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Defend Reproductive Rights! Protest Anti Abortion March
The Socialist-Feminist organization Radical Women organized on short notice a “loud, militant” counter protest of the march through Market Street from the also militant, Christian-based West Coast Walk For Life, The purpose was to directly counter the misinformation and lies from that group, while making it much more difficulty for them to expand their recruiting activities because her in SF they are ineffective when met with opposition. (28 minutes).
“Pray by day, bomb by night, that’s the motto of Pro-Life!” “Pro-Life, your name’s a lie, you don’t care if women die!” “Racist, sexist, anti-gay, right-wing bigots go away!” A few of the straight and to the point chants aimed at Walk, in the face of some of their cheap tactics like laughing taunting or making “peace sign” gestures as if interest in peace and cooperation: while holding gory signs depicting bloody fetuses and, still, pro-Proposition 8 homophobia. In the name of God.
Radical Women has long been a force in the radical left-wing of the women’s movement. The group applies long-held beliefs that the right-wing needs to be taken seriously even when they appear to others to be fringe groups better ignored; and, in opposition to the mainstream pro-choice and reproductive service industry, that the right-wing needs to met in the streets.
The action was organized on short notice. Radical Women analyzed the effect of BACORR and Walk holding separate rallies in separate locations. Walk had set their schedule so it could march down Market Street early on a Saturday afternoon unopposed in a police-protected permitted march. They set their march a little later, to arrive at the Embarcadero site at a time after BACORR was required to vacate the location of its permitted rally. The Walk march was estimated to be maybe 3-4,000 people, while the counter protesters probably numbered between 100-200 at most. Pro-choice Socialist-Feminists radicals are never intimidated by numbers alone, or in this case the horrible specter of thousands of repulsive and potentially violent right-wing bigots.
Radical Women members and supporters teamed with BACORR ralliers to organize the counter protest at the 101 Market Street Occupy site. The effect was that the very loud, militant chants you hear are coming from the 101 Market Street Occupy part of the sidewalk, going right over a line of riot police and “into the faces” of the right-wing bigots.
Another group - I believe the Revolutionary Communist Party - was already in the streets, marching in front of the Walk For Life group counter-chanting in their faces. While not on the audio, this group also agitated at the end of the block of 101 Market. Most looked in their 20’s. While the enormous numbers of anti-choice activists were lower than in peak years, it was obvious that the number of college-aged anti-choice activists keeps growing exponentially, suggesting heavy and effective religious recruitment at college campuses. They lit into the 20-something bigots with commentary mocking their positions against reproductive rights, for sexual repression, and homophobia.
The march was successful in its intended purpose of forcing these bigots to do their dirty work in the face of vocal opposition, to intimidate them out of further efforts at recruiting openly during these visits and let them know they are unwelcome here by pro-choice San Franciscans.