Protest Planned Parenthood encourages the government to defund Planned Parenthood, but The Resistance Starts Today has other plans. It organized a pro-Planned Parenthood rally this morning in Washington Square Park, where Muslim-American singer Kashish belted her original song “Stronger Together” to the 1,000-strong crowd.
Among the Planned Parenthood supporters, Public Advocate for the City of New York Letitia James, Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer and Tony Award-winner Eve Ensler all spoke at the rally.
— Gale A. Brewer (@galeabrewer) February 11, 2017
Ensler, a feminist and activist, told the crowd that she wanted to make sure women have fundamental sexual and physical rights — including but not limited to autonomy over their bodies, contraception and legal abortions.
“Women are the life force of this planet — they run every movement that matters,” Ensler said. “Without women in power, without women safe, without women alive, without women fully sexual, we would have nobody here.”
Other pro-Planned Parenthood protesters included NYU students such as Silver School of Social Work junior Guilia Alexander. Alexander said that she came to have her voice heard and to resist against anti-Planned Parenthood movements.
“It’s a huge deal how many people showed up in Washington Square Park,” Alexander said.
“I hope that Planned Parenthood feels our support — I saw a protest sign that was made in 1992, which is great because it’s like, ‘Why are we still protesting this?’”
Sharron Cooks — a transgender woman of color who is the founder and CEO of Making Our Lives Easier — said that she hopes the energy from this protest extends into consistent daily action.
“I would like for everyone to get out and participate in the midterms, register people to vote [and] get involved with social advocacy organizations,” Cooks said to the crowd. “Everybody needs to pull together, because we are stronger together, and we can accomplish anything together.”
Cooks said that people should take action so that access to healthcare can easier for those of all races, socioeconomic statuses and gender identities. She also reiterated that people need to work together to create change.
“Just take a look around at all of this power,” Cooks said to the crowd. “This is people power right here. When we put our hearts and minds together, we can do anything — so don’t let this be a day that we come together [and] make really great signs that have powerful messages.”
Silver School of Social Work junior Samara Weiss said she hopes the rally showed the strength of Planned Parenthood and its supporters — Weiss especially enjoyed listening to the speakers.
“I hope that it just shows everyone — Congress, [President Donald] Trump, everyone — that we aren’t going away,” Weiss said. “We’re going to keep fighting. We are going to continue showing up and [are] not going to stop, no matter what.”
Email Miranda Levingston at [email protected]