Stop Patriarchy Disrupts Anti-Abortion/Anti-Woman Rally by Black Preachers

January 23, 2015 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us


From a reader:

January 23, Oakland, Calif.—Today some 40-50 pro-choice demonstrators totally disrupted the so-called “StandingUp4Life” rally being held by a group of anti-abortion, anti-woman Black preachers, right at Oscar Grant Plaza (re-named in memory of one of the thousands of unarmed Black men murdered by police) in downtown Oakland. These ministers are part of the national Christian fascist movement which is trying to overturn Roe v. Wade and completely outlaw abortion. They were in for a surprise today!

Members of StopPatriarchy.org, the Bay Area Revolution Club, and others first gathered at the corner of 14th and Broadway for a short rally, where Carl Dix exposed the lie that abortion was Black genocide—in fact, denying Black women the right to control their lives and reproduction today was just what slave masters did under slavery.

Then, the group, led by Carl Dix, Sunsara Taylor, and StopPatriarchy.org, marched right to the amphitheater where the woman-haters and their supporters were rallying. The march went right down the steps, and right to the stage where one of the anti-woman preachers was carrying on. The protesters and their signs and bright, big banners: Abortion On Demand and Without Apology, and Forced Motherhood is Female Enslavement in both English and Spanish, and Stop Demonizing and Shaming of Black Women, Real Genocide Is Police Murder and Mass Incarceration, completely overshadowed the stage, and totally disrupted the anti-woman, anti-abortion rally.

Oakland, January 23

Oakland, January 23
Photos: Special to revcom.us/Revolution

It was a wild, raucous, and polarized scene. The minister on the mic kept repeating demagogic garbage like, “These are the people who want to murder babies, these are the people who want to murder babies.” Another one—“Babies have rights, babies have rights.” The defenders of women’s rights were chanting and speaking out: “Abortion On Demand and Without Apology! Without This Basic Right, Women Can’t Be Free!” Carl Dix and Sunsara Taylor were speaking out on the bullhorn. Before long some of the anti-abortion forces – including younger people who seemed stunned and shocked by what was going on – rushed down to hold their signs – “Life Is a Gift, Not a Choice” and “All Life Is Sacred” in front of our banners.  When two women brought StopPatriarchy.org’s English and Spanish “Abortion On Demand and Without Apology!” banner right up onto the stage next to the preacher, some of his supporters stood in front of it and tried to block it.

Some 15 or 20 people who just happened to see the Stop Patriarchy action joined in at one point or another.

After more than 20 minutes, the police came between the two groups, but by then the whole anti-abortion, anti-woman game plan had been disrupted. The lead preacher announced they wouldn’t march after all (claiming he wanted everyone to be “safe”) and instead said they were going to wind up their rally and called everyone up on stage.

The exposure of the lie that they were about protecting Black women and lives didn’t stop; we continued from the steps. Then after a short march back to 14th and Broadway, Sunsara Taylor, who had just flown in from Washington, DC where StopPatriarchy.org halted the so-called “March for Life” for 40 minutes, concluded the day by challenging people to bring the spirit of Ferguson into the movement to defend women’s rights and make 2015 the year we turn the tide on abortion rights and the whole war on women.

Today, it felt like that was really beginning to happen!

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