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Sam Goldman shares thoughts and commentary on the latest fascist developments domestic and international. Then we share Sunsara Taylor’s remarks from an event Feb. 16 at Revolution Books in Harlem on the abortion rights emergency in the US and a powerful call to action now – before Roe is overturned.Original video of Sunsara Taylor’s remarksRecommended reading on the crisis with Russia and Ukraine:
The antisemitism animating Putin’s claim to ‘denazify’ Ukraine
by Jason Stanley
Shameless American Chauvinism: “Anti-Authoritarianism” as a “Cover” For Supporting U.S. Imperialism
by Bob Avakian
Right now: help organize for mobilizations this spring to demand abortion rights at riseup4abortionrights.org.
Refuse Fascism is more than just a podcast! You can get involved at RefuseFascism.org.
Music for this episode: Penny the Snitch by Ikebe Shakedown.
Sun, 2/27 7:50PM • 48:00
Sunsara Taylor 00:00
If Roe is overturned more than 20 states already have laws on the books that would immediately ban or severely restrict abortion. They are motivated by the fanatical drive to control and subjugate women. Let us rise together. Let us refuse to let the Supreme Court deny women’s humanity and decimate their rights. Let’s fight and demand abortion on demand and without apology.
Sam Goldman 00:44
Welcome to the 100th episode of the Refuse Fascism podcast, a podcast brought to you by volunteers with Refuse Fascism. I’m Sam Goldman, one of those volunteers and host of the show. Refuse Fascism exposes, analyzes, and stands against the very real danger and threat of fascism coming to power in this country. Episode 100! Thank you for listening. Thank you for being on this journey with us as we engage, dialogue and debate with a broad array of writers, scholars, legal experts, and people from different walks of life on the roots, nature and trajectory of fascism in this country. Together we are forging understanding and relationships aimed at preventing the consolidation of fascism.
If you’re a new listener, go back and listen to some more of the past 100 shows after, of course, you finish this one. Over the past 100 shows we are proud to have established with you a strong community of people who care enough about the world to confront the fascist threat head on. In this epic juncture, I want to take a moment to ask you to take one step out and grow the base of listeners, to grow the community to refuse fascism. If you listen regularly, take that step to share it, to discuss it and just contribute to this fight. If you don’t listen regularly, make the Refuse Fascism podcast part of your Sunday routine or Monday morning commute.
In today’s episode, we’re sharing a presentation by Sunsara Taylor given at Revolution Books in New York City on February 16. It continues to be incredibly timely, as the Supreme Court is poised to obliterate abortion rights in a matter of months, unless the people act up to stop it. Sunsara Taylor lays bare the truth that forced motherhood is female enslavement and lays out what must be done. Will you give up or rise up? After you listen to it, it’s going to be clear why we needed to share it. If you already listened to it once, you attended the event online, you watched clips on our social media. Take a moment, listen in full.
The day this episode airs, Sunday, February 27, Sunsara, myself and others will gather with Araceli Herrera, Merle Hoffman, City Council member Kristen Richardson Jordan, Jim Fouratt, Lori Sokol and others who are speaking out in front of St. Patrick’s Cathedral to sound the alarm on what is an emergency moment; a state of emergency for women’s rights. They’re going to be calling on women who suffered before abortion was legalized along with their daughters, granddaughters, partners and all who care to speak out, breaking the silence and calling thousands of people to join in the streets on March 8th, International Women’s Day in New York City at 3 pm, Union Square and nationwide. Some people will also be engaging in nonviolent civil disobedience. You’re going to want to follow @RiseUp4AbortionRights on Twitter to learn more about that action, to see video, photos and more. So, I’m excited for you to hear this presentation.
Sam Goldman 04:21
But first, as always, we’ve got to talk about some developments from this past week as it relates to the rising fascist threat and the importance and impact of standing up against it. First, we gotta start with developments from the fascist Republic of Texas where Governor Greg Abbott has officially directed Family and Protective Services to begin investigating all trans children in Texas and prosecuting their parents as child abusers. Yep, you heard that correctly. He has also instructed all teachers, doctors, caregivers of all sorts to begin reporting any trans students they see.
I thought that author Jeff Yang hit the nail on the head when he tweeted “Abbott is ordering State forces to investigate and prosecute families. He’s turning teachers, doctors and caregivers into state intelligence operatives, in the service of defining certain kinds of people as aberrant, inferior, and socially unacceptable.” This is fascism. While some have pointed out the hypocrisy, that Abbott does not care about “child abuse” because his laws also force 13-year-old incest survivors to give birth to their rapist’s babies. This Christian fascist movement has never cared about the babies, has never cared about the children, but hates women and seeks to erase trans and non-binary people from public society.
As reported by Mark Joseph Stern for Slate, “Right now in Texas, parents who allow their trans children to receive gender-affirming care may be investigated, punished and stripped of custody. Teachers and social workers who do not report these parents and children to the state may be fired and criminally prosecuted. Paxton and Abbott have ordered the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services to launch a sweeping investigation into every parent suspected of allowing gender-affirming care for their children, then report their findings. DFPS employees who do not comply may be jailed. Texas persecution of trans minors is similar to SB8, the abortion ban, in that it delegates enforcement to the general public.
Except this time, Texas is using the threat of criminal prosecution rather than a bounty.” Every doctor, every teacher, every person should refuse to comply and publicly resist. This is not just about Texas. Texas is a harbinger of what the fascist movement aims at nationwide, and is open season on women, on Black people, on trans kids, on everyone and anyone who is not a white Christian male. As Jeff Sharlet pointed out, we need to take note, “I hear some people saying Greg Abbott has declared open season on trans kids and their families. Yes, and he’s declared open season on everyone. Fascist pro-suicide laws are anti-human. Don’t tisk-tisk from the sidelines, because there are no sidelines now.” Bans on gender-affirming care, like bans on abortion, don’t stop people from needing those services. They ruin or even endanger the very lives of the people who need those services. You see fascists know this, and that’s why they do it.
Sam Goldman 08:05
Shifting eastward to Florida: for those who aren’t following along, Florida Republicans have passed a bill banning abortions at 15 weeks ala Mississippi, without exception of victims of rape and incest. Governor Ron DeSantis has already expressed his readiness to sign it. But that is not nearly enough for these patriarchal fascists. Andrew Shirvell, Executive Director of Florida Voice for the Unborn, testified, advocating for the proposed 15 week abortion ban, saying, erroneously, that birth control often fails which results in people seeking abortion. Or in his words, “The contraceptive mentality is what fuels the blood-thirsty abortion industry.” They’re coming for us all for abortion, for birth control, for sex education. They always have been, because the fight against abortion has never been about babies. It’s always been about the subjugation of women. They’re not going to stop until their Christian fascist assault wins or unless we defeat them.
That’s why on this show we’ve been advocating for people to get into the streets nationwide on International Women’s Day, Tuesday, March 8, to rise up for abortion rights, to demand abortion on demand and without apology. The Florida State House has been busy turning back the clock with the Florida House of Representatives passing the “Parental Rights and Education” AKA “Don’t Say Gay” bill and the “Stop WOKE” bill. What you need to know about the “Don’t Say Gay” bill is that it’s extremely ominous. It prohibits classroom discussions about sexual orientation or gender identity in the state’s primary schools, and we can expect that it will pass the Florida Senate and be signed by DeSantis. It will influence the outcomes of the 15 other bills in eight states that limit speech about LGBTQ identities in school houses across the country.
The “Stop WOKE” bill that the Florida House of Representatives passed is another that we can expect will be passed by the Senate and signed by DeSantis. It prohibits schools or private businesses from engaging in lessons, teaching instruction, training that makes anyone “feel discomfort, guilt, anguish, or any other form of psychological distress” on account of their race. Equality Florida put it well in a statement regarding the effects of these bills, saying they will “turn Florida into a surveillance state and give the government broad license to censor conversations about American history, the origins of racism and injustice, and the existence of LGBTQ people.” Floridians need to get in the streets and refuse fascism. We’re learning of student walkouts planned via Tik Tok on March 3, and we’ll be following this story. If you or folks you know are organizing actions in Florida, please hit us up. Let us know about them, DMs and social media. We want to talk to you.
Sam Goldman 11:31
Okay, now, a little bit of a lightning round of fascist fuckery. House Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene spoke at a white supremacist conference moments before its organizer compared Putin to Hitler and implied that he was saying that in a positive way. Tucker Carlson said that the nomination of Ketanji Brown Jackson to the Supreme Court degrades America’s “ancient institutions” and threw in a wild dog whistle about Rwanda in a preview of the blatant white supremacy that we are sure to see in the opposition to her nomination. Even as she will likely be seated on the court, it must be kept in mind that the Supreme Court of the United States will remain 6-3 in favor of fascism, making her ascendancy essentially symbolic for the foreseeable future.
Our hearts go out to the victims of the fascist shooting in Portland, Oregon, where a deranged pro-cop Trumper fired into a protest against police murder. This is the farthest thing from an isolated incident and must be stopped by defeating this fascist movement.
So, before we listen to Sunsara, we can’t not talk about Russia. What follows are my personal views, not the views of Refuse Fascism. I’ll be honest with you: In this country, when you bring up the subject of Russia, delusional thinking is not confined to the fascists. What I feel we’re seeing in the Russian invasion of Ukraine is a new horrific development in a decades long fight between rival imperialists. Ever since the demise of the Soviet Union, the US and NATO have been aggressively attempting to assert dominance in Eastern Europe, and Russia has been attempting to recover and reassert some level of imperialist power. At its heart, this is a fight between two bloodthirsty imperialist powers, not a fight over democracy. The US and NATO are not innocent in starting this fight and are not an answer that can help the people of the Ukraine or the world.
In that context, it should be recognized that Putin is a leading light in the global rise of fascism. The idea that Trump is somehow Putin’s puppet has saturated many liberal spaces in the US, promoted by no less than Hillary Clinton and Nancy Pelosi, as well as many other influential people amongst the non-fascist elements of US culture. It’s a convenient idea. If that were the case, then the US wouldn’t have a fascism problem, just some evil outsider. But it’s not true. What is true is that Trump and Putin are both fascists, and the fascist vision of American Empire that Trump and his movement are fighting for doesn’t see a need to rely on the same allies and the same forms of diplomacy that have defined the foreign policy of the US ruling class for decades. Trump made significant moves to weaken NATO, not to help Russia per se, but because that was in line with his transactional view of foreign policy and support for fascists around the world.
This contention within the US ruling class is not a ploy or a joke, but adds to the unpredictability of this very dangerous situation. Most importantly, I want to say my heart is with the people forced from their homes and fighting for their lives and mobilizing against this unjust war, including the thousands in more than fifty Russian cities who took to the streets immediately in response. As people living in the United States, I think it’s imperative that we oppose war moves by our government, including sanctions, which the US has used in places like Iraq to kill hundreds of thousands of civilians. We cannot act through the actions of the US government now, which will only hurt the people. The most essential need is to oppose US and NATO military action. We’ll have more on why that is on next week’s show.
In the meantime, I recommend two articles. One to help you around these “denazify” claims, I suggest that you read Jason Stanley’s article published by The Guardian, titled “The Antisemitism Animating Putin’s Claim to ‘Denazify’ Ukraine,” and “Anti-authoritarianism as a cover for supporting US imperialism” by Bob Avakian. You can find that one at Revcom.us. Both will be linked in the Show Notes. In brighter news, we are sending our love to our sisters in Colombia who schooled us on how you win abortion rights. In Colombia, a majority Catholic country, the highest court issued an order decriminalizing abortion. Their heroic, uncompromising, relentless protests in the streets show us what it looks like to fight. As Sunsara will get into more, now is the time for the people of this country to stand up and not let the fascists on the Supreme Court decimate abortion rights here. A big reason why women are losing this right here is that folks are staying home!
Sam Goldman 16:51
Let’s change this. Let’s go. Rise Up 4 Abortion Rights nationwide Tuesday, March 8, International Women’s Day. Now let’s listen to Sunsara Taylor. She co-initiated Refuse Fascism; is the host of the RnL Revolution, Nothing Less show on YouTube; hosts and produces the We Only Want the World radio program on WBAI and WPFW; and most recently launched the effort RiseUp4AbortionRights.org.
Sunsara Taylor 17:19
Close to ten years ago, at a rally I led for abortion rights right here in New York City, a woman who was just walking by stopped to listen. After a while, she came to the side of the stage. She was shaking. Through tears, she told me a story she had held in silence for probably 40 or 50 years. She grew up in Biloxi, Mississippi. At age 16, her best friend found out she was pregnant. Her friend’s family was Catholic and the girl was ashamed and especially didn’t want to disappoint her father.
I want you to remember what it was like to be 16. Remember your best friend. Your hopes. Remember having your whole life ahead of you.
Now imagine the terror, the isolation and shame that would drive you to sneak into your father’s belongings, find his gun, point it at your head and pull the trigger. This is what this woman’s childhood best friend did.
This is what it means for women to not have the right to safe, legal abortion.
The 2014 Abortion Rights Freedom Ride culminated in a Week of Defiance August 25-Sept 1 that included arrests at the University of Texas and in front of the mansion of Christian fascist Texas Governor Rick Perry. Photo: Ralph Barrera
That year I traveled the country organizing people to stand up for abortion rights. At every single stop, in every single city—from here in NYC to Fargo, North Dakota, all the way down to Jackson, Mississippi—I heard stories like this. Stories that had been hidden. But these stories surround us—even in this room.
A woman in Texas told of holding her best friend after a botched illegal abortion as she bled to death, paralyzed with fear that they would be sent to jail if they went to the hospital for help. She carries feelings of guilt to this day, even though it is the state that was to blame.
A woman from Mexico recounted how she was gang-raped as a teenager, denied an abortion, and forced to have the child without even knowing which rapist it came from. She described fending off her son’s questions about his father for years, unable to tell him the truth until he was over 30 years old.
Another told of lying on a dirty kitchen table as a man who almost certainly wasn’t a doctor sexually molested her. She had nowhere else to turn to so she endured it, just hoping he would do the abortion he had promised when he finished.
Have you ever been so desperate that you would walk up a dark staircase and endure sexual assault because the alternative is worse?
And the stories were not all in the past. We heard about teenagers in Oklahoma who threw themselves down the stairs to end pregnancies. Women in Jackson, Mississippi, who drank Purell.
This was going on ten years ago and things have only gotten worse since then. Over 500 abortion restrictions were passed just in the ten years between 2011 and 2021 with virtually no opposition.
Right now, a near total abortion ban has been in effect in Texas since last September. An abortion provider down there told me recently, “Sunsara, you have no idea the atrocities I am seeing every day.” She used that word, “atrocity.” She described having to turn away young girls, victims of incest and rape. Girls and women who will have their entire lives shaped—and for many, shattered—by being denied an abortion.
Or, consider the story of a young woman, a drug user who was on the eve of being sent into prison to serve a five-year sentence the day before the Texas ban went into effect. This woman already had three children at home. She didn’t want to deliver a baby in jail.
This woman actually made it to an abortion clinic before the abortion ban went into effect. But Texas has a mandatory 24-hour waiting period to get an abortion, so by the time this waiting period was over, the procedure was illegal.
When the woman heard this, she dropped to her knees on the cold tile floor in front of the doctor, and begged the doctor to take her, to perform the abortion.
Think about that. Have you ever dropped to your knees and begged for something in front of strangers? Can you imagine the desperation that would drive you to do that?
This woman was turned away. Think about the violence of that. The barbarity. Think of what this continues to mean in her life.
Now multiply this times 6 million. That is the number of women of child-bearing age in Texas.
But don’t stop there. Multiply it times 100 million. That is the estimate given by NPR of people who would lose access to abortion if Roe v. Wade were overturned. This is what the Supreme Court is poised to do, as early as late spring. If Roe is overturned, more than 20 states already have laws on the books that would immediately go into effect that would ban or severely restrict abortion. This includes nearly every southern state and large parts of the Midwest.
Think of the women’s lives that will be foreclosed. The dreams that will be shattered. The women and girls who will be forced to drop out of school. Those who will be trapped in abuse. Those who will be driven into poverty, or deeper into poverty. Think of the insult, the humiliation, the isolation and shame that will be inflicted on women and girls. Think of the fear—no, the terror—that will hang over the lives of all women and girls that no matter their own desires or plans, this nightmare hangs over them as a threat at any moment in their lives.
Someone else is controlling your body in its most intimate dimensions. Someone else is controlling one of the most important decisions of your life. Someone else can even decide whether to sacrifice your life so that another potential life can be brought into being. And in this case that someone else is the state, in which the “supreme” decisions are made by a pack of fanatical, theocratic Christian fascists. Think about it.
Forced motherhood is female enslavement!
Now, sometimes people look at all this and they scratch their heads and say, it doesn’t make sense—if these pro-lifers really wanted to reduce abortion, they’d be supporting birth control and sex education. If they really cared about life and babies, they’d be helping solve poverty and improve childcare and healthcare.
But it DOES make sense—because the fight against abortion has NEVER been about babies and it’s never been about “life.” It has been about restoring—with revenge—the forcible control over women. This is why they also oppose birth control, sex education, rights for LGBTQ people, and more.
Go outside an abortion clinic anywhere in this country where they are screaming at, shaming, threatening and harassing women. They say it openly: Wicked women, burn in hell. God hates gays. Women should submit to their husbands as their husbands submit to the lord. They recite the prayer: Lord, please break this curse of independence that has afflicted women.
Some of these fascists won’t even use the word “woman”—they refer to “host bodies.”
These people won’t be satisfied with a patchwork of half the country without abortion and the other half with it. No, they aim for criminalizing it everywhere—sending women and doctors and others to prison if they exercise this right.
Do you know that just last October a 21-year-old Native American woman from Oklahoma named Brittney Poolaw was convicted of manslaughter after having a miscarriage, and sent to prison?
And she’s not alone! National Advocates for Pregnant Women documented 1,254 cases between 2006 and 2020 in which “being pregnant was a necessary element of the crime or a ‘but for’ reason for the coercive or punitive action taken.”
The anti-abortion movement has assassinated 11 abortion providers. It has blown up clinics, invaded clinics, carried out kidnappings, and hundreds of acts of arson. On January 1st of this year, a Planned Parenthood in Tennessee was burned to the ground.
This is a Christian fascist, theocratic, woman-hating movement—and their assault on abortion is a battering ram in a broader, horrific, fascist program that is infused with white supremacy, xenophobia, science denialism and it is gaining ground on many fronts.
This movement cannot be accommodated. It cannot be appeased. It will not stop until they have imposed their nightmare vision of the world on all of us—or until they are decisively defeated!
So why is it that there are not millions and millions of women and others in the streets standing up against this refusing to take it, the way there needs to be? Why is it that RiseUp4AbortionRights.org is the only organization calling for mass struggle right now and why is it still the case that almost no one knows about this AND WHAT ARE WE—WHAT ARE YOU, EVERY SINGLE ONE OF YOU IN THIS ROOM AND WATCHING ONLINE—GOING TO DO TO CHANGE THIS?
One big reason people are not fighting is they are being misled by the so-called leaders of the so-called women’s movement who are capitulating in advance.
Sure, they dress it up…
They say things like, we are teaching women how to induce their own abortions with a pill they can—at least for now—get through the mail… for after Roe falls!
Or they say, we are raising money to help women travel to other states… for after Roe falls!
Or they say, we are passing “pro-active legislation” to protect abortion in our own local area… for after Roe falls!
Do you know that the National Institute for Reproductive Health actually put out a report last year titled “GAINING GROUND IN 2021”! They write: “Despite historic setbacks, states passed more proactive legislation in 2021 than ever before. This momentum must continue.” 2021! The year that the most anti-abortion restrictions were passed in the history of this country, the year that 6 million women lost this right in Texas, the year that the Supreme Court made clear they were prepared to detonate a bomb of female enslavement… They want to keep this momentum going?!?!?
You see, all this starts by accepting the unacceptable—that Roe will fall and women will lose their legal right to be recognized as full human beings. That is not pro-active, that is planning for and cheerleading defeat.
Think about the situation of “separate but so-called equal” that was enforced on Black people for generations. Black people were forcibly and legally segregated—made to be apart from white people unless white people were employing them—and were thrown into jail or worse—far worse—if they defied this. Think of the dehumanization of being forced to sit at the back of the bus or drink at a separate water fountain, as if your very existence was a contaminant. Think of being forced to send your children to crumbling schools that lacked decent books. And think about the violence that enforced all of this. The lynchings that not only stole thousands of lives, but cast a cloud of terror over every Black person. Then finally, in the face of growing resistance from Black people and others to this, and with the whole world watching and putting pressure on America, the Supreme Court ruled in Brown v. Board of Education that segregated schools were illegal.
Now, imagine if the Supreme Court were about to overturn the Brown v. Board of Education and restore “separate but equal.” Would any decent person accept this and just plan to make the newly segregated schools a little more comfortable? No! And no decent person should accept the reversal of Roe v. Wade and just plan to make this new enslavement of women a little more comfortable either!
You see, these so-called leaders of the so-called women’s movement are so enslaved to this system that they are willing to accept the enslavement of women!
And let’s be clear—if people lie down and accept the fall of Roe, how much longer will it be before Black people are slammed backwards in the same way? Look what is already being done by that same fascist-dominated Supreme Court to voting rights—and look, right in this city, how they are trying to bring back Stop and Frisk and re-intensify racist police terror.
Here’s another piece of deadly bullshit being pushed by the so-called “woke” crowd that we have to call out: “Abortion is a white woman’s issue.”
Bullshit! Already Black women and other women of color are hit hardest by abortion restrictions in this country and they will suffer disproportionately if abortion is illegal. 80% of women in Mississippi who seek abortions, a state with only one clinic, are Black. Black women face higher rates of poverty and less access to birth control and overall healthcare. Then they are demonized for exercising this right—accused of carrying out genocide against Black babies, a vicious lie! And Black women are already two to three times more likely to die in childbirth. This compounds the danger of being denied an abortion and forced to give birth against one’s will.
Let’s be clear: ALL women need access to abortion. And denying this right will hit ALL women—but it will hit Black women and other women of color especially hard.
There’s a lot of other woke idiocy that distracts from and makes excuses for not waging the fight that is necessary—and the revcoms, which I am a part of, have taken most of this on at our website revcom.us, and others involved in the RiseUp4AbortionRights.org movement have done so in other ways. Go to the website and look into it.
Now, a big question that comes up is concentrated in a sign that often gets carried by women of a certain age. It reads, “I can’t believe I still have to protest this shit!”
The full answer to why we are still having to protest this shit goes beyond the scope of tonight’s presentation. But I will say this: This woman-hating fascist assault is rooted in the very system we live under, the system of capitalism-imperialism. This system has patriarchy—the oppression of women by men—woven into its foundation and fabric. Ending all this will require an actual revolution—the overthrow of this system. Bob Avakian, BA, the revolutionary leader and architect of the new communism, has done path-breaking work that has advanced humanity’s understanding of why this is so, in addition to forging a strategy for making this revolution, forging a concrete vision and blueprint for the new society, and providing ongoing revolutionary leadership to chart the course to make all this real.
And BA has stressed this:
You cannot break all the chains, except one. You cannot say you want to be free of exploitation and oppression, except you want to keep the oppression of women by men. You can’t say you want to liberate humanity yet keep one half of the people enslaved to the other half. The oppression of women is completely bound up with the division of society into masters and slaves, exploiters and exploited, and the ending of all such conditions is impossible without the complete liberation of women. All this is why women have a tremendous role to play not only in making revolution but in making sure there is all-the-way revolution. The fury of women can and must be fully unleashed as a mighty force for proletarian revolution.
Tonight and as we go forward, I am going to fight for you to get into BA’s work at revcom.us and get with this revolution. And tune in every week to The RNL—Revolution, Nothing Less!—Show at youtube.com/therevcoms, as well as revcom.us, where I and other followers of Bob Avakian dig into this and other burning questions of the revolution every week.
But I am also fighting for all who can possibly be united in this fight for abortion rights, including people who don’t share my revolutionary outlook and even people who are deeply opposed to it. And you need to do this, too.
We need to take this fight everywhere—far beyond the so-called “movement”! There are millions of women at all levels and in all sections of this society whose position and accomplishments—or mere survival—has hinged on access to abortion. I am talking about female CEOs and world-class athletes. I am talking about blockbuster artists and actors. I am talking about thousands of academics and medical professionals. I am talking about women in the church pews and the pulpits and all the other religious institutions that are not bent on enforcing patriarchal control. I am talking about students and young people. I am talking about women in the ghettos and barrios. And I am talking about men and people of different genders as well.
In fact, I have heard very moving stories of older Black men from this neighborhood right here in Harlem who hang out at this very bookstore pouring out their anger at the idea that this right would be taken away from women. We need to go to all sections of people and provoke, challenge, inspire and organize them to throw in with this struggle NOW!
Fight to get the RiseUp4AbortionRights.org Statement everywhere and use every day between now and then to turn all these people out in the streets on March 8th, International Women’s Day, across this country but especially right here in NYC at 3 pm at Union Square to declare to the world:
WE REFUSE TO LET THE SUPREME COURT DENY WOMEN’S HUMANITY AND DECIMATE THEIR RIGHTS!
ABORTION ON DEMAND AND WITHOUT APOLOGY!
We need to make these protests powerful enough to wake up and shake millions more people throughout this country. To challenge and inspire them to join us in the streets in even greater numbers going forward, in organizing on the campuses, in the arts, in the sciences, in inspiring and unleashing a level of struggle in this country that shakes and touches everyone. Forcing everyone to pick a side and forcing every institution—including the Supreme Court—to respond to our demand!
So, like Lori Sokol [executive director of Women eNews and an initiator of RiseUp4AbortionRights.org] said in that powerful video we began with: If not you, who? If not now, when?
Don’t tell yourself that it can’t be done.
Look at the heroism of the women who rose up in Mexico. Their relentless fury has everything to do with why abortion was decriminalized there. Look at the women of Argentina—they, too, flooded the streets and rocked their society with their fury and won the legalization of abortion last year. Look at the women of Poland who defied the church and the state and brought their society to a halt with their outpourings of determination. No, they haven’t won yet—but at least they are fighting—and because of this, the fight is not over.
Hundreds of thousands of women took to the streets of Warsaw and other Polish cities and towns in outraged protest against an October 22, 2020, decree by the Constitutional Tribunal banning abortion. Photo: Twitter
And think back to sitting in your bedroom on May 27, 2020. If someone had told you then that within a matter of days thousands of people—including thousands of white kids—would be sitting down in the street defying curfew even as National Guard troops marched towards them firing tear gas and rubber bullets, would you have believed them? If they told you that the illegitimate Bloated Bag of Fascist Feces Donald Trump would be driven into a bunker in cowardice and that even after he called out helicopters and the military, people would pour back into the streets of DC, would you have believed it? If they told you that people in almost all white towns in deep red rural areas would be marching for Black lives, would you have believed it?
I doubt it very much—but it happened. Because people saw the outrage of what was done to George Floyd and they understood it was not isolated. It was Breonna Taylor. It was Trayvon Martin. It was Oscar Grant. It was Sandra Bland. It was hundreds and thousands of others and they had had enough. And they didn’t wait for permission of those who crowned themselves the so-called leaders of the movement.
And we cannot wait for these so-called leaders now either. We have to get out everywhere and make people confront and feel the horror of what is coming. We have to wake them up and move them right now to stand up in the same way and with the same fearless determination.
So I end with this: A ticking time bomb of female enslavement is set to be detonated by the Supreme Court in a matter of months. There is no hiding from it. The choice each of us has to make is to confront it and fight to change it, or let it explode and change all of our lives and the future of society in a horrific, almost unimaginable way.
Don’t waste another day. Seize this time to do everything you can to turn people out for March 8th. As part of that, join in a speak-out and nonviolent civil disobedience on February 27 at St. Patrick’s Cathedral in NYC. And join in other ways, give your funds, your talents, your networks, your creativity, your time, and your courage.
NOW is the time to hold nothing back. NOW is the time to rouse thousands and soon millions in struggle so that we can look every woman and girl in the eye with the promise in word and deed that they will have a future as full human beings. NOW is the time to stand up, together, as if our lives depend upon it—for, in fact, they do.
WE REFUSE TO LET THE SUPREME COURT DENY WOMEN’S HUMANITY AND DECIMATE THEIR RIGHTS!
ABORTION ON DEMAND AND WITHOUT APOLOGY!
Sam Goldman 45:44
A link to the video as a PowerPoint presentation can be found in the show notes. Join Sunsara along with V. formerly known as the Eve Ensler; Betty Kathy Najimy, Gloria Steinem, Reverend Jacqui Lewis, and others Tuesday, March 8. That’s International Women’s Day. They’ll be in New York City at Union Square at 3:00 pm. Or find a protest near you at RiseUp4AbortionRghts.org
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