BY ELLEN BERMAN
SAN FRANCISCO - Plans to build the April 14 national demonstration to "Fight the Right" called by the National Organization for Women (NOW) are in full swing in the Bay Area. The San Francisco NOW office has been transformed into an organizing center for the demonstration, which is being called around the demands: "No retreat on affirmative action," "Fight racism," "Protect abortion and reproductive rights," "Stop all forms of violence against women," "Demand lesbian, gay and bi- rights," and "End the war on poor women."
An all-out effort to recruit volunteers to help build the demonstration was launched January 20 at an open house featuring national NOW president Patricia Ireland as the guest speaker. Since then, the NOW office has been open from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. daily. Volunteers are joining in the effort to reach out and spread the word. Phone-banking, which takes place every evening, has solicited over 300 volunteers so far toward a goal of 1,000 to help out during the march.
Speaking tours to campuses and outreach to labor, civil rights, and other community organizations are being organized by the NOW staff, including organizers from Washington, D.C. Kate Bedford, the chair of the San Francisco NOW Young Feminist Task Force, is contacting NOW groups at high schools across the state to help organize delegations. A Young Feminists conference for all members of teenage women's rights groups in California will be held just before the march.
On Saturdays, teams of volunteers go out to various neighborhoods in the Bay Area to set up informational tables and to encourage storekeepers to display flyers advertising the march. Leaflets in Spanish and Chinese are also being produced.
Participants are being encouraged to come from all over the country to this national action. Staffers report receiving phone calls from as far away as North Carolina. Demonstrators will assemble on Sunday, April 14, at 11:00 a.m. for a march beginning at 1:00 p.m. and culminating with a rally at 2:00 p.m. For more information call (415) 436-9390 in San Francisco or (202) 331-0066 in Washington, D.C.
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