Statements

Nationwide protests honor Women’s Equality Day in struggle

Women's Equality Day banner
Watch a slideshow with photos from around the country!

On August 23-26, Women Organized to Resist and Defend (WORD) carried out nationwide demonstrations in honor of Women's Equality Day focused on stopping the right-wing attacks targeting women’s rights and the rights of all oppressed people. WORD recognizes that recent escalating attacks on a woman’s right to choose -- a basic and core demand of the feminist movement -- come in the context of a wave of attacks against historical victories won in all people’s movements.

Demonstrations took place in Albuquerque, NM; Asheville, NC; Boston, MA; Chicago, IL; Columbia, MO; Dallas, TX; Flint, MI; Houston, TX; Los Angeles, CA; New Haven, CT; New Paltz, NY; New York City, NY; Phoenix, AZ; Sacramento, CA; San Francisco, CA; Seattle, WA; and Washington, DC. On the East Coast, WORD mobilized for the march and rally commemorating the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington in Washington, D.C.

Below please find reports from just some of these actions submitted to WORD from organizers nationwide:

Chicago, Illinois

Women's Equality Day speak-out in Chicago
Speak-out in Chicago, August 23

On August 23, women from all over Chicago gathered at downtown’s Federal Plaza to demand equality for women everywhere. In the middle of the busy evening rush hour, we held a banner that read “We Won’t Go Back, We Will Fight Back.” Our sisters from women’s organizations around the city to joined the speak-out.

One woman who gave a particularly moving speech is a clinic escort in the city. She spoke of the verbal harassment so many women receive when they are being escorted into abortion clinics, and more often than not are physically harassed by anti-choice protestors, who think they have the right to actually try to physically pull a woman away from entering a clinic. More than one speaker mentioned the bigger connection that attacks on women’s rights are actually attacks on the rights of working people everywhere.

During the speak-out, activists were doing outreach and talking to women on the street about equality. Between speakers, there were lively chants such as, “When women’s rights are under attack, what do we do? Stand up, fight back!” and “Not the church, not the state, women will decide their fate!”

San Francisco, California 

Women's Equality Day speak-out in San Francisco
Speak-out in San Francisco, Aug 24

On August 24, WORD held a speak-out in front of the 24th & Mission Street BART station. Many women and some men spoke about the broad array of issues that are affecting women and their rights. Each speaker made the connection between the multitude of issues faced by women and the need to fight together for the benefit of all. As one speaker said: "You can look at the world around you and see that it is really, really messed up. We've come far, but we've not come far enough. ... I'm not going to stand by and wait. I'm not going back." A wide variety of issues were highlighted, including reproductive rights, quality education, poverty, health care, sexual violence, police brutality and the struggle to free Chelsea Manning (formerly Bradley Manning).

Many people stopped to participate, listen in, sign up, and help passing out flyers about WORD to passers-by. While recalling the surge of sexist statements and laws that were happening this previous fall and how women's rights are still treated as negotiable tokens amongst politicians, the crowd chanted: "We won't back down, we won't wait! Women's rights are not up for debate!" One young woman who spoke said: "They continue to silence our voices. We need to stand together as women, as sisters and FIGHT!"

Washington, D.C. 

WORD at March on Washington, 8.24.13
Washington, D.C., August 24

WORD mobilized for the march and rally in Washington, D.C., on August 24 to commemorate the 50the Anniversary of the March on Washington. As part of this mobilization, WORD members from across the East Coast – including New York City, New Paltz and New Haven – took buses to D.C. to participate. At the march, WORD volunteers held signs with pro-women demands and did outreach among the crowd of 200,000 people.

Women from around the country attended the March on Washington for many reasons. Deborah, a march attendee from Greensboro, North Carolina, explained: "I came out today to show that we have a voice. In North Carolina, they are trying to take away our right to reproductive health care and our right to vote. We are here to show that we are organized!"

Flint, Michigan

In Flint, Michigan, NAACP W. I. N. (Women In NAACP) held a luncheon to honor Women’s Equality Day celebrating the 100 Year Anniversary of the Suffrage March. 62 Ladies were in attendance. Women's Organizations were: Michigan State NOW, LWV, UAW, Region 1- C Women's Council, Coalition of Labor and Union Women, Thursday Afternoon Club, Delta Sigma Theta Sorority Inc., NAACP (Lansing and Detroit), Michigan State Church Women United (from Detroit),  Michigan State Senator Jim Ananick,  Genesee County Treasurer Deb Cherry, Michigan State Representative Pam Faris, Michigan Democratic Party Women's Caucus, several ladies running for office, ladies from local organizations and Missionary Societies.

Sacramento, California 

Women's Equality Day Sacramento
Sacramento, August 24

Women Organized to Resist and Defend held a speak-out for Women’s Equality Day on August 24 in Sacramento at a local park. The focus of the event was on the connection between immigrant rights and women’s rights in our fight for equality in the United States.

At the speak-out, several WORD members spoke to address different issues. Marissa shared why she fights for women’s equality. Celia spoke about what immigrant women face in terms of sexual violence along the U.S./Mexico border. Mallory read a spoken word piece titled “Why I Fight,” which expressed the struggle against capitalism and the need for unity amongst working people. Two women from Movimiento Molcajete led a circle discussion about the need for women’s rights and direct action.

“Human Rights, Worker’s Rights, Immigrant Rights, Student Rights Are All Women’s Rights,” could be seen on the signs carried by participants as we marched through a neighborhood in North Sacramento.

Los Angeles, California 

Women's Equality Day march in LA, 8.25.13
March in Los Angeles, August 25

Women and allies took the streets of Hollywood for a spirited march on August 25 to honor Women’s Equality Day in struggle. Speakers from WORD, AF3IRM, UniteWomen, Ladyfest LA and other women’s rights and community groups addressed the crowd, stressing the importance of unity and connecting important issues like education, LGBTQ rights, immigrant rights and the struggle against racism.

The march was a great success despite the intense heat, and chants rang out through the crowded tourist area, including “They say get back, Women say fight back!” and “Hey hey, ho ho, sexism has got to go!”

Boston, Massachusetts 

Boston Women's Equality Day rally
Rally in Boston, August 25

In honor of Women's Equality Day, a group of women and men braved the summer heat and rallied outside of Park Street station in Boston, Massachusetts. Several organizations came out and spoke, representing many different struggles.

Jennifer Zaldana spoke on behalf of WORD, saying, "We as organizers and fighters in the women's movement have a duty to bring all of our different struggles together, just as we've done today. From the fight against sexual exploitation and domestic violence to the fight for immigrant and workers rights, to winning justice for victims of police violence. Together we can and will win."

Monique Nguyen, executive director of MataHari: Eye of the Day spoke of their mission to end gender-based violence and exploitation, as well as the campaign for a Domestic Workers Bill of Rights. Nikia Ramsey and Jordana Monteiro with Live4BO (Better Opportunities Inc.) spoke of their fight for justice and answers in the murder of their brother and friend Burrell “Bo” Ramsey, who a year ago was shot and killed by an unnamed Boston Police officer after a routine traffic stop. Nikki Casey, co-founder of We Are FUSE, spoke of the importance of empowering women and ending patriarchy so equality and independence thrive. Other organizations represented included Hollaback Boston, Cambridge Women's Center, SA, WRise, the Party for Socialism and Liberation (PSL) and ANSWER Boston.

Between speakers, chants such as "Whatever we wear, wherever we go, yes means yes and no means no!" and "No justice, no peace! No racist police!" spread through the crowd and got the attention of many people walking by.

This was the first action organized by WORD in Boston, and many women signed up for more information and to get involved. Some came up to the WORD table after the event stating that though they had known about it in advance, they abruptly changed their afternoon plans to stay and support the women's struggle.

Asheville, North Carolina 

Asheville Women's Equality Day rally
Rally in Asheville, August 25

On August 25, Asheville women and allies gathered downtown to celebrate Women's Equality Day, remember the historic March on Washington, and continue the fight for our rights.

Once everyone gathered, we began chanting "Hey McCrory, what dya' say? How many clinics did you close today?" "When women's rights are under attack, what do we do? Stand up fight back!" "The people united will never be defeated!" and a few others. We then held a rally where Emily Parker, a member of WORD, spoke to demonstrators about the importance of remaining active and in the streets to demand equality, and Mariah Harbin, also with WORD, spoke to remind us of the victories we have won through organized struggle and how important our continuing involvement is.

Throughout the rally, we circulated a sign-on letter to Gov. McCrory demanding the immediate repeal of the Health and Safety Changes Act and restoration of our reproductive rights. Overall, those who came out to show their support were enthusiastic, and the protest received a good response from passing cars and pedestrians.

Albuquerque, New Mexico

Women's Equality Day Albuquerque
Albuquerque, August 25

Hundreds of people turned out in Albuquerque on August 25 to celebrate Women’s Equality Day.  August 25 is now officially recognized in New Mexico as a day of observance of the struggle for women’s freedom and equality. 

The Albuquerque chapter of WORD participated in the event. We gathered dozens of signatures from community members pledging to fight against a city ordinance that would ban abortions after 20 weeks.  Other participants included the National Organization of Women, the League of Women Voters, the Respect ABQ Women campaign, and the Women’s Resource Center at the University of New Mexico. 

New Haven, Connecticut 

New Haven Women's Equality Day rally
Rally in New Haven, August 26

On August 26 in New Haven, Conn., women and allies from WORD, the local community and Yale University gathered to raise our voices in protest of attacks on women's rights. The action took the form of a people's speak-out, with each person in attendance making a statement on why sexism is relevant to them and why they are in the struggle. The speak-out had two main speakers -- one from WORD and one from Yale. 

The large Yale contingent was present in light of the recent news of Yale's sexist policies regarding rape on campus, and the decision by the student group Students Against Sexual Violence at Yale to fight back. Alexandra Brodsky, a lead organizer in the recent struggle for a Title IX investigation into Yale's policies, gave a passionate speech. She told the crowd: "The fact that the criminal justice system won't deliver justice, the fact that the school refuses to deliver justice, doesn't mean that we are out of options. That's why it's so important to stand up and fight back because at the end of the day we are able to hold our community accountable, and we are able to hold the authorities accountable."

Other central topics included rape culture on campuses overall, the need to stand with Chelsea Manning, reproductive rights, the role of women in civil rights, LGBTQ rights and immigrants' rights struggles, the impact of imperialist wars on women worldwide, and the tremendous struggle of Indigenous women in the United States.

WORD will be joining the students at Yale in their organized efforts to change the university's sexist policies. Currently, the university's recommended maximum punishment for rape is a written reprimand.

Dallas, Texas

Dallas Women's Equality Day rally
March in Dallas, August 26

Dallas Women’s Equality March and Rally was organized by TAPA – Texans Allied for Progressive Action – along with local activist groups and volunteers.  Women and men rallied and marched through downtown Dallas to celebrate the passage of the 19th amendment ninety-three years ago on August 26th, 1920. The landmark law gave women the right to vote, but that great victory did not end the fight for equality.

A diverse group of speakers attended, from elected officials to candidates and activists, including Ms. Poppy Northcutt, the president of the National Organization for Women – Texas. They spoke out about women’s issues such as violence against women, affordable healthcare, the need for more women to run for office, equal pay, and other important issues concerning women and families.

After the speakers, approximately 150 marchers – many dressed in white in remembrance of the original suffragists – carried signs and banners demanding equality and voicing their resistance to the anti-women laws that passed recently in Texas. Chants of “We demand equality,” “Whose Streets? Our Streets!” and “Women not just in the house, in the Senate too!” echoed against the backdrop of skyscrapers and fading twilight.

The protesters ranged across all ages, genders, and races. Daughters marched alongside mothers and grandmothers. Fathers and brothers and sons took up banners and shouted their support. People from across the Metroplex turned out to support the ongoing fight for women’s equality and to honor those who fought before us. As one former city councilwoman declared, “It’s our time.”

Seattle, Washington

On August 17, Seattle WORD marched with the “Free Marissa Alexander” contingent in the Seattle commemoration of the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington. Our signs were well received and we assisted in promoting the Sept. 14 rally on Marissa’s birthday.

Watch a video from the San Francisco speak-out!

Watch a slideshow with photos from around the country!

D.C. rally for immigrant rights stresses unity

Immigrant rights supporters rallied at the White House on Saturday Aug. 17 for a Unity Rally for Immigrant Rights. The message of the rally was unity - immigrants will not win the fight for equality and legalization divided, and therefore immigrant communities from all over the globe and allies must join together. The event was organized by DMV-LOLA (Latinas Organizing for Leadership and Advocacy), WORD (Women Organized to Resist and Defend), and NAPAWF-DC (National Asian Pacific American Women’s Forum).

The rally highlighted the struggle of immigrant women who make up approximately half of all undocumented and documented immigrants. The rate of death for women crossing the border is 2.7 times higher than that of men. Approximately 3,200 people in immigration detention are women. These women are frequently denied access to critical medical care. Immigrant women also struggle against abuses tied into the system of unjust immigration laws – for example abusers frequently deny undocumented partners access to papers.

Politicians’ shameful inaction on this issue is causing major suffering. While Congress is on recess, it is estimated that over 40,000 immigrants will be deported.

Organized by a coalition of immigrant and women’s rights groups, the rally showcased the stories of immigrant women from around the world. Margie Del Castillo, an organizer with DMV-LOLA, explained, “Immigration is not just a Latino issue. We are here today to show that we are united, and that we need change – immediately.”

The rally hosted a diverse line up of speakers, as well as an open mic. Cambodian sisters Linda Khoy and Lundy Rumparavadie of One Love, D.C. spoke at the rally about their struggle for family unity and against Lundy’s pending deportation proceedings.

Diana Ofunwa of DreamActivist-D.C. came out to the rally as undocumented, explaining how she discovered her status and the organizing work that she has done since then. “My first crime was committed before I could even talk, and ever since then every breath that I’ve taken has been labeled an unlawful one. … Instantly, I linked my existence to shame and fear.” Originally from Lagos, Nigeria, she also explained the struggle of Black immigrants: “Despite there being over 3 million Black immigrants and 400,000 of them being undocumented, we are barely footnotes in the immigration reform conversation.” You can see the complete video of her presentation here.

Catalina Nieto, the Field Director of Detention Watch Network, also spoke about her struggle as an immigrant from Colombia and how challenging the system of immigration laws, detention, deportation and oppression is revolutionary. She led off her speech by proclaiming, “I am undocumented, unapologetic and unafraid.”

Staged in front of the White House, the rally demanded full rights, an end to detention and deportation and a just immigration policy that promotes family unity. Popular chants included, “Immigrant rights, women’s rights - same struggle, same fight!” and “The people united will never be defeated!”

This rally marked an important step toward escalating the level of grassroots organizing and struggle on immigration reform.

All out for Women's Equality Day! March in Hollywood this Sunday, 1 pm @ Hollywood & Vine

2012 Women's Equality Day march in LA

On August 23-26, WORD is calling for nationwide demonstrations in honor of Women's Equality Day to stop the right-wing attacks targeting women’s rights and the rights of all oppressed people.

Here in Los Angeles, we will gather at Hollywood and Vine at 1 pm on Sunday, August 25 for a march and rally.

In light of recent attacks on abortion rights, voting rights, workplace protections, and the lives of Black and Brown youth, we are calling for united demonstrations to fight back against what we believe is a coordinated right-wing attack. The right-wing forces who have historically held power in this country hope to turn back the clock as the only way to maintain their power in the face of a changing nation. They seek to undo the gains won by the Civil Rights movement, the movement for women’s rights and every progressive movement that has changed the history of this country for the better. 

We must stay in the streets to defend the gains of our movements and to push for greater rights, for greater equality for all. Join us on August 25 to say: “We won’t go back! We will fight back!”

Read the full Call to Action!

Join us for a final volunteer meeting at noon on Saturday, August 24. We will meet at 135 E 3rd Street, Los Angeles, to make final preparations for the march in Hollywood on Sunday.

Get involved!

Women's Equality Day March in Hollywood this Sunday! Volunteer meeting Saturday, 12 noon

On August 23-26, WORD is calling for nationwide demonstrations in honor of Women's Equality Day to stop the right-wing attacks targeting women’s rights and the rights of all oppressed people. On the East Coast, WORD is mobilizing a contingent to participate in the march and rally commemorating the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington in Washington, D.C. Here in Los Angeles, we will gather at Hollywood and Vine at 1 pm on Sunday, August 25 for a march and rally.

It's not too late to get involved in building this exciting march. Join us for a final volunteer meeting at noon on Saturday, August 24. We will meet at 135 E 3rd Street, Los Angeles, to make final preparations for the march in Hollywood on Sunday.

Get involved!

Momentum building for nationwide demonstrations August 23-26

Outreach in New York City

Last weekend, Washington, D.C. WORD organizers joined with DMV LOLA (Latinas Organized for Leadership and Advocacy), and NAPAWF-DC (National Asian Pacific American Women's Forum) for a unity rally at the White House demanding immigrant rights. With chants like, "1,2,3,4, Deportation no more!" and "El pueblo unido jamas sera vencido," the rally sent a strong message of unity and commitment to the struggle for full rights for immigrants.

Please make an urgently-needed donation today to support this new women's movement led by the next generation of feminists. We have volunteers, enthusiasm and commitment, but we also need funds. Make your tax-deductible donation today.

On August 23-26, WORD is calling for nationwide demonstrations in honor of Women's Equality Day to stop the right-wing attacks targeting women’s rights and the rights of all oppressed people. On the East Coast, WORD is mobilizing a contingent to participate in the march and rally commemorating the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington in Washington, D.C.

Outreach teams are hitting the streets to spread the word about nationwide protests August 23-26 to celebrate Women's Equality Day and the 50th Anniversary March on Washington. This weekend, nationally coordinated demonstrations begin across the United States. From coast to coast, women and allies are building the movement to defend our rights.

In response to the Call to Action issued by WORD, women across the United States have organized events to build the movement for women's rights in their cities. Demonstrations are planned in Albuquerque, NM; Asheville, NC; Boston, MA; Chicago, IL; Dallas, TX; Flint, MI; Houston, TX; Los Angeles, CA; New Haven, CT; New Paltz, NY; New York City, NY; Phoenix, AZ; Sacramento, CA; San Francisco, CA; Seattle, WA; and Washington, DC.

Find details and contact information here.

Get involved!

REPORT: Asheville women demand reopening of last abortion clinic in N.C.

On Aug. 8, women and allies in Asheville, North Carolina, gathered in Pack Square to protest sweeping abortion bans in the state and the closing of its last remaining clinic, Femcare, which is located in Asheville.

There was a spirited opening rally that included chants such as "When women's rights are under attack, what do we do? Stand up, fight back!" The crowd also heard from speakers, including Emily Parker representing the Asheville chapter of WORD -- Women Organized to Resist and Defend -- the organization that initiated the event, and several people who shared personal stories and talked about the importance of abortion access. After hearing from some very powerful speakers, the chanting continued.

Following the rally, protesters marched through the downtown area, drawing people out into the streets to take photos and cheer the marchers on. The community's support was overwhelming. At one point, protesters were forced to spill into the streets because there were too many to fit on the sidewalk. When protesters circled back around to the starting point, they continued to chant. A woman from the Open Umbrella Collective spoke and discussed ways to donate to Femcare to help them reopen.

WORD Asheville was encouraged by the support this Call to Action received, and thrilled to see women and others fighting back against these attacks on our reproductive rights! They pledge to continue the struggle until Femcare is reopened and to demand reproductive rights for women across the state and nationwide in the face of a growing right-wing offensive on our rights.

Next, WORD Asheville is joining the national call to action Aug. 23-26 for Women's Equality Day under the banner "We Won't Go Back -- We Will Fight Back!"

Nationwide Demonstrations for Women’s Equality Day – Aug. 23-26
We Won't Go Back, We Will Fight Back!
Sat., Aug. 24: WORD joins the 50th Anniversary of the March on Washington Rally and March in D.C.

On August 23-26, WORD is calling for nationwide demonstrations in honor of Women's Equality Day to to stop the right-wing attacks targeting women’s rights and the rights of all oppressed people. On the East Coast, WORD is mobilizing a contingent to participate in the march and rally commemorating the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington in Washington, D.C.

Read the call to action and see a list of demonstrations across the United States.

Get involved

Asheville protest demands reopening of Femcare -- the last abortion clinic in the state

On Aug. 8, women and allies in Asheville, North Carolina, gathered in Pack Square to protest sweeping abortion bans in the state and the closing of our last remaining clinic, Femcare, which is located in Asheville.

The opening rally included chanting, "When women's rights are under attack, what do we do? Stand up fight back!" Several speakers, including Emily Parker representing the Asheville chapter of WORD -- Women Organized to Resist and Defend -- the organization that initiated the event, and several people who shared personal stories and talked about the importance of abortion access. After hearing from some very powerful speakers, the chanting continued.

Following the rally, we marched through the downtown area, drawing people out into the streets to take photos and cheer us on. The community's support was overwhelming. At one point, protesters were forced to spill into the streets because there were too many of us to fit on the sidewalk. When we circled back around to the starting point, we continued to chant. A woman from the Open Umbrella Collective spoke and discussed ways to donate to Femcare to help them reopen.

WORD Asheville is encouraged by the support this Call to Action received, and thrilled to see women and others fighting back against these attacks on our reproductive rights! We pledge to continue the struggle until Femcare is reopened and to demand reproductive rights for women across the state and nationwide in the face of a growing right-wing offensive on our rights.

Next, WORD Asheville is joining the national call for actions Aug. 23-26 for Women's Equality Day under the banner "We Won't Go Back -- We Will Fight Back!" Join us on August 25 in downtown Asheville. Read the call to action here and see a list of demonstrations taking place nationwide.

Rally in D.C. August 17: Communities United for Immigrant Rights

Stop the attacks on immigrants, women and all!

WORD stands in solidarity with all those fighting for legalization and full rights for immigrants. As deportations continue to mount, and immigrants continue to be detained and their families separated, all eyes are on Congress to see whether it will pass any type of immigration reform in coming months.

We recognize that the systemic oppression of immigrants under the current immigration law takes a particular toll on women in the United States and around the world. More than half of all immigrants in the United States are women. Fifty one percent of all undocumented people are women. Women and children account for three quarters of all immigrants.

Deportation and detention have a devastating impact on women around the world who depend on remittances from family members in the United States to survive. Immigrant women in the United States struggle with threats of deportation, family separation, isolation, exclusion from public benefits, wage theft, forced labor and poverty here and abroad.

According to 2008 census figures, nearly a quarter of all Latina women live in poverty - more than twice the percentage of white women in poverty. Women who have undocumented immigrant family members are separated from loved ones and forced to shoulder the burden of supporting their families when loved ones are deported.

Additionally, abusers deny undocumented women partners access to immigration assistance and papers, using the immigration system as an additional tactic of abuse.

Approximately 3,200 people in immigration detention are women. These women are frequently denied access to critical medical care.

Border violence targets women. Since a 1994 border enforcement push, deaths along the U.S.-Mexico border have skyrocketed. Women are 2.7 more likely to die than men while attempting to cross the border.

In late June, the Senate added a notorious “border surge” amendment (the Corker-Hoeven Amendment) to a reform bill that would provide a pathway to citizenship and immigration protection for many undocumented people, but also leaves millions waiting for papers. The amendment would add an estimated 20,000 border patrol agents, increase drone usage, and otherwise significantly expand militarization of the U.S.-Mexico border.

The Senate bill would eliminate two categories of family visas that women rely on to gain lawful status and to reunite with loved ones. It also creates a “merit-based” immigration system that adversely affects women by prioritizing “high-skilled” work and educational credentials over family unity.

The House of Representatives has rejected the Senate plan, with some Republican leaders pressing for a “piecemeal approach” to immigration reform. Yet no piecemeal approach could satisfy the core demands of undocumented workers and immigrant families for justice, equality, and an end to the terror of detention and deportation.

We must wage the struggle for legalization and full equality for immigrants on the streets. In 2008, it took only three weeks for the President and Congress to draft and pass the “emergency” bank bailouts. Immigrants have been struggling since 1986 – the last large-scale comprehensive legalization program – for an overhaul of the immigration laws. While the politicians act immediately for the banks, they tell immigrants to endure life-shattering family separation while patiently waiting for immigration reform.

We cannot tie ourselves to the reform promises of the Democratic or Republican parties, which fall a day late and a dollar short. The Democratic Party has presided over the largest deportation machine in U.S. history under the current Obama administration, outpacing every prior administration in deporting immigrants at a rate of approximately 1,000 people per day.

On August 17, women from all over the Washington, D.C. area will converge at the White House for a unity rally for immigrant rights. WORD (Women Organized to Resist and Defend), DMV LOLA (Latinas Organized for Leadership and Advocacy), and NAPAWF-DC (National Asian Pacific American Women's Forum) have initiated the action, and other immigrant and women's rights community organizations have joined in the call.

Come out, raise your voice and show that women are united in the demand for immigrant rights!

Communities United for Immigrant Rights
Rally at the White House
Saturday, August 17, 12 p.m.
1600 Pennsylvania Ave NW
Washington, D.C.

For more information about the rally or with media inquiries, join the facebook event or email dc@defendwomensrights.org.

North Carolina fights back!

Demand the immediate reopening of the FemCare clinic in Asheville
Thursday, August 8, Pack Square Park in Asheville @ 3pm
Organized by Asheville WORD

On July 29, North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory signed a bill that will forcibly close the majority of North Carolina abortion clinics. After a series of attempts to sneak these abortion bans into law by adding them to unrelated bills, right-wing politicians have finally managed to undermine the needs and wants of the people. To add insult to injury, as protesters gathered outside of Gov. McCrory's home, he met them at his gate with plates of cookies. His actions show that he does not take us seriously. In response, men and women across the state will continue to rally together to make our voices heard and show the governor and other lawmakers that they cannot silence us and they will not stop us.

The recently passed bill will have a wide range of effects on state clinics, on women seeking abortions and, consequently, on other reproductive services. It requires that doctors performing abortions have admitting privileges to nearby hospitals and be present when an abortion is performed.  These kinds of laws are being used state-by-state to effectively deny women their reproductive rights. The law also bans public insurance programs from providing financial assistance to pay for abortions, bans sex-selective abortion, and gives state health officials the power to create rules for safety standards in clinics.

McCrory and other proponents of the bill claim these restrictions are safety measures protecting women seeking an abortion. This is a lie. The law is a direct attack on reproductive rights. It will severely limit access to needed services by closing clinics and eliminating public funding for low-income women.

In another appalling twist, the one clinic that would remain open under the new law, FemCare in Asheville, N.C., was shut down this week due to “safety violations” found in an inspection on Wednesday. The state claims that temporarily closing the clinic has nothing to do with the new laws. However, Dr. Lorraine Cummings, representing FemCare, later said that no changes have been made in the clinic since their last inspection in 2006, and the forced shutdown was caused by the new regulations. Although officials claim that the closing is not permanent, women in North Carlolina still must face the reality that we no longer have access to abortion anywhere in the state.

This is not acceptable. This is a blatant attack on the healthcare rights of women. We will not stand for it and we will not be disregarded. North Carolina women and allies are standing up and fighting back against these vicious attacks.  

On Thursday, August 8, WORD in Asheville has called for a demonstration to demand the immediate reopening of the FemCare clinic and an end to the attacks on reproductive rights statewide. We will be gathering at Pack Square Park at 3:00 p.m.

Please join us in the struggle to regain our rights and end the war on women. We will not sit passively and accept McCrory's cookies in exchange for our reproductive rights. We will be loud, we will be in the streets, and we will not be silenced! Asheville WORD and women across North Carolina ask our sisters and brothers to stand with us as we combat these restrictions on our right to control our own bodies. Together, we will show the North Carolina governor he will not stop us from demanding our rights!

If you can make it to Asheville on Thursday, join the Facebook event. If you are not able to attend the demonstration, please share the event and help spread the word. Stand with North Carolina women -- attacks on abortion are attacks on women!

Call to Action: Nationwide Demonstrations for Women’s Equality Day – Aug. 23-26

We Won't Go Back, We Will Fight Back!

On August 23-26, WORD is calling for nationwide demonstrations in honor of Women's Equality Day to stop the right-wing attacks targeting women’s rights and the rights of all oppressed people. On the East Coast, WORD is mobilizing a contingent to participate in the march and rally commemorating the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington in Washington, D.C. Find details about a demonstration near you.

Call to Action

In light of recent attacks on abortion rights, voting rights, workplace protections, and the lives of Black and Brown youth, we are calling for united demonstrations to fight back against what we believe is a coordinated right-wing attack. The right-wing forces who have historically held power in this country hope to turn back the clock as the only way to maintain their power in the face of a changing nation. They seek to undo the gains won by the Civil Rights movement, the movement for women’s rights and every progressive movement that has changed the history of this country for the better. 

We must stay in the streets to defend the gains of our movements and to push for greater rights, for greater equality for all. Join us on August 23-26 to say: “We won’t go back! We will fight back!”

The past few years have seen an unprecedented, state-by-state attack on our right to legal, safe abortion, a right that was won through the militant and determined struggle of the women’s movement, over 40 years ago. In 2011, states enacted 92 laws that restrict women’s access to abortion. In 2012, 42 new laws were passed. This past year we’ve seen some of the most heinous attacks on Roe v Wade introduced in our time. TRAP laws are in place in 22 states and all over the country legal bans on abortion as early as six weeks have been introduced in states like North Dakota and Arkansas. 

This attack on a woman’s right to choose, a basic and core demand of the feminist movement, comes in the context of a wave of attacks against historical victories won in all people’s movements. 

In June, the Supreme Court struck down Section 4 of the Voting Rights Act, essentially gutting this important constitutional protection of the right of all people to vote.  In the wake of this decision, numerous voter ID laws and racist gerrymandering measures have flooded state courthouses. People of color and poor people, those who historically fought so hard for the right to vote, are now in real danger of losing the ability to access that right at all.

The recent Supreme decision Vance v. Ball State University has also stripped away important workplace protections against racial or sexual harassment on the job, another gain won by the women’s movement and the movement for Civil Rights. 

The recent acquittal of the racist murderer George Zimmerman in Florida provides another illustration of a country going back in time. Zimmerman’s acquittal can’t help but remind us of the murder of Emmet Till - or the untold numbers of lynching cases throughout the deep South, where the white men who murdered Black men in cold blood were rarely, if ever, brought to justice. In the same state, Marissa Alexander, an African American woman, remains imprisoned serving a 20-year sentence for firing a warning shot to defend her life against her abuser.

It was the Civil Rights movement that changed this equation, but in 2013 it looks as though that gain is all but undone. From Zimmerman to the ever-expanding Prison-Industrial Complex to the high incidence of police murder in our communities across the country, this deeply racist IN-justice system has declared an all-out war on the lives of Black and Brown youth. We must organize not just to defend our rights but also the lives of our children, our future and our communities.

Join WORD in the streets August 23-26 in united actions nationwide to defend all of our rights against this right-wing attack. Saturday, August 24, is the 50th anniversary of the historic March on Washington, an important turning point in the struggle for Civil Rights. August 26 is National Women’s Equality Day, a holiday that commemorates the ratification of the 19th Amendment that granted women the right to vote, a right fought for and won by the heroic suffragettes. What better way to commemorate these important holidays than by staying in the streets to defend the very rights for which our forebearers fought? 

Find a demonstration near you or contact us for help with calling your own demonstration today!

Resolution Calling for Nationwide Demonstrations on August 23-26

This resolution was passed at the WORD Regional Women’s Organizing Conference in Los Angeles on June 29, 2013.

Whereas the right-wing has led a state-by-state campaign to gut women's rights, focusing its efforts on areas where women are the most marginalized and is building a national campaign to destroy any access to reproductive rights. They have led a similar campaign to deny immigrants and people of color, particularly African American and Latino people, voting and other rights, and

Whereas the multitude of legislative actions that restrict reproductive rights, enable violence against women, undermine services and limit educational access that help the poorest women constitutes a verifiable war on women's rights, and

Whereas we understand that women—who make up more than half the population, who bear the brunt of poverty—have a stake in fighting to end racism, poverty, war and inequality everywhere for everyone, and

Whereas the Supreme Court has eviscerated the Voting Rights Act and trashed the law that would help women workers and workers of color facing discrimination and abuse on the job, and

Whereas the women of Texas have shown that when we mobilize and fight back, we can win, and that the struggle in Texas needs to be repeated, broadened and expanded to every state, city and town.

Therefore be it resolved, the women attending the Saturday, June 29 conference organized by WORD, will organize demonstrations on the weekend of Women's Equality Day, August 26. We further invite women and women's groups across the country to hold speak-outs, rallies and marches and other actions from Friday, August 23 to Monday, August 26.

Initial List of Actions

Albuquerque, NM
Sunday, August 25
Women’s Equality Day Celebration & Rally for the Equal Rights Amendment
1-3 pm @Tiguex Park
abq@defendwomensrights.org or 505-249-1768
Join the Facebook event

Asheville, NC
Sunday, August 25
Women's Equality Day rally
5 pm, location TBA
asheville@defendwomensrights.org or 828-348-7955
Join the Facebook event

Boston, MA
Sunday, August 25
Rally for Women's Rights
2 pm, Park Street Station
boston@defendwomensrights.org or 617-506-WORD (9673)
Join the Facebook event

Chicago, IL 
Friday, August 23
Rally, march & speak-out
chicago@defendwomensrights.org or 773-828-9205
Join the Facebook event

Columbia, MO
Friday, August 23
Women's Equality Day Rally, 1pm - 4pm
"Speaker Circle," on the University of Missouri (MU) Campus, S. 9th Street
mizzoufsu@gmail.com
Join the Facebook event

Dallas, TX
Monday, August 26
Dallas Women's Equality Rally
Belo Gardens, 1014 Main Street @ 7pm
Contact Texans Allied for Progressive Action for more info
contactTAPA@gmail.com
Join the Facebook event

Flint, MI
Monday, August 26
Suffrage Observance Luncheon
King's Catering, G-5425 Clio Rd, 11 am
Contact NAACP-WIN Chair Kathryn Blake for more info
blakeka81@aol.com or 810-701-4569

Houston, TX
Saturday, August 24
Speak-out for Women's Rights
Montrose Center, 401 Branard St @ 2pm
houstonareanow@gmail.com
Join the Facebook event

Los Angeles, CA
Sunday, August 25
Rally and march, 1pm @ Hollywood & Vine
la@defendwomensrights.org or 323-596-7340
Join the Facebook event

New Haven, CT
Saturday, August 24
Join the WORD contingent at the 50th Anniversary March on Washington
Monday, August 26
Speak-out, College and Chapel
ct@defendwomensrights.org or 203-787-8232
Join the Facebook event

New Paltz, NY
Saturday, September 7
Rally and march, Peace Park
np@defendwomensrights.org
Join the Facebook event

New York City, NY
Saturday, August 24
Join the WORD contingent at the 50th Anniversary March on Washington
Buses from throughout NYC
nyc@defendwomensrights.org or 347-292-WORD (9673)
Join the Facebook event

Phoenix, AZ
Saturday, August 24
50th Anniversary March on Washington - Phoenix
Rally at 4pm, March at 5pm, Program 6-8pm
Gather at Tanner Chapel AME Church (20 S. 8th Street), march to Arizona State Capitol Lawn
www.azmlk.org or 623-282-1555
Join the Facebook event

Sacramento, CA
Saturday, August 24
Rally and march, 5 pm
sac@defendwomensrights.org
Join the Facebook event

San Francisco, CA
Saturday, August 24
Speak-out, 2 pm @ 24th & Mission
sf@defendwomensrights.org or 415-375-9502
Join the Facebook event

Seattle, WA
Saturday, August 17
March with WORD at Seattle 50th Anniversary of March on Washington action
Gather at 10 am, 23rd and Union. March at 11 am to Martin Luther King Memorial Park for rally.
seattle@defendwomensrights.org
Join the Facebook event

Washington, DC
Saturday, August 24
Join the WORD contingent at the 50th Anniversary March on Washington
Rally 8 am at the Lincoln Memorial
March to the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial
dc@defendwomensrights.org or 240-487-WORD (9673)
Join the Facebook event

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