For Immediate Release
March 8, 2018
Ivy Quicho, National Chairperson, [email protected]
Mykie Ozoa, Hawai’i Chapter, [email protected]
New York Chapter, [email protected]
Barbra Ramos, National Communications Director, [email protected]
NATIONAL — AF3IRM raises up the banner of Forward to a Feminist Future for International Working Women’s Day/International Women’s Day (IWD) on March 8 and throughout March for Women’s Month! Since Donald Trump’s inauguration in 2017, AF3IRM has led the Feminist Uprising to defend our communities, to shift transnational, im/migrant women of color to the center of the women’s movement, and to revisit indigenous practices in our vision of genuine liberation for all people. “We, women of color have stepped into the light from the shadows of the margins and will lead us towards a future in which subjugation is an archaic concept of the past,” said Ivy Quicho, AF3IRM National Chairperson.
For this year’s IWD and Women’s Month, we send a loud message to 45, the fascists, and the white supremacists that for transnational women of color there is no way but forward! We are unafraid and we will continue to fight until our communities are free. This past weekend on March 3, the Los Angeles chapter led over a thousand people for the fourth consecutive AF3IRM IWD march and rally, with over 70 organizations endorsing a vision that centers the stories of transnational women of color and builds towards a world free of oppression. AF3IRM LA also completed its second round of its School for Youth Activism, empowering the next generation of activists and leaders. On March 8, native and immigrant women of the Hawai’i Chapter will be leading their second annual guerilla art action, “#MeToo: From Where We Stand,” at the Hawai‘i State Capitol to demand an end to male abuse in the workplace. A workshop entitled “Taking Up Space and AF3IRMing WOC Voices: Centering Transnational Feminism in the #MeToo Movement” will be presented by the SF/Bay Area Chapter on March 17 at the UC Berkeley Empowering Women of Color Conference (EWOCC). The Los Angeles Chapter will be speaking at International Women’s Strike actions on March 8 to highlight the stories of marginalized transnational, women of color and our vision of a liberated future. The Orange County Chapter will be hosting a women’s dialogue to discuss the role of women in historical revolutionary spaces. Mixers will be held on March 20 by the South Bay Chapter in Long Beach and on March 22 by the LA Chapter to invite women to participate in our movement.
We organize because violence against women, especially women of color, has long been normalized. The body of transnational women of color continues to be the site of patriarchal violence. We recognize the scars of patriarchal violence in the femicide of women in Mexico and Central America and in the missing, murdered and trafficked First Nations women in Canada. It is stained with injustice in cases like Tina Fontaine and Sandra Bland, whose killers roam free. It is found in the histories of domestic violence by mass shooters in the U.S. and amidst the 13,000 bodies massacred in Philippine President Duterte’s “war on drugs.” It is there every time the number of transwomen killed rises. It is carried among the millions of #MeToo stories of sexual assault and rape from the agricultural fields and restaurants, to classrooms and Hollywood. We in AF3IRM recognize that this violence inflicted in all its forms against women, along with the symbolic fall, removal, and then institutionalized erasure of women, as the genocide of womankind.
We rally together because this violence is pervasive and constantly shifting, especially through the state’s denial of rights, services and access, and buoyed by racism, capitalism, ableism, ageism, and heterosexism. There is the struggle for self-determination by Native women in Hawai‘i and by the women and children in Palestine, like the unjustly detained Ahed Tamimi. It is in the denial of a thrivable wage, starting with $15/hour for low wage workers, a majority of whom are women, as well as the attacks against union rights, such as Fair Share fees. We find it in the push for arming teachers in schools, in direct opposition to survivors and student organizers such as Emma Gonzalez, who want to end this epidemic of mass shootings. There is the disregard for safe campuses, with the rescinding of the Title IX Guidance, the only national school policy with teeth that protected sexual assault/rape survivors and LGBTQ folks. We see it in the gentrification of our neighborhoods and in the rampant houselessness in our communities. It is in the choices to erect new prisons and detention centers rather than affordable housing, exacerbating the mass incarceration of women, the largest rising population in the prison industrial complex. We see it in the criminalization of our im/migrant and refugee communities, whether it be through detentions or deportations, as ICE raids and one-sided policies terrorize our communities and tear families apart. There are the “Jane Does”— immigrant girls who are being raped as they cross borders and are unjustly denied abortion access. We see violence as more and more women and girls are being pushed into the exploding sex trade that commodifies the bodies of transnational women of color for exponential profits.
We join as transnational women of color because we experience violence against women and children as inextricably linked to violence against the earth. We learn from the indigenous and native communities, who consistently remind us of our direct tie to the land and elements in order to sustain human life. We oppose the Bayou Bridge pipeline by Energy Transfer Partners, the same company responsible for the Dakota Access pipeline, and the Thirty Meter Telescope slated for Hawai‘i’s sacred Mauna Kea. We condemn congressional attempts to criminalize pipeline protesters with charges of “terrorism” and we call attention to the global witch hunt that kills four environmental defenders every week, many of whom are indigenous women murdered by big energy and multinational corporations. We in AF3IRM recognize that climate change is real and denounce 45’s inept, racist response to Hurricane Maria that has left black and brown Americans in Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands without electricity or adequate funding to rebuild nearly six months after the storm.
As women, we must move forward to a feminist future. Under this fascist corporatist state, new policies and laws have deepened our subjugation by continuing to attack our lives and agency. This state is in fact built upon patriarchal domination and white supremacy and relies on misogyny, so we must assert our right to organize around material issues that impact our daily lives as women. We in AF3IRM believe that as a social-political group, our oppression as women began 4,500 years ago when we became the first form of private property, establishing the perceived patriarchal entitlement to women’s bodies. The oppression of women as the foundation of the creation of private property has continued to hold large segments of the population in a marginalized and alienated status. As a result, all systems of oppression depend on the oppression of women to thrive. We also believe that varying gender identities and nonbinary people also have the right to organize, particularly because we are all oppressed by patriarchy, and it is imperative that we be inclusive without engaging in erasure.
We must practice a feminism that is revolutionary. We must fight to uplift women’s lives through structural change because existing institutions are meant to maintain the power position of the “elite.” We must dream beyond these limited rights and reimagine what liberation will look like when we begin anew. As we exercise our radical imaginations, we must be disciplined in living our liberated world today. We must ensure our movements actively practice collective care and that we are building the infrastructure that ensures sustainability and long lasting activism. We must build strategic alliances within the U.S. and abroad that are horizontal and intersectional. A woman’s place is at the helm of the struggle for the liberation of all humanity and we will forge and practice a feminism that is political, daring, and bold in creativity.
We in AF3IRM see on the horizon a future that is free of state-sanctioned violence, where our oppressors answer to us and to our transnational sisters across the five continents, where we will be healed through our collective struggle and unbreakable sisterhood, where we and our daughters will have shaped a decolonized world built atop the dismantled ruins of the patriarchy. Join AF3IRM as our visions for liberation can no longer be denied – we WILL achieve a feminist future of our making!
AF3IRM LA’s 2018 International Women’s Day March and Rally
– Coverage from Rising Up with Sonali
– Images from the March:
Now through March 21st
Los Angeles | 8:00AM to 9:00PM
Las Fotos Project presents Feminist Uprising: A Youth Photo Exhibit
Mercado La Paloma, 3655 S. Grand Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90007
Thursday, March 8th
Honolulu | 11:30AM to 12:30PM
#MeToo: From Where We Stand – AF3IRM Hawai’i Guerrilla Art Action for IWD
Hawaii State Capitol – Queen Lili’uokalani Statute
Thursday, March 8th
Los Angeles | 4:00PM to 7:00PM
International Women’s Day Strike – Los Angeles
Federal Building, 300 N. Los Angeles, St, Los Angeles, CA 90012
Thursday, March 8th
New York | 7:00PM to 8:00PM
AF3IRM NYC Special International Women’s Day Broadcast!
Listen on 95.5 WBAI NY or stream online at wbai.org
Saturday, March 17th
Berkeley | 8:00AM to 5:00PM
Empowering Womxn of Color Conference
featuring “Taking Up Space and AF3IRMing WOC Voices: Centering Transnational Feminism in the #MeToo Movement” a workshop with AF3IRM SF/Bay Area
For more information, email [email protected] and visit the EWOCC website.
Thursday, March 22nd
Los Angeles | 6:30PM to 8:30PM
AF3IRM Los Angeles New Member Mixer: Join the Feminist Uprising!
Location upon RSVP to AF3IRM Los Angeles at [email protected]
More information: https://www.facebook.com/events/194281137995669/
Tuesday, March 27th
Long Beach | 6:30PM to 8:30PM
AF3IRM South Bay New Member Mixer
For more information, email [email protected]