As the the campaign against access to abortion over the last two decades has shifted to an outright campaign to overturn Roe v. Wade PSL members across the country went into the streets to mark Women’s Equality Day and continue to organize a fight back movement.
Women’s Equality Day marks the date when women won the right to vote with the passage of the 19th amendment. It was an organized movement that won the right to vote, just as it was a militant, organized women’s movement that won with the Roe v. Wade decision 50 years later. This legacy, often erased from our history books, is a legacy that must be at the core of our struggle today!
Following are reports on the Women’s Equality Day actions.
In San Francisco, a bilingual English-Spanish speakout at 24th and Mission streets drew the attention of hundreds of passersby at a busy intersection during commute hours. The speak out highlighted the intense struggle waged to secure the right to vote, and the continued struggle that was necessary after 1920 to make that vote a right for all women because of entrenched racism in U.S. society. Speakers also noted the need to fight today for our liberation from the various symptoms of women’s oppression under capitalism.
In Los Angeles the Party for Socialism and Liberation and other organizations such as #MeToo Survivors March, March and Rally Los Angeles, Gabriela Los Angeles, Anticonquista, the Full Rights for Immigrants Coalition, Los Angeles Green Party and the Anticapitalist Feminist Coalition, rallied at MacArthur Park for a speak out. Some of the pressing issues mentioned were the attacks on Roe V. Wade, the crisis at the border, the murder of transwomen, the fight for equal pay, and the gains of womens rights in socialist countries. The rally ended with a march to a local crisis pregnancy center, which pose as abortion clinics, but are actually anti-choice centers that prey on women in low-income communities by forcing them out of abortions.
In Boston, a speak out was held on August 26. Participants included about 15 people from the community as well as from the Party for Socialism and Liberation. The speakout took place in a primarily working class community of color, near a train station during rush hour. The community was receptive to our message. A representative of Committee In Solidarity with the People of El Salvador spoke on the crisis of reproductive rights or the lack thereof in El Salvador and how it is connected to forced migration to the United States. PSL speakers spoke about topics ranging from the interwoven nature of trans liberation to the overall liberation of women to the significant contribution of socialist Black women in U.S. political movements.
New York City
In New York, a small speak out gathered at a subway stop around the corner from the Justice Center in East Harlem. Speakers gave short agitational talks that highlighted the importance of the struggle for affordable housing and how this disproportionately impacts women, the history of the fight for abortion, the gains of the revolutions for women in Venezuela and Cuba, and the Puerto Rican independence struggle and women. Many community members from different backgrounds stopped, listened, signed up and took flyers and other information. Activists distributed 500 flyers for upcoming activities, including a Breaking the Chains magazine study group on Friday Aug. 30 at the Justice Center.
In Atlanta, educational outreach around women’s issues took place at a local Farmers Market, engaging folks in the community about what Women’s Equality Day means. Organizers had flyers, books and pamphlets, ranging with a topic of issues, but most notably, information about reproductive justice in the United States. Community members were receptive and supportive to the message “The System is Sexist!”
In Columbia, a street meeting took place informing people about the H3020 fetal heartbeat ban that the house is planning on hearing on September 10 outside of session, without public knowledge. Additionally, petitions were circulated for the current right to vote campaign happening nationwide. In addition, the speakers reminded people that Women’s Equality Day also means fighting for incarcerated women. A community member named Savanna Simon, stated, “Being able to come together and spread the word about the H3020 bill that is trying to be pushed through in Columbia was very empowering and made me realize that when we unite we can win in the struggle.”