New York, 1979 – March on Times Square

New York, 1979 – March on Times Square

And the erosion of civil liberties continues in 2022.

The rolling back of voting rights in states across the country, legislation prohibiting schools from discussing topics of gender identity or sexual orientation (aka ‘Don’t Say Gay’), educational gag orders to censor teachers, and draconian mechanisms to facilitate book banning in school districts. And in a historic and far-reaching decision, the U.S. Supreme Court recently reversed Roe v. Wade, declaring that the constitutional right to abortion, upheld for nearly a half century, no longer exists.

Furthermore, in a concurring opinion, Justice Thomas said the legal rationale for the Roe v. Wade decision could be applied to overturn other major cases, including those that legalized gay marriage, barred the criminalization of consensual homosexual conduct, and protected the rights of married people to have access to contraception.

It’s repressive pushback that’s been going on for decades. This week, we look back at the 1979 March on Times Square protest against pornography – and a selection of pictures from other demonstrations that took place during the so-called ‘golden age.’

The Rialto Report takes a few weeks off for its summer vacation. Happy protesting, happy holidays… see you on the beach – and on the streets.


Valerie HarperValerie Harper protests, mid 1970s


ChicagoChicago, 1974


Anti-PornToronto, 1975


Anti-pornWashington, 1975


ProtestsCapitol steps, 1977


Madison, Univeristy of WisconsinMadison, Univeristy of Wisconsin, late 1970s


Anti-pornMadison, Univeristy of Wisconsin, late 1970s



Anti-PornProtest against Robert Mapplethorpe, late 1970s


ProtestsCapitol steps, 1977


Washington, 1977


Times SquareTimes Square, 1977



March on Times Square, 1979 – Anti-Pornography Demonstration

March on Times Square, 1979



Golden Age


Times Square


New York


Times Square


Times Square, 1979



Times Square, 1979


Times Square, 1979


Anti Porn


Times Square, 1979


Times Square, 1979


Times Square, 1979


Times Square, 1979


Times Square, 1979


Times Square, 1979


Times Square, 1979




Times Square, 1979


Times Square, 1979


Times Square


Times SquareWith Gloria Steinem and Bella Abzug




Times Square


Times Square


Andrea DworkinAndrea Dworkin


Times Square


Times Square


Times Square


New York


Times Square




Times Square






Washington, 1984


PornographyPompano Beach, 1987


  • Posted On: 3rd July 2022
  • By: Ashley West
  • Under: Articles


  1. Rik K · July 3, 2022 Reply

    In the faces of these protesters, I see a complete non-comprehension and condemnation of male sexuality. And a complete disinterest in understanding male sexuality. It is the mirror image of the very things that men have (often rightly) stood accused of.

  2. GMC · July 3, 2022 Reply

    And to think this roll back is very much due to a truly valueless man, 100% sleaze, with no conviction other than the need for power and praise — the worst kind of libertine — who catered to the mob of entitled and aggrieved comic book patriots who wanted ‘their America’ back in order to that he, the sleazeiest of the sleazy, the man with no soul, could enact revenge on the black president who made fun of him while calling him out on his BS. Elections have consequences. What’s going on now, is one of them. The furthering division is another. All because uglies thought it and think it a good idea to elect a witless orangutang who needs to be stroked in order to feel alive to lead what was the greatest country on earth.

    • bob dobbs · July 3, 2022 Reply

      I’d actually argue that TFG just let loose the far-right-evangelicals – the cristofascists.

      *Those* were the people that drove previous hysterias over adult content. “Think of the children”, while the clergy were raping those same children. “Porn = Rape!” while the cops were raping prostitutes. “God is angry about Porn!” while there is not now, nor then, nor ever, a “God”.

      F*ck Religion. Remove it, and all people too weak to live in polite society without fear of punishment by a faux deity, and maybe, just maybe, we can make some actual progress.

      Til then? We’ll continue to be screwed by religious zealots who want nothing less than full control over everyone’s thoughts and deeds.

    • james · July 3, 2022 Reply

      no. this started after Watergate. the gop set about taking control from local level up over decades.

    • Rik K · July 3, 2022 Reply

      Perfectly said!

    • anne · July 4, 2022 Reply

      Please dont disparage the beautiful, intelligent (and critically endangered) orangutan. Chump is a talking cheeto not worth listening to, ever. thank you.

    • julynos · July 5, 2022 Reply

      Pure capitalism
      Pure corporations
      Country in total decadence

  3. jamesb · July 3, 2022 Reply

    as long as women earn less than men for equal work they are being coerced into commercial sex. “you could be a vet assistant, but for real money try prostitution”.

    I have no criticism of sex industry but it should be selected not backed into.

    • Jeff C · July 5, 2022 Reply

      You could say the same thing about working in general. A lot of people are in jobs that they despise or expose them to abusive situations (injury and health risks, harassment, unwarranted stress).

  4. Jeff Robertson · July 3, 2022 Reply

    Awesome Article Keep Up Good work

    • Emanon · July 4, 2022 Reply

      The picture marked Washington 1977 is actually Highland Park, Michigan. The bookstore is still in business in 2022 and adjacent to a nude dancing establishment.

  5. Zack · July 3, 2022 Reply

    I do think the next GOP pandering to Evangelicals will be to curtail access to adult material in the form of mandatory internet registration to access it. Concurrently, conservatives will seek to close adult book stores/entertainment under the ruse of a “public health” hazard.

  6. LT · July 3, 2022 Reply

    Dear Rialto Team,

    Thank you for sharing these amazing images! With no doubt, the photos will inspire a lively discussion board. Enjoy a restful break from your delightfully thorough and truth-based reporting. The picture that evoked deep memories for me was the one of Andrea Dworkin sporting her signature overalls. Claiming that she was the voice of the “repressed women of Porn,” the Golden Age Goddesses (both straight and gay) fought fearlessly against Andrea’s control for power by becoming even hotter and nastier, while also taking ownership of the the evolving pornographic industry. RIP Andrea (2005). Your brilliant mind and ideations are beyond respected, but will always be forever countered. Perhaps one modern day “poet” who is an acclaimed singer/songwriter spells it out the best:

    Who run the world? Girls!
    Who run this mother? Girls!

    – Beyonce (Run the World, 2011)

  7. L. A. Gothro · July 3, 2022 Reply

    Who run the world? Girls!
    Who run this mother? Girls!

    – Beyonce (Run the World, 2011)

    She’s co-opted herself into the Patriarchy to be a star. And how many people wrote that song – six people. Only two of them female. Not a great example of female empowerment, IMNSHO.

    We don’t run the world now, no – but we did once. I don’t think we could repair the damage man has done.

    As for the photos: I was 15 that year, and had NO clue what was going on and how it would affect my future. I think a lot of women wanted to be masculine-aggressive because they felt that fighting fire with fire was the only way to do things. Yeah, see how well *that* worked out.

    Porn’s been around for a loooooooong time, and until humans resolve their moral problems – NOT holding my breath here – it’s going to be around and above-ground. If I had answers, I’d be working at the Mayo Clinic, and where I’m at is def not the Mayo Clinic!

    Hope your time off is safe and fun and all that jazz!

  8. dc · July 4, 2022 Reply

    I forgot Rialto is in NYC!… The is no curtailing of voter rights. Ask someone you think is “curtailed” and they will laugh you out into the street for your condescension. New voter laws are more liberal than Delaware’s – Biden’s home state. States that want abortion (NY, CA. NJ) will double down – 2 for 1, coupons, etc. States that don’t – MS, AL, etc will do first trimester only. Nothing has really changed. Even Notorious RBG thought the decision was bad law. Let’s not get crazy about it. We went from one nation to two – now to 50. Where policies, taxes, and social issues will be competitive against each state for population and representation in Congress. No woman is going to run to their supervisor for an abortion weekend or HR! It’s private and personal. Any company touting this is doing it for marketing. They ran the numbers – pregnancy leave and a rise in insurance premiums vs a weekend in SF? Meet the new boss…. same as the old boss. BTW – I”m pro choice. I just see the matrix code in the walls… and don’t suffer from trump derangement. Christ – it’s old…

    Let’s keep RR what it is – a superb golden age info center for adult. I read some articles that need to be in magazines and books here! April and Ashley might have found the Holy Grail or Nazi gold by now if they wanted to

    • James Park · July 4, 2022 Reply

      “I forgot Rialto is in New York”.

      The dumbest opener I’ve ever read – along with “I forgot the sun shines”, “I forgot water is wet”, and “I forgot sugar is sweet.”

      The Rialto Report is literally based on New York, about New York: it’s written on the home page. Are you brain dead?

      Can’t be bothered to read the rest of your nonsense. You obviously haven’t got two brain cells to rub together.

      • Sam P Labon · July 4, 2022 Reply

        And the second sentence makes no more sense either: “The is no curtailing…”

        Another illiterate right winger.

  9. J. Walter Puppybreath · July 4, 2022 Reply

    Society (and the planet) is going down in flames, but keep up the excellent work, RR!

  10. Jeff C · July 5, 2022 Reply

    The morality police have always been around trying to push their vision of the world onto others. As was stated in the text, the pushback against the opening up of American society to other points of view and lifestyles in the 1960s and 1970s has been happening for several decades. The various forces that constitute the morality police (conservative groups, religious organizations, individual zealots, etc.) just happen to have attained a high level of political control at the moment. It will always be a fight to be able to access the reading and viewing material of your choice, and a new round in that political and cultural fight is opening up now. The pessimistic side of my nature tells me that the divisions are only going to grow.

  11. Art Williams · July 6, 2022 Reply

    The feature image is of the Zanzibar Tavern which still exists as a strip club here in Toronto. Apparently, pornography is here to stay.

  12. The Swanage · August 19, 2022 Reply

    A truly astounding array of photos. Great job as always RR!

  13. Justice · February 1, 2024 Reply

    Thank you for the incredible article.

    Sadly, we have lost our priorities as feminists… But I hope more and more wake up.

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