August 27th, 2014
stoppatriarchy

Powerful video coverage from the Austin Statesman at today’s protest outside UT Austin.

On August 27, 2014, proceeding the shut-down of abortion clinics throughout the state of Texas as required by HB2, members of StopPatriarchy.org protested on Guadalupe Street off of West Campus at the University of Texas.

August 27th, 2014
stoppatriarchy

TODAY at UT Austin, 5 Abortion Rights Freedom Riders, including intiator of Stop Patriarchy, Sunsara Taylor, were singled out and arrested when they joined with dozens of others in protesting the impending closure of abortion clinics in Texas, on the first official day of classes outside of UT Austin. 

Thousands of students gathered as the freedom riders blocked traffic for over half an hour. About a dozen people joined in the action on the spot, incredibly inspired by what was happening. Hundreds took videos and photos, and watched on in awe. 

There were many different reactions, both positive and negative. A few cars nearly hit some of the protesters, frustrated by not being able to get to lunch, or to work on time, etc. Yes, some people were inconvenienced today, but this is so much bigger than the day to day grind.

As we await the result of HB2 in Texas, it is still the case that most people do not even know that this law is scheduled to shut down all but 6 abortion clinics in the state. It is still the case that people think this is just a question of opinion, meanwhile this right is being stripped away, and affecting real women every single day. 

It is long past time that students, not only understand what’s going on nationally with this abortion rights emergency, but actually understand the implications of this, to half of humanity, and fight back. It is long past time that this complacency be challenged, that these lowered sights be raised, and that students throw in on this fight. 

Today, students were confronted with the reality of what it means when abortion is illegal or inaccessible. The question that poses itself in a moment like this: What will your life be about? What will your college career be about? Throughout history, students have always played a major role in movements against injustice. That needs to be the case today, in this abortion rights emergency.

Every single student, who does not want to see women forced to bear children against their will, who does not want to see women dying from self-inducing abortions due to inaccessibility, who does not want to see women’s rights be slammed back, and this backwards view of women be codified into law, needs to act NOW. It is not too late, we have not lost this battle. This is one of those moments in history where what we do really matters, and could have society wide impact. 

JOIN US!

http://www.stoppatriarchy.org/week-of-defiance.html

August 26th, 2014
stoppatriarchy

Add your pro-woman message to Rick Perry

Reproductive freedom is a basic human right, like freedom of speech. It affects everything in a woman’s life, whether she is healthy or not, in school or not, in the labor force or not, and how long she lives. In opposing reproductive freedom, Rick Perry has become a dictator endangering women’s lives. He should be impeached.
-Gloria Steinem

Check out the messages being sent in from across the country and read out loud at Rick Perry’s mansion during the Week of Defiance, and add your own!

You must feel very powerless and small if you are willing to take such a stand against women. It’s really stupid and cruel, and only makes you smaller.
-Alice from Oakland, CA

Pro choice is still Pro life.
Women need access to SAFE abortions.

-Hailey from Austin, TX

August 18th, 2014
stoppatriarchy

Brownsville, Day One

From an Abortion Rights Freedom Rider

First day in Brownsville we headed over to a local flea market. The response was very mixed, some people were really into what we were doing and others of course were not so pleased. Right off the bat, we had a group of 4 girls that loved what stop patriarchy was about.

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They did not realize the state of emergency that abortion rights are in at this moment and how we are moving back in time. They decided to take this into their own hands and took a ton of flyers to hand out throughout the flea market. They were able to understand first hand what we are facing in this country surrounding abortion. The huge stigma and shame that follows it. There were plenty of pro-life religious folk there that could not grasp the fact that when abortion is illegal women die. What was the most interesting was that these pro-lifers were not really into talking about it at all. Versus other anti’s we have faced in the past. The only argument they really were giving was well it’s my opinion I have the right to my opinion. This is something that you can’t have an opinion on, women are already self inducing, around the world women are still dying from illegal abortions, and women are still shamed and forced into mother hood. So many people are blinded by their religions and what society has put out around abortion rights. We are changing that, we need to turn the tide, change the terms rise up thousands and soon millions.

August 17th, 2014
stoppatriarchy

We were acting for millions…

-from Riley Ruiz, an Abortion Rights Freedom Rider

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On August 13th, 2014, I along with ten other Abortion Rights Freedom Riders, got arrested for engaging in nonviolent civil disobedience, blocking traffic, in front of Rick Perry’s mansion.

As we walked across the street and took our positions, I thought about all the women who have died, all the women forced into motherhood, all the women shamed for having abortions, all the women kept silent. I remembered the story of a woman from San Antonio, who was raped, and forced to bear a child against her will, then forced into prostitution to survive, suffering for 35 years. I remembered the story of a woman who traveled to Europe alone, and was raped, became pregnant, and considered suicide as a reasonable way out. These stories were just some of the many that were told at our People’s Hearings; they represent the huge stakes in this fight over whether half of humanity will be free to determine their own futures, and they will stay with me forever.

As cars began to pile up, and people on the sidewalk gathered and filmed, I felt more and more emboldened. The cars began honking, and we chanted louder. People came out of their cars shouting at us, one car nearly hit one of us, but we were not deterred. We stood strong for nearly 10 minutes. Many people watching from the sidelines were in awe, and some were moved to tears. People participated in all kinds of ways, giving us water as we sizzled on the hot pavement, talking to and filming the police to make sure they didn’t get totally out of line, and doing interviews responding to the action. It was so compelling, what we did, that people stayed and watched the entire thing unfold, until every single one of us was put into the police trucks.

When the cops gave us a countdown before they began their arrests, not one of us flinched. It took them quite a while to cuff all of us, and all the while we did mic checks, talking about the dark ages agenda that Rick Perry is fighting for, the fact that if HB2 holds it will result in the foreclosure of women’s lives as well as women dying from self induced abortions, and chanted things like “1, 2, 3, 4 Abortion is worth fighting for! 5, 6, 7, 8 Women’s lives are what’s at stake!” and, “Come on, come on and join the fight! Abortion is a basic right!” Our voices were giving out, the pavement was searing hot, and the police dragged us away one by one, but there was NEVER a moment where we lost our energy and determination. We were charged the entire time, knowing we were acting for millions.

Read More

August 16th, 2014
stoppatriarchy

Urgently Needed: A Week of Defiance to Stop the Attacks on Abortion Rights

A call to action from the 11 Freedom Riders arrested outside Rick Perry’s mansion on August 13, 2014

The attacks on abortion rights have been relentless in recent years: dozens of forced clinic closures, hundreds of restrictions on abortion, flagrantly misogynist court rulings, acts of terrorism and intimidation against doctors, and all in the name of “life” and “religious freedom.”  This has meant thousands of women turned out and put down, dreams extinguished, futures foreclosed, and lives lost.  Millions have been lied to about abortion, and millions more trained and taught to apologize for abortion as a “necessary evil.”

It is time to put an end to the madness.  This is a question of whether women will be free, or whether they will be enslaved to a vicious patriarchal system that is hell bent on reproductive control, and sees women as nothing but sperm receptacles and baby-making machines.  This is a question of whether or not young girls will dare to dream of themselves as leaders, thinkers, fighters, and frankly, full human beings.  It is time to tell the truth about abortion, and to defy the powers that seek to enslave women: forced motherhood is female enslavement.

Read the whole letter here

Join in a Week of Defiance August 25 - September 1.  Join us in Austin (location TBA August 18), or claim your own space wherever you live:

  • Send a message or a story to Rick Perry and others like him - to be put on coat hangers and strung up in parks nationwide, and read aloud at protests
  • Bring your art, poems, and songs of resistance against the oppression of women
  • Lead or attend workshops on science, sex ed, history, abortion, and women’s liberation
  • Stage or attend speak-outs where abortion stories are told unapologetically
  • Invite everyone you know
  • Bring or send money, food and water, to Austin (location TBA 8/18), or anywhere that people are standing up in this way, to keep this going all week
  • Listen to the “People’s Hearings” with others who are determined to understand better what it means for real women when abortion is illegal, and why abortion rights are worth fighting for
  • March daily at 6pm wherever you are, with pictures of women’s faces, and strings of women’s stories on coat hangers, to the Governor’s mansion, or any institution that is spearheading the attacks on abortion
  • On September 1st, when all but 6 abortion clinics in Texas are set to close, join in civil disobedience wherever you are to send a clear message that you refuse to accept the future that patriarchy has in store for women

Contact StopPatriarchy.org today with your ideas and your intentions.  We will have your back no matter where you are.  If you have already reached out, expect a call from us this week.  We know this system has never gifted oppressed people with liberation, and you are urgently needed to be part of the kind of mass movement that is the only way that the course of history has ever changed.

Forced Motherhood is Female Enslavement.
Abortion on Demand & Without Apology!

August 7th, 2014
stoppatriarchy

First photo-set of today’s protest at Rick Perry’s mansion. We stood outside the governor’s mansion, with locals who we had met while doing outreach in different neighborhoods, and some who were compelled to take part on the spot, to oppose this governor’s woman-hating agenda, which will drive women back to the dark ages. We shared stories of women who died from illegal abortion; stories of women who today, face the shame and stigma that is heaped on women for obtaining this most fundamental right; and stories of women who were forced to have children against their will.There is nothing legitimate about his position on abortion, and unless the people rise up, he will get away with driving women backwards, to the days of illegal abortion, where an estimated 5,000 women died every year from botched illegal abortions. 

August 7th, 2014
stoppatriarchy

Abortion Rights Freedom Ride 2014: HB2 Hearing - Austin, TX Media Compilation

One of our main goals of the Abortion Rights Freedom Ride is to change the terms of the fight around abortion. It has NEVER been about babies, it has always been about women’s enslavement or women’s liberation. The media in Austin and beyond could not ignore this, which came through to hundreds of thousands. 

August 3rd, 2014
stoppatriarchy

TOMORROW! PROTEST HB2 at The Federal Courthouse in Austin, TX!

JOIN US at the Federal Courthouse in Austin, W 5th at Nueces St from 9am-12pm as we protest and stand with the providers who won’t back down against the outrageous restrictions of HB2.

HB2 as a whole, is a set of restrictions, only being implemented to shut down clinics, and force more women to have children against their will. What comes along with this is a 20 week ban on abortion, a 24 hour waiting period, 3 separate visits to a doctor if using the abortion pill (which is nearly impossible for women traveling hundreds of miles in the first place), clinics to meet ambulatory surgical center standards, and hospital admitting privileges within 30 miles of the abortion clinic.

The last 2 sections stated here, both of which are entirely medically unnecessary along with every other restriction, are being challenged by a courageous group of abortion providers, as two clinics in particular will shut down and create a situation where women in El Paso and the Rio Grande Valley, will face an ‘undue burden’ being forced to travel hundreds of miles to obtain an abortion. 

There are only 6 clinics in the state that can surely comply with these types of regulations. This means if nothing changes, only 6 clinics will remain open, for nearly 13 million women in the state of Texas, and will set precedent for the rest of the country. 

We stand with the providers who refuse to allow this to stand, and with ALL those who do not want to see women forced to have children against their will.

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photo by Aaron Reiss

July 28th, 2014
stoppatriarchy

Abortion Rights Freedom Ride 2014: Ground Zero Texas
People Hearing (Houston) 7:00 pm CST
Wednesday July 30. Encore Theater 4715 Main Street
Streaming live at www.StopPatriarchy.org

Did you know that a new abortion rights court trial is about to begin in Texas? Do you know what will happen if the state wins this case and even more restrictive measures become state law? JOIN US live in Houston, Texas to talk about this war on women. Why should women’s lives and women’s choices EVER be up for a vote?

July 27th, 2014
stoppatriarchy

"We have to fight. We have to protest."

Meet Jay at his church in Houston, TX.  He tells of his great aunt’s death from a coat hanger abortion, and why he believe we have to fight back against the attacks on abortion now.  Jay donated $10 to the Abortion Rights Freedom Ride today.  Will you match his donation today, to fund mass resistance from “Ground Zero” of the battle for women’s freedom?

July 21st, 2014
stoppatriarchy

Report from Austin: You are Not Alone, and You are Needed Now More Than Ever

The Abortion Rights Freedom Ride has hit the streets of Austin, in preparation for a raucous and revealing month of resistance against the attacks on abortion. We have been talking to many people - on street corners, in theater lines, at student unions, and outdoor markets - about women, abortion, society, and the role we all can play in making history right now.

Of those who know that dozens of abortion clinics are being shut down in Texas, many are surprised to hear that this is happening all across the country: 6 states have only one abortion clinic left, and hundreds of restrictions have come down on abortion in the last three years!

To talk about abortion on a street corner or public place has been a startling thing for many people on both sides of the issue! Some people, when we ask their opinion, say, “Isn’t that a personal question?” or “Isn’t that a very touchy subject?” Some, when we ask as they pass if they know there will be only 6 abortion clinics left in all of Texas by September, stop in their tracks and come back, saying, “Really? Only six?” Part of the effects of seeing abortion as a personal or private topic, is that many people just don’t know that right now, women in southern Texas are living in conditions like the 1950s - they are attempting to self-induce through dangerous methods, or being forced to bear unwanted children. Consider this story:

One pair of women approach. One of them stops and angrily argues with one of our volunteers about how “irresponsible” and “slutty” these young girls are who just have sex, and don’t want to deal with “the consequences.” The other stands quietly and listens. The volunteer explains that there isn’t anything wrong with women having sex, and nobody should be forced into motherhood as some kind of punishment. I wonder what the silent woman is thinking, so I quietly ask her, and she says, “Women have absolutely got to have the right to decide if they’re ready to be mothers or not.” I tell her, “If they don’t, it’s like society telling them they’re just breeders, not even human.” She nods. We talk for a little while about recent Supreme Court rulings, and all the clinic closures, and where that leaves women, and then I say, “It’s really important that people like you, who have a sense of what this is going to mean for women, be part of fighting it for real. You won’t be alone.” She smiles and signs a contact list, digs around for some money and makes a donation. I tell her I am looking forward to seeing her again, and fighting by her side for what is right. Soon her friend, still shouting and gesticulating up till that point, stops frozen and stares, her jaw literally drops, at her friend signing up to be a Freedom Rider for women’s lives, and donating her money. They leave together, in intense discussion with each other: “I never knew you thought that way… But what about…”

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It is striking that the anti-abortion friend was loudly throwing her opinion around, and speaking with such certitude and conviction, while the pro-choice friend who had a strong conviction as well, didn’t voice it at first, and not without prompting. Then they left together engaging each other in a level of conversation about this most crucial question - about the direction of society for half of humanity - that it was clear they had never had before. What’s more, this was not an isolated incident. This same phenomenon between friends and family has happened several times already through our conversations in the few days we have been in Austin.

Imagine this on a mass scale! Imagine all this opening up, where friends and family members laid their arguments out, deeply explored their differences and where their opinions come from and lead to, and more and more people confronted what the criminalizing of pregnancy and the robbing of abortion access actually meant for women.

Imagine if the women who had abortions felt like they could tell their daughters or their parents, emboldening them to speak out too. Imagine if the mostly silent majority of pro-choice people talked to their friends, shattered the stigma, and fought the vicious attacks that right now are taking women back in time to desperate days of stifling subordination.


A few more voices from Austin for now, and many more to come:

A teenage woman in line at a theater: “My mom got an abortion when she was seventeen. She wasn’t ready to have a child. She was not financially stable, she had no support system… I am personally so grateful she had the right to get an abortion. Right now she is a helpful, caring mother of three children, and she loves us so much! Access to abortion gives us power, gives us career options, gives us options.”

A young man on Congress and 6th: “I support women getting abortions if they want to because it’s 20 fucking 14, and quite frankly, a woman is a human being. Every bit as important, every bit as legitimate, and every bit as powerful and respectable as a man.” When asked about the anti-abortion movement, he said, “Whenever your entire point is to take the class divisions, this sex- gender orientation or racial divisions, and broaden the gaps as far as you can in hopes that it will never be closed again, it’s a disaster. It’s just pathetic.”

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The father of a young woman who made a sign for the filibuster against the anti-abortion HB2 legislation in Texas in 2013 that went viral, and his family experienced a misogynist backlash, but also inspired many others to stand up for this basic right. Hear him tell his story and speak to the importance of abortion rights to women’s freedom and humanity. 

Abortion rights are in a state of emergency, and it’s time to get loud about it! If you are in Texas, in the south, or anywhere else, and you are pro-choice, or you have had an abortion, you may feel isolated. You may feel alone. You may feel like the confidence and certitude of the anti-abortion voice pushes you to the margins. You have to know: you are NOT alone. And what’s more than that, you are needed now, more than ever! You are urgently needed to stand up and speak out for the sake of future generations of women who do not deserve to live in a society where these formative truths are stifled and only told in whispers, where their lives are determined for them, and where being born a woman is a condemnation to sex-shaming and state-mandated child-bearing.

It is liberating and it is also urgently needed - if you do not want abortion to be illegal or impossible - that you refuse to be drowned out or silenced. JOIN these voices from Austin and the Abortion Rights Freedom Ride: GROUND ZERO TEXAS today and through the month of August, and for as long as it takes, in whatever capacity you can.

July 11th, 2014
stoppatriarchy
July 9th, 2014
stoppatriarchy
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@StopPatriarchy

End Pornography & Patriarchy: the Enslavement and Degradation of Women www.StopPatriarchy.org