Interview with Sunsara Taylor

Stop the War on Women—Protest in DC and San Francisco in January!

January 3, 2015 | Revolution Newspaper |


Sunsara Taylor is a correspondent for and an initiator of Stop Patriarchy. She helped organize and spoke at the Rock in the New Year With Resistance to Police Murder! NO NEW YEAR UNDER THIS OLD SYSTEM! WE CAN’T BREATHE! march on New Year’s Eve in New York City.


Revolution: You were speaking to the war on women and how it fits into the whole picture of what’s going on, on December 31 during the intense march in NYC. Can you talk about that? How do you see this?

Sunsara Taylor: The last few weeks and months have been spectacular, with outpourings of anger, outrage, and heartbreak against the unrelenting epidemic of police murder. Now, when forces throughout society are saying there should be a moratorium on protest, it was important that people stepped out, that Carl Dix and the Stop Mass Incarceration Network called for these actions on New Year’s Eve.

One of the strengths of this, beyond calling on the upsurge against police murder to go broader and deeper, was to bring in these other issues and challenge people to go from fighters on one front to fighters on all fronts against oppression. Women are half of humanity. As BA—Bob Avakian—has put it: “You cannot break all the chains, except one. You cannot say you want to be free of exploitation and oppression, except you want to keep the oppression of women by men. You can’t say you want to liberate humanity yet keep one half of the people enslaved to the other half.” (BAsics 3:22)

We’re living in a time when there’s an unrelenting war on women, and other forms of oppression by this capitalist-imperialist system.

Revolution: I think a lot of people see a lot of fucked-up stuff happening to women but can you break down what you mean by a war on women?

Women are not bitches, ho's, or punching bags; women are full human beings.

Union Square, December 31

Union Square, New York City, New Year's Eve.

Sunsara Taylor: There is an all-out unrelenting war on women. There is an epidemic of rape. Violence against women. Three or four women are killed every day by their “partners” in this society. There is increasingly violent and degrading porn. There is bigotry, hatred, and violence against those whose love does not conform to dominant heterosexist norms or roles this society enforces for “male” and “female” behavior. One of the key fronts of this war is the Christian fascist assault on women’s right to abortion.

It was very moving to me to see people respond enthusiastically when I spoke about this at the protest, as well as when I and others spoke about the war on immigrants, the torture, the drones, and global climate change. These things are all rooted in the system of capitalism-imperialism that rules over us and these are all reasons we need an actual revolution.

This war on women also includes the state-backed closure of dozens and dozens of abortion clinics, the passage of hundreds of anti-abortion laws, and the threat this poses to women everywhere. If you want to fight to end oppression, you have to take this on. There is no “us” and “them” within the fight against oppression. The us is those of us fighting the system, and the them is the system. I called on people to join with me and others, and to take the spirit of defiance that began in Ferguson, and which has spread across the country, and go down to DC on January 22 [the anniversary of the Supreme Court's 1973 Roe v. Wade decision legalizing abortion nationwide] and San Francisco on January 24 to confront the women haters, the anti-abortion Christian fascists at their huge “march for life,” which is really a march for female enslavement and forced motherhood.

The unity forged in the streets needs to go broader and further and is precious to those who want a different world. And 2015 has to be the year we stand up against all of this.

Revolution: Can you talk more about the nature of this unity forged in the streets and the way this took shape on New Year’s Eve?

Sunsara Taylor: Stop Patriarchy had been mobilizing people to come out on New Year’s Eve both to join with the overall message and specifically to bring signs around women’s liberation. That message was really well received, starting at the planning meetings. It was very moving to hear people who had come into this movement mainly around police brutality and mass incarceration—around Black lives matter—responding very deeply to the need to support LGBT rights and abortion rights and people around the world struggling for liberation. It wasn’t that these were formal demands of the organizers of the protest, but this was very widely supported. So it began there. And it continued in the street on December 31 with the bright, beautiful signs with the words “Abortion On Demand and Without Apology,” and another with “Women Are Not Bitches, Ho’s, or Punching Bags... Women Are Full Human Beings.”

People wanted to help hold the signs. People put on stickers—it was a beautiful sight, people with “Get Organized for an Actual Revolution” signs, with “Police Brutality Must Stop,” and others, with “Abortion On Demand and Without Apology” stickers right on those signs. A beautiful mix.

A lot of people took pictures of these signs around women. People were happy they were there. And when I spoke, the reaction was very vehement, and not just among women, the body language—in the cold—people happy to have this included. Including a woman who got up with an “ALL Black Lives Matter Including Women” sign, who talked about women killed by police, who often don’t get as much attention, and the struggle of LGBT and trans women, and violence they confront by law enforcement—all that has to be part of the struggle. There was a very young Black woman from North Carolina, someone who came to New York to get out of the suffocating scene she had been in. When she got here, she heard about the protest, said wow! and found her way down to this protest in a new city. She got on the mic and talked about how much self-hatred this society fosters against people for being Black, for being women, for being lesbians. She really touched me and others. She was there to support the fight against police brutality, but it was clear that all of what was on her mind was welcome in this crowd, all these forms of oppression.

Union Square, December 31, 2014

Sunsara Taylor speaks at Union Square rally, New York City, New Year's Eve. Photo:

Several people, including some parents of children killed by police, said they want to come to the abortion rights protest in DC. That was the spirit in the crowd. To some people without a doubt, hearing about women’s liberation, abortion rights, LGBT was not expected—but it was a good thing for them to hear. And overall this was really embraced.

This also recalls to my mind the deep response from the audience at the Dialogue between Cornel West and Bob Avakian in November, “Revolution and Religion: The Fight for Emancipation and the Role of Religion,” the thunderous applause and cheering that erupted when BA spoke directly to the horrors faced by women and the need to break all the chains, in the context of painting a vision of a world without any form of oppression. There was enthusiasm for pulling all this together, and a real depth to the response to the vision of women really being treated as full human beings. This is something, both the response at New Year’s and especially the response to BA on this during the Dialogue, we should learn from and right now we should be taking this question—of women’s liberation and the fight for abortion rights—and the plans for the Roe v. Wade demos coming up very boldly out to every section of society, including those on the very bottom, those who catch the hardest hell under this system. This is a critical part of fighting the power, and transforming the people, for revolution.

Revolution: Let’s get into the plans for protests in January against the war on women and to defend abortion rights in particular.

Sunsara Taylor: Just so people understand the situation and facts: There’s been an unrelenting attack on abortion. Dozens and dozens of clinics have been closed in recent years. Hundreds of new laws have passed, mandating longer waiting periods before a woman can get an abortion. All this is making it much more difficult to access abortion, especially for women with children who have to travel great distances. There are clinic closures. And this is all getting codified in law and so it is very difficult to reverse.

Every year—around the anniversary of the January 22, 1973 Roe v. Wade decision when the Supreme Court legalized abortion nationwide—at this time the movement for forced motherhood, the so-called “pro-life” movement, mobilizes huge marches in San Francisco and DC to celebrate the movement for forced motherhood and to spread their Dark Ages agenda, their Christian fascist ideology, and to pump people up for even stronger attacks on women’s rights. This is a very dangerous thing. It is women hating, backed by the state, at center stage of society, unveiled. It is imperative this be frontally opposed.

Stop Patriarchy is calling on people to confront the women haters. To bring out the truth: Women are not incubators! Fetuses are not babies! Abortion is not murder! And to build a movement to defeat the war on women.

Break All the Chains!

Break ALL the Chains!
Bob Avakian on the Emancipation of Women and the Communist Revolution

Sampler Edition | Full Work

And those of us who understand this in this way—that all this women hating is not a product of human nature but a product of the capitalist-imperialist system that inherited women’s oppression but has woven it into its functioning, that needs that—those of us who understand the need to make revolution to change this as well as all the other horrors—genocide going on against Black people, unjust wars the U.S. carries out around the world, the way the capitalist-imperialist drive for profit is taking us to such extremes in environmental devastation and threatening life on planet as we know it—those of us who see this all rooted in this system, we are taking up this mobilization as part of a movement for an actual revolution. Waking people up, changing people, and yes taking people from fighters on one front to fighters on all fronts.

We want to launch 2015 as a year of unprecedented, massive struggle against all oppression against our people here and around the world.

Revolution: Where do people go to learn more and how do they get involved in the actions planned for January?

Sunsara Taylor: Everyone should check the site and Prepare now to join us at noon on January 22 in front of the Supreme Court in DC. And on January 24 in San Francisco; come from all up and down the West Coast and converge in San Francisco.

On January 17, we’re holding an abortion rights speakout in New York City that will be webcast live. Revolution Books stores, churches, and students should host viewing parties. Tune in live to this speakout—you will hear about the real stories of women about their own abortions, how this has impacted them. And donate financially at

Come! On both coasts—to counter-protest on the anniversary of Roe v. Wade.

Women are not incubators! Fetuses are not babies! Abortion is not murder! Join us to build the strategy to defeat the whole war on women.


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