WASHINGTON, DC—Student activists have joined an unprecedented effort by women’s rights, abortion rights, civil rights, gun control, environmental and gay and lesbian rights organizations to oppose the nomination of John Ashcroft for U.S. Attorney General. Young feminist activists – high school students, college students, and interns – take to Capitol Hill today to urge Senators to block Ashcroft’s confirmation.
Feminist Majority, along with other STOP Ashcroft NOW! coalition members, will kick off the day with a briefing session at the Mott House. Young activists from as close as Baltimore, Maryland to as far away as Dallas, Texas will then visit Senate offices and collectively voice their opposition to Ashcroft’s confirmation based on his ultra-conservative, anti-women’s rights record.
“John Ashcroft has shown us two faces, during his Senate confirmation hearings,” said Annie O’Connell, a recent alum of the New College of the University of South Florida and a Field Coordinator for the Feminist Majority. “He said that he will enforce all the laws, including those that he personally opposes, yet his record shows that he has led a life long crusade to overturn those same laws.”
As part of its efforts to mobilize young women, Feminist Majority has reached out to campuses across the country, galvanizing them to take action against Ashcroft’s confirmation through e-mails, phone calls, faxes, and letters. Mass mobilization efforts have also been aided using three websites, www.feminist.org, www.feministcampus.org, and www.tranisitionwatch.org, to alert young feminists throughout the country. The three sites receive over a million hits a week, with more than 50% of visits being from users between the ages of 18-24.
Today, activists, representing the scores of young feminists opposed to the nomination of John Ashcroft for Attorney General will join forces and personally urge Senators to vote against Ashcroft’s nomination. Says O’Connell, “We, as young people, have the most to lose by the nomination of this right-wing extremist. For example, we are the ones who need access to safe and affordable reproductive healthcare, and John Ashcroft has spent most of his political career trying to take that access away.”
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SisterReach, a grassroots organization focused on "empowering, organizing, and mobilizing women and girls in the community around their reproductive and sexual health to make informed decisions about themselves," organized the press conference "to call attention to the unique concerns Black and poor communities throughout Shelby County and across the state of Tennessee face on a daily basis" and to emphasize how the upcoming election "could further limit [black women's] reproductive, economic, political, and social autonomy."
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