Revolution #55, July 30, 2006
Revolution received the following statement:
Oct. 5, 2006—Drive Out the Bush Regime & Bring the Whole Agenda to a HALT!
A Call to Action for the Women’s Movement and Everyone Who Cares About Women’s Lives
It’s 2006 and we are very close to losing Roe. Fifteen states have criminal bans on the books that would outlaw abortion with few exceptions, and Ohio legislators are considering a law that will prohibit all abortions with no exceptions, even if the woman’s life is at stake.
This movement and all people who care about the fundamental rights of women are facing a juncture, and which way we go will decide the future for generations. The pouring of all hopes and energies into the Democratic Party that has sacrificed the issue of abortion to “winning” in the mid-term elections leaves us with this question: at what point will we decide to really fight and at what point does it become too late?
The women of the pro-choice movement must resolve to take a radical departure from the strategy that is in large part responsible for the ground we have lost. Funneling all our energies, money and imagination into elections and candidates and a political process that is howlingly disconnected and at odds with people’s needs, objectives, interests and principles has to be roundly and decisively rejected.
Unless there’s a drastic shift of strategy from accepting “what’s possible” within the official politics of this country that are pitching far right, unless we bust through the confines that are squeezing the life out of what we have going for us the most—the initiative of millions of women who are looking for a way out and asking to be called into action—we are going to lose it all, and the agenda of the Operation Save America lunatics now moving to shut down the last abortion clinic in Mississippi will be the handmaid’s tale we will actually be living.
When you have a situation where even the nine pro-choice women Democrats in the Senate support Pennsylvania’s Robert Casey Jr., an anti-choice, pro-war, anti-stem cell research Democrat, because, in their words, his election is “critical to our efforts of regaining the majority in the U.S. Senate,” isn’t it time for something drastically and radically different?
There is still time, but the clock is ticking. If we treat Roe as already gone we will certainly lose. We cannot settle for a defensive strategy of fighting attacks on abortion state by state. And what is most important, if the whole agenda of unlimited war, torture, massive spying, attacks on gays and women and the destruction of basic rights is not rejected and the Bush regime driven from power, it will become increasing impossible to stop any single outrage. The entire Bush agenda and fascist remaking of society have to be brought to a HALT.
World Can’t Wait is calling on people to reject accommodating to and settling for what has become a killing logic. What begins as something too dreadful to contemplate becomes today’s compromise position that is then signed into law and given a bipartisan legislative mandate and legitimacy. The point is not, voting or not. Our point is that if our struggle remains confined within the parameters of the elections, we will lose—even if the Democrats win.
World Can’t Wait is calling on people to step outside of these confines—to find your sharpest tongues to say the whole political discourse around this is WRONG and has to be radically altered in the way political discourse has always been changed: by what is initially a minority of society stepping up and stepping out in massive enough numbers to create an entirely different discourse and political dynamic than the one officially permitted. The passivity and demobilization of the pro-choice and women’s movement needs to be swiftly reversed. And the money we need must be found by going directly to the people, instead of allowing ourselves to be limited by the purse strings of those who want to muzzle us.
Public opinion on the war did not change because people voted for Democrats—it changed in spite of it. Massive political action in the streets put out an example and a position that the actual reality of the war soon confirmed for millions of people who were not yet convinced. What would have happened had we not been there in the fall of 2002? Would people be drawing the same conclusions? Would opinion polls on the war be what they are now? Would dissent have been completely silenced without millions of people refusing to “watch what you say” and instead going up against that kind of intimidation in massive resistance, saying “No! Your war is wrong and unjust, and you will not prosecute it in our name”? Would GI’s today be able to say, “I refuse” without this?
The only thing that has a chance of beating back the assault on abortion, on derailing the assertion of patriarchal morality and authority being made into law, of stopping the dangerous fascist remaking of society that is undergirding an endless war for empire, is to put all our energies, post haste, into truly massive mobilization and resistance.
On October 5th World Can’t Wait is calling for a day of mass mobilization to break the paralysis that still grips too much of American political life and to say Enough—Bring This to a Halt! Drive Out the Bush Regime. We are calling on people to walk out of schools, and off their jobs, to stop shopping and close their shops, and to assemble in massive demonstrations.
Be part of taking this momentous step. It is time to pool our energies and resources to take responsibility to really change the course of history. There is no other way the political will of the people will be heard this fall—no other way it will not be frittered away and dissipated.
As the World Can’t Wait Call says: The future is unwritten. Which one we get is up to us.
Drafted by Mary Lou Greenberg, an activist in the women’s liberation movement in the 1960s who has defended women’s clinics and abortion providers across the country. She received a Susan B. Anthony Award for grassroots activism from the NYC Chapter of the National Organization for Women in 2001. She works with World Can’t Wait—Drive Out the Bush Regime and is a member of the Revolutionary Communist Party, USA—NYC Branch
Debra Sweet, National Coordinator, The World Can’t Wait—Drive Out the Bush Regime (www.worldcantwait.org)
Merle Hoffman, Founder/President of Choices Women’s Medical and Mental Health Center, Long Island City, NY, est. 1971 as one of the first ambulatory abortion centers; co-founder of the National Abortion Federation (NAF) and founder of the NY Pro-Choice Coalition; publisher/editor-in-chief of On the Issues: the Progressive Women’s Quarterly
Eleanor J. Bader, co-author, Targets of Hatred: Anti-Abortion Terrorism; contributor to Z, Library Journal, Lillith, NY Law Journal and The Brooklyn Rail
Rosemary Candelario, Pro-choice activist, co-founder of the Eastern Massachusetts Abortion Fund, formerly of the Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice, the Abortion Access Project, and the Reproductive Freedom Taskforce of Refuse & Resist.
Elaine Brower, World Can’t Wait—Drive Out the Bush Regime spokesperson, anti-war activist and mother of a Marine stationed in Iraq
Lucinda Marshall, Founder, Feminist Peace Network (www.feministpeacenetwork.org)
Rev. Monica Corsaro, Co-Covener Religious Coalition for Equality, President of Washington State Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice, serving as Ecumenical Campus Minister at University of Washington, ordained elder of United Methodist Church Pacific Northwest Conference
Carolyn R. Swift, Professor Emerita, English Department, Rhode Island College, Providence, RI
Please sign and circulate widely. Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org and let us know if we can add your name to this Call to Action.
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