Why AF3IRM Hawai’i Marches

OAHU–The Women’s March on Washington and many of its sister marches across the United States have been criticized as overly professionalized, hegemonized by the Democratic Party, and forcefully insistent on a common sorority without centering women with layered dimensions of oppression. AF3IRM Hawai’i joins the Women’s March on O‘ahu as a co-chairing organization to fill in the gaps created by top-down organizing and to center the leadership of working women of color. AF3IRM Hawai’i is the only all-volunteer, multiethnic feminist activist organization in Hawai’i led by women of color who engage policy, community, courtroom, and home to liberate women.

AF3IRM is marching to begin the construction of an intersectional women’s movement in Hawai’i. Women of color, especially those interested in activism, should not feel invited to the march– they should feel like the center of the march. The role of activists is invaluable in making the work of local non-profits and elected officials possible. If people are uncomfortable with our spirit of protest, let them be. Misogyny makes us uncomfortable in our own skins.

Women’s survival is at high risk and what AF3IRM wants – women’s liberation – will ultimately interfere with markets, government, and our private lives. As the bluest state in the United States, nowhere is it more true than in Hawai‘i that the Democratic Party machine is largely responsible for women’s misery. AF3IRM Hawai‘i supports women on the frontlines, including pro-feminist policymakers, but we also reject electoral politics and lawmaking as the primary means of political engagement for most women. We immigrants and daughters of immigrants are marching for more than human rights or civil rights or citizenship rights. In reality, rights are never applied equally, especially to people of color, women, immigrants, and indigenous people.

AF3IRM is marching to begin a renewed disruption of the systems that sustain women’s oppression. We are marching not only against the police, but its global sibling the U.S. military, and its parent, the U.S. state, which has determined that we have less rights than others. War, euphemized as defense and security, and one of the main pillars of Hawai‘i’s economy, is disproportionately destructive to women. The state is the single biggest adversary of women, especially Native Hawaiians and immigrants. Relying on the state to do things for us is not how we will find security. We have to empower ourselves and communities to find peace over violence.

Beyond co-organizing this Saturday’s Women’s March on Washington – O‘ahu, we are currently overseeing the Justice for Women Fellowship at the Hawai‘i State Legislature, planning a local Revolutionary Mothering event, and calling for contributions to a special emergency fund for young women in Hawai‘i without legal status. If you share our vision and fire, see you this Saturday at 9:00 a.m. in front of the Queen Lili’uokalani statue.

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Khara Jabola-Carolus of AF3IRM Hawai’i was featured on the Civil Beat Podcast talking about the Women’s March on Washington in Oahu and why she’s marching. [She is featured throughout the podcast but first starts speaking around the 5:45 mark.] To listen, visit: http://www.civilbeat.org/2017/01/pod-squad-defending-womens-rights-as-trump-takes-over/

For more information on the Women’s March on Washington – O’ahu, check out the Facebook event page: https://www.facebook.com/events/2151761851715491/

To join the AF3IRM Hawai’i contingent, please meet at 9:00 in front of the Queen Lili’uokalani statue at the Hawai’i State Capitol Building. For more information, please contact hawaii@af3irm.org.

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