Category Archives: National

AF3IRM: Fight for DACA and Beyond!

On Tuesday, September 5th, the current presidential administration signaled the end of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals immigration policy. AF3IRM, along with other organizations and community groups, have spoken out against this, as well as this administration’s continued attacks on immigrant rights and the xenophobic and white nationalist agenda it espouses.  As transnational/women of color, AF3IRM knows that liberation for im/migrants means more than DACA – and we will continue to fight to end the criminalization of im/migrants and against detention centers, borders, unjust citizenship and immigration policies, and other forms of state violence that have been used to terrorize im/migrants, indigenous and native peoples, and people of color. AF3IRM has been organizing and participating in demonstrations and rallies across the country, including the DefendDACA March in Oakland and the Defend DACA March and Rally in Los Angeles. Versions of the following speeches were delivered at the Defend DACA March and Rally in Los Angeles on September 10th, which was co-lead by AF3IRM. 

AF3IRM SF Bay Area at Defend DACA in Oakland

AF3IRM LA – DACA Rally

BY AF3IRM NATIONAL CHAIR IVY QUICHO

My name is Ivy and I am the National Chairperson of AF3IRM, a transnational feminist, anti imperialist organization of women of color, with a 28 year history of grassroots organizing.

We are here today because this war against us has been waged long before Trump- it began when women became the first form of property, it was when class society was set-up, it was when our peoples were first colonized, it was when free trade agreements were passed and imperialism boomed and forced us to migrate out of our countries of origin in the first place…  the only difference is that our society has now reached this fascist state where our enemies have become more overt in their vision to bleach this country white, to purify it with only Christians, and to lead it as rich, corporate, misogynist, men… but we are here to remind these fascists, the KKK, the alt right… that after centuries of attempts, and thousands of years later, we are STILL HERE and we are NOT GOING ANYWHERE!

We in AF3IRM know that this ongoing war has a woman’s face. It is no coincidence that we transnational, im/migrant women are the majority of immigrants imported between and among countries; that we are the most vulnerable to detentions and deportations, particularly our trans Latina sisters who are unable to find jobs due to discrimination and live off of less than $10,000 a year, as we often work in the informal economy as caregivers, garment workers, street vendors; that we are transnational mothers caring for our family members in several countries and are often separated from our children; that we are those who are sexually assaulted, raped, and trafficked/prostituted during our journey, once we arrive, and when we are detained; that we are the majority of low wage workers; that we are the fastest rising population of mass incarceration; that we are the fastest rising population of homeless people, are quite literally being killed off or disappeared whether it be our Muslim sisters such as Nabra Hassanen, or our THOUSANDS of indigenous women such as Savanna LaFontaine-Greywind, or the 64,000 missing/murdered Black women such as the murder of black trans woman, Kiwi Herring by St Louis police. And now, they are attacking our babies, our immigrant youth, because they are the future generation of people whom these bigots want obliterated.

But we in AF3IRM know that they INTENTIONALLY target us women, youth, and people of color for one reason, and one reason alone– because we are powerful.

We stand here today on the shoulders of women past and present from the women fighters who resisted the first colonizers, to the women who continue to resist and organize women’s strikes in the Texas and Pennsylvania detention centers. Sisters- they may try detain us, to deport our people, to oppress our communities, to hunt us down… but they will never, ever kill the revolutionary spirit of women!  

We have been here before- they tried to get rid of us with the Chinese Exclusion Act in 1882, with Operation Wetback in 1954, with HR 4437 in 2006, and Arizona’s S.B. 1070 in 2010, but what they fail to realize is that their oppressive immigration policies have only fueled our rage and strengthened our determination.

My community we are here because not only will we survive again, and again, and again… we will TOPPLE DOWN Trump and his cronies, we will DISMANTLE this entire government that was never set-up for us… and WE WILL BUILD A NEW SOCIETY!!  

  • We in AF3IRM do NOT want to live in a world where policies like DACA are even needed– we want to look beyond DACA and other reforms, many of which have been men-centric, and defend ALL immigrants including those who didn’t go to college, those who may have made mistakes in their lives, those who have been deported, and those currently detained such as our trans Latina sisters; we want to shut down detentions centers; and we want to build a world where we live freely without fear and violence and with dignity as PEOPLE.
  • We do NOT just want to be able to stay here to work, to keep our “economy booming”, an economy that is dependent on the exploitation of our bodies whether for labor or sex, so that the rich can just continue to get richer– we want to eliminate the global assembly line and build a world where we do not live to survive, but we live to thrive.
  • We do NOT just want citizenship for all, we want an END TO BORDERS, an END TO NATION STATES, an END TO CORPORATE IMPERIAL POWERS — all of which only exist to divide and accumulate power and profit for the few.

My community, let us UNITE, let us FIGHT like we’ve never fought before, and let us TRANSFORM our dreams of freedom, into realities of liberation!  

We in AF3IRM say a woman’s place it not in the home, it is not in the kitchen, it is not in the bedroom… a woman’s place is here in the STREETS at the HEAD of this struggle for the liberation of all humanity!


BY ALMA of AF3IRM LA 

My name is Alma and I am a member of AF3IRM LA, a transnational feminist, anti-imperialist organization.

I am a woman, I am a mother, and I am undocumented.  I came to the U.S. when I was 6 years old (not too long ago just 27 years ago!)  I have experienced the pain of family separation due to deportations; I have gone through the fear of not coming home to my family, children, and to my community.  I had lived in the shadows for 15 years. I have experienced Depression, anxiety, anger and pain due to my immigration status.  

In 2005, my older brother was deported.  I did not have the tools to help him and to organize for him.  His deportation broke my family apart.  He was deported to our home state Guerrero, where drug cartels and violence have now taken over.  There is not one day that my mother doesn’t cry for him. I don’t want more families to go through the pain that my family went through and that is why I decided to organize and fight against this deportation machine! In 2011, when 4 activist and I went inside the Metropolitan Detention Center as an act of civil disobedience to protest against 287g secure communities, one of the officers that was guarding told us that ICE did not want to deport us, that instead ICE wants to deport our family members or the people who do not speak English and don’t know their rights or how to organize.

And he was right, the most vulnerable in this inhumane immigration problem is not us, it is our brothers and sisters who don’t hold a college degree, those who never had a DACA status.  Some of them have worked hard for us to have AB540, for us to have the CA Dream Act, and for us to even have DACA.

Now it is our duty to stand up, to rise once again, to make the changes that we want to see! Today, we must not forget the major problems that this inhumane immigration system brings to our undocumented immigrant community.  We must stand and demand to stop the mass deportations that are occurring as we speak, we must demand to stop the killings of our undocumented transgender sisters, and we must stand with our Undocumented non-Latino brothers and sisters.  We are more than a temporary program, we are more powerful than them so don’t sit and wait for a solution, don’t let your energy end here. Today we must rise up and organize!  It’s time to demand dignity and respect for all!

So now, let me ask you:  When immigrant rights are under attack, what do we do? Stand up, fight back! When transgender rights are under attack, what do we do?  Stand up, fight back! When refugees rights are under attack, what do we do? Stand up, fight back! When women’s rights are under attack, what do we do? Stand up, fight back!

 

Countdown to CenterShift II: Endorse, Vend or Table at Roots and Routes!

We are just over a month away from CenterShift II: Roots and Routes! The theme of the conference, Roots and Routes, focuses on the roots of feminism in the USA, which was inspired by the original communal Iroquois Confederacy from which pioneering feminists drew the concept of equality, and the current routes and further developments based on these foundational feminist ideas, current movements, and needed conditions for genuine liberation. We aim to bring together our allies to shift the women’s movement toward concerns and issues of women of color and transnational women, enhance women of color leadership in deepening the theory and practice of transnational and intersectional feminism, and build a common front of resistance among women of various ethnicities.

If your organization is interested in endorsing, tabling, or vending at Roots and Routes, please fill out this form by September 21, 2017. Note that we have space to accommodate a limited number of vendors. In exchange, we are asking for a $20 donation sent via PayPal: nynj@af3irm.org

You can register for the conference here: http://bit.ly/af3rr17

Our main Organizational Endorser asks: 1. Send a representative from your organization to attend the conference, 2. Share widely with your networks on social media, your website, and/or networks, 3. Send your logo so that we may recognize you in our materials, and/or 4. Donations are always welcome.

For questions regarding endorsements, please contact nynj@af3irm.org.

AF3IRM to convene historic national gathering on the origins of feminism in the US and the future for women of color in the era of neo-fascism

NEW YORK– On Saturday, October 21, 2017, transnational feminist organization AF3IRM will host their summit at the Centre for Social Innovation in New York City. The groundbreaking gathering, “Center Shift Conference II – Roots and Routes: Understanding the Origins and Charting the Future of Feminism for Transnational Women of Color” (Roots and Routes), will celebrate AF3IRM’s 28th anniversary by convening hundreds of women-identified people from throughout North America to transform, build and lead the 4th wave of feminism. The conference continues the work and theory-building from the first Center Shift Conference that was held in NY in 2013 and 2014’s Women on the Wave Summit in Los Angeles, which both sought to organize a more inclusive and intersectional feminist future.

As Joan Ariete and Leani Auxilio, AF3IRM New York Chapter Coordinators, shared, “Through Roots and Routes, we aim to bring together our allies and accomplices to refocus the women’s movement toward centering concerns and issues of women of color and indigenous and transnational women; to enhance women of color leadership in deepening the theory and practice of feminism; and to build a common front of resistance among women of various identities.”

Roots and Routes seeks to examine and reclaim the roots and history of feminism in the United States, inspired by the original communal Iroquois Confederacy from which the concept of equality was drawn by pioneering feminists, and to lay the groundwork for the routes and further advances against patriarchy, imperialism and fascism, based on foundational feminist ideas, current movements, and needed conditions for genuine liberation.

“With the rise of global fascism, the wars waged by corporations in the fight for full control of the planet and its inhabitants, and the severe subjugation and genocide of womankind, now is the time for women to come together to coordinate our work, to dream up new realities, and to develop action plans for victory,” asserted AF3IRM National Chairperson Ivy Quicho as she urged women to attend. “Together, we are the feminist uprising. “

AF3IRM has deep roots that began in 1989 as GABNet. Since 2009, this grassroots organization has evolved into its current formation and grown to become a national organization of transnational, im/migrant women from various ethnic, cultural, and economic backgrounds. With a commitment to fighting against oppression in all its forms, AF3IRM engages in movement-building from within the United States, while building horizontal alliances across borders on issues that include immigrant rights, sex trafficking, sexual violence, and militarism.

Join AF3IRM on Saturday, October 21, 2017 for Roots and Routes as it continues its rich 28-year history of theory building, agitating, mobilizing, and organizing to gain genuine freedom for womankind. For more information, visit http://www.af3irm.org or register now at https://bit.ly/af3rr17. For interview opportunities or media inquiries, contact: af3irm@af3irm.org. A list of speakers and participating organizations will be made available later and upon request.

AF3IRM hosts a night of music and liberation with Ana Tijoux, Shadia Mansour, Maya Jupiter and Ceci Bastida

LOS ANGELES–The women of AF3IRM are proud to present FREEDOM DREAMS: A Transnational Musical Dialogue, with intimate performances by Chilean emcee Ana Tijoux, the First Lady of Arab Hip Hop Shadia Mansour, Artivist Entertainment founder emcee Maya Jupiter, and Tijuana-born singer-songwriter Ceci Bastida. This Sunday, these dynamic performers will take to the stage in Los Angeles and also join in conversations around liberation and social justice.

This latest Freedom Dreams show  is part of AF3IRM’s strategy for genuine liberation. It builds off previous cultural productions, workshops, and events that have brought in local and international artists to expand on what liberation means, looks, and sounds like. Most recently, AF3IRM Los Angeles hosted Mansour, a London-born Palestinian singer and emcee, in conversation with Martha Gonzalez of Quetzal. These events are part of AF3IRM’s latest moves to push the boundaries of activism and to shift the trajectory of feminist and social justice movements and to center the experiences and visionary leadership of transnational, women of color.

As an anti-imperialist, transnational feminist organization, AF3IRM knows that women of color not only have the capacity but the duty to be the architects of liberation.  Its members collectively build and fight for these  visions for a new world and have turned to cultural producers and workers to help expand their imaginations and engage in new dialogues. Musicians and their music have been especially important – as they can creatively reflect and respond to history and the current political moment. AF3IRM has turned to many artists across borders not just for inspiration but to also continually connect the creativity and energy of art with the political as part of building a new feminist future.  

FREEDOM DREAMS  will take place on Sunday, May 28 at Zebulon LA at 2478 Fletcher Drive. DJ Francesca Harding (Soundwaves Radio) and DJ Beca G (Sessions LA) will also be performing. Presale tickets for the show are currently sold out, but tickets may be available for sale at the door on the day of the event. This show is presented by AF3IRM, with additional support provided by PAWA, SWANA-LA, and Iraqi Transnational Collective. 

Freedom Dreams: A Transnational Musical Dialogue

FREEDOM DREAMS: a transnational musical dialogue
Featuring special intimate performances by Ana Tijoux + Shadia Mansour + Maya Jupiter + Ceci Bastida
with DJ Francesca Harding and DJ Beca G of Sessions LA
Presented by AF3IRM
Sunday, May 28, 8pm
Zebulon LA, 2478 Fletcher Dr, Los Angeles, CA 90039
$25 presale / Event is 18+
Ticket info coming soon – join our email list to get ticket info first!
For more info: freedomdreams@af3irm.org

“Progressive social movements do not simply produce statistics and narratives of oppression; rather, the best ones do what great poetry always does: transport us to another place, compel us to relive horrors and, more importantly, enable us to imagine a new society.”
-Robin D.G. Kelley

Join AF3IRM Los Angeles as we continue and elevate our work of re-imagination, theory-building. We believe that WOC have not only the capacity, but the DUTY to be the architects of the liberation we fighting so fiercely to attain.

In the current political moment, poetry and imagination help us produce language and consciousness to articulate a collective vision of liberation– freedom dreams. Who better than artists and cultural producers to engage with and create spaces for dialogue as we embark in this process? Cultural workers have the ability to delicately and overtly create soundscapes that can introduce us to untapped moods, feelings and visions. Artists have always infused movements with hope and creativity, encouraging us to dream beyond the conditions in which we are forced to live.

We are humbled to have worked with Ana Tijoux and Maya Jupiter in this endeavor. And now this year, we are honored to add Shadia Mansour and Ceci Bastida to further this work.

All proceeds to support transnational feminist organizing.

ABOUT THE ARTISTS

Ana Tijoux
Ana Tijoux is a Chilean MC based in Santiago. Born to parents exiled from their native Chile by the military dictatorship of Augusto Pinochet, Ana Tijoux returned to Santiago in 1993 and by the late 1990s was well known throughout Latin America as MC of the hip-hip band Makiza. A solo artist since 2006, she has thrilled audiences internationally with her politically hard-hitting lyrics and signature flow, earning the title of “South America’s answer to Lauryn Hill” (New York Times). She has traveled throughout the US—performing at Austin City Limits, SXSW and the 2015 Grammy Awards in Los Angeles, among others, while making time for interviews on programs such as Democracy Now!—in support of her latest album, Vengo (2014).

Shadia Mansour
Shadia Mansour, “the first lady of Arabic hip-hop”, is a London-born Palestinian singer and MC. Mansour began singing at Palestinian protest rallies as a child and became known in London’s Palestinian community for performing classical Arab songs of protest at an early age. She has toured with Existence is Resistance, an organization supporting hip-hop shows in Palestine, recorded with artists M-1 of dead prez and Omar Offendum, and is part of the “Arab League” hip-hop collective.

Maya Jupiter
Maya Jupiter is an energetic, passionate emcee and performer. Maya’s artivism (artist/activism) began in her early twenties when she worked with at-risk youth in her hometown of Sydney, Australia. Now living and raising a family in Los Angeles, Maya is an unwavering artivist, releasing songs and music videos that highlight some of today’s toughest topics, such as modern-day slavery, sexual violence and the objectification of women in media.

Ceci Bastida
Born and raised in Tijuana and now living in Los Angeles, Ceci Bastida joined the band Tijuana NO when she was just 15 and became one of the first women to rise in the ranks of contemporary Latin rock. Their song “Pobre de Ti” and their cover of The Clash’s “Spanish Bombs” are now considered rock en español classics. After she left the band, Bastida worked as a junior high school history teacher in Tijuana and then spent eight years as part of the touring band of Julieta Venegas. Bastida embarked on her solo career in 2006 with the ep Front BC, and in 2010 released Veo La Marea (I See the Tide). She is currently collaborating with members of Devotchka and Ozomatli on the music for Dreaming Sin Fronteras, a new musical based on the stories of undocumented youth. Her new solo album, La Edad de la Violencia (The Age of Violence) includes songs inspired by the rise of everyday violence in the US and Mexico—from the drug war to the Sandy Hook shooting and the Boston Marathon bombing—and by Haruki Murakami’s novel Kafka on the Shore.

DJ Francesca Harding
You can currently hear Francesca Harding (formerly Dj Panamami) over the airwaves as co-host, producer and DJ on Los Angeles’ 90.7FM KPFK for Soundwaves Radio. Her Dj mixes have been featured on Jay Z’s blog, Life and Times with her mixtape ‘Ciao Verano’ as well as the El Sonido show on Seattle’s 90.3 FM. She has graced the pages of LA Weekly and Parlour Magazine and most recently won the coveted role of Dj on TNT’s latest show, Agent X. With a broad taste in music and impressive technical skills, it is no surprise that Francesca Harding continues her reign as one of the most sought-after Dj’s in LA and beyond. Most recently, Francesca joined forces with L.A. based Dj-duo, Beat Ventriloquists, to form a production collective called “Wear Patterns”. The trio have thus far released two singles that have garnered worldwide radio play and have graced the pages of LA Weekly, Earmilk, Mass Appeal, Thump, Large Up and Discobelle. “Wear Patterns” is set to drop their self-titled EP in the spring of 2017.

DJ Beca G of Sessions LA
SESSIONS LA is a music writing, production, recording, & DJing program for youth and young adults in Los Angeles. Our mission is to promote youth development, nurture critical thinking, and foster community building through the process of creating music.