Julie Lambert: On October 2nd, friends, activists and neighbors, and their children took to the streets to send the Supreme Court and lawmakers across the country a clear, unified message: The attack on reproductive rights will not be tolerated.
[00:00:14] October 2nd KEPW was at the Women’s March, which is the largest and longest-running protest group in the country, seeking to keep Roe v. Wade safe. Near the federal courthouse, Eugene joined over 600 other locations across the U.S. for this historic event. The crowd swelled from 100 to 200 to 300 and even more. The streets were lined with men and women holding posters, chanting, singing, saying prayers, drumming, and cheering. Many people honked their support, as you will soon hear. This issue, especially affects Native women because of the stringent laws, so we will start with a traditional Lakota Women’s Honoring Song.
[00:02:09] [Angela]: It’s a song that we learned in Lakota and the Lakota language, and it’s a—we call it a Women’s Honoring Song. The story that I was told essentially is that it’s about a woman who sacrificed her life for what she believed in, you know, and the lesson for me is, for us, for me, is that what you’re willing to live for, and what you’re willing to die for, and give of yourself. And we’re here today with our daughter lending our voices and our prayers to what’s happening here.
[00:02:40] Julie Lambert: Thank you. The prayers are lovely. Would you like to say something, dear?
[00:02:44] Jackie: I want to say that it’s not okay to take away anyone’s rights, that it’s not necessarily about what people are choosing, but what people are being forced to do or not to do. And our people for generations and generations and generations and generations have been told what to do and things have been taken and it’s not okay because we have an obligation to our ancestors and we have an obligation to our people, and we have an obligation to everyone on the earth of every belief to honor each other and not force each other to do things that it’s not okay. So thank you.
[00:03:24] Julie Lambert: Now, what would you like to say something about why you’re here today?
[00:03:28] Jaxi: So I think that I want to. (Laughter)
[00:03:31] Julie Lambert: Fantastic. Are you singing too?
[00:03:36] Angela: Jackie and I’m Angela. Okay. And this is Jaxi.
[00:03:39] Julie Lambert: Jaxi, you want to take the microphone? Do you have some things to say?
[00:03:43] Angela: She would love to. What do you want to say, babe? (Silence from Jaxi.) You’re being shy now.
[00:03:54] Julie Lambert: Much thanks to Jackie and Angela who came to pray, sing and bless the event and especially little Jaxi. Next, we caught up with Eve who is wearing clothing reminiscent of the red cloaks from the novel by Margaret Atwood that have frequently been seen at Women’s March since the book became a series. And Eve, can you tell us how you’re dressed today?
[00:04:18] Eve: Well, I saw the Texas protestors in Senate and they did this dance in front of the Senate building in Texas or the Congress building in Texas. And I was just so impressed with them and their look. And to me, the color of red means a lot. It means passion, it means conviction and it’s being seen. I just thought it’d be a good color to wear today.
[00:04:40] Julie Lambert: When I saw you, I went to The Handmaid’s Tale because this is so dystopian and, do you see a parallel there?
[00:04:47] Eve: Yes. Although it’s a little problematic to associate one work of art with a protest. But yeah, I think that The Handmaid’s Tale really does portray a lot of the swing to the right that we’re facing right now.
[00:05:01] Julie Lambert: Yeah, to me, it seems like what will happen if we’re not active and we don’t get out there,
[00:05:07] Eve: We really need to and get out there. Yeah. Because an attack on women is an attack on democracy. It’s a tack on everybody’s freedom. We are more than 50% of this country.
[00:05:17] Julie Lambert: Yeah. I think that the other 50% will eventually wise up. At least that’s my hope when I see this many people and I know that we are nationwide, it gives me hope. But we need action.
[00:05:28] Eve: Yes. I think getting out here helps everyone.
[00:05:32] Julie Lambert: Well, we, we will see you again because this isn’t going to be the last rally.
[00:05:36] Eve: No, I don’t think it will be the last rally. But I’m glad it’s—I’m glad it is happening today and that’s why I came out.
[00:05:42] Julie Lambert: Thank you Eve. We also heard from WomenSpace, now known as the Hope and Safety Alliance, who came out together to support this important cause. In addition, although we don’t have an interview with them, there were several students who partnered up with Planned Parenthood and came out to support the cause as well.
[00:06:05] Hi, I’m here with Brandi right now. And she’s with WomenSpace. Brandi, would you like to tell us why you came out here with your group?
[00:06:13] Brandi: WomenSpace, formerly WomenSpace, but now we’re the Hope and Safety Alliance. But we came out here today because the majority of us who are working at Hope and Safety Alliance are women. I am a parent. I had an abortion and we are here to de-stigmatize what the rights of women are really. And so, we’re here standing in solidarity with women across our country. And so together we can help and fight of the restrictions against our bodies. And just like we’ve been saying for years and years and years now, this is our choice. Abortion is healthcare and there [should NOT overturn Roe v. Wade] and we will not go back.
[00:06:55] Julie Lambert: Now, do you think that across this whole nation, we’ve got women in nearly every single state standing up for reproductive rights right now.
[00:07:04] Brandi: What do I think about it?
[00:07:06] Julie Lambert: Yeah. Do you think it’s going to be effective? Do you think that enough women will come out and stay and stand together.
[00:07:13] Brandi: I think so, you know, we’ve learned a lot over the past year about who we are as human beings and how important it is to see each other. And so, as sisters, as women, as a collective, it’s more important than ever for us to gain the unity of strength and make a difference. We did a long time ago. We won’t stop fighting for women.
[00:07:33] Julie Lambert: That’s right. Resist. (Resist.) Thank you. (Thank you.) In the crowd was a group straight from Texas bringing their fabulous blingy Texas attire to support their favorite state. And this is what they had to say. And I’m with a couple of folks who are coming out to represent Texas. Can you tell me your name and where (you can be anonymous) and talk about why you’re here.
[00:08:00] Courtney: Yeah. My name’s Courtney and I’m actually from Texas born and raised. And I’m coming out here just in solidarity with Texas folks back home. And I’m so lucky to be here in Oregon in a state where, you know, reproductive freedom is very accessible. And I wish that it were like that back home in Texas. And I am just here fighting for their rights back home.
[00:08:21] Julie Lambert: I know our listeners can’t see, but these girls, they definitely are wearing the Texas swag. And your friend, could you tell me what your name is and why you’re here?
[00:08:31] Nicolina: My name is Nicolina and I’m here just in support of my friend Courtney. And she was the one who told me about this march, and I thought, Why not go to a march? I mean, as a woman, I feel like it’s our choice, our body. It’s ridiculous that there are men in office trying to dictate what we want to do to them. So, yeah, that’s why I’m here.
[00:08:55] Julie Lambert: Would you like to comment?
[00:08:59] Heather: My name is Heather. I’m just out here in support of all the women who want an abortion and just, they can get it if they want it, I believe.
[00:09:09] Julie Lambert: Well, thank you all. Thank you for being here. This will be the first of many marches. So if this is something that you’re interested in, it will definitely be advertised on social media. And if you have questions you can, of course, contact Planned Parenthood. And I will give the last word to a young lady who came to support.
[00:09:32] Jisala: I’m Jisala. We are here because we want more, right? Because they’re trying to say that in Texas, we can’t get abortions and it’s not fair. It’s not their bodies. You know, they can’t control us and they can’t make laws on our bodies.