Monday, February 20, 2012, 11:00am until 3:00pm at Virginia State Capitol (9th and W. Grace)
Women from every corner of Virginia are expected to converge on the Virginia State Capitol on Monday for a “Call for Action” against legislation targeting women’s rights. According to the facebook page SPEAK LOUDLY WITH SILENCE for Virginia women (a silent protest) over one thousand have indicate they would participate double what what what was expected. There is the possibility of arrest should the silence be broken. In coments on facebook they say it is worth the risk.
CALL FOR ACTION: On Feb 20th at 11 am, we call for 500 women (but men are very welcome and wanted!) to line either side of the walkway between the General Assembly building and the Capitol in SILENCE as our Senators and Representatives pass between the two buildings several times day to work on passing bills oppressive to women and reproductive rights.
We are there to tell our elected representatives: Support women’s rights to control their bodies! Don’t enact oppressive Anti-choice (what pro-life really means) laws!
A RALLY will follow at 2pm at the Bell Tower with supportive Senators.
DETAILS on FACEBOOK are below if you do not have an account there.
— TABLE OF CONTENTS —
There is a LOT of important information about this protest to share. Please read it all. Here is a table of contents:
1) What bills are being protested?
2) What can I do in addition or if I can’t attend?
__a) Contact Legislators (info below)
__b) Canvass/Flyer (11am, 2/18. Monroe Park)
__c) Commit to bringing friends/share this event
3) Logistical Details
4) Other actions to know about
__a) Feb 23rd day of action/lobbying day. Put on by Planned Parenthood and NARAL
__b) Please sign the petition: https://secure.ppaction.org/site/Advocacy?cmd=display&page=UserAction&id=14157
5) Why a silent protest?
6) Who’s organizing this event?
1) — WHAT BILLS ARE BEING PROTESTED? —
* HB 1: Grants fertilized eggs the status of persons under Virginia law, subject only to the U.S. Constitution and U.S. Supreme Court precedents. The wording of this bill is also particularly dangerous as it has been purposely left vague enough possibly deem not reporting miscarriages illegal, abortion as murder, and lead to the criminalization of birth control.
* HB 261; HB 462; SB 279; SB 484: Mandatory Ultrasound before Abortion
* HB 1285; SB 637: Prohibits abortion after 20 weeks gestation unless, in reasonable medical judgment, the mother’s life is at risk or the mother is at risk of substantial and irreversible physical impairment of a major bodily function.
* HB 464; SB 496: Creates the state’s health care exchange under the federal Affordable Care Act but prohibits the sale of insurance coverage for abortions, except when the pregnancy endangers the mother’s life or is the result of rape or incest.
(The info above is adapted from the ACLU VA, visit VA ACLU for more information: https://acluva.org/category/bills/2012/?cats=46&tags=43 )
2) — WHAT CAN I DO IN ADDITION TO THIS PROTEST OR IF I CAN’T ATTEND? —
a) ***Contact your Legislators***
Use this link to find to get contact information for your State Senator: http://conview.state.va.us/whosmy.nsf/main?openform
There are four Senators who are particularly important in the fight against HB1, as they represent swing votes. They are:
– Sentaor Puckett | Democrat
– Senator Colgan | Democrat
– Senator Watkins | Republican
– Senator Stosch | Republican
If you are one of their constituents, it is particularly critical you call them and tell them to vote no on these bills.
SENATOR WATKINS: Do you live in Oregon Hill, Maymount, Museum District, Willow Lawn, Three Copt, UofR, Forest Hills, Bon Air, Chesterfield or Powhatan? If so please call Senator Watkins. He is an undecided/swing vote and his decision could very likely be a TIE BREAKER. Call (804) 698-7510 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
SENATOR STOSCH: Do you live in the West End, Lakeside, Short Pump, Glen Allen, Tuckahoe, Goochland, Manakin. He is another swing vote for HB1/personhood hill.Call (804) 698-7512 or email him at email@example.com
b) *** Canvass / Flyer ***
A canvassing group will meet at 11am on Saturday, Feb 18th, in Monroe Park, around the central fountain. Bring friends
c) *** Turn people out ***
Commit to getting 3 people besides yourself to either call their senator and/or attend the event!
3) — LOGISTICAL DETAILS —
We have a logistics team that will be coordinating the protest on site. They also have back up plans if needed. If you are interested in helping out with logistics please plan on showing up at 10:30am. ***When you arrive, plan to break into small groups and connect with a member of the logistics team***
+Wear an armband of any color. Bring extras if you can!
+ Since there are no signs allowed on capitol grounds, write words on your clothing/armbands.
+ The best/cheapest place to park is in Shockoe Bottom or the Jackson Ward area.
+ This event has a light to moderate risk level for arrest. However, we think the risk of arrest or other consequences far outweighs the risk of the potential damage these bills could cause to women’s reproductive rights in Virginia.
4) — WHY A SILENT PROTEST? —
The Capitol ground rules say that we cannot assemble, hold signs, chant, yell or protest. We think silence in the face of this struggle and their unconstitutional rules presents the strongest response to their assault on women. Please come out and stand up for our rights and for the rights of all women in VA to choose the best reproductive route for themselves.
5) — OTHER ACTIONS YOU SHOULD KNOW ABOUT —
+ This protest is only one small part in a larger movement in Richmond to protect women’s right to health and autonomy over their bodies in Virginia! Planned Parenthood and NARAL will have an informative day of education and action for February 23, 2012 just 3 days after this rally. Please check it out soon because even though it is free you need to register for this:
+ Please sign this petition for HB1…https://secure.ppaction.org/site/Advocacy?cmd=display&page=UserAction&id=14157
6) — WHO IS ORGANIZING THIS EVENT? —
This event is being organized by a grassroots group of concerned citizens and not any particular organization per se. However, there are organizations that are supporting what we are doing and they are listed below:
– Virginia New Majority
– Planned Parenthood
– National Organization for Women, Richmond Chapter
– Southerners on New Ground
– The Wayside Center for Popular Education
– Occupy Richmond
Posted By Valerie Garner
Categories: Politics, State Politics
Tags: activism, equal_rights, legislators