National Rallies Highlight Women’s Rights
Published: Thursday, May 3, 2012
Updated: Wednesday, January 9, 2013 18:01
On April 28, 2012, men and women across the United States protested “Enough is enough!” as they marched in front of government buildings in their respective cities. In Boston, the Rally Against the War on Women began near the Boston Common and progressed to the city hall as young and old alike walked together, bound by a passion for their cause. The “We are Women March” occurred concurrently in Washington, D.C.
Both groups espouse a similar mission—the D.C. group specifically states that, “all Americans have the right to make decisions about their bodies, including contraception, without interference from the government, business or religious institutions.” Overall, however, they simply demand that, “every person be guaranteed equal opportunities, rights, and representation.” With those common goals in mind, women of all ages came out in support.
Esteemed speakers also graced the protestors in Boston. Some of those were Jaclyn Friedman, the executive director of Women Action and the Media (aka WAM!) and published author; professor Caroline Light, Director of Studies in the Committee on Degrees in Studies of Women, Gender, and Sexuality at Harvard University; Leah Dennis, singer and former president of Harvard Students for Choice; June Tsang, program associate: Global Initiative & OBOS 2011 Editorial Team at Our Bodies Ourselves; new up and coming diverse band Run, Gazelle, Run; and several more well-respected men and women who are dedicated to their cause.
The emcees for the day were Valerie Stephens, (award winning multi-talented performing artist who is not only a female blues singer, but also a 2011 Boston NAACP Image Award winner; and Jen Deaderick, a writer in Cambridge who founded the Equal Rights Amendment page on Facebook and hashtag on Twitter, Usethe19thactivist. With this impressive line-up, the crowd continued to gather as they showed “both state and federal legislative bodies” that they “won’t stand silently by as they propose and pass laws that will impact women’s choices, health, and wellbeing.”
The City Hall plaza was thus abuzz from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. with great fervor and excitement. Social media helped spread the word and gather such a large turnout. The website www.meetup.com dedicated a page to the efforts, called “New Wave—Young Boston Feminisits,” that was aimed at those of “all genders, races, and socio-economic statuses.” Another site, www.sojust.org, also promoted the rally as “Unite Against the War on Women—Day of Action.” Facebook also played a role, with the event page totaling over 700 attendees. With messages upon messages of encouragement and anticipation for the event on the page’s wall, the energy for this movement was high in anticipation of taking action against what they believe is an unfair and unjust system of laws.
Bostonians rallied behind Elizabeth Warren’s Senate campaign as well as Planned Parenthood at their protest, as Mike Pascucci exclaimed his happiness at seeing and hearing all the people advocate the senate candidate on the wall, writing, “Elizabeth Warren for the 99 percent. The 99 percent for Elizabeth Warren.” It seemed to garner a respective turnout of all types of people coming together to defend “women’s rights and pursuit of equality.”
As those in Boston came together, the universal tie and comfort that people across all 50 states felt was what seemed to push them onwards. The knowledge that they were all walking and standing up for what they believed in, together, was what seemed to resonate with those in attendance. With both men and women in attendance and guest speakers who ranged from professors to singers, the day could be noted as nothing short of a success.