A Meeting of Students—Drawing Strength from Each Other; Grappling with Abortion Rights and Revolution

Over the last few weeks, the Revolution Tour has been working with several students on one of the campuses we’ve been to who have engaged with the Declaration and Call from the revcoms, and the call for the October 2 marches, and who are working on building a Revolution Club on their campus. We recently had the first meeting where we were able to pull together six of the students. It was very important they got to meet each other and strengthen each other’s understanding and commitment.

Before we started the meeting, I had some informal discussion with two of the young women from this grouping. It was pretty cool, they came wearing their Revolution—Nothing Less shirts and right away were saying how excited they were to meet others who are into the revolution. One made sure we knew that she wants to be involved and find the ways to contribute despite their crazy schedule getting in the way a lot.

I was sharing with them some of the experiences at another campus and they were super-excited to hear about it. I also told them I had recently been on a national Zoom call where 20+ people came on from different parts of the country, organizing contingents in different cities. One of the young women had an important response, saying, "It’s great to hear about all these other people who are finding out about and are with the revolution. It takes me out of feeling like it’s just a couple of us on this campus by ourselves, knowing there are people in different parts of the country who are marching in the same kinds of contingents as us here."

As others arrived, and in beginning the meeting, I acknowledged how significant it is what they are trying to do on campus, that they have begun working together in a process on the basis of the Declaration and Call. I opened up discussion on the Texas Abortion Ban, and the young women had a lot to say about this. They expressed being angry, and one of them talked about living in a society where your cousin or uncle, or a close family friend can sexually assault you, and women would be forced to carry a pregnancy of their rapist to term. One of the guys in the group talked about what he understood about the Texas Ban, that he’d read that after six weeks in Texas, women can't get an abortion, and he said, "I read that most women don’t even know they are pregnant until after six weeks."

Another student at one point said, "I'm a guy so I don't know, or ever will know, what this is like, you all should tell us." One of the young women spoke about what it means for her, as someone who is sacrificing a lot to be able to go to school and get a career, that for something like this, women like her, would be completely locked into being a mother, and her career would be done for. We talked about how even if you don’t experience something, you can understand on a scientific basis what this means and be just as outraged even if it isn't directly affecting you.

Then there was some interesting back and forth among the students. “Is this a matter of personal choice or should the state decide?" one guy asked. "I say personal choice," another guy said. The first guy replied, "I think it’s the state." “What!?” After one of the women jumped in, and as people sorted out their positions, the first guy explained that he thought the state should give this right and defend it; that women should decide whether they will have children or not, but the right to abortion should be available and defended.

This is all still beginning, and there are challenges involved in fighting through to cohere something on this campus and have it feed into a powerful showing on October 2. But the grappling that has gone on is very significant to learn from.

No going back! No surrender!

 

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