Texas Gov. Perry – a very “ruly” kind of guy, in his own Right way – supported Lt. Gov. Dewhurst’s description of the pro-choice crowd as an unruly mob. Perry described the citizen actions as a “breakdown in decency and decorum.” The photo above of Perry, in a manly pose with a pistol, is from an earlier appearance confirming his “I won’t let them take your guns away (even though I know ‘they’ aren’t going to anyway)” tough position. I just thought it was a “ruly” kind of pose, per Perry’s idea of ruly-ness.
Anyway, a good number of those now labeled as “unruly” proudly, if frequently with tongue-firmly-in-cheek, accepted it. At yesterday’s Stand With Texas Women rally, some of the estimated 5000 to 6000 attendees wearing orange (the color of this indecorous crowd) had “Unruly Mob” boldly displayed.
From The Texas Tribune:
The biggest protest at the Texas Capitol in recent history electrified the first day of the second special session. …
An estimated 5,000 abortion rights supporters — whose rally featured state Sen. Wendy Davis … and celebrities like musician Natalie Maines — vastly outnumbered a group of about 100 backers of the bill … .
Though overshadowed outside the Capitol, Republicans — who have the votes to pass the legislation — asserted that they would work harder than ever in support of the bill, which would ban abortion after 20 weeks of pregnancy and could close all but five of the state’s abortion clinics. …
The House State Affairs Committee will take the up the legislation today at 3:30 p.m. Though hundreds of people have signed up to testify on the bill, the committee’s chairman, state Rep. Byron Cook, R-Corsicana, said proceedings would not run past midnight.
Floor votes, apparently, won’t happen for several days, though they will certainly come with big blocks of time before the session ends.
The video below is from yesterday, with both “sides” appearing.
At this YouTube post, “Despite Expected Defeat, Abortion Rights Protestors Multiply”:
Republican lawmakers say regardless of the numbers outside, they have the votes inside to pass the legislation.
See a slideshow from yesterday here.
More from Texas Tribune:
… (A)bout 100 supporters of the omnibus abortion legislation marched to the Capitol on Monday morning to a press conference orchestrated by women who deeply regretted their decision to have an abortion.
The abortion rights rally drew thousands of protesters and featured performances by Bright Light Social Hour … and singer Natalie Maines of the Dixie Chicks. …
At the anti-abortion press conference, … followed by a rally on Monday evening, eight women who had undergone the procedure and regretted it spoke about their attempts to rationalize their decisions and deal with physical consequences including hysterectomies and miscarriages. …
State Sen. Donna Campbell, R-New Braunfels, (said) ‘Democracy was traded for mobocracy. The question is not when does life begin, it’s what is the value of human life.’
Unruly, indecorous, indecent, Occupy-like, mobocracy. Or as Sen. Wendy Davis described it:
‘That moment, when people chose to stand and give voice to their values … Gov. Perry, that was not a lack of decorum, that was not disorder, that was democracy.’
Vivian Norris, at Huffington Post, writes:
… (M)any aspects of being a woman, surviving and succeeding as a woman and especially as a single mother in Texas today, have become harder than they were in the 1970s. Imagine how difficult and how expensive it would be for a single mom in Texas today to make it all the way through law school with no health care, little funding for education and no access to child care.
All of this is not just about Texas, of course. What’s happening in Texas, and as Taylor writes about, in Ohio, isn’t limited to these two states, or even in the multiple others with similar legislative efforts, some successful, some with court challenges underway. I think one reason the Texas story has received so much attention (as mainstream media, as usual, played catch-up), is simply because, for many, the “unruly” display of “mobocracy” on the Left simply doesn’t fit their Red image of Texas.
One of the best discussions about this is, interestingly, at The Guardian, in an article by Dave Mann and Forrest Wilder, “reported in partnership with the Texas Observer.” (emphasis added)
The dramatic events of Tuesday night brought to the surface tensions that had been building for years – in an increasingly diverse Texas where white Republican men still call the shots. …
But the events … showed what astute observers already knew: Texas isn’t as deeply red as many people think. Beneath the Republican dominance is a diverse, urban state with an openly lesbian mayor in its largest city (Houston).
The New Texas – urban, young, increasingly diverse, progressive – made itself heard this week. Suddenly the side of Texas that the rest of the world rarely sees was thrust into the spotlight. …
The larger question is whether Democrats and progressives can capitalize on this moment.
What’s “mobocracy” for some is “democracy” for others.
I really think we need more Unruly-ness in We the People-dom. Not violence, not even the regular shutting down of legislative bodies, though that has its times and places. Acts of civil disobedience; protests and t-shirted messages; actions that challenge the decisions by Democratic and Republican Electeds, with defiance coming both from two-party adherents and by those outside that power grid(lock) [my interpretation, obviously], are needed. Again and again. Because actions will be shut down – a repeat of the Texas Senate chamber “unruly-ness” is highly unlikely, with additional law enforcement presence; because the Occupy actions were firmly, and with helpful national government coordination, suppressed; because eco-advocates routinely face coordinated efforts of corporations and law enforcement. One or two big actions will never be enough. For that matter, civil disobedience, by itself, will never be enough.
But, from my perspective, neither will Insider, two party efforts ever be enough. There were, in fact, Occupy and GetEqual activists, among other “alternative” groups, participating in the Unruly-ness. The Texas Democratic Party standing together with “radical” Occupiers and LGBT GetEqual members … that is NOT only possible in Texas. Policy over person or party really can unite people. That’s a choice we can make.