The Bay Area is commemorating the 90th anniversary of women's suffrage this week with speakers, films, costumes, and concerns. Members of the national organization Radical Women put out a call on the occasion of Women's Equality Day this year saying, "It's time to reclaim and re-energize a fighting, militant feminist movement!" In San Mateo, US Congresswomen Jackie Speier and Anna Eshoo warned that women's reproductive rights continue to be threatened.
Tiny Garcia was arrested for the crime of living houseless in America. From that experience she co-founded POOR Magazine, a media organization that is much more than a weekly journal. Tiny describes the magazine as "a family of poverty scholars teaching on and speaking on issues of poverty, racism, disability, border fascism and indigenous resistance" in this interview with Angola 3 News.
Hutchinson wins discharge.
Alexis Hutchinson, a single mother from Oakland, CA, is facing up to a year in military prison for refusing to leave her son in Georgia foster care while being deployed to Afghanistan. Military objector support group Courage to Resist is raising funds for Hutchinson's defense and circulating a petition on its website to demand that charges be dropped.
On February 4th, demonstrators for women's reproductive rights protested in front of the CBS affiliate in San Francisco. They rallied to protest the network's plan to air a commercial from a right-wing anti-abortion group during the Super Bowl on February 7. The demonstrators chanted and sang a song written by the Raging Grannies of South Florida, giving the acronym CBS a new, unflattering meaning.
January 22nd marked the 37th Anniversary of Roe v. Wade. The January 23rd "Walk for Life" was smaller than in past years. By its own estimate, the group against reproductive choice was 20,000 to 30,000. However, the San Francisco Chronicle estimated the size at "several thousand", not the "tens of thousands" that the pro-lifers claim. More than 200 pro-choice activists, while a smaller group, had a significant presence. Queer and feminist activists blocked the "Walk for Life" march for a brief period by extending a 25-foot banner reading "Religious Bigots Unwelcome in San Francisco" across the Embarcadero at the moment the march began.
On December 5th, women and men protested the Stupak amendment to the US Congress health care bill with a march and die-in in front of San Francisco's Ferry Building. Demonstrators wore black and rallied for full access to reproductive services, including abortion on demand.
G. Melesaine writes:
"When I saw the trailer for the new film 'Precious' I cried. This film made me think a lot about an old life I was too familiar with. It made me think about a lot of women that I am close to. It made me think about my sister in her Tenderloin days, about that loud funny girl in class that smacked her gum too loud, about that girl in West Point who had AIDS and everyone stayed away from her, about that girl walking up and down Folsom pretending she has somewhere to go, about that teacher I use to have a crush on in middle school, about women. 'Precious' women. This was their story."