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Senator Wendy Davis puts time with 11 hours of filibuster to stop anti-abortion bill | The independent

It’s rare to reach global stardom overnight wearing pink running shoes – and not going anywhere. Senator Wendy Davis stood for nearly 11 straight hours, speaking bluntly – or even using the toilet – to block a Texas abortion bill that would have restricted women’s rights to rule their own bodies . At one point, she put on a back brace, boosting her status as an instant hero. As she triumphantly came home in the early hours of the morning, strangers asked, who exactly is she?

Wendy Davis has always fought to be heard after a life made for cinema. Now 50, she was raised in Fort Worth by a single mother who worked in an ice cream shop to support four children. At 14, Davis was selling newspaper subscriptions and orange juice in a mall’s food court. At 19, she too was a single mother and lived in a trailer park with her daughter after a divorce.

But Davis was smart and, as Texas Republicans know the hard way, not one to quit. When a coworker handed her a brochure for a nearby community college, she saw an escape. She enrolled and then got loans to transfer to college, where she finished first in her class. No one in his family had graduated. After remarrying and having a second child, Davis won a place at Harvard Law School, traveling to Boston for three years – and graduating with honors.

A career in law followed. Davis started out as a modest clerk before setting up his own firm, specializing in political affairs. She served for nine years on Fort Worth City Council and helped create thousands of jobs in her county through economic development projects.

In 2008, Davis narrowly beat a Republican rival to become one of 31 Texas senators, including 12 Democrats. She was re-elected in 2012, defying Republican lawmakers who had tried to pass electoral boundary changes that would have seen her defeated. Earlier that year, his office in Fort Worth was burnt down. It had been empty. The perpetrator was then identified as a homeless person with mental health issues.

During her tenure, she sponsored bills on cancer prevention, payday loans, sexual assault rights and transparency in government. And she knows the law surrounding filibuster. In 2011, she tried to flout a state budget that took $ 5 billion from public schools, forcing Governor Rick Perry to hold a special session. She then got a lot of the money back. Perry called her a “show horse” after the stunt gained national notoriety from Davis, which led to speculation about a future candidacy for a senior position. Such discourse has reached a new level today.

Perry is still the boss in Texas after failing to win the Republican presidential nomination. He was close to signing the abortion bill and might still have a chance. He can bet Davis will be there with the coaches ready.

Other jobs where length matters …

Wendy Davis’ heroic 11am obstruction was certainly something. But how does that compare to other jobs where you get up and talk for a long time? George Osborne spoke for 50 minutes about his spending review today. But his efforts are nothing compared to Congressman Henry Brougham, whose six-hour law reform speech on February 7, 1828, was the longest in House of Commons history.

Teaching is another profession accustomed to stand’n’talk. An English teacher told me, “On average, I am up at least four hours a day in class. In true Nora Batty style, several coworkers have lumpy tights / varicose veins.

Other efforts can lead to hours of standing and talking – your street preachers, your tour guides, your 24-hour news correspondents. None of this compares to Frenchman Lluis Colet, who spoke nonstop. for 124 hours (five days) in 2009, wandering about Salvador Dali, Catalan culture and more to enter Guinness World Records for the longest nonstop speech in history. Beat this, Wendy.