International women’s day
On March 8 – International Women’s Day – in rallies and marches in New York and 12 other cities across the country – people declared their refusal to let the Supreme Court decimate women’s rights and gut or eliminate the right to abortion.
Voices from the stage.
Watch this compilation of the speakers from the NYC flagship rally.
People were ready to hear what the speakers had to say and listened intently, cheering and applauding loudly throughout. V (formerly known as Eve Ensler) opened up her comments by expressing solidarity with our brothers and sisters in Ukraine, Lebanon, Palestine, and Afghanistan—which she noted has been ravaged by U.S. imperialism. She went on to say, “I am sick of fascism and hate… I am sick of patriarchy!”
Merle Hoffman, founder and CEO of Choices Women’s Medical Center and a co-initiator of RU4AR, reminded people that IWD was “born in struggle” and said, “… the right to decide when and whether to be a mother is the front line and the bottom line of women’s freedom and liberation.”
Lori Sokol, executive director of Women’s eNews and a co-initiator of RU4AR, read a statement from Gloria Steinem, and then said she was following Steinem’s example: “There is nothing like being out in the streets, stepping up and standing up.”
Araceli Herrera, speaking in Spanish, spoke about how she was raped as a young woman in Mexico and denied an abortion when she became pregnant. With her fist in the air, she declared, “I’ve stopped crying. Today is the day we begin to take to the streets and scream loudly: I have the right to choose!”
Other speakers included actor and activist Kathy Najimy, Rev. Jacqui Lewis, and Dr. Bruce Price from the abortion advocacy group Trust Women.
Sunsara Taylor evoked the living example of the women of Argentina, Colombia and Mexico who went into the streets in their millions winning the right to abortion: “Through their struggle they made what everyone thought was impossible, possible. As we go out we will find others like us, and as we do we’re going to open up the big questions… Where does this desire to control women come from and what will it take to end it once and for all?” Sunsara and others called on the crowd to be part of organizing for April 9 when “we are coming back to this park, thousands strong. And across this country, thousands strong. And from there, we are doubling and doing it again and again until we flood the streets and bring this society to a halt. Because they must not be allowed to shatter the lives of women and slam history backwards.”
Cornel West, Robert Jones, Jr.
Berkeley, California, high school students, IWD, 2022
Students + youth fighting for their future
Hundreds marched through the streets of Manhattan, Los Angeles, and Berkeley. There were protests on college campuses in California and Texas, and by high school students in several locations. One woman decorated her pickup with Rise Up 4 Abortion Rights banners and drove 500 miles from Little Rock to Austin. Prominent speakers and veteran fighters for women’s rights spoke in New York and Los Angeles, and in many places there was an important representation of fierce young people.
March 8 NYC Rally
Many protesters just about everywhere wore green bandanas – like the women of Argentina and Colombia, who recently won historic victories for abortion rights by taking to the streets in sustained and growing protest, RiseUp4AbortionRights.org has taken up the green bandana as a symbol of resistance.
Many left the protests with a plan for beginning to prepare to intensify and broaden the fight to defend the right to abortion in the weeks ahead: March 19/20 mass meetings to get organized; April 8, wearing green everywhere; April 9 and back in the streets with mass protests and marches.
This is not a crisis that we can donate our way out of and this is not a crisis that a one off protest can solve. No. This demands sustained action. This demands noise. This requires you. We need you to stand up, to rise up and demand that abortion remain safe, legal, on demand, and without apology.
Lead Organizer in Los Angeles
Approximately 100 people rallied and marched in Los Angeles. A report sent to Rise Up 4 Abortion Rights said, “We had a great day out here! This was an excellent learning opportunity for the public, many didn’t know what was going on in the Supreme Court or how catastrophic the situation could be. We had a diverse group of speakers with an international perspective that provided moving speeches with well argued points that captivated the entire crowd; these include Ionic Boom, Reverend Frank Wulf, and Lawden Barzargan.”
About 40 people participated at a protest on and around the campus of the University of Texas. Some took flyers and organizing materials like the green bandanas, and signed up. Some skipped class and stayed for the whole rally. A report said a “confrontation with some ‘antis’ helped break things open and brought out the latent anger in many students, just as we marched onto the campus.
An organizer in Honolulu wrote that “A total of about 80 people participated in Honolulu’s International Women’s day rally and march. There were lots of young, new faces, mixed with a smaller number of older people. The energy was very high; people were attentive to the rally.”
On International Women’s Day, University of California students and professors, high school students, activists, the Revolution Club, Raging Grannies, and more marched against the attacks on abortion that could make abortion illegal in 21 states if Roe v. Wade is overturned.
Today we have an opportunity and a responsibility to demonstrate that we will not stand by idly while reproductive rights are under fire across the country.”
Protestors in Atlanta marked #international women’s day 2022 by taking to the streets downtown, engaging with students, and calling on everyone to join the fight to stop the US Supreme Court from denying women’s humanity and rights! Abortion on demand & without apology!
About 150 people rallied, marched, and held die-ins in Seattle. They included small groups of from three high schools and one middle school; students from the University of Washington, and Seattle University. people from a Jewish congregation, and a clinic defense team.
From an organizer’s report: “70+ people took part in an angry, defiant International Womens Day rally and march in downtown Chicago led by RiseUp4Abortion Rights, the Chicago Revolution Club, and Refuse Fascism. Most of the participants were students from colleges downtown and across Chicago. The high point of the march was a die-in in front of the Federal Court House, led by 3 “Handmaids” who went inside the court and delivered an indictment of the Supreme Court and then came out and told protesters” what they had done as they were dying in in front of the court.