A new level of attack on the movement

The attack on reproductive choice organizations – the National Network of Abortion Funds and its companion sites – whose websites and mail lists are hosted by May First, and the subsequent attack on May First itself, is a new level of attack on our movement. This is an attack on the politics and organizations in the struggle for reproductive choice and justice for women – especially working class and women of color. And it is also an attack on the movement technology organization, May First, which provides technological support for these organizations and struggles.

Technology and social media provide much of the connectivity so critical for today’s social movement communication, mobilizations, and campaigns. To go after that technological connectivity and the organization that is the provider takes the attack on the movement to a higher level. The message is loud and clear. Our movement has to understand the high stakes of the current political moment, in terms of our politics and our technological connectivity. They are deeply interrelated, and we have to think and act on them holistically. In other parts of the world, as movements communicated and mobilized through the internet and social media, governments shut them down.

Without movement technology – safe from oppositional and government attack – our movement will not be able to remain connected, mobilized, and in political alignment. The intense attack on the National Network of Abortion Funds and its companion sites, and on May First is a question of women’s right to reproductive choice and justice and protection of the technology that connects the struggle. This attack is also an attack on the movement – on all of our struggles and on our ability technologically to safely communicate and stay connected.

(Walda Katz-Fishman)

Comments and discussion to guide our work

=== Online attacks against women's rights and reproductive or sexual rights groups in particular are not uncommon. Perhaps in the US they are not as common as in other parts of the world. But, in the scope of online vulnerability, sexual rights groups remain at the top of that spectrum and always have been.

Second, while this attack against their and our online infrastructure is by no means minor or unimportant, I do want to remind us that women who seek out abortion and those who help them face violence and abuse offline. The murder, rape and violence that is and has been waged against women and men who fight for reproductive and sexual rights would be important to acknowledge. It's a systematic campaign that has been going on for decades. DDoS is merely a new tactic in a much larger campaign of violence against women's bodies.

Adding these considerations into the text I believe will better contextualize what we mean by "high stakes". These deeper reflections will also allow us to make the connection between individual/isolated online attacks and offline attacks, all of which are attacks on the movement. (Mallory)

Last modified 6 years ago Last modified on Aug 18, 2015, 6:32:11 AM