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Unedited Media Collective's Coverage of North Dakota Women's Rights Battle.
Stand Up For Women Rally - Grand Forks 3.25.13
by Unedited Media
On the heels of the most repressive anti-abortion legislation in the country, Spring broke through the tough crust of winter with a bang on Monday. In cities across North Dakota, women came out by the hundreds to oppose legislation that cuts to the core of their basic freedoms. The message was clear, the ND state legislature and Governor Dalrymple have no right to impose the kinds of restrictions this legislation calls for. The new legislation calls for a complete ban on abortion, regardless of circumstance (rape, threat to the health of the mother, etc.), in what was described by one protester as “An assault on women’s dignity.”
In Grand Forks at least 107 protesters gathered at the corner of Demers Avenue and South Washington to voice their outrage and disgust with the new legislation sitting on Governor Dalrymple’s desk, waiting to be either vetoed or signed into law, with a Thursday deadline. The tone was not one of desperation or uncertainty, but rather a hardened resolve that this legislation unacceptable. The demand for a veto from Dalrymple was no cry in the wilderness, but rather the unified voice of the women of North Dakota. As protesters passed around the bullhorn to lead chants, those demands and reprisals were echoed by the cheers of protesters as passing drivers honked in solidarity.
While the vast majority of crowd composed of women, there was a substantial contingent of men standing side by side in solidarity. The atmosphere was by no means somber, but rather lively. When the occasional hostile driver screamed profanity and insults at the demonstrators, they simply cheered louder. This was not the result of a lack of seriousness, but rather the aggregate confidence of the women of North Dakota. Women who know that this legislation, even if it’s signed into law, is not the last word. The legislature has awoken a sleeping giant. In order for this legislation to be adopted into law, it must first be voted on in a general election. At the time of this writing, there are already rumblings of more rallies throughout the state later this week. The show of force we all witnessed on Monday is only the beginning.
UPDATE: Governor Jack Dalrymple has, as of Tuesday morning, signed all three pieces of legislation intolaw. A second rally has been called for in Grand Forks and a new Women’s Organization has been created. The fight continues.
On Monday, March 28th women and supporters rallied across North Dakota. Rallies held in Minot, Bismarck, Fargo and Grand Forks participants numbered in the hundreds. In North Dakota’s capitol a press conference organized by Stand up for Women ND stated their opposition and hopes that Governor Dalrymple veto bills: HB 1305,HB 1456, and SB 2305.
Tuesday, March 29th the Governor of North Dakota signed all 3 bills into law. These bills will take effect August 1st 2013. Women’s groups have formed out of Monday’s rallies in both Grand Forks, North Dakota and Minot, North Dakota.
Grand Forks Women’s Organization is working to continue to fight against the recent bills in the legislature which one protester called an “an assault on women’s dignity.”
Grand Forks Women’s Organization has organized a Rally in March in Grand Forks, North Dakota for 3/29/2013.
UPDATE: The Rally in March was well attended, as 76 demonstrators showed up to voice their outrage at the continuing attack on Women’s Rights in North Dakota (pretty good for a Good Friday). The fight continues.
Watch video here.
Donate to Unedited Media here to help us continue our coverage of this emerging movement.