwork. Whatever I am now is because of her.
From a young age, she had a heart for the poor and the disenfranchised: In elementary school she often let other kids who didn't have lunches eat hers, and she often gave food and coins to the many homeless people who laid around her street. She was a peer mediator in Elementary, Middle, and High School. In middle school, she was a member of the Junior Honor Society and was also voted class president in both seventh and eighth grade. In high school, she played lacrosse until a knee injury prevented her from playing again; she also developed an interest in law, and served on the Mock trial team. By this time she believed that the existing system was unjust and only benefitted a few, and vowed that if she were to ever become a lawyer, that she would fight against the injustices that prevailed in the United States.
College and Law School
Stony Brook University
After graduating from high school, she attended Stony Brook University where she majored in Political Science. While she was there, she joined several protest movements. She took part in the Occupy Wall Street protests, although she saw the movement as fragmented and unorganized as it went on. When the movement fell apart in mid-2012, she used the movements ideals of social justice and equality as the basis for her own social justice movements. While she was here, she met close friend and collaborator Lizzie Riley. The two led several demonstrations on campus, protesting against tuition hikes and financial aid practices. She was arrested several times and became known throughout campus as an activist. In their junior year, both Stone and Riley joined the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) where they served as interns. They both graduated in 2014.
After graduation, Stone attended the New York University Law School. Lizzie Riley went on to study at Georgetown University, and Stone remained in contact with her. Stone graduated from NYU in 2016, passed the American Bar exam, and became a full-time employee of the ACLU.
Social Justice Movement and Career
Upon joining the ACLU in 2016, her first case was to defend two African-American teenagers who were wrongly convicted of killing two police officers. The case was taken to the United States Supreme Court and the boys were acquitted. After this Sarah Stone received national attention, and she then used this to launch the next phase of her movement.
The Beginnings of the Social Justice Movement
Leaving the ACLU and forming Justice!
Sarah Stone and Lizzie Riley would leave the ACLU, in order to form Justice! A non-profit organization that organized protests and fundraisers to support the movement. Stone and Riley left the ACLU in order to take their movement to the next level. At it's height, it grew to include 50,000 members.
Movement to Forgive the Student Loan Debt
Stone, along with many people her age, was thousands of dollars in student loan debt when she graduated from college. The widespread debt made life very hard for many college graduates. Unable to pay these debts, Stone and her friend Lizzie Riley started a movement to get the US Government to forgive student loan debts. They led a series of protests all through out the country, and were able to gain a lot of support from celebrities and other public figures.
Occupation of the US Capitol
In February of 2017, Stone along with some members of Justice! occupied the US Capitol after Congress failed to approve of an act that would cancel all student loan debts. On February 5th, Sarah Stone and a group of demonstrators stood on the steps of the building for two days; leading to a standoff crisis that was only ended when the Washington Metro Police entered the building and arrested the occupants. Sarah Stone and her accomplices were freed the following day, and she became a household name.
Growth of Social Justice
Sarah Stone's occupation of the US Capitol placed the Social Justice Movement on the map. Thousands of youths would take to the streets in protests of the various perceived injustices that plagued America. Stone, who saw America's partisanship as divisive, worked with both conservative and liberal groups in order to further the movement. She worked with the NRA to protect gun rights and also LGBT activists. Nevertheless, she was attacked by right-wing media outlets (Fox News in particular) for her mostly progressive and libertarian views.
- "I don't follow any belief or ideology. I believe in justice, I believe in the strength of humanity; advocating anything but those two things would be a waste of time." - Sarah Stone
Stone famously got into an argument with a Fox News anchorwoman in May 2017 over socialized healthcare. The argument led to the two women trading insults, and Sarah Stone calling Fox News "corporate-bought and paid for". Stone would later apologize for her conduct on the show, but vowed to never appear on Fox News again.
Stone worked alongside other civil rights activists, and befriended various celebrities and politicians. Justice! became a mainstream movement, as the message of Social Justice spread worldwide. Sarah Stone and Lizzie Riley continued to organize student protests against tuition hikes and student loan debts.
When WWIII ended in 2018, she began leading more protests. She led the March for Jobs in Chicago, when police attempted to disperse protesters violently, a riot occurred. Twenty people were injured, Stone was arrested, and jailed for thirty days; charged with inciting a riot. Rap artist Jason Todd wrote a song titled "Fearless (Free Sarah Stone)", which became an international hit and drew millions to Stone's cause. After she was released, a concert was held in her honor at New York University in which Jason Todd performed Fearless, and various other celebrities attended.
Conservative Reaction to the Social Justice Movement
As the Social Justice Movement gained momentum, conservatives all across America became alarmed at the gains it was making. The Golden Eagles, a far-right Christian fundamentalist organization, is formed in 2019 in Oklahoma by Arn LeGrand. LeGrand and the Eagles antagonized the Social Justice Movement in word and deed, calling it's leaders "soulless and worthy of Hell." The Golden Eagles was bankrolled by wealthy conservatives and were heavily promoted by the right-wing media. LeGrand and his followers often preached an anti-feminist, White nationalist message, calling for violence against leftists, feminists, and civil rights activists.
Sarah Stone and Justice! were seen as "public enemy #1" by the Golden Eagles, and as a result, many within Sarah's organization were targets of violence. The Justice! offices in Oakland were firebombed by the Golden Eagles.
Enter Kevin Thorne and James Lee
Stone's younger cousin, Kevin Thorne, was released from prison in 2019 after an armed robbery charge. Stone, seeking to reform her troubled cousin, offered him a position in Justice! as head of security; and with his five-foot-ten, 190-pound frame Thorne was perfect for the job. While Thorne was in prison, he watched his cousin's speeches from TV and looked at her as a hero. He also began studying various anarchist works. Thorne believed that the Social Justice Movement was society moving away from capitalism and towards anarchism. So as Sarah Stone's enemies grew in number, Thorne provided much needed security.
Thorne was also seen by many within the organization as hot-headed and reckless. Thorne's temper and short-fused nature led to several violent incidents with police and conservative groups. For example, while he was defending Sarah Stone at a rally he viciously assaulted a heckler. After this, he was demoted as head of security and placed into a lower bodyguard position. He accepted this punishment humbly and apologized. He remained a quiet soldier, doing his job until he was able to rise through the ranks; even being allowed to speak at rallies. Kevin Thorne differed from Stone in that he advocated the overthrow of the US government, and replacing it with a direct democracy, particularly the 'New Republic' variety.
In 2019, Stone met James Lee while the two were working at a homeless shelter. They began dating shortly after and Lee became a prominent member within Justice! He spoke alongside her at anti-war rallies and appeared alongside her in interviews. After dating for three years, they got married in 2022.
Murder of Lizzie Riley and the "Atlanta Five"
The Golden Eagles committed their most notable act on July 5th, 2021, when they stopped Lizzie Riley and four other activists as they were driving through Atlanta. The five activists were dragged out of the vehicle, lined up against in an alley and gunned down execution style. The brutal death of her close friend and partner, had a profound impact on Sarah Stone. She would later state: "When Lizzie died, I have to admit that even I became somewhat cynical. Lizzie was not only my closest friend, but a valuable organizer within the movement. People within the movement became radicalized, and I didn't know how long we would be able to stay peaceful." With the murder of the "Atlanta Five", the Social Justice Movement was gradually becoming more militant, with more radical voices such as the People Power Organization receiving more exposure.
Rise of the People Power Organization
The People Power Organization, or PPO, was formed in the mid-2010s by socialist organizer Adam Burke in Boston. Adam Burke harshly criticized Stone and the Social Justice Movement, calling them "reformists" and "tools of the state." Burke believed that Stone was being used as a pacifying figure for the more disenfranchised sections of society, in order to prevent what he called "a true revolution." Adam Burke, unlike the more moderate Stone, blamed capitalism and its collaborators for all of America's ills, and believed that there could never be a socially just society without the overthrow of both the US government and capitalism and its replacement with socialism.
Adam Burke gained a wide following, while also being criticized by both right-wing and liberal media for "provoking class warfare." Burke responded to these claims by stating that the class war was being waged against poor people by the elite. Stone, in an interview, would call Burke a "misguided extremist." By the early 2020s, division was forming between the radical sections of the movement led by Burke, and the moderate sections led by Stone.
Texas War and Second American Revolution
Stone also became active in the anti-war movement. She led nationwide protests against the War in Texas 2023. When the US and its allies were defeated in Texas, Stone led protests calling for President Chris Christie's resignation. Christie finally resigned in August 2023 and was replaced by his vice president Marco Rubio. Rubio, however, continued many of Christie's policies and turned a blind eye to a lot of corruption in his administration. Protests against Rubio became commonplace. Rubio responded to these protests with severe repression and martial law, and signed the National Defense Act into law; which gave him the right to override vetoes and have anyone arrested. A group of disgruntled veterans calling themselves the Sons of Liberty (SoL), who believed that Rubio was violating the constitution, conspired to overthrow him.
The SoL approached Stone asking for her support. Sarah offered her support and on August 23rd, while Marco Rubio was away on a peace summit, the plotters lauched a coup d'etat against the Rubio administration. Marco Rubio was replaced by Rand Paul as acting president and a new government is formed. While Stone did support the coup, she also asked Americans to hold the new government accountable and demand a speedy return to civilian government. In November, Paul is officially elected President.
Rand Paul Presidency
Sarah Stone supported Rand Paul's policies, and the two became close friends and allies. Paul began loosening the grip that the US government had on the everyday lives of Americans. On October 29th, 2027, Rand Paul was assassinated.
Rand Paul was seen as the last of the reformers within the political opposition, and after his death, Stone along with many within the Social Justice Movement became more radical and militant. Kevin Thorne wrote a book called People Power: Life After Capitalism that outlined a participatory democracy that would replace capitalism, liberal democracy, and the growing dictatorship. Stone began to align more with Kevin Thorne following Rand Paul's assassination, and began openly calling for the overthrow of the US government.
After Rand Paul was assassinated and a military regime takes over, the country becomes divided: The regime consisting mostly of conservative Republicans, faced opposition from Democrats and Libertarians; the liberals, social democrats, Social Justice activists, and libertarian opposition joined forces and form the August 23rd alliance once again. The Democrats and Libertarians supported Rand Paul. Stone wrote an autobiography called Fearless: The Sarah Stone Story that was published in September 2027.
The Great Strike and Arrest
On October 29th, 2027, Stone would lead the largest strike in American history in order to force the regime to step down. As people all over the country refused to go to work; stores and other businesses locked their doors, thus shutting down the nation's economy. Instead, Stone's supporters took to the streets demanding the end of the conservative regime. In response, the government (as it would later be revealed) began colluding with right-wing militias such as the Golden Eagles and the National Salvation Army in order to terrorize Stone and her supporters. In a YouTube video, The Golden Eagles declared "war" on the Social Justice Movement; they began assassinating various people associated with Stone and burned down businesses (namely Subway, Chick-Fil-A, and Target) that supported the strikes.
Despite all of this, the strike continues through November and into December. There was no Black Friday, no Christmas shopping, and department stores reported record losses. The entire American economy was brought to its knees. In December 2027, she, along with other Social Justice leaders leads an occupation of several key sites: Times Square, the Capitol, and Los Angeles. She creates one of the largest political coalitions ever assembled, calling it the August 23rd Alliance after the original; the alliance consists of social democrats, liberals, Black nationalists, anarchists, and Marxists. She even gains the support of several celebrities. The US Government was brought to the brink of collapse, and then, finally on December 29th, after a long standoff, the police move in and put down the occupation. Stone is arrested. She is thrown in prison without trial, this leads to an intensification of rioting and protests against the Conservative government, particularly in the August 23rd strongholds such as New York City and much of the Northeast. A "Free Sarah Stone" movement is formed. After domestic and international pressure, Sarah Stone is released in January 2028. During an interview with Anderson Cooper on April 20th, 2028, what would also be her last interview, she tells the world that she is ready to die for her beliefs, and she warns that America's social and political divisions would lead to bloodshed if the government did not step down; her words are seen as prophetic as a civil war would begin in just a few months.
Stone was a keynote speaker during the 2028 New York University Graduation Ceremony. After the ceremony was over, she held a meet-and-greet session outside of the hall. The Golden Eagles had been planning to kill Stone for some months. A Golden Eagle named Ryan Schaffer would be graduating from NYU that same day, meaning this was a perfect opportunity.
Right after the ceremony, Stone was sitting at a table signing autographs and taking pictures. Suddenly, what appeared to be a fight broke out. One man shouted "Get the fuck off me!" to another man, afterwards the two men began wrestling and later on more people hopped into the scuffle. Stone's bodyguards were preparing to take her out of the building, before Schaffer stepped in front of Stone with a .380 Mustang and shot her five times: three times in the stomach, and twice in the chest. Stone immediately dropped to the ground, and an ambulance came to take her to the hospital.
As Stone was comatose in the hospital, the level of hatred in America between the various political factions heightened; many on the Right praised the Golden Eagles for targeting Stone and believed that it would silence the opposition once and for all. However, it did not, and it only served to make her supporters more angry as they demanded justice. It was generally understood that if Stone died, the US would erupt into civil war. Finally, the following day on May 6th, 2028, Sarah Stone died of multiple organ failure, at the age of 36.
At the time Sarah Stone was murdered America was a powder keg of social, political, and racial tensions. Being that Sarah Stone advocated for the poor, many in the lower and working class became angry and the entire country was engulfed in riots. By killing Sarah Stone, the Golden Eagles hoped to start a civil war. They believed that the government was powerless to stop the Social Justice Movement and sought to do so themselves.
With the death of Stone, Justice! lost the only person who maintained its non-violent ideology. They also lost a capable leader and organizer, and Kevin Thorne stepped in to fill this void. Kevin Thorne united all of New York's left-wing militias and formed Liberty Underground; they began targeting the government, the NYPD, the Golden Eagles, and various conservative figures. He immediately declared war on the government, the NYPD, and the entire Conservative Legion. Most people say that Sarah Stone's assassination was the beginning of the war.
World War III and Anti-Draft Movement
Sarah Stone was one of the main critics of the WWIII draft, claiming that mostly poor and middle-class Americans were drafted; and that rich people were able to avoid the draft since they had connections. She was also against the draft that occured during the Second Texan War of Independence.
Stone also supported the Texan independence movement. When the US occupied Texas after WWIII, she accused the US government of violating Texas' right to self-determination; stating that the Texans have the right to secede if they want to. She strongly opposed the Invasion of Texas in 2023, and led several protests against it. She was close friends with Texan leader Frank Brown and his wife Marcy.
Gay Marriage and LGBT Rights
Stone was a prominent supporter of the LGBT Rights movement. She spoke at the 2018, 2019, 2020, and 2026 Gay Parades in San Francisco.
Stone was a deist. She believed in God and prayed occasionally, but she despised organized religion, seeing it as divisive. She also believed religion did not allow people to think for themselves, and said that she did not even think that God liked religion. To quote something she said in her memoir:
- "Of course I believe in God. I mean when you look at nature, the stars, the sun, the moon, and the human body it's obvious someone created all of this. I just never really cared for religion because of how hate-based and divisive it is. Religion is just man's attempt to understand God, but human beings cannot understand God because he isn't a human being; nor does he reason like one. A lot of evil has been committed because of religion. I honestly think if Jesus, Muhammad, Moses, or Buddha were alive today they would be disgusted at the things people do in their names.
However, she rarely spoke about her religious beliefs because she believed they had nothing to do with the movement.
Sarah Stone will be remembered in the same light as Martin Luther King Jr, Gandhi, and other freedom fighters in the eyes of her supporters. While to her detractors, she will be remembered as a trouble maker and a terrorist whose actions contributed to the instability that America experienced during the Attitude Era.