In advance of the National Women’s March in support of reproductive rights on Saturday, October 2, where a number of our staff will be participating as both representatives of SXSW and concerned citizens, we wanted to share our thoughts on recent events in the state.
SXSW stands against discriminatory laws and unequivocally supports civil rights for all persons, everywhere.
As residents of Texas we are appalled at the passing of both SB 4 and SB 8, the most restrictive state abortion bills in the nation, along with SB 1, which deliberately disenfranchises voters.
These bills not only negatively impact reproductive freedom and voter rights in Texas, but set a dangerous precedent across the United States. The Texas Legislature and Governor Abbott continue to pass punitive legislation while presiding over governmental failures during the last two years that led to the suffering of thousands of Texans.
We hear the calls for us to leave the state that we have called home for more than 30 years. These grievous bills do not reflect the diversity of Texan voters or the evolving demographic and electoral trends. And they certainly do not reflect the progressive views held by many in Austin.
SXSW leaving Austin would economically damage the city much more than it would the state. Much of the economic impact derived from our event benefits the city’s small business and creative communities. Austin is part of SXSW’s DNA, and we are committed to staying and fighting alongside the people who have made us who we are. We will continue to use our platform to further the progression of human rights at home and across the globe.
We are making donations to Planned Parenthood, the Lilith Fund, and Fair Fight, and will be reaching out to these organizations and other activists to give them a platform at the 2022 event. Additionally, we are looking for more ways that SXSW can make an impact and help change the makeup of Texas politics across the board.