NATIONAL–The women of AF3IRM closed out the 16 Days of Activism Against Gender Violence this week on International Human Rights Day. Never has it been clearer that women belong in the struggle and more importantly, at the head of the struggle for the liberation of humanity. These #16Days reminded us of the absolute necessity of women’s activism and the need to keep pushing forward.
AF3IRM chapters across the nation engaged in educational discussions, open mics, vigils, online actions, banner drops, and met with other like-minded women and organizations to continue to build towards a new world. We also took to the streets and demanded the end to state violence – from Ferguson to Ayotzinapa, Salinas to Staten Island, Olongapo City to Gaza, Cuidad Juarez to Afghanistan. The women of AF3IRM understand the intersectionality of our oppressions and we know that these issues of genocide, police brutality, and institutionalized violence are feminist issues. We fight against a system replete with state violence and daily terrorism, where militarization, colonization and imperialism come together to suppress and oppress our communities for Capital’s gain. We stand up against a world that is quick to silence and erase us. We know this system was never designed to protect us and women especially take on daunting tasks in the face of it.
We have joined #16Days again and again because year after year, month after month, day after day, we find ourselves facing a world that does not value us women as whole human beings. We face a world that reduces us to the criminalization of the color of our skin, the fetishization and commodification of our bodies and our sexuality, the exploitation of our labor, and our use as collateral in war and conflict.
During the AF3IRM National Summit “Women on the Wave,” we asserted that we are unapologetic in defining our feminism and unapologetic in fighting back against this war on women. As transnational/women of color, we know why we are here – why we organize, theory-build, and wage transnational feminist activism – because we are not safe, our children are not safe. If we do not rise up and fight back against this assault, more lives will be lost, more names will be forgotten, more families and communities torn apart.
Our lives and survival as transnational women of color depend on our collective resistance against violence in all its forms. When our communities are under attack, we have choose to stand up and fight back. Our very existence demands it.
Actions and events from our 16 Days of Activism Against Gender Violence included:
- AF3IRM New York gathered in Foley Square with an altar to the Missing, Murdered and Trafficked women worldwide as they remembered our fallen sisters.
- AF3IRM Central Coast hosted their Revolutionary Reflections Open Mic at Zami Housing Cooperative, where AF3IRM sisters, supporters, and allies shared space and poems/testimonios of how gender violence manifests in not only interpersonal relationships but also as street harassment, state terror, and economic oppression.
- AF3IRM Orange County held a candlelight vigil for victims of gender violence at Cabrillo Park in Santa Ana and displayed signs honoring victims of gender violence and those who need justice now. We lit candles and spoke about violence against women/girls and feminized bodies. We spoke about why we are here and then moved on to put our vows to end gender violence in words and hang them on a tree.
- AF3IRM South Bay hosted an Open Mic Night in collaboration with KmB Sessions at Veteran’s Park in Carson, CA. Allies, supporters, and members holding up signs to show support and solidarity against police brutality.
- AF3IRM Los Angeles met with the Ovarian Psycos and started to plan activities for 2015, as we recognize the need to work collectively with other radical women of color and feminist organizations.
- AF3IRM San Francisco Bay Area did a banner drop in Berkeley off of a freeway that has an estimated 150,000 commuters each day going to San Francisco.
- AF3IRM chapters across the country also took part in actions and rallies in the wake of the non-indictment decisions in the cases against the murderers of Mike Brown and Eric Garner, in solidarity with the the Ayotzinapa protests, and against all instances of state violence and police brutality.
Renewed by the swell of activism around the country and by the transformative power of women’s activism, we continue the fight against gender violence and for liberation past these #16Days. We urge all to join us in this struggle and to get organized.
Join us for these upcoming events and go to our website to learn more about the work of AF3IRM.
SATURDAY, DECEMBER 13TH
CENTRAL COAST | National Day of Protest: March Against Police Violence – Clocktower in Downtown Santa Cruz @ 1pm
NEW YORK | #FeministsontheMove: Women’s Contingent for #MillionsMarchNYC led by AF3IRM NYC and Sister Circle Collective – Washington Square Park @ 1pm
SAN DIEGO | Discussion on Womyn and Prison Industrial Complex: a Global and Local Struggle – Broke Girls’ Coffee Bar (3562 Adams Ave, San Diego, CA 92116) @ 3pm
SUNDAY, DECEMBER 14TH
SAN FRANCISCO BAY AREA | Kick Back/Create Not Consume Mixer – Oakland @ 2:30pm (Contact [email protected] for more info)