Women's Rights Rally

Organizers of the "Protest at the State Capital" event are calling on women who are appalled at the treatment the Arkansas legislature has handed them this session to rally at the Capitol at 3 p.m. March 23, and so far more than 1,000 people (men and women) have indicated on the event''s Facebook page that they will attend.

Organizers Donna Shade and LeeWood Thomas issued a press release today about the event today and said a speaker line-up is being formed. (Press release below)

The rally will protest the newly-enacted laws unconstitutionally rescinding abortion rights and well as bills still under consideration to grant personhood to the embryo and defund Planned Parenthood.

There is much more to protest coming out of this General Assembly, which this year is composed mostly of creatures that have emerged from the rock they've lived under since the 1950s to wreak havoc on women's rights and other such "progressive" notions such as voter rights, health care and education. If all the thousands who are disgusted turned out, it would help let the rest of the world know that we aren't all mean-spirited, misogynistic, retrograde doofuses.



A large grass-roots organized group opposed to Arkansas' recently enacted laws restricting reproductive rights is planning a protest from 3-5 p.m. on Saturday, March 23, on the east side of the State Capitol.

“This legislature has spent two months focusing the bulk of its attention on passing laws that are blatantly unconstitutional, while ignoring the dire needs of healthcare, education and the state's economy,” said Donna Shade, a member of the organizing committee for the Protest at the Arkansas Capitol. “We feel it's critical to show the state there are a large number of people here who do not agree with this kind of regressive government.”

"It's hypocrisy when politicians campaign on smaller, less-intrusive government and cutting frivolous spending, but then introduce these court-bound, anti-women bills", stated LeeWood Thomas, another organizer. "The women of Arkansas have a right under federal law to make their own decisions."

Within 48 hours of a public Facebook invitation, more than 700 people had indicated they would attend, and the number continues to climb rapidly. Donna Shade said "Jaime Goswick, from Mountainburg, created a Facebook event page, and the response was immediate and overwhelming. Now people all over the state are forming car pools, buying ads, and contributing materials for the event."

"Arkansas — Stop the War on Women, a social media advocacy project, has been coordinating massive statewide phone, e-mail, and social media opposition to this legislature’s egregious actions since January," added Claudia Reynolds-LeBlanc. "Some of the protest planners include participants from that project, but no existing organization is involved in the event." Planners say a casually formed working group of about 25 volunteers are handling the organizing chores.

There is no budget, nor is there a plan to raise money. “If someone wants to donate to the cause, they can buy gas for a carload of people to come from their community, or they can contact us for ad material to run in their local newspaper or on the radio,” said Shade.

The planners say speakers are being invited now, and will be confirmed this week.

“For now, we would like to invite everyone in Arkansas who believes women should be able to make private healthcare decisions with their doctor, not politicians, to join us at the Capitol on March 23,” Shade said. “Make a sign, bring a friend, help show the world that there is another side to our state besides what's been in the news the past few weeks.”

Join or login to comment.

  • Susan K.

    I heard there were over 1000 people there yesterday and no counter protesters. Too wet and cold for them I guess.

    1 · March 24, 2013

    • Ron M.

      They said only 500 in the Dem Gaz but I guess they wouldn't want to give us too much credit.

      March 24, 2013

    • Robert S.

      I saw another that said 700, I figured somewhere between the two numbers.

      1 · March 25, 2013

  • Susan K.

    We found Joe Reed at Stickyz yesterday.

    March 24, 2013

  • Susan K.

    The weather was so much better than the Reason Rally last year.

    March 23, 2013

  • Ron M.

    Weather pretty much sucked but rally was great.

    March 23, 2013

  • Susan K.

    Joe Reed where did you go?

    March 23, 2013

  • Joe R.

    Getting way off topic. Time to go drink!

    March 23, 2013

  • Roger H.

    If you bring a sign, do NOT use a pole/stick, as they are illegal here.

    1 · March 17, 2013

    • Dave B.

      Can we bring an umbrella? - which is on a stick.

      March 23, 2013

    • Olivia P.

      All the sticks are in the legislature, where the sun don't shine...

      2 · March 23, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    Is anyone from Russellville going, by any chance, who wouldn't mind an extra passenger? I'd love to go, and would be happy to pay for gas. I won't be able to get a ride that weekend, so I'm trying my luck here. :)

    1 · March 17, 2013

    • Ronda

      I hope you found a ride. I am not in the area, otherwise I'd be happy to help.

      March 22, 2013

    • Anne O.

      If you check the FB page for the event, people are coordinating rides. https://www.facebook.c...­ I hope you make it!

      March 23, 2013

  • Dan T.

    March 22, 2013

  • Ronda

    Does anyone have any thoughts or suggestions on parking? I am even considering taking the bus to avoid parking trouble. Thoughts?

    March 15, 2013

    • Ron M.

      Perhaps it might be a problem due to huge number of protesters. One can only hope. Seriously though, there is literally acres of parking nearby.

      March 18, 2013

    • Ronda

      Yes, that's what I was curious about. I have no idea how many people will show up. Word is it will be many, but who knows for sure? I'll just plan on driving and arriving early enough to find parking somewhere in case it is crowded. Thanks!

      1 · March 18, 2013

  • Dan T.

    Hate to miss this but not in town

    March 17, 2013

27 went

Our Sponsors

People in this
Meetup are also in:

Create a Meetup Group and meet new people

Get started Learn more

I started the group because there wasn't any other type of group like this. I've met some great folks in the group who have become close friends and have also met some amazing business owners.

Bill, started New York City Gay Craft Beer Lovers

Sign up

Meetup members, Log in

By clicking "Sign up" or "Sign up using Facebook", you confirm that you accept our Terms of Service & Privacy Policy