By Debra Sweet
To give you some background… we were founded in 2005 with the goal of driving out the Bush regime. Bush/Cheney and Co. had initiated a vicious program of war, torture, and repressive theocratic measures that added up to a dangerous situation that could not be reversed through politics as usual. Now, even with Bush gone, it is even more apparent that it will take more than politics as usual to reverse this trajectory. The wars wage on, and are escalating in Afghanistan and Pakistan. Torture continues. Domestic spying and other repressive measures still go on. And the anti-women, anti-gay movements that brought Bush to power are lashing out in unpredictable ways, along with other sections of the far right that comprise a fascist social base.
This past weekend was a much-needed gathering of bold resistance. People standing up in the face of the most violent sections of the anti-abortion movement and not backing down was a breath of fresh air and very inspiring.
News reports and our own counts indicated the pro-choice gathering of support for the new "target number 1" for the anti-abortion movement, Dr. LeRoy Carhart, outnumbered the "protesters" by 2:1. This was an overwhelmingly positive day of disciplined, fearless resistance against the reactionary and violent Operation Rescue mobilization, and exactly what needed to happen. The Kansas City Star published a good article here. Check out CNN‘s coverage, and these quotes from our side:
Michelle Fadeley drove from the Chicago area to support Carhart. "Someone who is willing to put his own life on the line to save thousands of other women’s lives is truly a hero," said Fadeley, who works for a local Illinois chapter of the National Organization for Women.
Anthony Hardwick of Omaha clutched a sign that read "Women are not an incubator."
"What it means to me is that women are not solely for the purpose of procreation. They’re not little vessels for men to plant their seeds in," he said.
Starting at 5am we stood in public support and protection of the clinic, staff, patients, and most of all the heroic doctor who will not compromise with the organized forces of dark-ages patriarchy, who chanted in response to our, "Welcome Welcome! This clinic stays open!" and "A baby’s not a baby till it comes out! That’s what birthdays are all about!" with "Trust GOD, not women!" and sent their spokespeople to tell the media, "We’re not a violent movement. We’ve only killed 5 doctors."
Every time the antis started yelling at patients, or mumbling prayers at us, or singing (Silent Night, for some odd reason, given this is still August), we chanted again. Or, we sang our own song:
"A woman has a right to live/a woman has a right to choose/a woman has a right to have a child/and she has the right to refuse!"
This is not over. Operation Rescue may have been greatly outnumbered and upstaged this weekend, but they are not going away, and the anti-abortion movement overall will not stop until there is no abortion access, no birth control, and the submission of women is hammered into place.
One woman from Philadelphia wrote:
We want to stay in touch as we move forward. Link up with us on Facebook, or email us with your thoughts and ideas at email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org. More photos available on Lina’s blog or here.