On March 11, around one hundred people gathered in the Fruitvale district in Oakland, Ca. The U.S. Chapter of the Philippines-based organization Gabriela hosted the event which had speakers from many other local organizations. Migrants Unite, Mujeres Unidas y Activas, International Women’s Alliance and The Party for Socialism and Liberation were also in attendance, among many other organizations.
To open the march, folks gathered around to take in the Danzantes (Aztec dancers). Speakers fired up the audience with speeches about the women’s struggle and the need for change. Signs featured slogans such as “End Violence Against Women,” “No to Bigotry, War, and Capitalism” and “End Israeli Occupation,” just to name a few.
One speaker was Win-Mon Kyi, a volunteer for the Alliance of South Asians Taking Action, who captured the audience with a powerful statement about defeating fascism and sexism within the South Asian community in the Bay Area, in the United States and around the globe. Speaking with Liberation, Kyi noted, “We must continue to highlight the international and working component of International Women’s Day.”
The marchers stood together in solidarity for working women’s rights, as the day was founded for working women, by working women, to highlight the hardships in the workplace.
“We are out here to rise to protect our communities, to resist state violence against our bodies, to unite for genuine liberation for all peoples,” said Laura Coelho, a Gabriela volunteer. “We know that it is trans women, especially trans women of color that are disproportionately impacted by a discriminatory police state and we’re here to resist state violence.”