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Posts tagged March for Women’s Lives

Priceless.

photo: a MILLION march for choice!

I’m more than a little worn out from driving, so there won’t be much to say about the March tonight. But I would like to point out that it was incredible, that it was enormous, and that I’m humbled, and delighted, to have been a part of it.

The organizers estimate an astounding 1.15 MILLION PEOPLE attended the March. Volunteers were working on putting together a person-by-person count; I’d be interested to see how close that poll came to the estimated figure. In any case, even the lowball police estimates (according to the Washington Post) put the figure over 750,000-850,000. No matter how you count it this was the largest march on Washington DC in history. The downtown of Washington has something of the air of a stately necropolis; but on Sunday, it was no longer the tomb of American law. It was alive and seething, and we were standing up there to make the law defend a woman’s right to control her own body.

Snide sidebar: Randall Terry gave an interview on the morning news the day of the March, promising an ocean of signs and banners to confront the marchers. It seems that like the Aral Sea, Terry’s ocean had receded quite a bit. There were a few antis strung out in ragged lines across two or three city blocks; Randall Terry positioned himself in front of some fetus signs pasted up on free standing boards. When I saw the interview on the morning news, I went back to the hotel room and made up a sign for blocking the computer-generated fetus graphics that read Randall Terry GO HOME; if I’d known what the anti contingent would be like, I would have made it Is this the best you can do?

I am awestruck and hopeful about what has just happened in the capital. This was incredible. It was historic. I only wish that I could have sat down with the organizers and talked about the mobilization effort that went into it over the past several months; I am sure that there is a fascinating story to tell about the use of the March for Women’s Lives MeetUp and other Internet geegaws for organizing, and the incredible way in which these online tools were transitioned into real offline action.

Have you written a letter to the editor of your local newspaper explaining your support for the March (and abortion rights) yet? If not, you should. It’s time to take this piece of history into the future. The political bloviators and spin-meisters need to hear, loud and clear, how 1.15 MILLION PEOPLE just stood up and marched for choice, and how millions more stand behind them. If we raise this issue–if we put women’s rights to their own bodies on the table–if we make George W. Bush talk about it rather than utter mealy-mouthed dodges from one side of his mouth and anti-choice code words from the other–if we make John Kerry talk about it rather than look nervous and start muttering weak euphemisms–then we will win and the antis will lose.

Let’s begin.

Three Ways To Stand Up For Choice

(this post is part of the Stand Up For Choice BlogBurst)

Stand Up For Choice: I stand with the March for Women's Lives!

I support the March for Women’s Lives

on April 25, 2004 in Washington DC

Stand up for choice!

Here’s three ways you can support the March for Women’s Lives, even if you can’t be there yourself:

  1. Show your support for the March by putting a post like this one on your own website. Be sure to add your own thoughts on why you support the March and a woman’s right to choose!

  2. Take those thoughts and turn them into a letter to your representatives in Congress. (Make sure you mention your support for the March, and make sure they know you’ll be voting pro-choice in November.) Then, take that letter and turn it into a letter to the editor of your local newspaper!

  3. Make a small contribution to the Planned Parenthood Federation of America: support the effort to protect choice as a right and to make it a reality.

Why?

I stand with the March for Women’s Lives because American women’s right to choose is under threat. Four more years of anti-choice politics will mean an unprecedented opportunity to chip away at the landmark victory of Roe v. Wade–and may even mean the opportunity to overturn it. That cannot stand. Everyone has the right to control their own bodies, and for women that right doesn’t stop at the uterine wall; a government that bans abortion is forcing women to continue pregnancies against their will–and that is nothing less than legalized slavery. While men in government offices play at politics, women will hurt and women will die because men in government uniforms think they have the right to tell them what to do with their own bodies.

A generation ago, women (and the men who stood with them) rose up, organized, and agitated to win the right to choose. This weekend, we will rise up again. Together, we can win again. And we will.

Onward!

We will make ourselves heard. We will support pro-choice work in our communities. Our struggle is here. Our time is now.

P.S.: Don’t forget to spread the word: if you support the March and its goals, rip off this post for your own website. Do it! Now!

Stand Up For Choice: at home or abroad! (A BlogBurst)

Martin Striz (of plausible thoughts fame) asked me an excellent question in an e-mail the other day: are there any emblems or other efforts to show support for the March for Women’s Lives this weekend if you can’t go yourself? (The March websites have some pages on ways to support the March if you can’t make it, but they all focus on things that you could have done a few months ago to help publicize the March.)

Well, it’s late in the game, but we are working on Internet time here, so here’s my idea. (I’m just tossing it out to see if it sticks; feel free to rip it off, alter it, deride it, ignore it, or whatever seems best.)

If you’re not going to the March this weekend–or even if you are–why not show your support by participating in a [BlogBurst][] in support of the March and abortion rights?

We can (1) get out the pro-choice message and bring it front and center in political discussion, (2) raise the visibility of the March even more through Google and political weblogs, and (3) take our support out into the world–and help others do the same–with letters to the editor, letters to our representatives, and contributions to pro-choice organizations. Here’s the format (you can see a SAMPLE POST here):

  1. A post to your web page headed up by a link back to this BlogBurst:

    <p><strong>(this post is part of the <a href="http://radgeek.com/gt/2004/04/22/stand_up.html">Stand Up For Choice BlogBurst</a>)</strong></p>

    and either the March emblem:

    March for Women's Lives

    or this one:

    Stand Up for Choice!

  2. Link to the March for Women’s Lives website.

  3. Offer three ways to support the March for Women’s Lives even if you can’t be there yourself:

    Here’s three ways you can support the March for Women’s Lives, even if you can’t be there yourself:

    1. Show your support for the March by putting a post like this one on your own website. Be sure to add your own thoughts on why you support the March and a woman’s right to choose!

    2. Take those thoughts and turn them into a letter to your representatives in Congress. (Make sure you mention your support for the March, and make sure they know you’ll be voting pro-choice in November.) Then, take that letter and turn it into a letter to the editor of your local newspaper!

    3. Make a small contribution to the Planned Parenthood Federation of America: support the effort to protect choice as a right and to make it a reality.

  4. If you’d like to follow any or all of these suggestions yourself, well, hell, it couldn’t hurt, could it?

Sound reasonable? I’ll get the ball rolling with an example post here at the RGPD. Let’s begin!

One More Week

Stand Up for Choice! Sign up to march with pro-choice friends

March for Choice on April 25!

One more week until L. and I are headed to Washington DC, to join what is likely to be the largest pro-choice march in the nation’s history. The hotel reservations have been placed; breakfast will come from Food Not Bombs; all that we need now is an oil change for the car and some posterboard for the signs. I’m getting really excited about the march: Washington is a great place to visit, the march will be an awesome experience, and I hope that this will be an important step towards lighting a fire under John Kerry and the Democrats to start pushing abortion rights, hard, to defeat George W. Bush. (And yes, I said abortion rights–not some mealy-mouthed incantation of the word choice that actually means nothing. We don’t need more of that after 8 years of Clintonian apologies for being pro-choice. We need a movement, and pro-choice politicians, who will be unapologetic about supporting women’s rights to control their own uterus. Morality is on our side, not the side of male power and coercion.) The fact is that if the Democrats made the upcoming election a referendum on abortion rights, they would win easily; and with this election season march we have a chance to catapault the issue into the center of the debate. Let’s hope that our putative allies have the sense to pick up the ball and run with it.

photo: ABORTION ON DEMAND AND WITHOUT APOLOGY

I want a sign just like this one.

Above all else, let’s make this March everything that the pro-choice movement should be: radical, agitating, unapologetic, aware and proud of the radical feminist movement that fought and won the first battles only thirty years ago. These are women’s lives, people, not something that we should have to bandy crooked words with a bunch of dickheads in government office over, or quibble with men in black robes over compelling State interests to justify. Let’s move the movement back to the passion, conviction, energy, creativity, and justice of its radical feminist roots. L. and I are making up our own signs (I’m sure there will be more than enough people to carry NOW and FMF banners without our help…); we haven’t made a final decision on the slogans yet, but here’s some ideas we’ve been mulling over:

ABORTION ON DEMAND AND WITHOUT APOLOGY!

OUTLAWING ABORTION IS STATE VIOLENCE AGAINST WOMEN

Men don’t get pregnant, men don’t bear children. Men just make laws.

RADICAL FEMINISM: Because your body belongs to you, not Jerry Falwell

What do you think? And who else is coming to the March next weekend? Let me know and maybe we can grab some dinner together in DC. Hope to see you there!

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