The 'Hood Takes on the Antis

February 10, 2013 | Revolution Newspaper |


The following report about protesting the anti-women, anti-abortion "March for Life" was written from people in the San Francisco Bay Area:

Our Revolution Club crew of seven (Spanish- and English-speaking) from the 'hood joined with several other forces at Powell and Market in San Francisco to loudly confront the woman-hating so-called Walk for Life this Saturday. It was the first such demonstration for some of these women... in fact, one of them hadn't been to Powell and Market since she was a little girl! We all wore "I'm with the Real Revolution" buttons and carried the famous orange pickets ("Abortion on Demand and Without Apology") along with a tag-line "East Oakland sez...." attached.

Prior to the demonstration, there was considerable struggle over the slogan, "a fetus is not a baby." One of the women cried when she thought about her own late-term abortion saying, "I killed it"; and we collectively talked to her about how a baby is not a human until it is born and living on its own, and she should not feel guilty or ashamed about not being forced into motherhood. In fact, if this woman had never had abortions, she would have had 11 children!!! When we got to Powell and Market, there was a huge screen set up by the antis which depicted disgusting video images of abortions (or miscarriages?); and our friend began to cry again. One of the other women then said to her "these aren't babies... They just want you to think they are babies"; and this had a big impact on her... In fact, she herself took to the bullhorn shouting, "not the church, not the state, women will decide our fate."

Our crew felt that having a concentrated force of orange pickets really put our slogan out there strong. There was no doubt about the slogan, "Without Apology," right up against the Democrat Hillary Clinton's reference to abortion being a "tragedy." It really emboldened many women who were just out there in the plaza by coincidence, to sometimes take stickers, palm cards, and even pickets.

After the march, we ate some burgers and talked about what happened. All were pretty impressed with what could be accomplished with a relatively small number up against thousands of what one woman said were "brainwashed" people. We were a sea of orange pickets; and the slogan of "Abortion on Demand and Without Apology" proved to be quite popular even with people just walking by and others who'd joined the demonstration for different reasons (e.g. to promote the ERA). Several people took orange stickers with the same slogan to wear on their clothes; and this impressed our crew. As one of our crew said especially about the young women who were in the Walk for Life, "We confronted them with the TRUTH! Some of those young women will learn the truth later on."

One of the Spanish speakers remarked, "Some of these women will need an abortion themselves, and then what will they think?" The huge screen of "abortions" also elicited a remark in Spanish that "they show you this shit, but they don't show you what happens when women DON'T have abortions."

We all thought this was a good beginning, at the same time realizing that there was still a very bad trajectory to go up against. There is a large majority of people who are pro-choice but unfortunately remain silent. (Also we are up against not only the antis, but the state itself with its massive police force, etc.) This was one of the reasons our friends from the hood actually came out on the day... as one of them said, "I thought long about whether to go or not [she had to see a landlord about an apartment also at the same time]; but then I thought I got to do the right thing no matter who's going." And in the end, she remarked, "We had fun."

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