The time for action is now.
I never thought I’d see a day when Roe v. Wade was legitimately endangered, and I certainly never predicted the bizarre misogynistic dystopia we’re currently living in. After I had my feelings this morning, I started searching for ways to protest in my city. For the uninitiated, protests can be a way to create momentum for change and find camaraderie with like-minded people. Here’s how to find a protest where you live today.
Social media can be perversely superficial, but it can also be a source of real connection. Twitter and other platforms have played a major role in protest movements around the world. In this day and age, it’s the first place to look when you're trying to find an action. Try searching for #bansoffourbodies. If you’re on Twitter, you can use the location filter to narrow results to people posting near you. On Instagram, you can search by location if someone tags where they’re at and chances are good that activists posting about rallies will definitely do that.
Democratic Socialists of America (D.S.A.) is the largest socialist organization in the U.S.. I’m not even a socialist and I’m a supporting member because they are also one of the largest leftist organizing bodies and, since they are legitimately giant, they have the person-power to get things done quickly. I reached out to my local D.S.A. chapter this morning and was invited to a meeting tonight organizing an abortion rights action tomorrow. You can find your own D.S.A. chapter here,
Local Leftist Groups
Abortion isn’t just a “women’s issue.” Abortion is a queer issue, it’s a black issue, it’s a class issue. Because the majority of people who will be impacted by an abortion ban fall into these already marginalized categories, basically any organization with progressive values is going to be mobilizing around abortion rights today. Ask around and see who has organized other kinds of protests in your area in the past. Chances are that the people who took to the streets after George Floyd was murdered are either involved with abortion actions or can put you in touch with people who are.
Your local courthouse
If none of this pans out, go to your local courthouse. Activist organizations from MoveOn to that guy in the anarchy jacket on my block are trying to spread the word for folks to gather with signs at their local courthouse today at 5pm. If your city has more than one courthouse, ask that guy in the anarchy jacket which one. Jk. Seriously, though, reach out to your local news to find out where to be because they are already planning to be there. Pro tip: Journalists are active on Twitter. If you search for your local news network and “reporter, Twitter,” you will have instant access to your local news media.
Abortion Rights Groups
Planned Parenthood has been the most visible defender of abortion rights since forever. They are a solid resource for both healthcare and education. Luckily, they also have a handy dandy engine that searches for protests and actions regarding reproductive health. The caveat to the Planned Parenthood Action finder is that sometimes it takes them a minute to update their — probably giant — database, so it may not be the best way to find a rally today. It is, however, a great way to find nearby actions that are happening in the near future, so that may give you time to plan a little trip if there’s not much happening where you live or help you get involved with phonebanking or other virtual actions.
All that being said, Planned Parenthood has sometimes been accused of being something of a mascot for abortion rights — eyecatching and good at fundraising, but not that effective. There are a lot of local abortion rights groups out there fighting the good fight and they would probably be delighted to get your support.
If you can’t make it to a protest today — or if protests are inaccessible to you for any reason — don’t freak out. It took us longer than a day to make this shitty version of ‘Murica and it’s going to take us more than a day to unmake it. That’s no excuse to be apathetic, though. There are a lot of ways to be an activist. If nothing else, throw a couple dollars at an abortion fund. But if you do go out today, know your rights and speak truth to power, y’all.