From Stop Patriarchy

Protest at Rick Perry's

August 31, 2014 | Revolution Newspaper |


August 8. These are some excerpts from a conversation with Abortion Rights Freedom Riders after yesterday's protest at Governor Rick Perry's mansion.

Austin, August 7

Austin, August 7

August 7, Austin.

"So yesterday for the protest in front of Rick Perry's mansion, before that we were out on the street. There was a really good way in which we were urgently flyer-ing people that we saw. Radically resetting the terms on the abortion debate by saying abortion on demand and without apology. Not just letting people walk away, but struggling with them, asking them, taking the time to address confusion whether they are pro-choice or pro-life and not settling with it."

"There was this guy that was walking past and he saw the sign and said 'What's that about?' And I read him the Abortion on Demand and Without Apology sign and told him about the clinics closing and he told me he wasn't for abortion and I asked him why and he said it's a baby and I said a fetus is not a baby and he got that and took a flier and actually read it. He walked off reading it. When I give a person a flier I always look back to see if they're actually looking at it. When they do look at it it makes me really happy. It is a state of emergency so I do say 'thank you' for taking it."

"As the car went by I heard somebody call the person agitating inside the car a 'bitch.' I don't think I can enumerate the times I said we're against forced motherhood and for abortion on demand, and people would say 'you're against abortion?' From society they only hear anti-abortion messages, so from us it's like 'What are you saying?' And a woman even started crying and apologizing for having two abortions. And I just told her we support her, that she made the best decision she could for her."

"With the bullhorn in the car that was nice: a really good idea. We were all together. And there was a lot of people like 'wow you're going to Rick Perry's.' And we got people we just met to come to the protest. I think that was nice.The protest was very powerful. Being in front of his mansion was wonderful."

"As were walking towards the mansion after fliering, we saw a lot of people reading our fliers already. It was powerful to see the impact of going out in a mass way. At the protest in front of the mansion, I had a whole idea of what it would look like and this was different. That was good. We were able to speak at his mansion, at Rick Perry. We saw this fury unleashed from women; a woman we met got a flier on her door and was able to just let out her voice."

"Old, paunchy, bewildered-looking men with assault rifles. And they sent a drone out to look at us. I was not afraid. I actually found it comical."

"I think it was very powerful. determination, spirit, anger, defiance. "We won't back down." I think that's important. The whole dynamics of going out with a bullhorn on a car, all through downtown, with people walking with their shirts and stickers all through downtown, really drew a crowd of people who were so overjoyed to join and be a part of this. I thought the bringing to life of the stories of the pictures of the women we hold up was very important. It put the reality of what happens when abortion is illegal out there. I think what you're describing the drone and all that, outside his mansion…"

"That was my first time seeing a drone. I think I waved at it! Maybe I should have gave it the middle finger. "

"People who said they were against abortion couldn't argue their point with us. If they had to take debate in high school or had to have some kind of education and logical thinking things would have a way of learning to think for themselves and interpreting information without relying on what they've been told their whole lives."

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