Statements

National Week of Action October 16-22

Challenge politicians with the direct question: Will you or will you not sign the Women's Rights Pledge?

“I pledge to never vote for any legislation that limits or restricts women’s right to abortion or attempts to circumvent women’s full access to healthcare.”

At a town hall meeting earlier this month, Rep. Todd Akin of Missouri suggested that businesses should have the “freedom” to pay women less for equal work. It’s not the first time Akin has attacked women and women’s rights. Earlier this year, he infamously declared that victims of “legitimate rape” cannot get pregnant. WORD is continuing to circulate our petition demanding his immediate resignation.

Todd Akin is one of the better-known misogynists in public office, but he is by no means the only one. Women and women’s rights are under relentless attack from politicians and the media. Right-wing politicians like Akin lead attacks on our hard-won rights while so-called “progressives” compromise and capitulate. This has been happening for decades, and if it continues we’ll soon be left with no rights at all.

Women’s rights are not up for debate!

Mitt Romney wants to strip women of our rights and President Obama wants to avoid the issue. Neither of them will defend our rights. While all eyes are on the presidential election, women across the country will take the streets to demand attention to the issues that affect our lives.

WORD is organizing protests outside the presidential debates on Oct. 16 in Hempstead, New York and on Oct. 22 in Boca Raton, Florida. During the week of October 16-22, women across the United States will march and protest in locally organized actions to defend women’s rights.

Find an action in your city and get involved!

Tuesday, October 16
Outside the second Presidential Debate
Hofstra University in Hempstead, N.Y. (Long Island)
Gather at 5:00 pm
Corner of Hempstead Turpike/Fulton Ave. and California Ave./Hofstra Blvd.
Download flyer
View Facebook event

Friday, October 19
San Francisco, California
Powell & Market, 5:30 pm
Download flyer
View Facebook event

Saturday, October 20
Los Angeles, California
Wilshire & Western, 1 pm
Download flyer
View Facebook event

Saturday, October 20
New Haven, Connecticut
College & Chapel, 12 noon
View flyer
View Facebook event

Saturday, October 20
Chicago, Illinois
Women's Speakout
12noon at Chicago Water Tower (Michigan & Pearson)
Download flyer
View Facebook event

Monday, October 22
Outside the third Presidential Debate
Boca Raton, Florida
Gather at 7:00 pm
At the "Peace Corner" on Glades Road and St. Andrews Blvd.
March to Lynn University (site of the debate)
Download flyer
View Facebook event

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No more political games with our lives: Demand politicians sign the Women's Rights Pledge

Dear friend,

Join the Oct. 16-22
National Week of Action!

As the candidates debate domestic and foreign policy for an audience of millions, we will demand full abortion rights, end budget cuts, affordable healthcare, childcare and maternity leave, equal pay, and more.
NEW VIDEO: August 26 March for Women's Rights in LA!
Video: August 26 march in Los Angeles

Can you join thousands of others and send a quick email letter to members of Congress demanding that they sign the Women’s Rights Pledge?

It only takes a minute, and we want every member of Congress to feel the heat.

The Women’s Rights Pledge is directed to all politicians, regardless of political affiliation, and it's very simple. The Pledge reads: 

"I pledge to never vote for any legislation that limits or restricts women's right to abortion or attempts to circumvent women's full access to healthcare."

All over the country, politicians are running for office and asking women to vote for them.

They want women to support them at the voting booth, but the first question is whether they will support women and women’s rights - including the right to abortion - and women’s access to health care services.

We have included a sample letter, but feel free to edit it with your own words or send your own original letter. Send the letter right now!

You can also download a printable version of the pledge to personally deliver to politicians in your area.

Defend Women’s Rights,



Danielle Norwood, for all of us at WORD

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Video: Aug. 26 March for Women's Rights in Los Angeles

Women and supporters took to the streets from coast to coast on Women's Equality Day as part of a new fight-back movement against the assault on women's rights. Hundreds marched in Los Angeles to demanding full reproductive rights and access, defense of women in the workplace, an end to the budget cuts, and full equality and respect.

Demonstrations also took place in Chicago, San Francisco, New York City, New Paltz, N.Y., and many other cities across the country.

Please take a moment to watch this video and share it through Facebook, Twitter and other social networks!

Oct. 16-22 National week of demonstrations, protests and rallies to Defend Women’s Rights

Signs at the Aug 26 WORD march in Los Angeles - We won't go back!

Oct. 16-22 National Week of Action
Join the protests outside the presidential debates
in Hempstead, N.Y. Oct. 16 and Boca Raton, FL Oct. 22
and protests in cities nationwide!

Click here to see a Calendar of Actions

All over the country, politicians are running for office and asking women to vote for them.

They want women to support them at the voting booth, but the first question is whether they will support women and women’s rights, including the right to abortion, and women’s access to health care services.

The Republican Party is openly running on a program to strip women of our rights. But will the Democratic Party guarantee that they won’t surrender women’s basic rights as they have consistently done, acting as if we were simply a bargaining chip in the game of politics? This keeps happening and women’s rights are being destroyed step by step at the federal, state and local level.

Why support any politician who won’t pledge to aggressively defend women’s rights that are under attack? In fact, WORD and other organizations are planning to challenge every politician in the country during this election cycle with the direct question: Will they or won’t they sign the Women’s Rights Pledge.

The Women’s Rights Pledge is very simple. It reads:

"I pledge to never vote for any legislation that limits or restricts women's right
to abortion or attempts to circumvent women's full access to healthcare."

Wherever politicians are campaigning, speaking or holding debates in the next two months, the issue of women’s rights will become front and center because women will be challenging every one of them, regardless of political affiliation, with the simple, direct question: will they or won’t they sign this Pledge. Don’t let any politician who wants women to vote for them get away without answering the question. Will they or won’t they sign the Pledge?

Join or organize a protest in your area during October 16-22

“Defend Women’s Rights” protests will be held in cities and towns throughout the country during the week of October 16-22. Some of the protests will be held outside the presidential debates.

Mitt Romney wants to strip women of the right to abortion and President Obama doesn’t want to talk about it at all. That’s a recipe for disaster for women.

This is exactly what has been going on for three decades. The right wing openly attacks abortion rights and the Democratic Party just wants the issue to go away. They act like the words “abortion rights” are too hot to handle. So the right-wing offensive keeps successfully chewing up our rights, and the “progressive” politicians keep bending and capitulating. Soon we will have no rights left.

That’s why women of all ages are going back into the streets.  

WORD (Women Organized to Resist and Defend) is organizing protests on October 16 at Hofstra University in Hempstead, New York and October 22 at Lynn University in Boca Raton, Florida outside of the presidential debates. During the week of October 16-22, women in cities across the United States will hold local demonstrations to make their voices heard.

Women refuse to be excluded from the decisions that affect our lives. As the candidates debate domestic and foreign policy for an audience of millions, we will demand full abortion rights, end budget cuts, affordable healthcare, childcare and maternity leave, equal pay, and more.

If you can’t make it to protest at the debates, join or organize a protest in your community. Stand up and make your voice heard at the debates or in your city!

There is a long, proud tradition of women in the United States mobilizing and fighting to win equality and respect. We are carrying on that tradition by building a new, fighting women’s movement to defend the rights we’ve won and resist attempts to push us back into inequality.

Calendar of Actions

Tuesday, October 16
Outside the second Presidential Debate
Hofstra University in Hempstead, N.Y. (Long Island)
Gather at 5:00 pm
Corner of Hempstead Turpike/Fulton Ave. and California Ave./Hofstra Blvd.
Download flyer
View Facebook event

Friday, October 19
San Francisco, California
Powell & Market, 5:30 pm
Download flyer
View Facebook event

Saturday, October 20
Los Angeles, California
Wilshire & Western, 1 pm
Download flyer
View Facebook event

Saturday, October 20
New Haven, Connecticut
College & Chapel, 12 noon
View flyer
View Facebook event

Saturday, October 20
Chicago, Illinois
Counter Protest; Stand up to the anti-women bigots in Chicago
12noon at Federal Plaza (Adams and Dearborn)
View Facebook event

Monday, October 22
Outside the third Presidential Debate
Boca Raton, Florida
Gather at 7:00 pm
At the "Peace Corner" on Glades Road and St. Andrews Blvd.
March to Lynn University (site of the debate)
Download flyer
View Facebook event

How will you participate?

Donate to support WORD

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WORD (Women Organized to Resist and Defend) is a new grassroots, feminist organization that is dedicated to building the struggle for women’s rights and equality for all. Learn more at DefendWomensRights.org.

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Victory to Chicago teachers' strike!

Women Organized to Resist and Defend (WORD) stands with the striking Chicago Teachers Union and teachers across the United States who are fighting for quality education for all.

We salute the striking teachers and staff of Chicago’s public schools. It took great resolve and courage to conduct this strike. We urge all members and supporters of WORD to join demonstrations, rallies and picket lines in their cities to show their solidarity with the Chicago strikers.

This strike affects us all – if the striking teachers are successful, teachers and students across the United States will benefit from a blow to the greed and corporatization that threaten education nationwide. If they win, we will all win.

Democratic Chicago Mayor Rahm Emmanuel – with the full support of Republican Paul Ryan, Mitt Romney’s running mate – has been trying to defeat this strike by Chicago’s teachers.

Teachers and their unions have become the scapegoat for the failures of the U.S. education system.

The Chicago Teachers Union is fighting for the future of public education in Chicago and across the United States. The “reforms” Emmanuel and his supporters in both parties seek are aimed at de-funding and shutting down public schools, leading to the privatization of education for profit. If the corporate “reformers” have their way, public schools will be non-union and above any sort of public accountability. Characterizing CTU teachers as “greedy” helps distract from the real issues.

These dishonest attacks on teachers are directed at a majority female work force. Across the United States, teachers are predominantly women; at the elementary level, 90 percent of teachers are female. In the Chicago School District, 76.3 percent of teachers are women.

Attacking teachers as lazy and greedy, blaming them for government failures and social problems, is part of a long history of attacks on women as scapegoats for problems caused by the rich and powerful. The myth of “welfare queens” perpetuated in the 1990s is one example, blaming women of color for systematic failures to justify cutting social programs. Although women have won considerable gains in political power since the “witch hunts” in Salem, we are still blamed when the system fails.

WORD stands with the Chicago teachers, women and men, as they fight back against these attacks. Support public education and fight for our future! Victory to Chicago Teachers!

Aug. 26 Day of action: See photos and media coverage from around the country

Watch slideshow of Aug. 26 actions from across the country

Please check out this great slideshow of photos we've received from Aug. 26 demonstrations around the country. Be sure you also read the Aug. 26 reports we've received from cities across the United States, which has been updated to include a mobilization of hundreds of women and supporters in New Paltz, N.Y.

From New Paltz, N.Y.:

Hundreds of people attended a rally organized in response to the National Call to Action initiated by WORD. Following the rally, participants marched with signs through the town's crowded business district chanting such slogans as "When Women's rights are under attack, what do we do? Stand up, fight back!"

The Peace Park rally was organized by the Hudson Valley Activist Newsletter and the group Peace and Social Progress Now, and was endorsed by some 15 local groups. Molly Madden, a 19-year-old freshman student who first arrived in town three days earlier from Buffalo told a local newspaper that she "enjoyed the speakers, the rally and the message. I've never been to anything like this."

READ THE FULL NEW PALTZ REPORT AND OTHER REPORTS FROM ACROSS THE COUNTRY

You'll find some of the media coverage of this national day of action for women's rights below. Help us continue building this new grassroots movement for women's rights -- Spread the word through email, Facebook, Twitter and other social networks, and please make an urgently needed donation in support of our work.

Media Coverage of Aug. 26 National Day of Action

Activists call for women's rights during Hollywood march
LA Daily News, 8/26/12

More than 200 rally in New Paltz for women's rights
Poughkeepsie Journal, 8/26/12

Daley Plaza protest in defense of women's rights

WLS-TV, 8/26/12

Women rally in downtown Lexington
WVTQ, 8/26/12

Photo story: Women's rights take center stage
The Guardsman Online, 8/28/12

Thank you for being part of this historic National Day of Action. Stay involved with WORD in your city, and help us continue the struggle to defend women's rights by making a donation in support of our work.

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What’s next in the struggle to defend women’s rights?

Wednesday, Aug. 29 @ 7pm
137 N. Virgil Ave, #201
Los Angeles, CA 90004

Call: 213-251-1058
Email: la@defendwomensrights.org

On August 26, Women’s Equality Day, women across the United States marched to defend our rights and push back against the escalating legislative and attacks.

Thank you to the many organizers, volunteers and supporters who made this historic National Day of Action such a success!

What’s next in the struggle to defend women’s rights? 

Join WORD Los Angeles organizers this Wednesday, August 29, at 7 pm for a planning meeting to discuss our next steps in building a new, fighting movement to defend women’s rights.

Your energy and dedication made our first National Day of Action a great success. Stay involved in the struggle and help us move forward as we fight for full equality for all people.

Be sure to join us for this important meeting as we discuss our next steps in building the new movement to protect and expand women's rights.

If you can’t attend this meeting, you can still help us continue this important work by making an urgently needed donation to support WORD. 

Donate to support WORD

People across the country protest to defend women's rights

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Watch slideshow of Aug. 26 actions from across the country

On Sunday, August 26, women and supporters took to the streets from coast to coast on Women's Equality Day as part of a new fight-back movement against the assault on women's rights. Protests took place in New York City and New Paltz, N.Y.; Los Angeles and San Francisco, Calif.; Chicago, Ill.; Denver, Colo.; Lexington, Ky.; Milwaukee, Wis.; and several other cities.

While the RNC and DNC convening and concocting new ways to attack women's rights, a new generation of feminist organizers are mobilizing in response. WORD stands for full reproductive rights now, defense of women in the workplace, an end to the budget cuts, and full equality and respect now.

Aug. 26 is only our first step in building a new grassroots feminist organization that can push back the wave of right-wing attacks on women's rights. Be a part of this movement by making an urgently needed donation, signing up to volunteer and sharing the reports below via email, Facebook, Twitter and other social networks.

Below is a round-up of some of the actions around the country:

New Paltz, N.Y.


New Paltz rally organizer Donna Goodman leads 300 demonstrators in march through New Paltz business district.

Hundreds of people attended a rally organized in response to the National Call to Action initiated by WORD. Following the rally, participants marched with signs through the town's crowded business district chanting such slogans as "When Women's rights are under attack, what do we do? Stand up, fight back!"

The Peace Park rally was organized by the Hudson Valley Activist Newsletter and the group Peace and Social Progress Now, and had endorsements from some 15 local groups. Molly Madden, a 19-year-old freshman student who first arrived in town three days earlier from Buffalo told a local newspaper that she "enjoyed the speakers, the rally and the message. I've never been to anything like this."

Eight speakers, all activist women from the region, addressed the rally. The main speaker was Donna Goodman, a vice president of the AFL-CIO's Hudson Valley Area Labor Federation and an editor of the Activist Newsletter, who was the chief organizer the rally.

Noting that "women have made good progress in America in the last 200 years," Goodman declared: "Every victory was the product of an intense, organized, independent struggle waged by women and whatever male allies were willing to join with them …

“We cannot rely on the two-party system to do the job for us. We ourselves must do the job through our own struggle as we have done before. We need a revival of an independent, progressive, activist women's movement in America to protect our existing rights and to extend those rights."

Other speakers included: Beth Soto, executive director of the AFL-CIO's Hudson Valley Area Labor Federation. Elizabeth Gross, founder of New Paltz Feminist Collective. Barbara Upton founder of New Paltz Women in Black. Joanne Myers, Marist College professor and vice president of the Hudson Valley LGBTQ Center. Monica Miranda, president of the Hispanic Coalition of New York. Ariana Basco, a New Paltz Village Board Trustee and co-chair of the Environmental Task Force. Music was provided by progressive women singers known as The Mahina Movement.

Los Angeles

WORD Los Angeles Aug. 26 march

In Los Angeles, several hundred women and their allies took over the streets of Hollywood under a banner that read “Defend women’s rights! We won’t go back! We will fight back!” Activists caravanned from Long Beach, San Diego, the Coachella Valley and all over Southern California to be a part of this important action.

The protest began with a spirited rally where a variety of speakers addressed the obstacles that face women and their families in California. Students, child care workers, immigrant rights activists, hotel workers and others spoke out about the need to build a movement for equality for all women. The rally included representatives from Destination LA – a campaign for a living wage for tourist-industry workers who are majority women, AF3IRM, ANSWER LA, The Topanga Peace Alliance, KmB Pro-People Youth, Occupy Los Angeles Men’s Circle in Support of Smashing Patriarchy, and more.

The rally was followed by a spirited march up the bustling Hollywood Boulevard. Many along the sidewalks cheered as the marchers passed, chanting “Anti-choice men have got to go – when you get pregnant, let us know!”

The march ended at Grauman's Chinese Theater, a busy tourist area, where many were able to see the march and the hundreds who came out to stand up for women’s rights that day. During the closing speak-out, WORD LA organizer Sarah Lee Samonte addressed the crowd, saying: “I am here to make change for my daughter and for the future. I’m here to make sure that she stays strong with every step she takes and fights back against the war on women! If I can change things for her today, she will have a better tomorrow!” Many speakers agreed with Samonte and signed up with WORD to continue the struggle in the days to come.

San Francisco

word sf march 2

"I have cousins, my mother, a baby sister and ... I want them to get what they want," were the words of fifth-grade student Nur, interrupted as he started crying during the middle of his sentence explaining why he was out in the streets with his family to defend women's rights.

Approximately 250 people gathered at the 24th and Mission in San Francisco's Mission District to fight back against the ongoing right-wing attacks on the rights of women. As the crowd marched down 24th to Potrero Del Sol Park, the energetic crowd filled the air with chants calling: “No means no and nothing less. How we dress does not mean ‘yes’!” and “Se ve se siente! Mujeres estan presentes!” People all along the street were coming out to check out the march, joining in with chanting, and eagerly asking for flyers.

Many speakers addressed the attacks against women and why they were marching. Issues as seemingly diverse as cuts to education, unemployment, health care access, unequal pay, war, and racist immigration laws were all woven together into a big-picture understanding of the many issues that affect women and need to combated. As one speaker said: "We are here today to have our voices heard. We are here building a movement. A movement of women, and men, ready to fight back and say: 'Enough is enough! We won't go back!'"

Supporters, speakers and endorsers included: WORD San Francisco and Sacramento, Oceana High School Progressive Student Union, ANSWER SF, Slutwalk SF, World Can’t Wait, AF3IRM San Francisco, CODE PINK, Radical Women, Sisters’ United Front for Survival and OccupySF.

New York City

New York demonstration

NYC’s day of action in midtown, which drew over 150 women and allies, began with a rally at the News Corporation building to denounce their media coverage that continuously stigmatizes women through news sources such as The New York Post and Fox News. Speakers there included the American-Iranian Friendship Committee.

As protesters marched through the busy crowds of Times Square, many bystanders showed solidarity by signing the WORD petition demanding that Sen. Todd Akin resign and joining in the chants. The next stop was Free Abortion Alternatives.

Chanting down the street, protesters stopped next to an army recruitment center and a police precinct. A speaker for the ANSWER Coalition condemned the sexual harassment and abuse women in the military experience, as well as the sexual exploitation of women in U.S.-occupied lands abroad.  At the NYPD Precinct, a Party for Socialism and Liberation representative spoke about how the police terrorize and abuse the most oppressed sectors of the working class, which elicited positive responses from spectators.  

Outside Planned Parenthood, a Revolutionary Fitness representative verbalized the importance of women having affordable access to healthcare and how we should stand in support of this organization, which is getting attacked. Our last stop, the Post Office, resulted in a culminating finale to the march where representatives of DAMAYAN Migrant Workers Association and African Ancestral Lesbians United for Social Change (AALUSC) shared solidarity statements that united the women’s struggle with that of migrant workers and the LGBT community.

Chicago

On Sunday, Aug. 26, women and their allies came from all over the Chicago area as well as from northern Indiana to march for women’s rights. Despite a soaking rain that lasted all day, the conditions did not stop us from marching and chanting through the streets of downtown Chicago. Onlookers gave us thumbs up and cheered as we loudly chanted, “What do we want? Women’s rights! When do we want them? Now!”

Several groups took part in the demonstration, including WORD, Third Wave Feminism and Occupy Chicago.

The march ended with a lively rally next to the notoriously anti-union Congress Hotel. Ymelda Viramontes, an organizer with WORD spoke, saying: “If history has taught us anything it is that we need to struggle for our rights independently of the politicians. Let’s stand together and build a new fightback movement that can liberate women and all oppressed people once and for all!”

Additional reports and photographs will be posted at DefendWomensRights.org. Submit yours by emailing info@defendwomensrights.org.

The Aug. 26 demonstrations were a success thanks to the efforts of tireless volunteers and supporters like you. This National Day of Action is only the beginning. We are committed to the work of building a new movement to protect and expand women's rights -- but we need your help. Please make an urgently needed donation today so that we can continue this critical work.

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This Sunday, Aug. 26: SF March and Rally - Stop the attacks on women's rights!

See a list of demonstrations in other cities


Watch the video:
Why I'm Marching on Aug. 26

Join us in the streets this Sunday, Aug. 26 – Women's Equality Day – to fight back against the wave of right-wing attacks on women's rights! In San Francisco, we will gather at 24th and Mission Streets at 12 noon for a march and rally.

It has been 39 years since the Supreme Court’s Roe v Wade decision that declared access to abortion to be a fundamental right. It was a victory for the women’s movement that gave women the most fundamental of rights – control over our own bodies.

Republican candidates in this year’s primary campaign competed to see who could spout the most anti-woman rhetoric, even opposing exemptions to abortion restrictions in the case of rape or incest – in fact, very much along the line of the repulsive remarks of Rep. Todd Akin earlier this week. Democrats, for their part, have offered no fight back alternative, instead compromising time after time.

Women's rights are not up for debate. We will not let our lives be decided in the halls of Congress or state legislatures. Join us this Sunday, Aug. 26, in the streets of San Francisco. It's time to fight back!

GET INVOLVED! A work session in preparation for the Aug. 26 demonstration is taking place today (Saturday) at 2969 Mission St. (between 25th and 26th Streets near 24th St. BART). Drop by to lend a hand and meet other organizers and volunteers. Help make this day of action a success!

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Stand up for women's rights in Los Angeles! March on August 26!

Final planning meeting Saturday @ 1pm
March & rally Sunday Aug 26 @ 1 pm

We’re just days away from our first-ever National Day of Action to Defend Women’s Rights in Los Angeles and cities across the United States on Sunday, August 26. We need your help to make sure it’s a success!

Thanks for all your hard work over the last few weeks. We’ve done a lot of great street outreach, exciting banner drops, and connected with feminists and activists all over Los Angeles.

There is still a lot to do in these last few days as we prepare for the August 26 demonstrations!

  • Saturday, August 25, 1pm:
    Final volunteers meeting

    137 N. Virgil Ave, #201

    Los Angeles, CA 90004

Meet at the WORD office at 1 pm for our final volunteer meeting before the demonstration. We're going to be making signs, discussing volunteer opportunities and preparing for the big day!

After the meeting, join a WORD outreach team. We’ll be sending a team to the Echo Park Rising Festival and other local events.

  • Sunday, August 26: March to defend women’s rights!
    Hollywood & Vine, 11 am

Volunteers will be meeting at Hollywood and Vine at 11 am to begin setup. The rally begins at 1 pm.

Don't miss out on this important demonstration! Invite your family, friends, neighbors, classmates and coworkers to make sure we fill the streets of Hollywood to push back the right-wing attacks on women's rights!

For more information about WORD or the August 26 National Day of Action, check out defendwomensrights.org or give us a call at (213)251-1058.

Donate to support WORD

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