Violating the Fence – August 26, 1981 White House Action

Virginia NOW’s Treasurer, Lee Perkins provides a historical account of the 1981 ‘Women in Chains’ ERA White House Action. Thanks, Lee for this incredible contribution.

The August 26th files

One year later – again the chains. This time to the White House fence. Out intrepid chainees moved downtown to the broad sidewalk in front of the White House.

his time the action was much bigger and attracted a lot of press. Needless to say, the Park Service was not happy because the occupants of the White House were not happy (When the White House is not happy, they pass the unhappiness along), calling in the multiple ‘protective services’ to cope with the dangerous army of women in white. At least, unlike real criminals, we didn’t shoot at them. So getting in a little women bashing probably made their day. (Apologies to Dirty Harry). Since it was a chaining event, we displayed the chain banner and, as always, the full text of the ERA.

Shortly thereafter, the press arrived in force. As didthe demonstrators with their unique messages.

Frankly, we…

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