Statements

Jeralynn Blueford Testimony Anaheim

On July 21, 2013, over 1,200 people poured onto the lawn of City Hall in Anaheim, Calif., for the first Statewide March to Stop Police Brutality. The mass protest marked the first anniversary of the uprising against police sparked by the racist murder of two men by cops and the brutal attack on bystanders that was featured in the mass media throughout the country. People traveled from Oakland, Sacramento, Fresno, Bakersfield, San Diego and many other cities and towns across California to demand an end to police violence and justice for all victims.

The protest was initiated by more than thirty families who have lost loved ones at the hands of the police from around the state who have formed a network that took action as a group for the first time on July 21. The ANSWER Coalition partnered with these families to organize the demonstration and countless organizations mobilized to attend, including Women Organized to Resist and Defend, Justice for Alan Blueford Coalition, KmB -- Pro-people Youth, Justice for Trayvon Martin -- LA, National Brown Berets, Worker-Student Alliance of UCI, ONYX Organizing Committee, Fresno Brown Berets, Todo Poder al Pueblo and many more. The unity of families and grassroots organizations at the demonstration was unprecedented in recent history and showed the great potential for a massive movement against police brutality and other forms of state repression. This potential was further evidenced by the dozens of new families who joined the network and organizations on the day of the march for the first time.

July 21 in Anaheim: Statewide March Against Police Brutality

Hear from Jeralynn Blueford about her son Alan's murder
by police and why we must unite - "The time is now."

July 21, 1pm
Gather at Anaheim City Hall
200 South Anaheim Blvd
Join the Facebook event

On July 21, the one-year anniversary of the murder of Manuel Diaz by Anaheim police, families of police brutality victims are calling on people all over California to unite for a mass march. Join the WORD contingent to demand an end to the war on our children and our communities.

One year after the Anaheim uprising and a week after the racist acquittal of murderer George Zimmerman, women from all over California will march to demand justice for all victims of police violence. Police violence is violence against women and our families!

The time is now. We know that our strength lies in our unity and this the only way to fight back and effect change. Every right we hold as women, we won by fighting together. Now is the time to stand together - women of all backgrounds, ages, ethnicities and cultures - to defend the lives of Black children and all children who live in a system that tells them some lives are more valuable than others.

Get on the bus!
Buy your ticket here and carpool from Sacramento or get on the bus in Oakland or Los Angeles.

Sat, July 20, 7:30pm:
Meet at Southside Park in downtown Sacramento (corners of 6th and U Street) to set up carpools. Leave for Oakland at 8:00pm.

Sat, July 20, 10:00pm:
Arrive in Oakland, eat collectively and then board the bus.

Sat. July 20th, Midnight:
Bus leaves from Oscar Grant Plaza in Oakland, corner of 14th and Broadway Sts.

Sun. July 21st, 7am-10am:
Bus arrives to ANSWER LA office for welcoming event and breakfast. Bus leaves at 10am to Anaheim to participate in the 1pm march.

Sun. July 21st, 5pm:
Bus leaves from the end of the march location to Oakland.

Sun. July 21st, midnight:
Bus arrives to Oscar Grant Plaza in Oakland, corner of 14th and
Broadway Sts.

Buy your tickets or donate a ticket to help others get on the bus!

JUSTICE FOR TRAYVON MARTIN

Watch this short video of WORD organizer Peta Lindsay demanding justice
for Trayvon Martin on July 14:
"When the whole system tells you that your child, that your life and the life of anyone who looks like you can be taken without consequence, your only response can be to shut that system down!"

The women of WORD are heartbroken and outraged by the racist acquittal of George Zimmerman. Throughout this mockery of a trial it has been clear that a racist judicial system cannot and will not serve justice.

We are united in our stand against racism and bigotry. We are in this fight because it affects the lives of all women. When one mother loses her son, we all feel the loss. This is our fight.

In Florida and across the United States, mothers have been forced to explain to their sons how this verdict could happen. This is a tragedy for all Black people who now have to tell their children that they don't matter, that their lives can be taken with impunity and that the racist justice system will choose to protect the life of a racist killer rather than the life of an innocent Black child.

As women who have organized themselves to resist and defend, it is our duty to stand and struggle in solidarity with the Black community and all women of oppressed communities who have been dealt a heavy blow by this racist verdict.

We know that our strength lies in our unity and this the only way to fight back and effect actual change. Every right we hold as women, we won by fighting together. Now is the time to stand together - women of all backgrounds, ages, ethnicities and cultures - to defend the lives of Black children and all children who live in a system that tells them some lives are more valuable than others.

If more proof that the system is racist were needed, consider the way women - especially women of color - are treated when we dare to fight back against the violence that is part of our everyday lives. Marissa Alexander stood her ground and fired a warning shot trying to escape her abuser and was sentenced to 20 years. Her children will grow up without their mother because the courts devalue and punish women who stand up, while allowing criminals like George Zimmerman to go free.

We demand justice for Trayvon Martin, Marissa Alexander and all victims of this racist system. We demand an end to the war on Black and oppressed youth. These are our children and our sisters' children.

George Zimmerman's trial was a farce. This is not justice. That is why we say, "The people's verdict is 'GUILTY!'" because this injustice cannot stand.

Stand with us against racism and demand justice for Trayvon Martin. Jail George Zimmerman, free Marissa Alexander, and end the war on women and our children!

Call to Action: Stand with Texas Women!

Something historic happened in Texas on June 25. Texas women, spurred on by the support of women all across the country, refused to back down in the face of the latest assault on their rights. They flooded the capitol in what may have been the largest gathering in Texas history and disrupted a legislative session. According to right-wing politicians, they used “Occupy Wall Street tactics.” And guess what? THEY WON.

SB5 — a reactionary bill that would ban abortion after 20 weeks and force the majority of Texan abortion clinics to close because of costly, unnecessary “safety” restrictions — was defeated because of the mobilization of tens of thousands of people.

But this struggle is not over!

Gov. Rick Perry and the right-wing forces that supported the anti-abortion bill are mobilizing to reintroduce the legislation and continue the attacks. A new special legislative session begins on Monday, and women in Texas have called for a demonstration at the Capitol Building in Austin.

Gov. Perry and the right-wing forces aren't the only ones on the move. Reactionary, anti-choice forces have introduced legislation state-by-state and in the federal legislature more and more over the past several years. They seek to undo all the gains the women's movement has won so far, and push women back to the days of back-alley abortions and untold numbers of deaths.

We must stand with the women of Texas and build a women's movement that can defeat this kind of legislation, and any attack on women's rights from Texas to North Dakota to Mississippi to New York and California.

WORD — Women Organized to Resist and Defend — is calling on all those who can to join the protest in Austin on July 1, and for those who can’t to organize and join solidarity actions across the country.

Chicago: Rally & speakout at Michigan & Congress at 6:00 p.m.
Join the Facebook event    chicago@defendwomensrights.org or 773-828-9205

Los Angeles: Rally on the west steps of City Hall at 5:00 p.m.
Join the Facebook event     la@defendwomensrights.org or 323-596-7340

Sacramento: Rally at the California State Capitol at 5:30 p.m.
sac@defendwomensrights.org

San Francisco: Rally at 7th and Mission Sts. at 5:00 p.m.
sf@defendwomensrights.org or 415-375-9502
Join one of these protests, or organize an event in your city! Click here to submit the details of an event taking place in your city.

Celebrate the victories, continue the struggle

We salute and congratulate the LGBT community for overturning DOMA and winning same-sex marriage in California! The Supreme Court decisions this week were a direct result of the tireless struggle and organization against oppression carried out by tens of thousands of people. The mass movement demanding full equality has been the decisive factor in changing popular attitudes toward LGBT equality and winning marriage equality victories in numerous states and the Supreme Court.

On the anniversary of the Stonewall rebellion, Women Organized to Resist and Defend (WORD) stands in solidarity with the LGBT movement to fight for equal and affordable housing, the right for LGBT people to marry and the stop to violent attacks against the LGBT people in our communities.

Pride marches have happened around the country this month to celebrate our  victories and continue the  struggle for equal rights. PRIDE month is a commemoration of the historic Stonewall rebellion of 1969 that initiated a militant movement to resist the intense state repression that targeted the LGBT community. From Stonewall to the current struggle for full equality, the LGBT community has built a rich history of militant struggle.

In the movement for equality, all women must defend their sisters who are discriminated and alienated against because of their sexual orientation. The oppression of LGBT people has a long history that is rooted in patriarchy, the very same system that oppresses women.   We stand together with LGBT people and all women for economic equality, access to education and healthcare, and an end to sexist, bigoted violence.

WORD has joined  in marches and parades for LGBT equality. This weekend, we will join in the celebrations of the Supreme Court decisions as we will continue to stand with our brothers and sisters in the LGBT community in the struggle for full equality.

Stand against anti-LGBT bias - Drop all charges against Kaitlyn Hunt now!

Originally posted May 25, 2013

Drop all charges against Kaitlyn Hunt now!

Send a letter now

Kaitlyn Hunt is an 18-year-old Florida teenager who could face 15 years in prison if convicted of the absurd charges she is facing.

When Kaitlyn was 17 years old, she began a consensual relationship with a female student at her high school, who at the time was 14 years old. When Kaitlyn turned 18 -- and was still a high school student -- her girlfriend's parents had her arrested and charged with two counts of lewd and lascivious battery of a child because they opposed their daughter being in a same-sex relationship.

Florida states attorneys are vigorously pursuing the case against Kaitlyn, making it clear that her gender and sexual orientation are the focus of the state's prosecutory zeal. If convicted, she would face up to 15 years in prison, and a lifetime as a convicted felon and registered "sex offender."

On May 24, Kaitlyn declined the terrible "deal" offered to her. It would have required her to plead guilty to felony child abuse, spend two years under house arrest, one year on probation and then register as a "sex offender." Now, Kaitlyn will be going to trial to fight these spurious charges (she appears in court next on June 20).

Kaitlyn's family has appealed to the public for support. Hundreds of thousands of people have now signed an online petition started by her father, who has called for people to contact Florida officials to demand an end to the persecution of his daughter.

You can send a letter to Indian River County State Attorney Bruce Colton, Assistant State Attorney Brian Workman and Florida Governor Rick Scott using our easy online form with just a few clicks. Feel free to use the sample text we've provided, or write your own.

Let the Indian River County Office of the State Attorney and the Governor know that supporters of LGBT and women's rights across the United States will not stand quiet while this unjust prosecution continues.

Send a letter to the prosecuting attorneys and Florida Governor Rick Scott now!

Texas filibuster victory made possible by woman power

Something historic happened in Texas June 25. Texas women, spurred on by the support of women all across the country, refused to back down in the face of the latest assault on their rights. They flooded the capitol in what may have been the largest gathering in Texas history and disrupted a legislative session. According to right wing politicians they used “Occupy Wall Street tactics.” And guess what? THEY WON. 

This charge was spearheaded by Texas Democratic State Senator Wendy Davis, who should be congratulated for the personal stand she took (literally) in attempting to carry out a 13 hour filibuster to block a vote on a bill that would have effectively taken away access to safe, legal abortion for millions of Texas women.

Davis went into that legislative session as a fighter. She wore sneakers and she brought a back brace, prepared to stand without leaning, sitting, food or bathroom breaks for 13 hours. The plan was to use parliamentary rules against the rest of the legislature, with the help of the other Democrats in the session.

But by themselves, parliamentary games played by politicians could not win women their rights that night. During her heroic filibuster, Davis was cited again and again for ludicrous violations of their rules. She was cited for “germaneness” when she raised the Planned Parenthood budget issue. 

She was cited again when a fellow politician helped her with her back brace. She was cited for the third time when she dared to discuss a sonogram requirement in conjunction with the abortion bill. If the legislature is willing to admit that sonograms have nothing to do with abortions in this session, why did they pass a law requiring women to get sonograms before they can have an abortion last year?

When she received her third citation, the one that ended her filibuster at around 10:00pm, an audible “Bulls**t!” rang out from the crowd of hundreds of women who had gathered to show support for Davis in the chamber. These women were joined by thousands of women in and outside of the capitol and hundreds of thousands of women watching the proceedings closely via livestream and social media.

Women all across the country knew this was a crucial showdown. Women in New York City sent pizzas to the Texas state capitol to show support for the women protesting there. Thousands of women submitted pro-abortion testimony to Wendy Davis’s aides so that she could use it to pad out her 13-hour speech. The hashtags #SB5 and #standwithwendy were trending on Twitter all night.

Once Davis’s speech was ended by parliamentary formalities, the masses of angry women stepped in. With less than 20 minutes on the clock, the state legislature began the roll call for voting on the bill. If they couldn’t vote before midnight, they could not pass this bill. Everyone knew something needed to be done.

With over 120,000 people watching on livestream, the crowd erupted in the Texas capitol. The right wing politicians banged their gavels and called for order -- but they must have forgotten that where there is no justice, there can be no peace.

The women in the capitol knew that all eyes were on them, that at that moment no elected official could save them and they had to act up to save themselves.

So they cheered, they chanted, they booed and they disrupted that legislative session long enough to keep the vote from happening before midnight. Riot police were called to clear out the capitol, but the women would not go. They filled the rotunda. They refused to play by the rules of a system that would keep them oppressed. Their militancy and determination brought us a historic victory for all women.

Republicans argued that despite the disruption, the bill was passed at 12:01, but it was declared invalid. Hundreds of thousands of people had witnessed what happened. The right-wing politicians couldn’t violate their own rules because the people would hold them accountable.

History proves again and again: when the people fight back, the people win. There is a long tradition of disrupting hearings on women’s issues throughout the feminist movement. Our foremothers were once considered an “unruly mob.” That is precisely the kind of struggle that won us these rights to begin with.

We must continue to build this movement. The fierce women of Texas have shown us the way. You do not have to be an elected official to fight for women’s rights. Just organize, organize, organize and refuse to go one step back! 

We will continue the fight in that spirit, in Texas and everywhere.

Exciting Speakers at Women's Organizing Conference

Saturday, June 29, 12 noon
Women Fight Back - The Status Quo Must Go!
Organizing Conference & Workshops
Unite Here! building
464 Lucas Ave, Los Angeles

LA conference palmcard

You are invited to join Women Organized to Resist and Defend (WORD) and other feminist and women’s organizations for a regional Women’s Organizing Conference on Saturday, June 29. There will be speakers, workshops, discussion and opportunities for action.

The conference is a unique and exciting opportunity to connect with other activists, students, labor organizers and women of all ages from throughout California for a day of learning, sharing experiences and building the movement for equality for women.

Join us and our allies on Saturday, June 29th to learn more about the important struggle to defend women's rights and how you can be part of this new, fighting movement.

Childcare will be provided.
Click here to pre-register now!

Speakers will include:

Suyapa Portillo Suyapa Portillo
Professor of Chican@ Latin@ Transnational Studies at Pitzer College; Organizer for the Honduras and Latin American Solidarity Movement
Bamby Salcedo Bamby Salcedo
President, TransLatin@ Coalition
Juana Rosa Cavero Juana Rosa Cavero
Director, Reproductive Justice Coalition of Los Angeles
Genevieve Huizar Genevieve Huizar
United Survivors of Anaheim, mother of Manuel Diaz who was murdered by the Anaheim police
Autumn Thomas-Morales

Autumn Thomas-Morales
Organizer, WORD Sacramento

Jollene Levid Jollene Levid
National Chairperson, Af3irm (Association of Filipinas, Feminists Fighting Imperialism)
Gloria La Riva Gloria La Riva
President, Typographical Sector CWA Local 3952
Carla Osorio Carla Osorio
Boyle Heights Project Coordinator, East Los Angeles Women’s Center
Cheryl Zarate Cheryl Zarate
Vice Chair, Kabataang maka-Bayan (KmB)

...and more!

The requested entrance fee is a $10 donation. Lunch will be provided.

No one will be turned away for lack of funds.

Contact la@defendwomensright.org or 323-596-7340 for more info.

Register now!

You are invited to the SoCal Women's Organizing Conference!

REGISTER NOW!

LA conference palmcard

Saturday, June 29
Women Fight Back - The Status Quo Must Go!
Organizing Conference & Workshops
Unite Here! building
464 Lucas Ave, 12 noon

You are invited to join Women Organized to Resist and Defend (WORD) and other feminist and women’s organizations for a regional Women’s Organizing Conference on Saturday, June 29.

The conference is a unique and exciting opportunity to connect with other activists, students, labor organizers and women of all ages from throughout Southern California for a day of learning, sharing experiences and building the movement for equality for women.

Join us and our allies on Saturday, June 29th to learn more about the important struggle to defend women's rights and how you can be part of this new, fighting movement.

There will be speakers, workshops, discussion and opportunities for action. Get involved in the fight for women's rights!

Click here to pre-register for this important conference!

Conference workshops and topics will include:

  • The fight for reproductive rights: Building the movement to gain access to safe legal abortion, birth control and contraception for all!
  • Defending women in the workplace: Women in the labor movement and fighting for equality on the job!
  • Stop Violence Against Women – Smash Rape Culture: Building the movement to end violence against women!
  • Full equality for all people: Women in the struggle against racism, for immigrants rights, for LGBT rights and equality for all!

...and much more!

Speakers will include:

  • Suyapa Portillo, Professor of Chican@ Latin@ Transnational Studies at Pitzer College; Organizer for the Honduras and Latin American Solidarity Movement
  • Bamby Salcedo, The Center for Transyouth at LA Children’s Hospital; President, TransLatin@ Coalition
  • Carla Osorio, Boyle Heights Project Coordinator, East Los Angeles Women’s Center
  • Jollene Levid, National Chairperson, AF3irm (Association of Filipinas, Feminists Fighting Imperialism)
  • Cheryl Zarate, Vice Chair,  Kabataang Maka-Bayan (KmB)
  • Gloria La Riva, President, Typographical Sector CWA Local 3952

...and more!

Lunch and childcare will be provided.
The requested entrance fee is a $10 donation. No one will be turned away for lack of funds.

Contact la@defendwomensright.org or 323-596-7340 for more info.

Register now!

WORD joins LGBT Pride Parades across the country

WORD LA at Long Beach Pride
May 19, Long Beach, CA
WORD DC at DC Pride
June 8, Washington, DC
WORD LA at LA Pride
June 9, Los Angeles, CA

Join WORD and community members as we march for full equality in LGBT Pride parades across the country. We will demand full federal equality in every sphere of society.

Pride has its origins in the militant and fighting LGBT movement of the 1960s and 1970s, as thousands of LGBT people poured into the streets demanding their rights. We will continue that struggle as WORD joins Pride across the country.

Now is the time for us to continue the struggle for full equality for all, by taking to the streets together in a united movement. March with WORD and demand "Equality for women, equality for LGBT people, equality for ALL!"

Find cities where WORD will be participating in more Pride celebrations below - we encourage all our supporters to join us!

Baltimore, MD
Saturday, June 15
Meet up with the contingent at 1:30 p.m. Centre St. between Charles St. and Cathedral St.
The parade kicks off at 3:30 p.m. from Read and Charles Sts. in Mount Vernon and travels four blocks north up Charles St. to Chase St.
Info: 240-487-WORD (9673), dc@defendwomensrights.org
Join the Facebook event

Sacramento, CA
Saturday, June 15
Gather at 10:45 am
Contact in advance for details for the contingent meeting time and location:
(916)572-6675, sac@defendwomensrights.org
Join the Facebook event

Albuquerque, NM
Saturday, June 29
Meet at 10:00am on the corner of Girard and Central
Contact in advance for details for the contingent meeting time and location:
505-249-1768, abq@defendwomensrights.org

New York City, NY
(1) Thursday, June 27
Loud and Proud! Celebration and Fundraiser
Ugly Kitchen, 103 First Ave, 6pm
Join the Facebook event
(2) Friday, June 28
Trans Day of Action @ Christopher St. Pier, 2pm - 5pm
Contact in advance for details for the contingent meeting time and location:
347-292-WORD (9673), nyc@defendwomensrights.org
(3) Saturday, June 29
Dyke March @ Bryant Park
Contact in advance for details for the contingent meeting time and location:
347-292-WORD (9673), nyc@defendwomensrights.org
(4) Sunday, June 30
Line up at 36th St. and 5th Ave. at 11:00 a.m., parade begins at 12:00 noon
Contact in advance for details for the contingent meeting time and location:
347-292-WORD (9673), nyc@defendwomensrights.org
Join the Facebook event

Chicago, IL
Sunday, June 30
More details soon
Contact for info:
773-828-9205, chicago@defendwomensrights.org

San Francisco, CA
(1) Friday, June 28
Trans March, Dolores Park, 3pm
(2) Saturday, June 29
Dyke March, Dolores Park,
Festival starting at 10am, march starts at 6pm
(3) Sunday, June 30
Parade begins at 10:30 a.m. at Market and Beale
Contact in advance for details for the contingent meeting time and location:
415-375-9502, sf@defendwomensrights.org
Join the Facebook event