Dallas, TX – On March 4, people gathered in a Dallas park to celebrate International Women’s day. About 80 people attended. After 11:30 am, as the crowd’s attention was drawn to one of the lead organizers, the speeches began. Jo Hargis, of Freedom Road Socialist Organization stated, “I’m here today to tell you that the only rights we ever had, are the ones we’ve fought for.”
Drawing the connections between the recent overturning of Roe v. Wade and the movements which won abortion rights in the first place, Hargis stated, “All those impacted by patriarchy must fight together. We are in the same trench, and we need to act like it.”
Logan Schaefer, speaking on behalf of La Frontera Nos Cruzo, emphasized the role of immigrant women in his speech. “These women are expected to navigate a system which is stacked against them, where their work is undervalued and their efforts go unrecognized. They must navigate a new language, a new culture, a new way of life. It is a great burden of love that these people perform.”
As the speeches went on, each group emphasized their own struggles and how they relate to International Women’s day. Malaya’s spokesperson mentioned factors which hinder women’s rights in the Philippines. A member of MMIW:Rematriate spoke of the immense hardship indigenous women face and difficulties in securing justice for crimes against them.
At the end, those who had gathered in the park collected behind a banner which stated “Women’s rights now! Defend reproductive rights!” Some people from the street saw the banner and joined in.
Led by marshals in purple sashes, the procession traveled around several blocks without police confrontation. As the demonstrators marched on, they were led in chants such as “My body, my choice,” “Dare to struggle, dare to win” and “When women’s rights are under attack, what do we do? Stand up, fight back.”
Public reactions were largely positive, with bystanders taking videos, waving and at times even joining in with the chants. When the group got back to the park, people took pictures together, made conversation, and exchanged contacts with one another as they cleaned up the event.
The rally and march were put together by Freedom Road Socialist Organization, The Afiya Center, Progressive Student Union at UTA, TEA fund, National Alliance Against Racist and Political Repression – Dallas, Dallas Committee for Human Rights in the Philippines, La Frontera Nos Cruzo, Communist Party USA, Dallas Anti-War Committee, Malaya Movement, Palestinian Youth Movement, and the Party for Socialism and Liberation.
Dallas is a city which stands at a crossroads in the fight for women’s and reproductive rights. After the overturning of Roe v. Wade on June 24, 2022, a Texas trigger law effectively banning abortion activated. With penalties that include felony charges and fines of over $100,000, Texas and its third largest city, Dallas, will have to contend with a rising dissatisfaction over the state of its women’s rights legislation.