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Donna Lieberman’s Remarks at NOW Demonstration

It’s great to be at this protest in Central Park – the grass may be greener on the Great Lawn or the Sheep Meadow, but this is what’s left of the People’s Park – the only place where Mayor Bloomberg thinks the grass is bad enough to have a rally.

That may be the case for now, but the New York Civil Liberties Union is committed to re-opening the entire park to political protest. We know that the grass doesn’t just like opera—that protest is good for the grass too.

Since this rally occurs in the context of the Republican National Convention, I want to be sure to point out that the New York Civil Liberties Union is non-partisan. We have no horse in this race.

But we do have a lost of issues – and the ACLU will continue to have a lot of issues, whoever is in the White House.

Speaking of which….

The Bush women are saying that “W” is for women. That may work for the kindergarten crowd.

But we know that you can’t be for women if you’re not for women’s rights; if you’re not for healthcare that includes abortion, contraception, family planning, if you’re not for REAL sex education for our children.

We are here today to send a message to the country: that New York is for women. We oppose the policies of the Bush Administration that would destroy our fundamental right to control our bodies. We oppose the attack on the whole range of our civil liberties and civil rights. And we are the majority.

We’re to tell President Bush to stop playing politics with our health; to get big government out of our bedrooms; to butt out of our decisions about whether or whom to marry. And to keep his religious beliefs to himself. We’ll defend his freedom of religion, but Mr. President, you can’t impose your religion on me.

We are here today not just for my issue or her issue or his issue. We are here together to stand for our issue – for women’s rights, for civil liberties and for social justices. We’re here because we don’t want our country to send the pregnancy police in our doctor’s office when a woman needs an abortion. We don’t want our nation to jail doctors for treating their patients. We don’t want the government spying on us because we dare to dissent. And we don’t want our country to limit our right to protest.

The NYCLU will stand together with all of you who stand for women’s rights, for equal rights, for social justice – for democracy.

As bold as the spirit of New York, we are the NYCLU.
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