BMDC Denounces Attack against RU4AR agreed upon July 3, 2022
The Boston May Day Coalition [BMDC] has been involved in the struggles of working people since 2006 and began to gear up for the fight to defend Roe vs. Wade this past winter. Even last fall, we were appalled to see that the forces supporting the Democratic Party and especially those supporting the Women’s March failed to see the need to mobilize a broad-based massive visible effort in defense of abortion rights. During that period, we managed to hook up with Rise Up 4 Abortion Rights which was sounding the alarm and mobilizing dozens, hundreds, and later thousands of youth, locally and nationally, in an effort to wake up the rest of the country to the real danger that lay ahead, while so many others on the left were sleeping at the wheel!!
The broadside attack is currently aimed at women, trans folks, and underage girls. But the Supreme Court has now opened the door to eliminating all rights not envisioned by the “founding fathers” who excluded women and African Americans from the constitution! The overturning of Roe vs. Wade calls for the broadest unity of forces who are willing to fight the systemic reactionary monster which seeks to suppress and deny the legitimate rights of working people and the oppressed.
Unfortunately, after all these months we now see the group, NYC for Abortion Rights, initiating a public campaign against Rise Up 4 Abortion Rights. They claim to want a “strong and united” movement but pursue a policy to divide and weaken the movement. They demand that RiseUp “step back from pro-abortion spaces” as if they are entitled to exclude an organization from the movement! Is this any way to build a social movement? This seems utterly juvenile and something you would expect to see in high school.
NYC for Abortion Rights and others place priority on attacking the presence of the RevComs in Rise Up 4 Abortion Rights. The government and employers have for many decades used red-baiting as a means of attempting to destroy social movements defending the rights of working people and the oppressed. Whether it be the fight for women’s suffrage, the rise of the unions, the civil rights movement, the antiwar movement, the abortion rights movement, the environmental movement, etc., the reactionaries have always used this tool to destroy our fights. Martin Luther King Jr. was labeled a “communist” by FBI director, J. Edgar Hoover and subsequently assassinated. Popularizing these tools from this reactionary tool kit poses an existential threat to the movement today just as it did in the past.
NYC for Abortion Rights and others decry the activity of Rise Up’s members “wearing of white pants painted with fake blood, die-ins, and coat-hanger imagery”. They advocate for “safe self-managed abortion” and “medication abortion as a post-Roe tool”. It seems that these people know little about the history of the mass movement which won abortion rights. At the time of Roe vs. Wade, thousands of women had died from self-performed abortions using clothes hangers and from back-alley abortion providers unfit to practice medicine. Yes, we will see the return of clothes hangers and back-alley abortions in the future. Yes, women have died and will die in the future in spite of proclamations from the affluent wing of the abortion rights movement, because those who reject “die-ins” are rejecting the reality of women living in poverty.
Indeed, slavery was ruled legal by the U.S. Supreme Court, but the abolitionists continued to fight until it was overthrown. Segregation was legalized in a supreme court ruling until Jim Crow segregation was overthrown by the Civil Rights movement. The battle for the restoration of Roe vs. Wade and Abortion on Demand Without Apology has only begun and NYC for Abortion Rights and others want to give up without firing a political shot. The Democratic Party has been telling us that we can vote our way out of this crisis. The current “moderate majority” government in Washington may have good reason to celebrate this campaign against Rise Up 4 Abortion Rights.
NYC for Abortion Rights and others are upset because “RiseUp frequently likens abortion bans to “female enslavement”. Unfortunately, the role of “housewife” or “barefoot, pregnant, and in the kitchen” is where the reactionaries want to place women. It is the duty of the movement to point this out even if it makes some people unhappy. Accusations of RiseUp being homophobic or misusing funds are just out-and-out lies. RiseUp has done much on a shoestring budget. The reactionary Supreme Court which seeks to drive us all down will not have the last word in the battles ahead around abortion rights.
BMDC rejects these divisive attacks and reaffirms the need to build a strong and united movement that develops a movement-building culture that seeks to welcome all currents to the organizing table in an effort to organize joint actions decided upon by all the participating organizations. We reject the notion of a movement following a cult of personalities in the form of NYC for Abortion Rights and those who seek to divide us and weaken our ability to fight back against the attacks coming down from the government and reactionaries who want to take all of us back to 19th-century style peonage, poverty, and political atomization.