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March for Womens’ Lives –
The Beautiful Failure (4/2004)

WASHINGTON DC - On a cloudy Sunday, April 25, 2004, more than half a million people rallied and marched in Washington DC on behalf of reproductive choice for women. It was a sexy, vigorous, relatively dramatic and stimulating exercise in free speech. However, the speakers addressing the throng probably did them a great deal of harm. History may in fact regard this day as a complete failure from the perspective of the majority participating.

The sexual energy on display was formidable. A major subtext of the demonstration was the blackmail behind the Lysistrata Project. (The Lysistrata Project is the revival of an ancient Greek play where women deny their husbands their favors until they agree to give up waging war.) One speaker got a large hand from the overwhelmingly female crowd by asking them to regard themselves a “weapon of mass affection.” Another protester held up a sign which read “We Love Pro-Choice Boys”. For those who admire the female form there were many gorgeous sites in view. One marching woman was leading the cheers at the head of the lively International Socialist Organization, her charisma surpassed only by her breathtaking beauty. Others were topless, with only small stickers covering their exposed nipples. Another still, simply walking her bicycle, looked like a supermodel. Sigh.

There are similarities between demonstrating for reproductive choices and the 911 Truth Movement. Both issues require some explanation to neutral observers. Because of the need for dialogue to explain reproductive choice, organizers of all stripes at this event were communicating very complex ideas in often hilarious and very clever ways.

Hundreds of clever chants were shouted; and many smart slogans and signs were displayed. When marching on Pennsylvania Avenue past the White House, I watched as two young women composed the chant “We are the majority—respect our democracy!” They then yelled it out into their loudspeakers and dozens instantly joined in. Take that Bush and Cheney, from your static fortress. More statements included:

  • A sign held by a young woman with a determined expression on her face as she stood on an elevation: “Mr Bush: Had your mother chose abortion/More than 800 American soldiers and over 10,000 Iraqi civilians would be alive today/Abortions Save Lives.”

  • A 10-year old boy wearing a T-shirt which said: “Pro-choice and anti-capitalist.”

  • A sign which read: “Bush: I made your daughter pregnant. Now what?!”

The protest had its counter-protest, which made for many tense moments. This was particularly seen on Constitution Avenue. Just before the march turned onto it some men standing on elevations held giant warning signs which warned of the coming “extremist” zone. Sure enough, on Constitution were hundreds of people advocating limits on reproductive choices. Some of these were standing beside large blown-up, grisly pictures of aborted fetuses while using bullhorns to broadcast their anti-choice views. While the protesters in favor of reproductive choices simply drowned out the counter-protests the dynamic of the two sides was mesmerizing.

Last February 15th (2/15/03), tens of millions of people marched around the globe to protest Bush’s upcoming invasion of Iraq. Despite achieving visibility on such a colossal scale the criminal invasion happened anyway. Since then the ruling elite have even removed the only prominent Democrat who (mildly) opposed the Iraq War, replacing him with the bloodthirsty and war-mongering-Zionist John Kerry. Yet these facts were not to be seen among the protesters. Nor were there any speakers I saw who even remotely suggested that the Bush Regime might put on another day of major terrorism, this time followed by martial law. Most of the speakers were encouraging everyone to vote for Kerry as if the notion that there won’t be a free election in November had not yet been expressed publicly.

For these reasons one must regrettably view the March for Womens Lives held in Washington DC on 4/29/04 as a failure. By underestimating what they are capable of it likely did no damage to the Bush Regime. Possibly millions of people walked away from the event having acquired nothing but disinformation about the coming “election” that Karl Rove might have wanted them to hear. As a result, the gains from the protest will be quickly forgotten if the Bush Regime manages to sponsor another day like 911.

If large numbers of women, with their energy, laughter, cleverness and sex appeal were to throw a large protest that questioned the ludicrous story that 19 suicidal hijackers flew planes into the World Trade Center causing them to disintegrate it could start a lasting revolution. Not only could it topple the Bush regime but it could probably end the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, along with achieving far more security and comfort for those who advocate reproductive choices for all.

Will women consider withholding their favors until a legitimate 9-11 Commission is convened? The future of our civilization may depend on it.

Scott Loughrey

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