March 9, 2011
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Olive Panes, AF3IRM San Diego Coordinator
AF3IRM SAN DIEGO COMMEMORATED INTERNATIONAL WOMEN'S DAY 2011 WITH CANDLELIGHT VIGIL AND PROTEST AT MILITARY BASE
Tuesday, March 8, 2011—On the 100th year of International Women’s Day, AF3IRM San Diego held a candlelight vigil and a speak out against militarism outside of the Miramar Airbase. Beginning the protest, they spoke of the continued U.S. wars and occupation, the devastating effects on women and children, and the mistreatment of women in the military as their allies Comite de Mujeres Patricia Marin and Collectivo Zapatista echoed their own demands.
Chants were shouted by each and every person present, from students, to mothers, to allies, as the protest took the streets of the surrounding airbase with signs held up high. Everyone marched up and down the grounds for everyone to see the demands and stories of women who have suffered under the military institution. With 1 in 3 women in the military being raped or sexually assaulted, a gross lack in services, and the war budget making it impossible to fund any new programs to address these inhumane conditions for women, AF3IRM demanded the end all U.S. wars, military occupations worldwide, justice for the women around the world sexually assaulted by US military servicemen and to end the rape, sexual assault, poverty draft of women in the US military.
With the streets dark and lights only coming from side buildings, cars and candles held, spirits of the protesters were encouraged by the honking support of cars passing by as everyone shouted the chants proudly conducted by the San Diego coordinator and allies. They made their voice specially loud and clear as they were close to the front gates of the airbase as the cars and motorcycles of military personnel drove out of the base. As the rally was coming to a close, the chants were repeated, each time getting louder and louder to leave an echo stating this is not the end to it all, but just another mark to show the power of the people against imperialism. To end the night strongly, a call and response saying, “MAKIBAKA, HUWAG MATAKOT!” was yelled out meaning, to fight and without fear, because the fight in struggle will continue with the womyn and people in the frontline until the demands are heard.