Support Women's Rights/Free Speech!

$1,730 of $5,000 goal

Raised by 52 people in 12 months
Will Falk
on behalf of Thistle Pettersen
 MADISON, WI
In November of 2014, Thistle Pettersen, long-time environmental and social justice activist based out of Madison, Wisconsin, interviewed lesbian feminist scholar, Sheila Jeffreys on Madison's community radio station, WORT, 89.9 FM . Ms. Pettersen was banned from the premises a year later in early 2016 after airing a one-hour radio documentary of the last Michigan Womyn's Music Festival. Gender identity activists complained to the station, threatening the station with economic boycotts if Ms. Pettersen was granted permission to air her feminist news programming. One year after Ms. Pettersen was banned from the community radio station, she held up signs at the international women's march on January 21st, 2017 in Madison and posted pictures of the signs to social media.
Starting on January 26th, 2017, Ms. Pettersen was made aware that neighbors and local community members were launching campaigns to get her fired from her day job in addition to de-platformed at local music venues she and her band were booked to perform. She also learned of neighbors stalking her in her neighborhood and taking pictures of her without permission or her knowledge and posting them to public social media forums where multiple neighbors have participated in making violent & hateful statements aimed at stirring up disgust for Ms. Pettersen around town.

On February 3rd, Wisconsin Network for Peace & Justice board members released a defaming statement that resulted in hundreds of comments and private messages aimed at harming Ms. Pettersen's reputation and sense of well-being as a community member, as well as denouncing her participation at an environmentalist event that she was a key organizer for. You can view that statement here: http://www.wnpj.org/node/10608

Many are concerned about the hate speech, violence, and vitriol aimed at Ms. Pettersen. We wish to demonstrate that Ms. Pettersen is a valuable member of our community and movements and should be allowed to participate fully without fear of harassment and defamation as we all should be. To achieve this safety, Ms. Pettersen will hire a lawyer to file a defamation lawsuit against WNPJ.

As you probably know, hiring a lawyer is very expensive. Ms. Pettersen is interviewing many different lawyers to find the best possible match.

Through shopping around the Wisconsin legal community, Ms.Pettersen has found a $5000 retainer to be standard for the work required to bring forth her legal action. She cannot, however, afford this on her own which is why community monetary support is needed.

The funds will be held in trust and any amount her lawyer does not use will be returned to Ms. Pettersen. From there, based on the percentage of the total raised that you personally contributed, Ms. Pettersen will return any unused funds. Please consider donating! This is a great chance for feminists and feminist allies to give material support to another unwavering feminist.


Feminists on March 8th in Melbourne, Australia. Renee Gerlich holding up the same sign Ms. Pettersen held up at the International Women's march in Madison on January 21st in a gesture of solidarity.

(This fundraiser has been organized by Ms. Pettersen's friend, Will Falk. Mr. Falk lives in Utah. Ms. Pettersen has exclusive access to the funds and can withdraw them through GoFundMe's process.)
+ Read More
Dear Donors to the Support Women's Rights/Free Speech Gofundme,

Thank you so much for giving to this important campaign to defend women's rights and free speech. We have some big news. Ms. Pettersen got up at the spoken-word open-mic at Cinema Systers Film Festival in Paducah, Kentucky and told her story. Afterwards, an anonymous private donor wrote her a check for $3,500 to aid in taking legal action against WNPJ's defaming statement. This amount will not be added to our gofundme page because the donor gave Ms. Pettersen permission to use the funds as she sees fit to help the campaign in any way.

In light of this large donation, we are ready to move forward! Ms. Pettersen has signed a retainer agreement with Michael Anderson and his firm in Madison, at Axley. We are choosing to continue to accept funds through the gofundme page as we have been advised that there may be additional costs that exceed $5,000.

In light of this news, we'd like to ask you a question: If the total costs are less than the amount we raise for Ms. Pettersen's legal costs, would you support giving the leftover money to the Women's Liberation Front (WoLF) that still owes thousands of dollars to their lawyer for their legal battles? You can read more about WoLF's legal actions here: http://womensliberationfront.org/wolf-v-u-s/
Theirs is a worthy and similar cause to ours on a different front.

Thank you for answering this question by July 15th so that we can change the wording of the fundraiser accordingly. If you have any questions, thoughts or concerns about this fundraiser, please don't hesitate to contact me.

~ Will Falk
Gofundme Fundraiser Organizer
+ Read More
Cries of 'hateful bigotry' and "TERF" will not stop Ms. Pettersen from defending herself against these types of attacks. It is precisely comments like these that prove that she has become a local target of defamation. Nathan McQuinlan used to work with Ms. Pettersen on promoting her music via web support. His comment is a perfect example of the kind of backlash Ms. Pettersen faces from her peers simply for saying that men are not women and that it is socially and politically significant to assert the claim that they are. Ms. Pettersen has never targeted a trans-identified person online or off with hate speech, campaigns to get them fired from their jobs or evicted from their housing. Ms. Pettersen believes that people identifying as trans can do so without treading on the rights of women. She is in favor of trans-identified individuals having the right to freely participate in society as full citizens without harassment or threat. Stop targeting Ms. Pettersen with real hate speech and vitriol! Listen to her feminist podcasts she creates with a team of women willing to take a stand! Support women's rights to be full citizens!
Real Hate Speech
What the Neighbors Say
+ Read More
Help us to make the $1,000 mark this weekend! As you think about making a donation, please consider checking out the beautiful music Ms. Pettersen creates for friends and family to create solidarity and strengthen our movements for real social change. Ms. Pettersen was going to perform this song at the environmentalist fundraiser she helped to organize last February. Due to the silencing tactics used by gender identity activists, Ms. Pettersen was unable to share this song at the event. https://soundcloud.com/thistleandthorns/groundbreaking-joy
+ Read More
When you donate to this campaign, not only are you economically supporting an important law suit that will defend the rights of women and free speech, but you are also supporting the new work Ms. Pettersen is doing since having her feminist radio proposal refused at the community radio station. Check out Women's Liberation Radio News! Ms. Pettersen put together this collective of 6 women for the purpose of creating feminist media so that silenced women can have a voice. https://wlrnmedia.wordpress.com/
WLRN
+ Read More
Read a Previous Update

$1,730 of $5,000 goal

Raised by 52 people in 12 months
Created May 12, 2017
Will Falk
on behalf of Thistle Pettersen
Your share could be bringing in donations. Sign in to track your impact.
   Connect
We will never post without your permission.
In the future, we'll let you know if your sharing brings in any donations.
We weren't able to connect your Facebook account. Please try again later.
$30
Anonymous
11 months ago
1
1
$20
Anonymous
11 months ago
1
1
$10
Anonymous
11 months ago
1
1
$30
Anonymous
11 months ago
1
1
or
Or, use your email…
Use My Email Address
By continuing, you agree with the GoFundMe
terms and privacy policy
There's an issue with this Campaign Organizer's account. Our team has contacted them with the solution! Please ask them to sign in to GoFundMe and check their account. Return to Campaign

Are you ready for the next step?
Even a $5 donation can help!
Donate Now Not now
Connect on Facebook to keep track of how many donations your share brings.
We will never post on Facebook without your permission.