Stand Up, Fight Back!: Unite Against the War on Women

“What do we do when women’s rights are under attack? Stand up, fight back!”

That was the call that rang through downtown Los Angeles last Saturday, April 28, in protest against the ever-present War On Women, which has dragged on since Congress’ introduction of the “let women die” bill in early 2011. But for more than 300 protesters in L.A., enough was enough. Women and men—young and older—gathered in Pershing Square, armed with hand-painted signs and energized by fervid support for women’s rights. Some even traveled from Riverside and the High Desert—more than 100 miles outside of L.A.—to lend their support and voices.

The Unite Against the War on Women rally, organized by the national grassroots campaign Unite Women, included a march around Pershing Square, educational tabling and speeches from various community activists. Among the guest speakers were comedians Sarah Silverman and Zach Galifianakis, and local politicians, including L.A. City Councilmember Jan Perry and Congressional candidate Jerry Tetalman, who is running against Rep. Darrell Issa—the man behind the infamous all-male birth control hearing panel.

Dinah Stevens of Planned Parenthood and and duVergne Gaines of the Feminist Majority Foundation spoke out for reproductive rights, equal pay and the end to gender rating in health insurance policies.

But Los Angeles was hardly the only city to unite against the ongoing political attacks on women. Rallies took place in nearly every state, with politicians and celebrities–such as Martha Plimpton in New York City and singer-songwriter Neko Case in Vermont—united in solidarity for women’s reproductive health and overall welfare. After attending Saturday’s UAWOW rally in Los Angeles, Ms. put together a gallery featuring photos from L.A., its sister rally in Sacramento and numerous other events throughout the country. Special thanks to Unite WomenUnite Women CAUnite Here Local 11 and the individual women’s rights supporters who submitted their photos: Stephanie Brakey, Colleen Campbell, Wendy Erichsen, Lisa Harris, Samantha Lifson, Joan Marie, Mary Mullane, Val Mungia, Karene Nagel, Leslie Neidig (Unite Women KY) and Alexandra Asher Sears.

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Just days after the Unite Against the War on Women rallies, protesters gathered in major cities Tuesday to celebrate May Day. Although women’s rights were not a main component of the May Day rallies, the protesters, who largely called for workers’ rights, echoed many of the same concerns presented on April 28: universal healthcare and job reform. As the signs bobbing around Pershing Square had proclaimed on Saturday, “There are no jobs in my uterus.”

Cowritten/gallery curated by Lauren Barbato.

Comments

  1. Bridgette says:

    Awesome!! We rallied in Montana in 40 degree weather! We will not go back to the 1950s! We MUST VOTE in order to prevent this horrible attack on women’s rights from continuing, and kick every single misogynist the hell out of office!!!

  2. IA Cohen says:

    There were 1500-2000 men, women and children at the Unite Against the War on Women Rally in Austin TX on 4/28/2012. We were the biggest rally in the country and we are in a state with some of the worst anti-women legislation. Too bad I did not know about this website earlier – there are a lot of pictures our Texas pictures on Facebook and our website.

  3. In this day and age it’s unbelievable that men are making such important decisions for women – it’s crazy and must be stopped!!!!
    Go to http://www.kayurlich.com and read ‘MEN: Are they the biggest problem in the world?’

  4. Why do we have to fight this battle over and over again? We aren’t anti-family; we’re just pro choice, pro humanity and pro planet!

  5. We had a wonderful rally in Salem, Oregon Kate Brown, our Secretary of State and Representatve Suzanne Bonamici were among the distinguished speakers. UniteWomen.org is gaining momentum, watch out November is right around the corner and change is in the air!!! gregz photography took some great photos. You can find them at http://www.gregzphotography.com

    • Cathy,

      Thank you for sharing my pictures of the Salem Oregon Unite Against the War on Women Rally. I posted a link below that takes the viewer to the slideshow version with music of my pictures.

  6. A direct link to my Salem Oregon Unite Against the War on Women Rally slideshow:

    http://gregzphotography.com/p442755700/slideshow

    Greg Zurbrugg
    Greg Z Photography
    gregzphotography.com

  7. Laurianne says:

    Almost 100 people turned out for a rally in Jackson MS – our state is becoming infamous for it’s attacks on womens rights. I would love to all these groups work together to UNIFY and fight for our causes as a whole!!

  8. Here’s our St Petersburg FL War on Wmen protest video :

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=cnDYU-4UZ_k

    Equal Rights Amendment Battles War on Women !

    We/National Equal Rights Amendment (ERA) Alliance (300 000 members you won’t hear about because ALEC coerces silence from the main media)is doing battle with the War on Women BECAUSE re-ignited ERA exists to make SEX DISCRIMINATION A VIOLATION OF THE US CONSTITUTION — NOTHING ELSE does this now!! ERA says: “Equality under the law shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of sex”./gender.

    After Congress hemmed and hawed for 50 years about whether to add protections against sex discrimination, predominantly experienced by American females, to the US Constitution, it had to go to all the states for 38 of them to ratify/vote for it. 35 did, and those states remain ratified–NONE rescinded their votes.
    SO, we have been working to get just 3 more states ratified out of the stiff-necked southeastern states..forget about the rogue Mormon states that would never approve women being in the contract with the nation’s people, the Constitution!

    The EASY to ratify states did so quickly; the remaining 15 UNratified states are the tough tough tough Republican ones whose legislators fear loss of Corporate campaign funds if they EVEN HOLD AN ERA HEARING!

    So, we’ve been at this Sisyphean task for TWELVE YEARS in Florida; varying among the 7 ERA-bill filing states that we help mentor. ERA movement is burgeoning across the country because people are connecting the dots–that ERA is the ONE Cure for the WOW, because of its rare focus on halting sex discrimination, which the WOW sure IS!

    Oh, and forgot to tell you we partnered with ERA leaders in 3 other states and over the past year, got HJRes 47 and SJRes 39 filed BEFORE THE US CONGRESS! YAAAAAAAAAAAY! Since the original ERA is still “viable and contemporaneous”, our bill proposes to SPEED UP PASSAGE! Wildly Exciting, you bet!

    Want to halt the WOW? Link arms with us as member or with our 3219 braxh ACTIVISTS who do postcarding campaigns to legislators as constituent, give one of 67 speeches across Florida before state legislators each year, etc. You are warmly welcomed to http://www.2PassERA.org to see Who We Are, and the sizzling ERA news around USA! Email us your name and state or FL county to SandyO@PassERA.org, and we’ll let you in on Breaking News as it happens monthly or so–No time to PESTER YOU, WE HAVE ENUF TO DO 18/7.

    Interested? SandyO@PassERA.org and/or 2PassERA.org will spur that appetite for JUSTICE, LONG OVERDUE–ERA

  9. Sammy Lifson says:

    “If men could get pregnant, abortion would be a sacrament” – this was first said by Flo Kennedy, NOT Gloria Steinem!

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