FIFTH AVENUE MARCH
Fifty thousand women march downFifth Avenue, August
26,1970 in celebration of the 50th anniversary of suffrage --
the largest women's demonstrationup to that time.
August 26, 1970 (Anne Hazlewood-Brady)
We took to the streets like a river
flowing into history. Women.
Women who have borne the world's children.
Women who are jailed for whoring and for loving.
Women who will not be fouled, fooled or frightened anymore.
Women from the Grecian urn; truth and beauty made flesh.
Women like tribal queens.
Women from the sounds of silence
from the sun's first beam
from the wind's hot advances
and the sea's murmuring.
Women out of the earth's very beginning
arose and walked arm in arm
past stunned and jeering faces,
and we will not know today
nor yet in the blue tomorrow's wake
what churned behind those faces.
It was enough, being a woman, to be there,
Demanding, by our numbers,
our rightful place to make a better world.
We held a rally in Los Angeles.I dressed
like our foremothers -- long skirt, high collar, petticoat, narrow lace-up shoes, but minus a corset.What lions
were these suffragists -- tofight in that getup for 75 years! Later I was interviewed on television.Jeanette Rankin
called expressing her pleasure at our actions, but said we were "too ladylike". Shirley Bernard, Fullerton,
Ca. (Shirley was NOW's first Western Regional Director).
A missionery then, I took advantageof
a cheap charter flight to Europe to meet feminists. August 26 found me in Oslo. My suggestion to demonstratein
front of the U S Embassy was turned down because "everyone does that. " Instead, we called a pressconference.
I read a statement and answered questions. Later I helped start groups in England, Ireland, Belgium,Holland, Germany
and Denmark. Jo Freeman. (Jo was a grad student at the University of Chicago and a founder and editor of the firstnewletter,
The Voice of the Women's Liberation Movement.)
In my office on Fifth Avenue Iheard
someone say "the women are marching". "Oh" I said, "perhaps I'll join them."There
was a derogatory remark. "Now I know I will! " I replied. I joined the swelling masses of women.It was
so uplifting! That's when I became conscious of the purpose of the movement. Dell Williams. (Dell organized the
first women's sexuality conference and founded Eve's Garden, a woman'sboutique, 150 West 57 St, NYC 10021.)