The women’s movement is rising—from the day of Trump’s election, millions of outraged women engaged in acts of resistance, big and small. From organizing our coworkers, going out on strike and shutting down the streets in protest, to speaking with our friends, relatives and sisters in our communities, so many women have said “no more” to Donald Trump.
But more than that, many have also stood up in resistance to all sexism and bigotry overall: Donald Trump is the symptom of the problem, not the problem itself.
This year, International Women’s Day demonstrations rose from both lines of struggle. In Los Angeles, two days of protest both held up IWD tradition of militancy and broad women’s struggle. The first was on Sunday and the second on Wednesday—on IWD itself—when a strike was called in the tradition of IWD (originally International Working Women’s Day).
March 5 in the streets
On March 5, ANSWER Los Angeles joined LA International Women’s Day march and rally where nearly 1,300 people attended. On a very important day for all women, a few drops of rain did not stop us from marching.
Women from AF3IRM convened Sunday’s march and thought it was necessary to march against Trump, but also for Black lives, immigrant women, Muslim women, and LGBTQ women. In addition, we demanded genuine education, fair housing, reproductive rights, and liberation for all.
While groups gathered to set tables with outreach materials in front of the Los Angeles Police Department, many people of all races and genders gathered as well, including families and their children. All and every kind of people were part of the march to commemorate International Women’s Day.
As the crowd started to march, the chanting also started. People chanted, “When women are under attack, what do we do? Stand up fight back” and “One! We are the people. Two! A little bit louder. Three! We want justice for our sisters!” The march stopped for a short rally in front of the ICE detention center and ended with live music back in front of the LAPD.
March 8: IWD Strike
Wednesday saw women and those fighting for women’s liberation walking off the job and turning out in solidarity. The following statement was delivered by Carolyn Gomez on behalf of the ANSWER Coalition at the March 8 demonstration:
“Today is to commemorate the social, economic and political gains women have made through struggle and militant organizing. We were able to win the right to vote, access to abortion and so many other victories by standing up, not waiting for a handout or for the politicians’ help.
“Today is special because we are standing in solidarity with women in over 40 different countries across the world. Women in almost every corner of the world face oppression, but repression breeds resistance—that’s true here and now, and it’s true every day around the world. Today is to celebrate us, our resistance! Hundreds of thousands of women are organizing to shut down their economy by vowing to abstain from consumption from big corporate stores, those who are able to take off work are on strike, many are attending rallies in their cities, while everyone is encouraged to show solidarity by wearing red.
“We are engaging in struggle with women on an international scale and we must continue to think about liberation for all women who come in all shapes and forms! Liberation for women is not just for those who have a vagina!
“In a society where women are not earning living wages, are sexualized from a young age, where violence against women is rampant and our transgender sisters are murdered by bigots, in a society where immigrants and refugees are not given full amnesty and Muslims are banned, we are not liberated! Liberation for women will not happen until all oppressed and marginalized communities are free from oppression and violence!
“As a result of the oppressive system women have been fighting back in the anti-war movement, the movement for reproductive healthcare and rights, Black Lives Matter, the movement for LGBTQ liberation, the labor movement, the movement for Indigenous rights and NO DAPL, the movement for immigrants
“NOW however is the time for all of these movements to unify together.
“The system has created the inequalities, racism, homophobia and bigotry that are rampant. It is important to remember that Black and Brown transwomen were being murdered in the streets before the Trump administration, by its friends and its supporters.
“But it goes deeper than who’s in Washington or who’s in city hall.
“Women in the Middle East and Africa were being bombed before this administration. Immigrants were being deported by the millions BEFORE this administration, by both the Democrats and Republicans who have only gained from the suffering of people while putting profits before people. But they’ll turn around and ask for our vote anyway.
“In fact, some politicians think they can get in at the top floor of this movement, but we know better. They’re afraid of us and our movement—that’s why those forces called today a “privilege strike.” We say no: that we can only look to ourselves for liberation, that strikes are acts of courage by those who have something to gain. Most often that’s the most vulnerable among us. So I’m excited to see everyone who is out today to stand up without fear, and I’d especially like to thank the organizers.
“I want to end by posing this question to us here today: How can we combat the oppression of this system? *
“We must fight oppression with solidarity! Today is a great start and we will continue to unify against this Trump agenda and the oppressive system. ALL POWER TO THE PEOPLE!
“Thanks again y LA LUCHA SIGUE!”