March 9, 2011
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Angela Bartolome, AF3IRM Los Angeles Coordinator
AF3IRM LOS ANGELES COMMEMORATED INTERNATIONAL WOMEN'S DAY 2011 WITH MILITANT ACTION
MARCH 8: One hundred years after the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire, where 146 garment workers, mostly women, perished, the Association of Filipinas, Feminists Fighting Imperialism, Re-feudalization, & Marginalization (AF3IRM) called attention to the continued devaluing of women's lives worldwide by hosting a protest - March 8th Against the War at the Westwood Federal Building in Los Angeles.
As women of the world in Algeria, Egypt, Jorday, Bahrain, Libya, Tunisia, Yemen, and here in Wisconsin, Ohio, and Indiana are taking to the streets to protest fascist regimes, the curtailing of their rights as workers, AF3IRM called for women in Los Angeles to protest on March 8th in Los Angeles in solidarity, and to demand justice for themselves as well. This unprecedented economic crisis we face in the United States has doubly impacted women, who make up the majority of the world's exploited workers, of the dispossessed and the disenfranchised. The war budget of $700 million per day being used to wage wars abroad while the women of the U.S. suffer cannot be tolerated any longer. "We in AF3IRM felt compelled to call the protest. As a social worker, I see the budgets of public programs slashed, while we as women workers struggle to pay rent and just get by," said Angela Bartolome, AF3IRM LA coordinator. "If we as the LA chapter had such similar experiences: being laid off, teachers pink-slipped, funding for the public hospitals we work at being cut, or even not being able to find a job or pay tuition at all, we know that this is being felt widely and deeply. We had to call this protest," Bartolome added.
The protest began with chanting by several organizations, was joined by large CODEPINK, ANSWER contingents, and ended with a program. Women from endorsing organizations spoke about how the war and the war budget affects their every day lives - from a teacher speaking on behalf of the Association of Raza Educators sharing her experiences with lay-offs and the militarization of their school, to a veteran sharing the abuse she and other women faced while serving in the U.S. military. The program was closed by the group singing "Bread and Roses," led by Wilma De Castro of the Mariposa Center for Change, an affirmation by all participants that we as women will defeat the imperialists, and that our true place is is at the head of the struggle for the liberation of all humanity.
This action was been endorsed by: the Alliance for Just and Lasting Peace in the Philippines, A.N.S.W.E.R Anti-War Coalition, Comite de Mujeres Patricia Marin (Union del Barrio), KmB Pro-People Youth, the Mariposa Center for Change, Association of Raza Educators (A.R.E.), CODEPINK, USC International Social Work Caucus, USC Asian-Pacific Islander Social Work Caucus, USC Social Action Caucus, October 22nd Coalition, the Party for Socialism and Liberation, Mujeres de Maiz, the Freedom Socialist Party, Fuerza Mundial Collaborative, and ITC/Pueblos en Movimiento, (International Tribunal of Conscience, MxGlobal), Socialist Party Los Angeles, INCITE!.