Walk for Choice 2011

Chicago–Feb. 26 was International Walk for Choice day, made urgent in the U.S. by the inhuman legislation pending in Congress (see article this page). Besides Chicago, Walks–really demonstrations–were held from coast to coast in more than 50 cities, from Los Angeles, San Diego, and Santa Cruz in California, to New York City; from Olympia, Washington, to Washington, D.C.; in the South including Nashville, Austin and Dallas; in the Midwest including Youngstown, Ohio, Detroit and Grand Rapids, Mich.; there were even Walks in Anchorage and Fairbanks in Alaska.

Nationwide, it was planned as a “walk,” so as not to have to bother with legal permits. We met in downtown Chicago’s Daley Center Plaza just a block from the “Stand with Wisconsin” pro-union rally. It was cold and snowy, yet spirits were hopeful and fun. About 50 anti-choicers showed up with yellow balloons with “LIFE” on them; our choice color was orange.

The Walks for Choice were planned in three weeks. Had we more time, many more would have attended. Around the country were some great signs: “STOP the war on reproductive rights (and all other wars),” one showed a broken egg and said “These are not chickens,” another “Look at your life, Look at your choices. Now stay out of MINE,” and two signs carried by women who marched together spoke for many. The first woman’s sign read, “I stand for: free health care, sex education, young & scared teens everywhere.” Her companion’s sign read, “Stand with Planned Parenthood.”

What marked these demonstrations is that they were planned and attended by young women. Whoever said the Women’s Liberation Movement was dying should have been in Chicago where young women–and men–ran the event and hundreds participated.

–Sue and Terry

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