The following was a speech given by members of the Pacific Northwest Division of the American Party of Labor at the 6/24 demonstration in defense of abortion rights in Seattle. To organize with them, contact them on facebook, twitter, or instagram.
We are witnessing yet another horrific moment in American history today. This comes as no shock after the draft decision on the case was leaked several weeks ago. Several weeks in which we have taken to the streets to make our voices heard. Several weeks in which the reactionary forces in this country have doubled down on its assaults to our basic rights. And several weeks in which the democratic leadership—Biden, Harris, Pelosi, and others—have done nothing but protect the so-called “pro-lifers” in government. They are Pro-choice in words, anti-working class in nature. It is clear now more than ever that we have been left on our own in this fight.
The history of The United States of America is a history of oppression and resistance. The history of the American working class is a history of fighting tooth and nail for the rights we have today. For every concession won, every right we think is guaranteed, the capitalist regime is working around the clock to take them away from us. It is often said that the Constitution is a document which was written without women’s rights or the rights of people of color in mind. This is not so. The Constitution was written with the intent to oppress women, oppress people of color, and keep the people of the United States firmly under the boot of capital. All around us, it is clear that those constitutional principles run deep in the policies that affect our day-to-day lives.
It is important to not forget our historical struggles before this moment. The organized left—the most progressive of people—has a deep history of fighting against oppression. We believe in democracy. The erosion of our right to abortion is not even remotely democratic. We are all out here tonight after a long day of paying way too much to live and having our surplus value stolen by our bosses. And yet we are in the street fighting. It is the brightest beacon of hope for the world and our future to see socialists out in force doing everything in our power to protect healthcare. To protect each other.
With our government failing and being outright malicious towards us, look to your comrades. Look to your community. Here in the Pacific Northwest, there is a rich reproductive rights movement. We know the Democrats don’t serve us, they serve capital and capital only. It is our responsibility to build and take care of communities, look out for vulnerable community members. In our region we are lucky to have the Northwest Abortion Access Fund. It is apparent that it will soon be strained. Support abortion access funds in your area like the Northwest Abortion Access Fund, support your friends and neighbors seeking abortion. Remember that these bans and attacks on our rights are not the end of our organizing work.
And stay vigilant. Justice Clarence Thomas suggested the court should reconsider other landmark cases for rights of marginalized people. He named three in particular—Griswold, Lawrence, and Obergefell. Griswold is the ruling that protects married couples’ rights to seek out and use contraception, overturning it is an attack on birth control. This is unacceptable. Lawrence is the ruling that protects gay couples from outdated and barbaric “sodomy” laws, overturning it is an attack on our relationships. This is unacceptable. Obergefell is the ruling that protects the right of gay marriage, overturning is is an attack on progress towards marriage equality. This Is Unacceptable.
The people will not stand for injustice, the people will not stand for the rapid ushering in of American fascism that we are facing. We will stand for democracy, equality, and socialism. The recent revival of the labor rights movement is another sign of hope for things to come, and we, The American Party of Labor knows that the right to abortion is a working class issue. We will continue fighting for free and accessible abortion for all, regardless of its legality. When we all stand united against oppression, we will win. When worker’s rights are threatened, we show up and fight! Beyond restoring Roe v. Wade, we demand the abolition of the Supreme Court and every other undemocratic institution oppressing us. We call for governing and judicial bodies that are democratically elected and serve the working class, who run this country.
Power to the people!