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Sayin' it LOUD: San Francisco is Pro-Choice and Proud!
by On the Streets
Saturday Jan 23rd, 2010 7:38 PM
Although it is difficult to estimate the size of this year's Walk for Life, it was decidedly 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 with music by Brass Liberation Orchestra, the Raging Grannies, a great pro-woman rapper on stage...PLUS loud chants directed at the anti-choice invaders.
Rain could not stop them! On January 23 the action started up at 10am on Justin Herman Plaza's Music Concourse with a rally against the right wing "Walk for Life - West Coast". After the rally, at about 11:30am, pro-choice activists began their march to Pier 39.

Their demands included affordable, accessible abortion without apology, and the elimination of insurance companies via a single payer Medicare for All style national health care system, with true universal coverage. In addition to concerns for women's healthcare, the coalition of activists demanded an end to sexual violence and rightwing terrorism. They called for civil rights for queers and immigrants.

The Day of Action for Reproductive Justice was endorsed by many community groups, elected officials, individuals and grassroots organizations. An abbreviated list includes: California Coalition for Women Prisoners, Single Payer Now, Nursing Students for Choice - UCSF, American Federation of Teachers (AFT Local 212), and Latin American Alliance for Immigrant Rights (ALIADI). State Senator Mark Leno endorsed the action as did State Assemblyman Tom Ammiano, who addressed the crowd.

§We'll Never Go Back!
by On the Streets Saturday Jan 23rd, 2010 7:38 PM
§Assemblyman Tom Ammiano for Choice
by On the Streets Saturday Jan 23rd, 2010 7:38 PM
Speaking at the rally that started off the pro-choice action, Tom Ammiano, State Assembly member representing San Francisco.
§Speaker for Choice in Wind and Rain
by On the Streets Saturday Jan 23rd, 2010 7:38 PM
§Message to Walk for Lifers
by On the Streets Saturday Jan 23rd, 2010 7:38 PM
§These Grannies know what it was like before abortion was legal...
by On the Streets Saturday Jan 23rd, 2010 7:38 PM
...hangers for the poor, off-shore vacations for the very rich. Most women today will either need an abortion in their lifetime, or know someone who will. Not surprisingly when many "pro-lifers" find someone in their own family needs an abortion, they are quick to take advantage of that medical option. It is always "other people" who shouldn't be having abortions!
§Two sides, face opposite directions
by On the Streets Saturday Jan 23rd, 2010 7:38 PM
*Men regret lost fatherhood*, says one side. An odd message! *Keep your rosaries off my ovaries* says the other.
§No Stupak-Pitt
by On the Streets Saturday Jan 23rd, 2010 7:38 PM
§Break the Chains!
by On the Streets Saturday Jan 23rd, 2010 7:38 PM
§The intersection of pro-choice and invading Walk for Life march
by On the Streets Saturday Jan 23rd, 2010 7:38 PM
§Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence Mock the clergy
by On the Streets Saturday Jan 23rd, 2010 7:38 PM
§Applause for a Speaker
by On the Streets Saturday Jan 23rd, 2010 7:38 PM
§This kind of sign just BEGS to be corrected...
by On the Streets Saturday Jan 23rd, 2010 7:38 PM
...and the Right to Lifers left scads of their signs lying around
§Altered signs
by On the Streets Saturday Jan 23rd, 2010 7:38 PM
§Shouting at Walk for Lifers
by On the Streets Saturday Jan 23rd, 2010 7:38 PM
You are NOT welcome in San Francisco! The vast majority of Walk for Lifers come from out of towners
§My Vagina, My Choice
by On the Streets Saturday Jan 23rd, 2010 7:38 PM
§Oddly, some children of the Walk for Lifers...
by On the Streets Saturday Jan 23rd, 2010 7:38 PM
...were playing with phallic shaped balloons while their parents listened to puritanical propaganda.
§A New Generation of Women Will Keep Up the Fight!
by On the Streets Saturday Jan 23rd, 2010 7:38 PM
§Road to Equality group
by On the Streets Saturday Jan 23rd, 2010 7:38 PM
§BLO heads home...along the Embarcadero
by On the Streets Saturday Jan 23rd, 2010 7:38 PM

Comments  (Hide Comments)

by KD
Sunday Jan 24th, 2010 10:44 AM
Why in such a pro-women's rights area like the SF Bay area wasn't there a mobilzation that dwarfed this Anti-Abortion rights march ? Whether they had 5, 000 or 20, 000 they far outnumbered us . I'm sorry but ''more than 200 '' sounds pretty pathetic .
I think the answer lies in that those organizations that could have mobilzed tens of thousands didn't . SEIU alone has over 30, 000 SF City workers . Many of their leaders are Pro-Choice women but yet no movement .
I assume N.O.W. still exists . Did they have more than a token presence yesterday ?
For years now the religious right has been able to get a annual properganda victory in the streets of San Francisco .
This has to be countered by overwhemling numbers . Let's start raising hell with our ''leaders '' and change this scenario .
by long time supporter
Sunday Jan 24th, 2010 12:31 PM
the rallies against the walk for life have become a joke, dominated by ISO types that was to yell at Christians.

if people really wanted to stop the walk for life, San Franciscians would take tactics from reactions of the start of the gulf war and lay themselves down in the streets, or take acts against their tour buses
by Construtive criticism
Sunday Jan 24th, 2010 1:13 PM
I second what KD wrote . I would add another problem . Perhaps it didn't happen this year , i wasn't able to be present , but in the past i have heard a lot of sexually oriented tauts of the Anti- Abortion marchers . i am in no way prudish but remarks about the possible actual sexual identities and practices of the mostly working class, many of them people of color folks who have been bullshitted into the agenda of the Christian Right is very counterprductive to say the least .
I have to add that once i witnessed a white lesbian who, i assume , aren't very likely to have a abortion herself shouts at a Filipina woman pushing a baby stroller that she , the Filipina is a ''closet dyke '' that is really bizarre !
I am in no way suggesting that LBGT hide who they are but please we are trying to counter the far right not provide lurid jist for Fox News .
Thank you to the pro-abortion crowd who managed to go out in the 48 degree rain, something this writer can no longer do. Of course, the future belongs to the young and it was good to see lots of young people in these pictures defending OUR RIGHT TO ABORTION WHICH WE WON 37 YEARS AGO, actually not so long ago.

Having attended the past 5 ANTI-ABORTION MARCHES (let's call these fascist marches what they are; they have nothing to do with life or choice), once again the San Francisco Catholic Church (better known as the bastion of child molesting and in San Francisco, the violators of the local tax laws, causing the city to loose millions of dollars), organized 10,000 mostly Latino schoolchildren who have no idea what abortion is and dragged them out into the freezing rain, proving that THE CATHOLIC CHURCH HATES CHILDREN. AND ONLY IRRESPONSIBLE PARENTS WOULD ALLOW THEIR CHILDREN TO GO OUT IN THE FREEZING RAIN FOR NO GOOD REASON WHATSOEVER. The few adults atending the anti-abortion idocy parade, with their rosaries and crosses dangling everywhere, are always the fascist, child molesting priests and other fascist adults, both Catholic and not Catholic. THE ANTI-ABORTION MARCHES ARE A SMOKESCREEN FOR SETTING UP A FASCIST BASE HERE. Lots of Catholic women get abortions and use other forms of birth control.

As to words, let's hear it for my favorite chants: It's not a baby until it comes out; that's what birthdays are all about! Keep your rosaries off our ovaries! ALSO, these hypocritical anti-women superstitious idiots (at best) deserve to hear some foul language. I once inadvertently used a foul word beginning with F in the presence of one of these reactionary Catholic women, and had her running for cover, literally! She was almost 6 feet tall and I am barely 5 feet tall. It was hilarious and added humor to a stressful event.

The Democratic Party front groups like NOW stopped participating in the pro-abortion march after the first time the anti-abortion march showed up. The Democratic Party has been busy welcoming the anti-abortion crowd to the Democratic Party. Senate Majority leader Harry Reid is anti-abortion. As the signs indicate, BARACK OBAMA'S ANTI-HEALTHCARE PLAN INCLUDES RESTRICTIONS ON ABORTION, COURTESY BART STUPAK of Michigan and there are lots of other anti-abortion Democrats in the House. There were 19 anti-abortion Democrats supporting the Stupak Amendment. Dennis Kucinich has an anti-abortion record and suddenly became pro-choice to run for president so as to divert the peace movement from the streets to the dead-end Democratic Party. If you want to support our right to abortion, you have to vote Red (socialist Peace & Freedom Party) or Green.

For all causes, whether it be peace, housing or just about anything else, we are seeing only 200 or so people. THE AMERICAN ECONOMY IS IN A GREAT DEPRESSION and the workingclass, those of us who sell our labor for less than $76,000 a year, usually much less, are too busy trying to survive to even think about any demonstration. That will change with the SCHOOL STRIKE OF MARCH 4, 2010 as there can be no avoiding the reality of CLOSING SCHOOLS, WHICH MEANS NO JOB SKILLS AND NO FUTURE. It is fish or cut bait time for the American workingclass. The ruling class only cares about maximizing profits and the war machine has the greatest profits. They do not need educated people to be cannon fodder so the ruling class is doing its best to close the public schools. Public school education was won by labor and it is the workingclass that must renew that struggle, and all other struggles. IT WAS THE SUCCESS OF THE LABOR MOVEMENT OF THE 1930S AND 1940S THAT MADE POSSIBLE THE RELATIVE PROSPERITY OF THE 1950s, 1960S and 1970s SO THAT MORE PEOPLE DID ATTEND PROTESTS.

And of course, most people do not go out in the freezing rain if they do not have to. Thank you to all of you who had the strength to do so and defend a very hard fought and fragile right to abortion in this country. We need a labor movement for all struggles, and March 4, 2010 is kickoff day.
by Julie
Sunday Jan 24th, 2010 8:54 PM
That was beautiful, the display of activism for my rights, for re-productive rights. It means so much to me that this occurred. It was action without violence. The display of messages, like the posters and big banners were so great! I say Great Spirit in that the most awesome actions were powerfully done by you all, it's served us and it's a huge deal, like the Bay is huge! When you all come together for the greater good like that, something that so hits home, it's an magnificent thing. To our womanly waters, and our rights. Thank you for being in the reality of 2010 not decades prior (except to remember what we DON'T want).
by bacorr
Monday Jan 25th, 2010 10:22 AM
we need help organizing! if you think it's such a joke, come participate! we need volunteers and groups represented who can make this big and strong. and trust me, though small, we are might and have a damn good time.
by KD
Monday Jan 25th, 2010 10:49 AM
I for one do not think the tiny counterdemo was a ''joke''. I certainly don't blame those organizations like BACCOR that did try to mobilize . i do have strong criticisms for those ''leaders'' of ''mainstream '' progressive groups, Womens organizations, Trade unions and others who could mobilze thousands and , i believe , consiously choose not to .
I suspect the reason is that the Democratic party establishment (Honorable exceptions like Tom A. to the contrary )
don't want large demos confronting the '' Right To Lifers''.
As re my other comments i stand by them . I think we should try to win over the sadly misguided mainly working class base of the Religious right . I personally don't care if they continue to think Abortion is a ''sin'' as long as they don't fight to impose their views on the rest of us , IE By getting it outlawed .
by Contributor
Monday Jan 25th, 2010 1:28 PM
Here's a video of part of the rap performance by RE-VOLT
by ...
Wednesday Jan 27th, 2010 2:37 PM
In a reflection of the Walk for Life 2010, the SF Archdiocese recognizes that they have opponents within their own faith. (from their website) "...we have disagreement, misunderstanding and opposition from among our own spiritual relatives, the family of believers within the Catholic Church...Of particular concern are Catholics in public life who take Pro-Choice positions and vote for Pro-Choice legislation..., they will advise us not to plan a Walk for Life. It’s acceptable if we will read a book about the issues, or perhaps gather in small groups for prayer, but above all we must not make a fuss. We are told that we are engaged in 'a losing battle'."

Meanwhile the American Life League is critical of the Archdiocese of San Francisco for supporting the work of the San Francisco Organizing Project (SFOP) to expand access to health care to children. American Life League targets the Archdiocese for their work with SFOP, particularly as it relates to Universal health care for all San Francisco children. American Life League claims that SFOP helped create and promote contraception, elective-abortion and sex-education programs for kids through its support of San Francisco's Healthy Kids Program.
American Life League calls itself largest grassroots Catholic pro-life education organization in the United States.

Sit back and watch them fight each other. And this, just within the Catholic community.
Could you post links? I would love to read some of the commentary...
I'm not surprised at all, by the way.
by ...abortion for sex selection
Thursday Jan 28th, 2010 4:33 PM
Here is a case pro and anti-choice can agree on for abortion restriction...see article below about deviations in the proportion of boys and girls born to Americans of Chinese, Indian and Korean descent, who use abortion for sex selection. Anti-woman in the extreme!
by What really happened to Pope John Paul I?
Friday Jan 29th, 2010 4:00 PM
This would be a good time to mention the religious right's ties with the fascist elements of the business and corporate elites, including the "Cosa Nostra" or organized criminal groups. Make no mistake about it, the "right to life" marchers are veiled attempts at a legal takeover of the rules regarding abortion, birth control and in general human population growth. The Catholic Church are the greatest culprits in outlawing access to birth control for lower income peoples throughout the Americas, resulting in population expansions with plenty of unskilled workers to fit into the U.S. labor pool of low wage workers..

Yes, most of the people in the "right to life" march are from more conservative regions of CA, such as the San Joaquin Valley. Guess who the greatest number of people are over there? None other than our neighbors from Mexico and elsewhere who have come to the U.S. for a "better life". Right into the willing arms of the religious brainwashers!!

Another reason the Catholic Church has supported "immigrant rights" is to increase their numbers in CA and other western states to challenge the legal protections against religious domination given to women and gays. Note that Prop 8 was passed by support from the immigrant community, mostly conservative Catholics who recently arrived from Mexico and other countries with similar religious cultural values. Sorry for the confusion this must cause the liberals, who on the one hand want to protect the rights of undocumented immigrants, only to have the people they work so hard to protect turn against them be endorsing conservative religious values.

This is not "divide and conquer" tactics, only being open and honest about the political dynamics behind immigration and the changing dynamics based upon population and value systems. An influx of conservative Euro-americans from the bible Belt states like Mississippi, Alabama and other such regions would have the same result on the political values of the greater population.

Instead of hating on the Catholic religion, it would be interesting to discover those individuals who have seriously tried to work for reform and fairness in the Catholic Church. Unfortunately, those who speak out against the corruption in their Church from positions of authority don't last very long. Am asking for people to reinvestigate the untimely death of Pope John Paul I, who has shown clear desire to reform the Church, yet only lived as Pope for 33 days prior to death from food poisoning. Among other reforms, John Paul I wanted to reverse the Catholic Church's stance on birth control.

Background on John Paul I;

"He only served 33 days; what could he have done in that short time to deserve death? What kind of Pope was he becoming?

To the second question, there's the suggestion of an answer in this passage from David Yallop's In God's Name:

On August 28, the beginning of his papal revolution was announced. It took the form of a Vatican statement that there was to be no coronation, that the new pope refused to be crowned. There would be no sedia gestatoria, the chair used to carry the pope, no tiara encrusted with emeralds, rubies, sapphires, and diamonds. No ostrich feathers, no six-hour ceremony.... Luciani, who never once used the royal "we," was determined that the royal papacy with its appurtenances of worldly grandeur should be replaced by a Church that resembled the concepts of its founder. The "coronation" became a simple Mass. The spectacle of a pontiff carried in a chair...was supplanted by the sight of a supreme pastor quietly walking up the steps of the altar. With that gesture Luciani abolished a thousand years of history.... The era of the poor Church had officially begun.

That right there would have been enough to make the Vatican's power elite nervous, but surely not enough to seek the Pope's death. Not even his expressed interest in reconsidering the Church's position on birth control would have been enough for that. What was enough, was his intent to overturn the tables of the corrupt Vatican Bank, and purge the Vatican of the P2 Lodge."

article con't @;

by Kath
Sunday Apr 3rd, 2011 2:36 PM
It is really inspiring to see so many young women at these actions all over the country. My daughter is in college and loudly participates in pro-choice and anti-war demonstrations. This ultra-liberal mom is SO proud!