National Women's Liberation News
December - January 2018

This month we celebrated the 45th anniversary of Roe v. Wade, and the 1st anniversary of the Women's March worldwide protest. We know from Redstockings of the Women's Liberation Movement that it is movement organizers whom will keep the history, lessons and strategy of feminist wins alive; we hope you will visit the Redstockings digital archives to learn more about wins from the 2nd wave of feminism. But in short, we know that change isn't gifted to women by the courts or law makers: it is won by women fighting back. We hope you're fighting with us.

Below you'll find a report back on NWL's organizer conference from December 2017, as well as recent meetings and news coverage of NWL. We want to work closer with our sisters who are outside of our chapter areas; if you're interested in joining an upcoming organizing call, or in getting help with organizing your own event, take our survey below or contact us !

In solidarity,

National Women's Liberation
In this month's newsletter:

  1. December 2017 NWL Organizers Conference
  2. #MeToo Rally in NYC
  3. No! Movie Screening by the NWL Women of Color Caucus
  4. NWL in the news
  5. Birth Control and Abortion Committee to Attend Florida Constitutional Revision Panel
  6. Tell us how you want to get involved! Take our survey
  7. Telling it like it is: In NY Cuomo Touts Crumbs as "Win" for Family Leave
  8. Solidarity Highlights
(Photo above) NWL organizers on the final day of the 2017 NWL Organizers Conference. Photo by Julia Novikova.
December 2017 NWL Organizers Conference
Dec 1-3, 2017 - Report Back

On Dec 1-3, 2017 NWL organizers met in New York City and over the phone, to strategize on the creation of our next national campaign, and how to work against racism within our group and white supremacy at large. The NWL conference kicked off with a day-long meeting of our Women of Color Caucus, and was followed by two days of meetings of the full group.
To develop our next national campaign, organizers debated campaign proposals developed by each region. The proposals covered fighting for stronger reproductive rights through state constitutional amendments, greater access to the morning after pill and the abortion pill, universal health care, felony voter rights restoration in Florida, and fighting against the double day that women face. Organizers also discussed how to work on a target while spreading NWL theory on why all women are oppressed and theory on how racism keeps women of all races from being truly free.
To come to agreement on what direction the group should take together, we discussed which campaigns we were excited to work on, what our hesitations were, and how the proposal would fit into feminist work within the US. The Women of Color Caucus directed organizers to also discuss: How would a campaign idea reach women of color? Is the campaign relevant to women of color? How does the proposal implicate race or ethnicity or white supremacy?
We also discussed the logistics of each proposal: How would each proposal work across regions with existing NWL chapters? Could it be replicated by women in other areas where we don’t have a chapter? Do we have the resources for the campaign? Could proposals be combined?
Ultimately, we decided that we would take sections of multiple proposals. We want to focus on how the paid and unpaid work that women do is taken for granted and exploited by the men around us, and by the 1%, and how this is connected to the fight for birth control and abortion. We are finalizing the campaign details. Stay tuned to find out how you can get more involved.
(Photos L-R) Feminist activists at the #MeToo rally on Dec 9, 2017; photo by Kaylin Kaupish. NWL organizers interviewed by Act.TV at the rally; photo by Kaylin Kaupish.
#MeToo Rally in NYC
Dec 9, 2017 - Report Back

In the snow, hundreds of women met to speak out against harassment and sexual assault in New York City. NWL Organizers joined in the #MeToo Rally organized by MeTooNYC outside of Trump International Hotel at Columbus Circle. As part of the action women posted their own #MeToo stories and messages of support and solidarity on a wall at the Columbus Circle subway station. NWL organizers Stephanie, Tamara and Amanda were interviewed by Act.TV on feminist demands made that day and during NWL's strike last year.
No! Movie Screening by
the NWL Women of Color Caucus
Dec 17, 2017 - Report Back

The Women of Color Caucus (WOCC) in Gainesville, FL teamed up with the Alachua County Victims’ Services and Rape Crisis Center for a discussion around sexual violence and to view No! The Rape Documentary  by filmmaker and activist Aishah Shahidah Simmons. WOCC co-sponsored the event with the University of Florida's Women in Political Science (WiPS). Student Non-Violent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) veteran and WOCC Advisory Board member Gwendolyn Zoharah Simmons was interviewed in the documentary and joined us for the film screening.

The event organizing committee built the discussion questions around the study guide offered with the documentary. The discussion focused on the economic basis for the sexual exploitation of Black women in the US, and how white supremacy and male supremacy work together to separate Black women from ownership over their own bodies.

A sister event for all people of color that self-identify as women, is planned for March, 2018 (date TBD). Contact NWL for information on joining the organizing committee for this upcoming event.

Photo above: NWL activists at the No! The Rape Documentary screening, 12/17/18. Photo by Hazel Levy. 
NWL in the news
Nov, 17, 2017
Erica Bales and Kerri Audette discuss their committee's work to fight against Crisis Pregnancy Centers in Florida. These centers masquerade as health clinics, but they do not have medical staff, and are not bound by medical privacy laws.

Dec 20, 2017
Along with fellow panelists Raina Lipsitz and Helaine Olen, Jenny Brown discusses the #MeToo movement: Al Franken, Harvey Weinstein, Ford assembly line workers, sexual harassment.

Jan 10, 2017
On the 8 o'clock Buzz, Jenny Brown discusses how women workers have fought back against sexual harassment in hotels, restaurants, farm work and auto manufacturing. Hear her explanation of how our lack of health care and other social wage programs makes us particularly dependent on our jobs and vulnerable to our employers. Her interview begins after the 40 minute mark in the broadcast.
Birth Control and Abortion Committee to Attend Florida Constitutional Revision Panel
Upcoming action

The Florida Constitutional Revision Committee (CRC) is a body that meets only once every 20 years to change Florida constitutional law. The CRC is considering altering our right to privacy. The Florida constitutional right to privacy has been a tool used by the Florida Supreme Court to defend Florida women's right to abortion. 

NWL is going to send a contingent to make statements in support of maintaining the current legal support for abortion, and push for expansion. If you want to join us, sign up here !
Tell us how you want to get involved!
Take our survey

Whether you're near a chapter or action group, or not, we want to work more with you.

(Photo) NWL at MLK March in Gainesville, FL, Jan 2018. Photo by Brooke Eliazar-Macke.
Telling it like it is: In NY Cuomo Touts
Crumbs as "Win" for Family Leave
By a NWL-New York chapter organizer

In New York, public employees just received a notice from HR to inform us that we have little reason to celebrate New York’s new paid family leave law. The new law was touted by campaigners as “the nation’s strongest and most comprehensive Paid Family Leave policy.” I am a public employee and I was completely left behind.

The bottom line is New York's paid family leave law that went into effect this year only applies to private companies and says that public agencies have the option to opt-in. Of course no public agency is going to opt in, and I just received notice from HR that my agency is officially foregoing that option.

How dare New York Governor, Andrew Cuomo, push through and celebrate this family leave law and then say that public employees *his own employees* are not included? How dare they put this on unions to bargain for something that the state is now requiring private businesses with non-union employees to provide?

The reasons they have stated for not opting in boil down to:

1) We get unpaid leave from FMLA (so we wouldn’t want paid leave??)
2) We get "enhanced benefits provided through our collecting bargaining agreements" (so basically blame your union, or, if you are one of those public employees whose position is NOT in a union, like me, I'm not really sure what they're saying you should do)
3) We are allowed to use our accrued vacation and sick leave for family leave (wow thanks!)

Shouldn't we encourage people to be public servants? I'm just so mad: this is another example of how the powerful divide the people by offering only a few crumbs.
Solidarity Highlights
Excerpt from Sistersong mass mailing after defeat of Roy Moore, 12/13/17:

So, thank you for spreading #trustblackwomen far and wide. Use it as a mantra. Use it as a demand. Use it as a way to celebrate our success. But make sure that you don't forget the Black Women led reproductive justice organizations that birthed this powerful message and the Black women who have shown up over and over again. And know that we need more than your gratitude.  
  • Invest in Black women led organizations and invest in Black women.
  • Support our businesses and help Black women launch businesses in your community.
  • Recruit and contribute to our campaigns and elect Black women at every level.
  • Hear our stories. Listen to us.
  • Don't thank us after we did the work. Seek us out and include us every step of the way - not just today, but every day.
Get in touch with the labor movement’s fighting spirit—meet Labor Notes in Chicago! Registration now open .

Labor Notes Conferences are the biggest gatherings out there of grassroots union activists, worker center leaders, and all-around troublemakers.
Congratulations to student organizers in Gainesville, FL with Are You Seeing Red, and Gators Matter, Period. who won their campaign for free menstrual products on the University of Florida (UF) campus.

Student organizers worked with NWL-Gainesville's campus subcommittee to create and hold a "Bleed-in" protest to raise awareness of the demand for free menstrual products.

While initially UF Student Government unanimously rejected the student's demands, organizer pressure secured Student Government support.

Photo above: Sophia Ahmed, a UF student organizer with Are You Seeing Red, applying washable red dye on her pants for protest on Jan 23, 2018. Photo by Will Clewis.

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About NWL

National Women's Liberation  is a feminist group for women who want to fight back against male supremacy and win more freedom for women.  Our priorities  are abortion/birth control, overthrowing the double day, and feminist consciousness raising. Our  Women of Color Caucus (WOCC)  meets separately from white women to better understand how racism intersects with sexism to oppress women of color.