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Center Column Archives
The legendary poet, essayist and feminist Adrienne Rich died on March 27, 2012, at the age of 82 in her Santa Cruz, California home. Rich was one of the most celebrated poets of the last half-century and a lifelong advocate for women, gay and lesbian rights, peace and racial justice. She was a key figure in the women’s movement and an uncompromising critic of the powerful.
For the eighth year, anti-choice Walk for Life demonstrators bussed into San Francisco from across the state marched to protest the Supreme Court decision that legalized abortion 39 years ago. However, pro-choice activists celebrated the anniversary of Roe v. Wade with gatherings in the city's Justin Herman Plaza and in downtown Los Altos. Supporters of the Walk for Life West Coast event bemoaned the lack of news coverage given their march.
Women's rights advocates will celebrate the 39th anniversary of Roe v. Wade in San Francisco's Justin Herman Plaza on the same day that the annual "Walk for Life" calls for its repeal in other parts of the city. On Saturday, January 21st
, the Rally for Reproductive Justice will feature music, children's entertainment and speakers from 11 am to 1pm. All activities will take place under large tents so attendees can enjoy the event shielded from forecasted rain showers.
CODEPINK Activists confronted GOP presidential candidate Tim Pawlenty on his anti-gay and anti-reproductive rights stance at the annual America's Health Insurance Plans (AHIP) conference in San Francisco on June 16th. Showering the GOP presidential candidate with pink glitter and confetti, they shouted, "Where's your courage to stand up for gay and reproductive rights? Welcome to San Francisco, home of gay hero Harvey Milk!" Outside the Moscone center demonstrators rallied for a single payer healthcare system and satirical Billionaires for Wealthcare aped the wealthy who benefit from the insurance industry's huge profits.
After more than a decade of legal battles, a decision by a final court ruled against the group Friends of Juana Briones House. The oldest house in Palo Alto, named for its famous resident who was a latina pioneer, is being dismantled, piece by piece. Juana Briones healed the sick and cared for the poor. An elementary school and park in Palo Alto both bear her name. Her house, parts of which were built in 1844, is being destroyed by the current property owner.
On May 15th, Santa Cruz SlutWalk took the sidewalks to make a unified statement about sexual assault and victims’ rights, to demand respect for all, and re-appropriate the term slut. The demonstration was one of many around the world sparked by a statement on January 24th from a representative of the Toronto Police to a group of students. The officer shared insight into the police force's view of sexual assault by stating, "women should avoid dressing like sluts in order not to be victimized."
To mark the 100th anniversary of International Women's Day, the Global Women’s Strike held the 2nd Annual Mother's March on March 8th in San Francisco. The Mother's March also takes place in other parts of the state, Philadelphia, and Los Angeles, as well as in Haiti, Guyana, India, Peru and the UK. In their call-out for the march, organizers wrote:
"Mothers produce/care for the world's people. Most women do caring work: grandmothers, mothers, daughters, partners. Unrecognized, unpaid or low-paid, women care for children, elders, people with disabilities, and each other."