WASHINGTON -- January 20 -- On this Inauguration Day, NOW activists and our feminist, progressive partners are standing up and speaking out for equality, democracy and peace. In the spirit of our ancestors and those who came to this country to escape tyranny and intolerance, we pledge our allegiance to liberty and justice for all not just the privileged few. We deserve leaders who are peacemakers, not war profiteers.
Across the country hundreds of thousands, even millions, are marking this day by protesting the regressive and dangerous policies of the Bush administration and drawing attention to the voting irregularities and voter suppression that effectively denied many their right to vote in 2004.
NOW is joining and helping organize the "Women's Rally and March" with CODEPINK at Dupont Circle in Washington, D.C.
Here in our nation's capital, defenders of democracy find ourselves wrapped in what some are calling a "steel cocoon" of high fences, barricades, closed streets, inaccessible sidewalks and $1,000 bleacher seats for the inaugural parade. The District of Columbia for over 100 square blocks surrounding the parade route, the White House, and the Capitol is under virtual lockdown. Protests (and protesters) are confined to limited areas, far removed from the festivities, and George W. Bush and his revelers are protected from the distress of witnessing any dissent.
Since our founding in 1966, the National Organization for Women has been at the forefront of the movement to bring women into equal partnership with men in all aspects of society. Despite the barriers, literal and figurative, we are committed to the fight for equal rights and justice for all, and will resist every effort by the Bush Administration to roll back our rights.
NOW commits to continue our efforts to:
- Fight right wing judicial appointments
The resignation of Chief Justice Rehnquist is imminent due to health reasons. George W. Bush is poised to nominate an anti-abortion, anti-civil rights judge to the Supreme Court in the next few months, perhaps more than one.
- Stop Social Security privatization
This is one of the Bush administration's top issues for the second term. The "reform" they suggest will devastate this critical program, impacting the present and future financial retirement of women.
- Protest further tax cuts
The Bush tax cuts of 2002 benefited the rich, eradicated the surplus and created an enormous debt which will be passed down to our children. Continuation of these cuts will result in the evisceration of vital programs for women and girls such as Head Start, housing support, nutrition programs for children and much more.
- Defeat anti-women's rights legislation
In his second term, and with the support of his cronies in Congress, Bush is sure to continue and even escalate his attempts to restrict a woman's right to abortion and birth control, while rolling back our guarantees of job equity and educational opportunities.
- Speak out against the war in Iraq
This national tragedy has given rise to the loss of lives, not only of the women and men in the U.S. military, but of innocent Iraqis and foreign relief workers. It is time to support our troops by bringing them home. The national treasury is being ransacked by an approximate $137 million per day being spent in this quagmire.
- Prevent a repeat of the 2004 elections
"Count every vote" was not the name of the game on Election Day. We must restore faith in our electoral system but ensuring that future elections will be fair, accessible and accountable.
- Promote equal marriage
The time has come in our country for the recognition of same-sex marriage. We must reject discrimination against lesbian and gay couples and families.
The next four years will be a challenge for all who believe in equality and justice. But we will not be shut down. We will be heard, and we will prevail.