Saturday, July 02, 2005

NOW Calls for 'State of Emergency' Rally In Downtown Nashville - Updated!

bump, bump, bump, I'll have a report later on today about the rally that is going to send this town in to a state of shock. So many women and so much to say! Scroll down for the updates.

I just left the NOW Convention. As you can imagine, everyone is fired up about the resignation of Sandra Day O'Connor and ready to fight like hell to stop the appointment of an extremist to the Supreme Court. This is going to be some rally. Nashville hasn't seen this much energy at a demonstration in a very very long time. Here's my report:

[Nashville] Kim Gandy, President of NOW, held a press conference at the NOW Convention today in response to the resignation of Justice Sandra Day O'Connor.

Justice O'Connor has cast the critical swing vote on issues such as abortion and affirmative action. Her resignation represents a severe threat to the rights of women and other minority groups.

Gandy said, "We are declaring a state of emergency for all women in the U.S. and in the world." The women's rights leader added that if Bush appoints an extremist to the Court he will turn back the clock on womens' rights.

Gandy was joined by Ellie Smeal, President of the Feminist Majority Foundation, and Carol Moseley Braun, former U.S. Senator and candidate for the Democratic nomination for president in 2004. The women spoke to a packed room of approximately 1,000 extremely energized feminists. A sense of urgency filled the room. Camera crews from all the local tv stations were on hand.

Gandy announced to the crowd that NOW will hold a 'State of Emergency' demonstration at Legislative Plaza, across from the Capitol, in downtown Nashville tomorrow at 1:00pm. Buses will leave the Loew's Vanderbilt Hotel at 12:45pm.

Gandy said the demonstration will serve as a very loud message to President Bush, and to Senate Majority Leader Frist, Senator Alexander and every other public official.

The women of America will not go back!

Update #1: The following speakers will likely attend the rally: Carol Moseley Braun, Dolores Huerta, Sara Paretsky, and Kim Gandy.

Planned Parenthood of Middle & East Tennessee has called for its members and supporters to join the rally. The local Democracy for America organizations will also be on hand, as well as Code Pink. Of course, Tennessee Guerilla Women will be there.

Update #2: When I got home from the convention tonight my inbox had 6 email alerts about the rally!

Take Action: Contact your senators NOW.

Pseudo-Adrienne has list of potential Supreme Court nominees.
Bitch Ph.D has a wrap up of where we stand now.
BushvChoice has a round up of MSM coverage on O'Connor.

More on NOW response to O'Connor's retirement:

"With members frequently chanting "No, no, we won't go (back)," Ms. Gandy said NOW would fight any "extremist who will put back up the barriers that [Sandra Day O'Connor] helped take down."

Ellie Smeal, president of the Feminist Majority Foundation and a former NOW president reminded everyone of the "power of the gender gap," adding that in 1981 it was feminist activists who forced Ronald Reagan to appoint Justice O'Connor.

"Today, every politician, including President Bush, knows the power of the gender gap, and we intend to use it again," Ms. Smeal said. "This is a challenge that we must meet because we cannot lose a generation of young women." Carol Moseley Braun of Illinois, the first black woman to win election to the Senate, said women should celebrate the work and contributions of Justice O'Connor.

"We are going to continue to go forward starting right here, right now," former Sen. Moseley Braun said. She said President Bush has an obligation to appoint a justice that will make the court look like America."