By Melissa Leigh
On June 24, three women were arrested at the Government Center after confronting the City of Charlotte for its role in protecting anti-women protesters of health clinics. That evening city council was voting on the proposed change to the noise ordinance of the city, which was partially intended to restrict the noise level of the anti-women organizers at abortion clinics.
The Monday meeting at city council drew hundreds, the majority being anti-women protesters dressed in teal shirts from Love Life, an anti-women organization, and the other section of the crowd being pro-choice.
As the meeting began, seven women led by the revolutionary organization Women’s Militant Front took to the front of the hall. Two women stood atop the city council dais and the rest stood directly below, guarding those holding the banner and giving the speech. Front and center, the speech declared, “This noise ordinance will not change [harassment outside of clinics]. Will not! It will harm progressives, revolutionary movements, and people’s ability to protest.”
After the speech, all the women stood and chanted, “Women of the working class, we won’t stand to be harassed!” Police arrested three women, tackling one of them violently to the ground as the women were exiting the building. Police continued to attempt arrests at random.
One woman from the audience cheered “Go girl!” to the women as they were taken out in handcuffs, showing support. The three arrested were charged with misdemeanors and the meeting was temporarily adjourned.
Many in the room cheered when the women stood and began the speech. News sources on television and social media incorrectly stated that protesters were in support of the noise ordinance, despite the banner and speech clearly demonstrating otherwise. The noise ordinance was passed on an 8-3 vote and will not allow excessive noise to be made within 150 feet of medical facilities, schools, and places of worship.
For the past five years, anti-women protesters have been harassing women at A Preferred Women’s Health Center. The City of Charlotte brought in police both to contain protesters and to maintain the status quo of women’s oppression. The noise ordinance will not inhibit or stop the reactionary protesters in the slightest, effectively condoning anti-women protests as long as they follow city rules.
For instance, anti-women reactionaries will continue to park their “mobile ultrasound unit” RV near the clinic. They use it to lure women, spread lies on abortion and cause women to miss their appointments every day.
Their attempts to create fear for working-class women who seek and perform abortions will continue. The alliances the pro-choice organizations have created with the bourgeois state in the fight for women’s rights has shirked and betrayed their interests, a fact which this noise ordinance proves.
Multiple pro-choice organizers have had to face criminal charges, even those who are not revolutionary but have tried to confront the reactionary protesters. The city has only created a distraction and an illusion of progress for the pro-choice movement. It is only through attacking the enemies of women that they can achieve liberation, and the city, through the noise ordinance, silences those women who may take the battle into their own hands and fight back.
Please donate to the three courageous women to help them with their arrest charges in the following link: https://gogetfunding.com/revolutionary-women-arrested-for-speaking-up-at-city-council/.