Full Transcript Of Angela Davis’s Women’s March Speech

Women's March on Washington

By Lyndsey Matthews

Elle.com

Jan 21, 2017 – Civil rights activist Angela Davis spoke at the Women’s March on Washington on Saturday in front of a crowd of hundreds of thousands who gathered in the nation’s capital to protest the Trump administration. Davis, who is known for writing such books as Women, Race, and Class, made a passionate call for resistance and asked the audience to become more militant in their demands for social justice over the next four years of Trump’s presidency.

Read the transcript of the speech in its entirety here:

"At a challenging moment in our history, let us remind ourselves that we the hundreds of thousands, the millions of women, trans-people, men and youth who are here at the Women’s March, we represent the powerful forces of change that are determined to prevent the dying cultures of racism, hetero-patriarchy from rising again.

"We recognize that we are collective agents of history and that history cannot be deleted like web pages. We know that we gather this afternoon on indigenous land and we follow the lead of the first peoples who despite massive genocidal violence have never relinquished the struggle for land, water, culture, their people. We especially salute today the Standing Rock Sioux.

"The freedom struggles of black people that have shaped the very nature of this country’s history cannot be deleted with the sweep of a hand. We cannot be made to forget that black lives do matter. This is a country anchored in slavery and colonialism, which means for better or for worse the very history of the United States is a history of immigration and enslavement. Spreading xenophobia, hurling accusations of murder and rape and building walls will not erase history.

"No human being is illegal.

"The struggle to save the planet, to stop climate change, to guarantee the accessibility of water from the lands of the Standing Rock Sioux, to Flint, Michigan, to the West Bank and Gaza. The struggle to save our flora and fauna, to save the air—this is ground zero of the struggle for social justice.

"This is a women’s march and this women’s march represents the promise of feminism as against the pernicious powers of state violence. And inclusive and intersectional feminism that calls upon all of us to join the resistance to racism, to Islamophobia, to anti-Semitism, to misogyny, to capitalist exploitation.

"Yes, we salute the fight for 15. We dedicate ourselves to collective resistance. Resistance to the billionaire mortgage profiteers and gentrifiers. Resistance to the health care privateers. Resistance to the attacks on Muslims and on immigrants. Resistance to attacks on disabled people. Resistance to state violence perpetrated by the police and through the prison industrial complex. Resistance to institutional and intimate gender violence, especially against trans women of color.

"Women’s rights are human rights all over the planet and that is why we say freedom and justice for Palestine. We celebrate the impending release of Chelsea Manning. And Oscar López Rivera. But we also say free Leonard Peltier. Free Mumia Abu-Jamal. Free Assata Shakur.

"Over the next months and years we will be called upon to intensify our demands for social justice to become more militant in our defense of vulnerable populations. Those who still defend the supremacy of white male hetero-patriarchy had better watch out.

"The next 1,459 days of the Trump administration will be 1,459 days of resistance: Resistance on the ground, resistance in the classrooms, resistance on the job, resistance in our art and in our music.

"This is just the beginning and in the words of the inimitable Ella Baker, ‘We who believe in freedom cannot rest until it comes.’ Thank you."

Case in Point: Intersection of Race, Class and Gender

Georgia Woman Faces Murder Charges for Taking Pill that Allegedly Killed Fetus

[Editor’s Update: After three days in jail, the changes were dropped, but the outrage remains.]

By Lauren Gambino
The Guardian via Alternet

June 10, 2015 – A Georgia woman is facing a murder charge in the death of a five-and-a-half-month-old fetus she delivered after she allegedly took a pill that terminated her pregnancy.

Officials have charged Kenlissia Jones, 23, of Albany, Georgia, with malice murder and possession of a dangerous drug, according to local [3] news [4] reports. She was arrested on Saturday night after giving birth to the fetus in a car on the way to the hospital and taken to nearby Dougherty County jail, where she is being held without bond.

Pro-choice advocates said there was no abortion clinic nearby and that initial reports of the young woman’s arrest were “deeply disturbing” in the wake of so-called “feticide” – killing a fetus – laws sweeping the US.

According to a police report obtained by the Associated Press, a county social services worker called Albany police to the hospital, and told officers that Jones ingested four pills she purchased online to “induce labor”. The social services worker told the police Jones wished to end her pregnancy because she and her boyfriend had broken up.

Jones’s neighbor drove her to the hospital, but she gave birth to the fetus before they arrived. Officials said the fetus died at the hospital about half an hour after she gave birth, according to the report, which did not indicate how far along Jones was in her pregnancy.

WALB-TV reported earlier that authorities had said the woman was five and a half months pregnant.

The Dougherty County district attorney, Greg Edwards, reportedly said the case is likely to be presented to a grand jury, and that prosecutors needed time to explore their options under state and federal law.

Albany police refused to answer questions about the case, citing an open investigation and directing all calls to the Dougherty County district attorney’s office. The office did not return multiple requests for comment by the Guardian.

“If women do not have the means to access medical care, they will take matters into their own hands, with tragic consequences,” said Jaime Chandra, a spokeswoman for the Feminist Women’s Health [5] Center in Atlanta.

More than 50% of women in Georgia live in a county with no abortion clinic, and this is true of Dougherty County and nearly all of south-west Georgia, according to the Health Center.

Cytotec, a misoprostol drug, can be used in combination with another drug – mifepristone – to end a pregnancy non-surgically, a method known as medical abortion. It was not immediately clear to the Guardian whether Jones took the first pill, or only Cytotec, which by itself is not considered a so-called “abortion pill”.

There were 28 abortion providers in Georgia in 2011, down from 32 in 2008,according to the Guttmacher Institute [6]. A full 96% of counties in the state had no abortion clinic in 2011, which would require more than half of all Georgia women to travel outside their county to receive an abortion. Chandra said she is unaware of an abortion clinic in or around Albany.
Purvi Patel case: legal experts warn on reproductive rights in Indiana Read more

Elizabeth Nash, a state policy expert at the Guttmacher Institute, said reports on the Georgia case were “deeply disturbing” and that she was alarmed at what appears to be a spike in the number of cases in which women are charged with crimes for self-aborting their fetus. Criminalizing abortion discourages women from seeking the medical care they may need, she said.

“You could imagine a woman might not go to the hospital if she thinks she is going to be arrested,” Nash said.

Currently, at least 38 US states [7] – including Georgia – have fetal homicide laws, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. The first person convicted in the US under such a law is Purvi Patel, an Indiana woman serving 20 years in prison [8] for ending her own pregnancy using abortion drugs in July 2013.

In Georgia, the penalty for “feticide” is life in prison.

“The woman wasn’t able to access healthcare when she needed it, she took action on her own and then when she sought out healthcare she was then arrested,” Nash said. “She was let down every step of the way.”

Links:
[1] http://www.alternet.org/authors/lauren-gambino
[2] http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/
[3] http://www.walb.com/story/29263746/official-5-month-old-fetus-lived-30-minutes-after-abortion-pill-delivery
[4] http://abcnews.go.com/US/wireStory/abortion-pill-leads-murder-charge-fetus-dies-31630905
[5] http://www.theguardian.com/society/health
[6] https://www.guttmacher.org/pubs/sfaa/georgia.html
[7] http://www.ncsl.org/research/health/fetal-homicide-state-laws.aspx
[8] http://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2015/apr/02/purvi-patel-case-alter-reproductive-rights-indiana
[9] mailto:corrections@alternet.org?Subject=Typo on Georgia Woman Faces Murder Charges for Taking Pill that Allegedly Killed Fetus
[10] http://www.alternet.org/
[11] http://www.alternet.org/%2Bnew_src%2B

When the Teenager Is the Breadwinner

The Fight for 15 movement could free the children of low-income workers from the need to work after school to keep their families afloat.The Fight for 15 movement could free the children of low-income workers from the need to work after school to keep their families afloat. (Photo: peoplesworld)

…An intersection of race, class and gender

By Yana Kunichoff
In These Times

Jan 5, 2015 – Like many immigrant families, that of Iris Sebastian (a pseudonym) has long played a precarious financial balancing game.

Her parents, Luis and Josefa, both crossed the border from Mexico in the mid-1990s. They met in the U.S. and settled down in Houston, where they had Iris, the oldest of four girls, soon after. Thus began the balancing game. As Luis and Josefa worked low-wage jobs in service or day labor to support themselves and their children, the family was in constant discussion about how to save a little here, a little there. Maybe that meant secondhand clothes or going without new school supplies. Or it could mean a few extra nights of work for Luis or Josefa at their second jobs as cooks.

Working two jobs and trading child care responsibilities sustained them through the boom of the 1990s and even the initial dip of the 2008 recession. From 2005 to 2013, both had steady cook jobs at a Burger King in the Montrose neighborhood of Houston.

That all changed in the fall of 2013. Luis had long suffered from diabetes, and fluid retention in his legs made it increasingly difficult to work on his feet all day, as his service jobs demanded. Eventually he had to severely cut down his working hours. The balancing act became more precarious.

As the oldest daughter, Iris, an 18-year-old high school junior, felt it was her responsibility to keep the family afloat.

“I was telling [my parents] I needed to get a job,” she says . “I always see my mother and she is stressed, I see my dad and his legs are swollen.” She’d tell him, “I know we need money, but I need you to calm down and relax.”

Against the wishes of her family, she, too, took a job. Four or five days a week, Iris works at Smoothie King, a local chain, for the minimum wage of $7.25 an hour.

It’s not uncommon for young people to work. Of the 16.7 million young people aged 16–19 in the United States in November 2014, 28.6 percent were employed and another 20 percent were looking for work, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Similarly, a quarter of Latino youth like Iris are employed.

But what distinguishes Iris is the reason she entered the workforce—economic need. The children of poor families already start off further behind for a slew of reasons, including food insecurity, growing up in a neighborhood without adequate resources, and simply the stress of being poor.  (Continued)

Continue reading “When the Teenager Is the Breadwinner”