From Stop Patriarchy:

Why we honor and invoke the example & legacy of the original Freedom Rides in our name

July 17, 2014 | Revolution Newspaper |


The first Freedom Rides took place in May 1961.* Integrated groups of Black and white civil rights fighters rode commercial buses into the segregated southern states. When they refused to obey southern “customs” that mandated the segregation of the Black riders to the back of the bus, they were brutally beaten and often arrested and jailed. But the example of the original riders was taken up by others, more rides were launched, and more upheaval followed. Most forces in the civil rights movement originally counseled against and even opposed this move; but the Freedom Riders went anyway.

Hundreds of millions of people around the world were compelled by these actions to confront the reality of segregation in the U.S. and the courage, spirit, and uncompromising standing on principle of the new movement growing up to fight this. And thousands were drawn forward to join this battle.

This spirit of defiance and bravery is badly needed today in the struggle to defend and advance abortion rights and the overall emancipation of women. In honoring the Freedom Rides by adapting their name, we hope to spread that spirit.

In whatever way you can, be part of the Abortion Rights Freedom Ride 2014: Ground Zero Texas.


*For more on the Freedom Rides, see Stanley Nelson’s movie Freedom Riders. [back]

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