Thursday, March 09, 2006

How You Can Help South Dakota

Today is the National Day of Solidarity with South Dakota. Over 30 rallies took place at noon all over the country. In Sioux Falls, we had more than 200 people (correction: the news media is saying OVER THREE HUNDRED, which is just astounding for Sioux Falls, I can't even tell you) chanting and holding signs outside the courthouse - this is HUGE for us. We are not an activism-oriented city, but we had a large crowd for a full hour. Then, the students were so pumped that they brought the rally back to campus and marched and chanted and did a Burma Shave by the roadside for another 45 minutes. There were at least 30 students participating in the campus rally. What I heard from students: "I always thought I was the only pro-choice person on this campus until I saw all the people wearing pink Planned Parenthood t-shirts today!"

If you want to help South Dakota and all states to keep abortion safe and legal, please make a donation to Planned Parenthood here and get on their email list to be kept informed of actions in your area here.

I have heard that some people are talking about boycotting SD, especially with regard to coming here on vacation. I don't know if it's an organized boycott or not. I have not heard anyone in the pro-choice movement here talking much about that. All I can say is that the push to boycott is not coming from South Dakota pro-choice activists. I have some concerns about how effective any boycott would be (would it really affect tourism income?) and about who would be most affected by it (would it affect state funds or would it affect small business owners, Native American communities, etc.). If you were to ask me my opinion, I would suggest holding off on the boycott for the time being until these questions can be answered and until South Dakota activists take a stand on the issue. Keep in mind that the state is full of people who oppose the ban but who could also be hurt by the loss of tourism dollars.


Someday Maybe said...

That is good to hear.

South Dakota is a hard place to boycott, lol.

Anonymous said...

Don't really care who it hurt. Maybe the politicians and the voters who elected them should have thought about the economic ramifications of such a move.

Listen, I've never been to South Dakota in my life. And I won't go as long as this ban is in place. And I'll encourage my friends to not go and to visit other places, instead.

So I guess a boycott's only okay if the "leaders" say it is? I think not. I think the boycott of South Africa due to the horrible practice of apartheid was a *good* thing.

plain(s)feminist said...

Anonymous -
It's really all about what it is that you want to accomplish.

If you want to help the women of SD, I'm not so sure a boycott is going to do that, especially if, as I said, it is half-assed. It sounds from your post that you weren't planning to come here anyway, and that's pretty much what people are saying here about the "boycott" - that it's a bunch of people who wouldn't come to SD anyway. So this summer, when the tourism dollars look pretty much the same as they have in the past, it will support what the proponents of the ban are saying - that the ban is in line with what the majority of the country really believes.

But maybe your first line says it all. If you really DON'T care who a boycott would hurt - and my concern is that, if it were an effective boycott, it would end up hurting the poor people of SD who will be hurt most by the ban and who don't want the ban - then go ahead and do whatever it is that makes you feel good.

By the way, your analogy to South Africa is interesting, and proves my point. The people who suffered under apartheid also supported the boycott. The leaders of the pro-choice movement in SD are hardly comparable to the South African government.

I suspect, though, from your comment that what you want is to vent your anger at the entire state of SD. You'll have to get in line behind those of us who live here.