Progress Through the Public

You’ve definitely heard by now, that Texas Senator Wendy Davis, held an 11-hour filibuster in order to prevent an anti-abortion bill from getting to the governor’s desk. This bill, after reaching him, would’ve been immediately signed, as said by the governor himself.

You might’ve also read in the news that this filibuster was stopped short — despite Davis’ attempts to stay on the topic of abortion, lack of food, water, or even the permission to slightly lean against the podium, much less sit down. She had hit three strikes, one of which were: She attempted to fix her back-brace. Yeah. Talk about inhumane.

When the social media got ahold of this, they went into an uproar — and rightfully so. The crowd in the room began chanting, “Let her speak!”

The senate then proceeded to: Mute the livestream to “discuss” whether she should be allowed to continue to speak, extend the voting time so they could have their way, and then succumb to even changing the timestamps to prove that the votes came in before midnight.

 

It was blatant law-breaking hypocrisy by a bunch of old, white men who wanted to have their way and threw a tantrum after being shut down.

In her pink sneakers, Davis won the support of the nation, but she didn’t do it alone. During the deliberation, Senator Leticia Van De Putte stood up and delivered the most iconic line of the night, after being informed she wouldn’t be recognized because the Senate had moved onto a new motion: “At what point must a female Senator raise her hand or her voice to be recognized over the male colleagues in the room?”

This, in turn, is what sparked the 15-minute applause that would follow. It also enabled crowds of people gathered outside the room protesting to chant louder. It was the ignition point for the whole nation to be outraged — to utilize social media to bring awareness. The event spread like wildfire. People began getting arrested and were called terrorists, even though they were simply standing by Davis’ side.

You might be reading about it in the newspapers and online now that it’s over — But a lot of news networks are incorrectly attributing Van De Putte’s quote to Davis, a white woman. Let’s remind ourselves that Van De Putte is a Latina WOC and the quote is hers alone, and should remain so. Her badassery is further discovered as she was in attendance delivering this line in the Senate on the day of her father’s funeral. She was fighting just as much for her rights as Davis.

What’s most amusing about this filibuster, though, is the fact that people, the youth, did not use major news networks like CNN or CBS to attain this information. With the main livestream being cut off, they resorted to a cell phone stream from a protestor who was outside, Christopher Dido.

Yet near the end of it all, at around 3-4 am EST, after so much of an outcry, the bill was declared dead. Deafening cheers were echoing through the halls as Davis stepped outside herself to announce the news to the public.

And although the public was triumphant that night, it’s not over yet. Governor Rick Perry wants to hold a second session on July 1st calling the bill to attention again. But as the public has already shown, their voices do matter.

Tweet, message, email and send letters to show your support — The fight is ongoing.

Mailing Address:

  • Office of the Governor
    P.O. Box 12428
    Austin, Texas 78711-2428

Delivery Address:

  • Office of the Governor
    State Insurance Building
    1100 San Jacinto
    Austin, Texas 78701

Telephone and Fax:

  • Information and Referral Hotline [for Texas callers]: (800) 843-5789
  • Information and Referral and Opinion Hotline [for Austin, Texas and out-of-state callers] : (512) 463-1782
  • Office of the Governor Main Switchboard (512) 463-2000
  • If you are using a telecommunication device for the deaf (TDD),  call 711 to reach Relay Texas
  • Office of the Governor Fax: (512) 463-1849
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