On March 8, International Women’s Day, when people all over the globe rally for women’s rights, organizers of the historic January, 2017 women’s marches are calling for a strike. They want to show the country what a day without a woman would look like: “In the spirit of women and their allies coming together for love and liberation, we call for a Day Without a Woman.” (Visit www.womensmarch.com/womensday for more information.)
Women today are the numerical majority in society, in the working class and among the growing numbers of destitute here and globally. Consequently, women’s position makes them key to social change. And, the conditions for change do exist today.
Capitalism, based on the drive for maximum profit, creates destitution. The only solution is to join with the already dispossessed to get rid of this dying system. As Jane Addams said, “The good we secure for ourselves is precarious and uncertain until it is secured for all of us…” With women playing a conscious role, a revolutionary movement for a new society can be forged. Herein lies the importance of the powerful women’s movement that is arising today
Following are quotes from some of the women who are leading our movement:
“A couple of years ago, myself and members of my organization, Shawnee Hills and Hollers, stood with the Rocky Branch community of Saline County, Harrisburg, Illinois and witnessed a 200 year old forest of 1000 acres clear cut for Peabody’s surface mining. Two weeks of loud machines. All our relatives losing their home-community; members crying on our shoulders in helplessness. An activist can be overwhelmed with despair. I don’t fall in this trap. I become more fearless. What gives me endurance are the human beings I see standing beside me and the living world struggling to sustain. ~Georgia De La Garza
“I represent over 500 Fast Food workers here in the city of Flint who make $8.50 per hour. We fought for that (minimum wage was $7.25/ hour). With Fast Food workers having the highest water rates in the nation, they cannot pay their water bills. They ask me, ‘what should we do?’ We don’t have a SHUTOFF policy. When I think about our water credits (per Michigan Gov. Snyder) being taken way in March, why are we not proactive? Protest does work. We will continue to fight. We are ready. ~Evangelist-Activist Lisia Williams
“Women are the backbone of our communities, whether it be in rural country homes or in the inner cities homes. Women are often the ones to stand up and protect their air, water and land while recognizing that they are protecting the future of all children, not only theirs. Women must remain strong and vigilant in their communities and especially so now. We must stand shoulder to shoulder even worlds apart to tend to our next generation. They truly deserve a better world than the one they are now slated to inherit. It’s up to us to secure a livable future for our kids and grandkids. We have our work cut out for us.” ~Maria Gunnoe organizes in opposition to Mountain Top Removal in Appalachia
“We refer to ourselves as Water Protectors, most definitely NOT protestors, but it’s that very word: water. As women we have this divine connection to the water, because we carry it in our wombs when we’re pregnant. So it’s no surprise that this mirrors Mother Earth and her water, her wombs, because we ARE nature. As women who stand among the men on the frontline, we possess a strength that comes from our core. We possess a purpose that trickles down our spines and runs through our veins. We accept our position as it was so gifted upon us from the stars when they determined our sex. We are the sacred divine feminine. And when our waters are endangered, our wombs are endangered; and when our wombs are endangered, our children are endangered.” ~Malia Hulleman, Young Water Protector at Standing Rock
“We knew that even if the Republican Party had lost, we would have been facing a more difficult challenge: the illusion of progress. In this new order, there are new opportunities and new challenges. As a committed group of people, we have shown we are here for the long haul and we are not afraid of taking on bigger challenges. When they come to get us and deport us, I say: bring it on! We won’t go quietly.” ~Marú Mora Villalpando, from the #Not1More deportation campaign in WA state. Excerpted from the Tribuno del Pueblo, sister publication to the People’s Tribune.
“Our Mother Earth is being desecrated by patriarchy and a hyper-militaristic police-state mentality that enacts violent attempts of controlling and exploiting all that is precious in the name of profit and ego. The brutality of the police-state and its modern day slavery is merely one permutation of a deeply sick system in dire need of meaningful transformation. With women as our foundation, it is our collective spirit, that is radically reimagining our way of living while actively creating a more just, sustainable, and peaceful world. I especially want to uplift the struggles of transgendered, indigenous, Black, immigrant, undocumented, Muslim, and all the many women of color, young and old, whose lives and bodies are continually targeted, especially by police and state violence. The world is with you.” ~Melissa Crosby, involved with Black Land and Liberation Initiative and other groups.
“I saw the joy of women who had never participated in something like the women’s march. Everyone was welcoming one another, enthusiasm was high, banners on various issues we face were everywhere. The attitude was, ‘This is my sister and we are not going to sit back and let this country go down to the corporations.’ Folks understand this is fascism. They agree we can’t let this continue. The young women know there won’t be a better society unless they participate. And, as angry as they are at this nut in the White House, they would have been ready if Hillary had gotten in, too! They know these times are different. They need education on how to change society into something new.” ~Marian Kramer, longtime civil rights and welfare rights leader.
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