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With the eyes of Texas, the nation, and even the world on us, the last 7 days have been exhilarating as we have turned Texas into a battleground state. From the "people's filibuster" to "stand with Wendy" and beyond, Texas women and the men who respect us have been fighting for our voices to be heard. On reproductive rights and so many other issues that are important to women, Texas Republicans simply do not represent the majority of Texans; instead, they pander to a base that wants women to shut up and sit down. Well, I can promise you that that's not going to happen.
During the past couple of days, there has been a flood of excellent diaries about Texas covering a range of stories, but here are a couple that I don't think have been diaried:
Unfortunately, some of my Senate colleagues do not believe in trusting women with their reproductive organs. It's amazing to me that they do not trust women with a choice, but they trust them with a child.
So yesterday, I stood with Wendy while she filibustered a bill that would cut access to women's health care. And while the lieutenant governor may believe that his constituents who were in their Capitol were an "unruly mob using Occupy Wall Street tactics," I believe that these Texans were only using their voices to be heard after days of being shut off. They were venting their anger after seeing the rules of the Senate cast aside by the Republican leadership, as well as possible violations of state law.
They were taking a stand for a constitutionally protected right, and I encourage them to never sit down.
To outside observers, this type of virality probably looks organic, even serendipitous — and to some extent, that’s true. But it’s also a reflection of the growing social media savviness of politicians and interest groups, who positioned Davis’ marathon speech to go viral.
Perhaps the Texas GOP's biggest blunder tonight was forgetting that social media exists. #sb5#standwithwendy
Texas advocacy groups didn’t make that mistake. In the days before the filibuster, the pro-choice organization NARAL Texas used Facebook to organize rides for supporters who wanted to witness Davis’ speech. Planned Parenthood Texas and a progressive women’s group called Annie’s List live-tweeted from the gallery. A pro-choice blogger compiled a lengthy list of local and national media outlets, politicians and celebrities on Twitter, encouraging people to “make sure your local news station … knows about our action today.” The hashtag #standwithwendy, which racked up 547,000 tweets during the course of Davis’ speech, was actually coined — and promoted — by the Texas branch of the American Civil Liberties Union.
And this video provides some insights into what has made Wendy Davis into the strong, proud woman she is today: