Posts Tagged ‘women’s rights’

Local Richmond journalist Michael Paul Williams wrote a piece in today’s Richmond Times Dispatch discussing Senator Norment’s labeling of the Wingnut as armed terrorists. Williams draws some excellent connections between the communist Red Scare era of the 1950′s and current use of the term terrorist. It is great to have local critical journalism.

The only difference to note is that some of the statements he attributes to Mo were actual from the press release written by the entire Wingnut Anarchist Collective- which you can read in full on this website.

Read his column, “Lawmaker’s ‘Terrorist’ Claim Reckless” here: http://www2.timesdispatch.com/news/columnists-blogs/2012/mar/09/tdmet01-michael-paul-williams-lawmakers-terrorist–ar-1751932/

Sometimes the hardest part about being called a terrorist is trying to explain how it happened. None of the current members of the Wingnut Anarchist Collective were at last Saturday’s protest, and none of us were involved in its planning. Some friends of ours, and former members of our collective were involved, and some folks we really like were among those arrested, but that doesn’t really explain why State Senate Majority Leader Tommy Norment is calling us terrorists on the senate floor and in the newspaper.
It’s easy to feel upset about being called a terrorist. It’s pretty widely known how the government treats people after it starts calling them terrorists, so having a fairly important politician call you a terrorist is a lot like a threat. Rather than getting all bent out of shape about it, we’re probably going to go ahead and make terrorist glitter paint t-shirts or something.
We’re not going to let this stuff get to us because getting all outraged about Senator Tommy’s (ignorant, irresponsible) name calling is giving him what he wants, which is to distract from the bad behavior of his side. It isn’t the Wingnut that wants to legislate away women’s rights in order to score cheap political points. It wasn’t the Wingnut that sent armed, masked men to face down peaceful protestors. It wasn’t the Wingnut that forced these same protestors onto a bus and held them for hours on end with a bucket for a toilet and no water. It wasn’t the Wingnut that tried to defend thuggish behavior by its own side by making wild, ignorant allegations about a barely involved 3rd party. That’s on him, and the focus right now should remain on his bad behavior, and the bad behavior of the folks on his side.
As for us, we’re going to keep doing our best and fighting for a better world. Best of luck to our friends and allies. To the folks that were more directly involved in last Saturday’s protest, good on y’all. If nothing else you seem to have put a scare into a lot of shitty people. We here at the Wingnut believe that in order for the right to choose to truly be respected, much more fundamental changes will need to be made to our society than what’s on the table right now. If any of y’all want to talk about it, we’re not going anywhere.

In case you haven’t heard, 33 people were arrested on Saturday March 3rd during a rally for women’s rights at the Virginia State Capital. The protest was one of a number of recent demonstrations held in Virginia to protest the oppressive proposed legislation which would severely inhibit women’s rights to reproductive freedom.

The people arrested on Saturday were held for hours in buses without access to food, water, or bathrooms. They were then later transferred to the Richmond City Lock Up where they were processed and released, late into the night. A group of supporters stayed outside of lock up the whole time, cheering as people were released and helping keep the spirits high with acts of solidarity.

They have been charged with unlawful assembly and trespass. They are facing up to 2 years for their participation in the demonstration at the capital.

Folks are collecting money to help out the arrestees with all of their legal fees. If you are able, please donate here: https://www.wepay.com/donations/179709?fb_comment_id=fbc_10150723832110505_22452582_10150724878410505#f16ba7792c

Upcoming court dates for the arraignments of the folks arrested on Saturday are: Friday March 9th, Wednesday March 14th, Thursday March 15th, Friday March 16th, and Monday March 19th all at 9:00am at the Manchester Court House at 920 Hull St. Keep in mind that cell phones, weapons, knives, guns, food, drink, etc. are not allowed in court rooms.

Here is a link to a video by amazing Richmond journalist/photojournalist/documentation Kontra of the events. Includes police violence: M3: Richmond Women Take the Capital http://player.vimeo.com/video/37925933?title=0&byline=0&portrait=0

There were many amazing anarchists and feminists who have been organizing and participating in these protests and this movement against the patriarchical system. The movement might not yet be revolutionary, but many of the participants are. Keep struggling, keep fighting!

The pieces of legislation being proposed right now in Virginia are just the tip of the iceberg in terms of the problematic, dangerous, and oppressive situation faced by women world wide. Misogyny abounds, and male privilege continues to dominate. The movement for women’s rights must continue after the legislative session, and beyond the political realm. Stopping pieces of law can be seen as a huge victory, and will certainly have a positive impact for tens of thousands of women in Virginia. But we have to push further, and gain more ground, so we aren’t fighting for the same turf every year. We need to consider intersectionality of oppression, the oppression inherent in the capitalist system, the problems of hierarchy, etc.  A better world IS possible. And Virginia has the people power to make it happen!

For a world where these sorts of laws aren’t even imaginable! For a world where women control their own lives, health, and reproductive choices! For a world where no one can make decisions about our bodies or sexuality for us! For a world without politicians, bosses, or cops!

“Being an anarchist feminist means becoming conscious of all struggles for liberation, not letting the struggle for women’s liberation become the struggle for white, middle-class, able-bodied, straight heterosexual women’s equality under capitalism.
While as feminists we are aware of male privilege, we need to be aware of our own. The eternal difficulty with feminism, and all politics/activism, is that it tends to be exclusive. It is more likely to be the educated, the white, the middle-class, the able-bodied, the non-marginalized, the young, the straight, the child-free, the cis-gendered, the settled, that get to participate in these groups.”

— What the fuck is Anarcha-Feminism anyway?!

Virginia politicians are attempting an advance in the war against women and women’s rights and reproductive freedom during this legislative session. Folks in Richmond are organizing some protests, call-ins, and petitions against the proposed pieces of legislation. One event will be a protest next Monday the 20th. Check out the information about the pieces of legislation and the protest below. Take action to support Virginian women. Solidarity actions encouraged.

We are glad to see people in Virginia taking a stand against these potentially oppressive laws, and look forward to the day when more people will take a stand against a system that makes even the proposal of such laws possible.
As anarchists, we do not seek reform or believe that reform through legislative bodies or politicians is a realistic solution to our problems. We would rather seek out and attack the roots of the problems, including misogny, sexism, patriarchy, capitalism, and hierarchy.
We do believe in self-defense, solidarity, direct action, and mutual aid.
Women, and anarchists will not stand for these laws, and the passing of any of these laws only goes to show the level of patriarchy still alive and well in the capitalist government system.
As anarchists, we support all attempts to fight back against a system attempting to criminalize, assault, objectify, violate, limit, and control women.
We encourage and support those who will defend the rights of women to control their own lives and bodies by any means necessary.

Go below for more about next Monday’s protest:

The VA General Assembly is attempting to outlaw abortions, the morning after pill and most hormonal birth control. They want to make it mandatory for us report miscarriages within one hour to the police and be able to charge us with murder if we do choose to get an abortion once illegal. They want us to have to get and see ultrasounds before choosing to get an abortion as psychological blackmail. The only place that will offer this if a woman can’t afford the ultrasound is a conservative crisis pregnancy center where they will then tell her how horrible she is. They want to stop federal funding to low income women with high risk pregnancies essentially forcing women carry even if the fetus would not make it through to labor. They want to change building codes in Virginia so that MOST places you can receive an abortion would be shut down. These are known as TRAP laws and are not technically session laws they are happening congruently.

There is also legislation trying to stop the current procedure of shackling women prisoner in labor. This is a serious and dangerous session to women and they mean business. We should show them we do too by speaking loudly in silence for women’s reproductive rights! We are not gonna take this anymore!

On Feb 20th at 11 am, we are we’re putting out the call for 500 women (but men very welcome and wanted!) to line either side of the walkway between the general assembly building and the Capitol in SILENCE as our Senators and Representatives pass between the two buildings several times a day to work on passing these bills. This is also President’s day so lots of folks will have off work but the legislators and the Governor have a full schedule.

The Capitol ground rules say that we can not assemble, hold signs, chant, yell or protest. We think silence in the face of this struggle and their unconstitutional rules is by far the strongest response to their terror on women.

Please come out and stand up for our rights and for the rights of all women in VA to choose the best reproductive route for themselves.

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Last night was the 2nd public meeting of people working to organize Occupy Richmond. This movement has no leaders, no organizers, no hierarchy. The meeting yesterday was not perfect, as could have been expected. There were over 250 people there, many new to organizing, consensus process, facilitating and more.

The main decisions being made yesterday were regarding the time, date, and location of the beginning of the Occupation. A large group started off the discussion, going through some bare bones facilitation and decision making basics. Then folks split into smaller groups to talk about the date and location.

In smaller groups and in smaller conversations throughout the night, there were many discussion about the economy, politics, rights and more. The types of discussions that do not happen on a very regular basis among strangers in Virginia. Just having these discussions, no matter how imperfect, is significant.

Ultimately, what was decided was to avoid conflicting with the TRAP protest already scheduled for October 15th from 1-3pm in Monroe Park. TRAP is the recent Virginia legislation aimed at forcing abortion clinics to meet hospital standards, which would have the chilling effect of shutting down 17 of the state’s 21 abortion clinics. This new rule, wrapped up in the word safety and health, is really about limiting women’s rights to abortion and the health care they need.

The Occupy Richmond group is encouraging people to participate in the TRAP protest. Occupy Richmond will then meet at 4pm on October 15th in Monroe Park. At that time a location will be chosen for the Occupation. Repeat, location TBD.

On the issue of location, there were many ideas thrown around. Kanawah Plaza, Monroe Park, Capitol Hill, FedEx Plaza, locations around VCU, and more were all discussed. There were some folks fixated on Kanawah Plaze for its proximity to the Federal Reserve Bank. Others pointed out that the Federal Reserve Bank is not necessarily the main target of this event. Also that the consequences of trespassing/making mistakes at the Federal Reserve are a lot higher than other places. And that Occupying Kanawaha Plaza would displace homeless persons who sleep there on a regular basis.

This meeting was not perfect, by any means. Folks from marginalized groups swiftly felt marginalized by the process, which is not a good place to start. More white men spoke than other people. Issues of privilege were not really addressed, or understood by many folks in the crowd. Instead of actual consensus “modified consensus” was used, which basically makes it a direct democracy with a limit on how large the majority must be to silence the minority.Hopefully folks (not from marginalized groups) can step up as the Occupy Richmond idea continues to do some education and discussion regarding issues of privilege, among other things.

However, there were a lot of new faces, and a lot of good conversations that did occur. The creation of an autonomous space, in and of itself, can be an empowering positive thing. When this space is created, hopefully radical and anarchist and awesome people in Richmond can find inspiring ways to use this space. Workshops, discussions, and more are all possible once a space has been established.

Here is a video of part of the meeting:

Again- in the time between now and the 15th there is a lot of preparation and education that can be done. From Know Your Rights workshops, to getting new batteries for a flashlight, to taking a few minutes to read about privilege, anyone planning on participating in this occupation owes it to themselves and there fellow occupiers to do some preparing if they can.

http://www.monroeparkoccupation.wordpress.com has information about an occupation of Monroe Park that happened earlier in 2011.

TRAP- Targeted Regulation of Abortion Providers is a piece of legislation in Virginia that singles out abortion providers for an absurd amount of regulation- which if put into effect would cut down the abortion providers in Virginia from 21 to 4.

This is nothing but an ATTACK on Women.

Time to fight back. Check out this event next week and never stop fighting for women.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

You can download the flier here: http://zinelibrary.info/fight-your-rights-fight-trap-virginia