December 31, 2008
Happy New Year! As we head into 2009 and the many organizing opportunities it presents, I want to say thank you for the political support, energy, time, contributions and creativity that you and other allies have provided to Radical Women during the past year. Here are just a few highlights of our activities since RW's inspiring October national conference (be sure to check out the conference photos!):
• California RW chapters were involved in organizing against anti-abortion Proposition 4 and anti-queer Proposition 8. Bay Area RW wowed the crowd at an anti-Prop. 8 rally with a statement showing that queers and women have a common enemy in the homophobic, anti-abortion, sexist right wing. In Los Angeles, RW members addressed the importance of organizing in communities of color for gay rights and called for solidarity between the queer and immigrant communities.
• In New York, RW's City College chapter provided a fiery feminist presence at protests against budget cuts and tuition hikes, and supported a student occupation at the New School denouncing university connections to a major war-profiteering corporation. Big Apple sisters have also demonstrated against Wall Street bailouts and protested attacks on immigrants.
• Building campus connections has been a focus of RW in Portland, Oregon. RW led two workshops at a conference held by the Women's Resource Center at Portland State University. The chapter has also been educating on the economic crisis and organizing against corporate bailouts through public meetings, radio shows and study groups.
• Seattle RW mobilized opposition to devastating county cuts in social services, including the elimination of five out of nine family planning clinics. In addition to testifying, and generating calls and emails, RW organized a Halloween protest of the "tricks no treats" budget. The effort brought a partial victory – while some services were cut, all the health clinics have funding for at least the next nine months.
• On the Olympic Peninsula, RW is in the leadership of the Stop the Checkpoints Committee, which opposes anti-immigrant Border Patrol roadblocks. The committee has organized protests and public meetings, and brought public attention to these police-state measures.
• RW sisters in Melbourne, Australia were deeply involved in a historic campaign to decriminalize abortion in the state of Victoria. Since the October 10 victory, the chapter has been preparing to defend the new law against rightwing attacks and organizing a community campaign for affordable, quality childcare.
• National Radical Women has also been busy. We added our name to a call that President-elect Obama and Congress end the 60-month lifetime limit for people receiving welfare. We have protested Israel's murderous policies in Gaza and called on the Nicaraguan government to stop its harassment of pro-abortion feminists.
• All U.S. chapters are now gearing up for the January anniversary of the Roe vs. Wade decision that legalized abortion nationally. All these efforts can use your help garnering endorsements, assisting with planning and outreach, and attending with your friends.
The Bay Area Coalition for Our Reproductive Rights BACORR will once again protest the anti-choice "Walk for Life" on January 24th in San Francisco. Join Radical Women and BACORR at 10:30am at Market and Embarcadero streets. For more info, write the branch at CalRadicalWomen@yahoo.com
Portland RW invites the public to a January 8 meeting at 6:30pm to organize a counter-demonstration of a January 18 "Right to Life" march. Email them at firstname.lastname@example.org for details.
Seattle RW is working with Olympia activists to celebrate reproductive justice at noon on January 22 on the steps of the Washington State Capitol. Get involved by contacting RWSeattle@mindspring.com .
As an "unbought and unbossed" socialist feminist organization, Radical Women's efforts are made possible by support from people like you. We welcome your donations to help with all our different organizing and campaigns. I encourage you to donate online or mail a check to Radical Women, 5018 Rainier Avenue South, Seattle WA 98118.
Together, we can seize opportunities throughout the year to advance the fight for justice for women, children, and all oppressed people. Stay tuned to our website, http://www.radicalwomen.org/, to keep informed about all our latest activities and organizing.