Texas women are mad, and they're not going to sit quietly and take the Republicans' destruction of women's health and family planning in our state.
In addition to the Planned Parenthood bus that is criss-crossing the state to hold rallies and raise awareness about the cuts to women's health programs, today Grammy-nominated singer and beloved Austinite Marcia Ball organized an impromptu grassroots rally at the Capitol. She wrote in an email,
Next Tuesday, March 6, and the following two Tuesdays, between noon and 2:00 PM, I am going to put on a red shirt and stand in front of the Texas State Capitol at the corner of Congress Avenue and 11th Street holding a sign decrying the defunding of women's health services. I am calling my effort SEEING RED and it may be just me and a few friends or a few hundred. This is my own personal response to the outrage of the Texas Taliban's war on women and, peripherally, my sadness over the death of foreign correspondent Marie Colvin who gave her life to tell us about the inhumanity and injustice of those who target the powerless. My vigil is in honor of Molly Ivins who said nothing will change until we get out in the streets and bang on pots and pans. I'm just going to stand there and hold a sign (and a broadsheet with talking points).
Her call for red shirts and signs spread around Austin, and a friend of hers posted her missive on Facebook. This is what happened:
A huge crowd, hundreds of women and men of all ages, waving signs, banging pots and pans together, and sounding the alarm that they're mad as hell and not going to take it anymore!
Traffic is heavy around downtown at lunchtime, and the rally received deafening honks and cheers of support from the cars that passed by. Entire CapMetro buses of Austinites cheered, and many a pedestrian and driver gave the thumbs up or fist shake of solidarity.
By the time I got there to take this picture, organizers said the crowd had thinned out considerably. It was an impressive showing, and to have such a big turnout in the middle of the day on just 48 hours' notice demonstrates the fury women feel as the Legislature slashes and burns family planning, access to care, funding for Planned Parenthood, and screenings for cervical and breast cancer. Enough is enough!
Marcia Ball & Friends will be back the following two Tuesdays from noon until 2 p.m. Got a red shirt, suit, or ensemble? Then put it on and get down to the Capital to help sound the alarm. If ever was the time to get bad about the Republican war on women across our country and across our state, this is it!