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8TH MARCH 2017 DEMO BEGIN: 16:30 WARSCHAUER STR. CORNER REVALER STR.(Demo will pass through Skalitzer Strasse and end in Oranienplatz) ...

International Strike on 8th March

Beyond Lean-In: For a Feminism of the 99% and a Militant International Strike on March 8

The massive women’s marches of January 21st may mark the beginning of a new wave of militant feminist struggle. But what exactly will be its focus? In our view, it is not enough to oppose Trump and his aggressively misogynistic, homophobic, transphobic and racist policies; we also need to target the ongoing neoliberal attack on social provision and labor rights. While Trump’s blatant misogyny was the immediate trigger for the massive response on January 21st, the attack on women (and all working people) long predates his administration. Women’s conditions of life, especially those of women of color and of working, unemployed and migrant women, have steadily deteriorated over the last 30 years, thanks to financialization and corporate globalization. Lean-in feminism and other variants of corporate feminism have failed the overwhelming majority of us, who do not have access to individual self-promotion and advancement and whose conditions of life can be improved only through policies that defend social reproduction, secure reproductive justice, and guarantee labor rights. As we see it, the new wave of women’s mobilization must address all these concerns in a frontal way. It must be a feminism for the 99%.

The kind of feminism we seek is already emerging internationally, in struggles across the globe: from the women’s strike in Poland against the abortion ban to the women’s strikes and marches in Latin America against male violence; from the massive women’s demonstration of the last November in Italy to the protests and the women’s strike in defense of reproductive rights in South Korea and Ireland. What is striking about these mobilizations is that several of them combined struggles against male violence with opposition to the casualization of labor and wage inequality, while also opposing homophobia, transphobia and xenophobic immigration policies. Together, they herald a new international feminist movement with an expanded agenda–at once anti-racist, anti-imperialist, anti-heterosexist, and anti-neoliberal.
We want to contribute to the development of this new, more expansive feminist movement.
As a first step, we propose to help build an international strike against male violence and in defense of reproductive rights on March 8th. In this, we join with feminist groups from around thirty countries who have called for such a strike. The idea is to mobilize women, including trans-women, and all who support them in an international day of struggle–a day of striking, marching, blocking roads, bridges, and squares, abstaining from domestic, care and sex work, boycotting, calling out misogynistic politicians and companies, striking in educational institutions. These actions are aimed at making visible the needs and aspirations of those whom lean-in feminism ignored: women in the formal labor market, women working in the sphere of social reproduction and care, and unemployed and precarious working women.
In embracing a feminism for the 99%, we take inspiration from the Argentinian coalition Ni Una Menos. Violence against women, as they define it, has many facets: it is domestic violence, but also the violence of the market, of debt, of capitalist property relations, and of the state; the violence of discriminatory policies against lesbian, trans and queer women, the violence of state criminalization of migratory movements, the violence of mass incarceration, and the institutional violence against women’s bodies through abortion bans and lack of access to free healthcare and free abortion. Their perspective informs our determination to oppose the institutional, political, cultural, and economic attacks on Muslim and migrant women, on women of color and working and unemployed women, on lesbian, gender nonconforming, and trans-women.

The women’s marches of January 21st have shown that in the United States too a new feminist movement may be in the making. It is important not to lose momentum. Let us join together on March 8 to strike, walk out, march and demonstrate. Let us use the occasion of this international day of action to be done with lean-feminism and to build in its place a feminism for the 99%, a grass-roots, anti-capitalist feminism–a feminism in solidarity with working women, their families, and their allies throughout the world. 

is a professor of philosophy at Hunter College and the CUNY Graduate Center and the author of Visible Identities: Race, Gender, and the Self. She is currently at work on a new book on sexual violence, and another on decolonizing epistemology.
is an Assistant Professor of Philosophy at the New School for Social Research in New York and a feminist and socialist activist. She is the author of the author of Dangerous Liaisons: The Marriages and Divorces of Marxism and Feminism.
teaches history at Purdue University. Her first book, The Sentinels of Culture: Class, Education, and the Colonial Intellectual in Bengal (Oxford, 2005), is about the obsession with culture and education in the middle class. Her work has been published in journals such as the Journal of Asian Studies, South Asia Research and New Left Review, and she is currently working on a book project entitled Uncanny Histories: Fear, Superstition and Reason in Colonial Bengal.
Nancy Fraser is Loeb Professor of Philosophy and Politics at the New School for Social Research. Her books include Redistribution or Recognition and Fortunes of Feminism.
is an assistant professor in Princeton University's Center for African American Studies and the author of From #BlackLivesMatter to Black Liberation.

is the associate director of the Arab American Action Network and leader of that group's Arab Women's Committee.
is Distinguished Professor Emerita, University of California Santa Cruz and a member of the jury for the 2012 Russell Tribunal on Palestine.
is an activist, writer, historian, and professor at the University of Illinois at Chicago. She is the author of Ella Baker and the Black Freedom Movement, the editor-in-chief of SOULS, and President of the National Women's Studies Association.


How Was the March 8 International Women’s Strike Woven Together?

Bread and Roses
Mill workers in the Bread and Roses strike of 1912. Lawrence, MA.
Last October 19, the call for a women’s strike to protest the femicide of sixteen year old Lucía Pérez, who was stabbed to death, connected male violence with forms of labor, economic, social, and territorial violence and precarization, and denounced them as a new “pedagogy of cruelty” on women’s bodies (in a scene with undeniable colonial echoes).
That femicide occurred the day after the 31st National Women’s Meeting in Rosario (Argentina), in which 70,000 women participated and, in a closing march, occupied forty street blocks. The meeting only appeared in the press because it was repressed at the end. At the beginning of that same month, women in Poland convoked a national strike rejecting the changes that were being imposed in local legislation to further restrict access to legal abortion.
Following the October 19 Women’s Strike and the formation of alliances of women from different parts of the world, the call emerged for an International Women’s Strike on March 8.
The precursors to the massive demonstrations against femicides under the rallying cry Not One Less (#NiUnaMenos), which took place on June 32015 and 2016 in Argentina, had demonstrated a strong mobilizing power. And over the last year, a network of coordination between different Latin American countries was already being woven.
The October 19 Strike was the first women’s strike in the history of Argentina and Latin America. A strike was called for one hour, in all possible spaces: workplaces, educational spaces, domestic spaces, neighborhood ones, etc. The following mobilization was truly enormous: more than 250,000 people in Buenos Aires and more marches all over the country (#NosotrasParamos). Latin America was rapidly connected through the strike call.
Using the tool of the strike allowed for highlighting the economic fabric of patriarchal violence. And it was also an enormous demonstration of power because we removed ourselves from the place of the victim to position ourselves as political subjects and producers of value. We complicated the category of women workers and made it clear that work is also domestic and informal, and includes forms of self-managed association. As the slogan Ni Una Menos had already been taken up in various Latin American countries, the October 19 mobilizations were quickly replicated, in connection with the Argentinean call and the demands of each country against patriarchal violence.
The organization of assemblies, acts, and mobilizations for November 25 (taking advantage of another appointment on the women’s calendar: the day for the elimination of violence against women) accelerated the work of transversal connection between many countries, exceeding the usual initiatives on that date.
A new geography was drawn going from from Ciudad Juárez to Moscow, from Guayaquil to Warsaw and Sao Paolo, from Rome to San Salvador de Jujuy. The local and global fabric produced a new type of internationalism that was seen in the networks and in the streets – new practice of feminist internationalism.
An initiative is being coordinated through Facebook – the Paro Internacional de Mujeres/International Women’s Strike (PIM) – by a group of women in Poland, who have been joined by activists from various countries in Europe and other regions of the world. Along with a website, the Facebook group is also circulating a petition to the United Nations and a manifesto.
On January 23, Ni Una Menos launched its own call, with different contents from the petition to the United Nations and the PIM manifesto. We understand that the manifesto has to be nourished based on concrete situations and struggles, and linked to the construction of a dynamic that demands systematic changes and combats the dominant neoliberal, neoconservative, racist, and patriarchal model. We believe that we are in a process of accumulation of a new type: where struggles resonate and work by gaining strength from intersectionality.
The Women’s March in the United States on January 21 is part of this cycle that demonstrates a new form of feminism: the overlapping movements of women, trans people, and migrants refuse to remain subjected to the empire of new forms of capitalist exploitation. Following that march, there is now a call from organizers to join the March 8 strike.
We are committed not only to virtual coordination, but also to patiently weaving a new fabric, body-to-body and in the streets. We open up dialogues and work every day in constructing networks with all the countries of Latin America and with other parts of the world.
On February 3, in an open and heterogeneous assembly, all the currents of the women’s movement in Argentina agreed upon a call to labor unions to support the women’s strike initiative. We appeal precisely to an interpellation of the question of work, and do so in a feminist key: we are not only talking about waged and formal workers, but also inscribing our critique, our demands, and our strike in a framework that fully challenges the precarization of our lives and the criminalization of our autonomy.
We believe that the multiplicity of calls for the March 8 International Women’s Strike becomes powerful when it highlights a lineage of popular struggles and the women’s movement in a new way, proposing here and now the world in which we want to live, and linking it and situating it with trajectories and struggles from each territory.
– Translated by Liz Mason-Deese

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