AF3IRM Rejects Corporate Greed and Launches List for Women’s Lives/Livelihoods

For Immediate Release
November 29, 2013
Contact: Katrina Socco, National Programme Coordinator
natcoord@af3irm.org

 

On Black Friday and everyday, AF3IRM rejects the corporate greed that fuels imperialist control which militarism enforces. Women produce the labor, which makes all labor possible, and yet we are the most vulnerable in the workplace. We know that women are exploited as the means of production and in the mode of production–from women in Maquiladoras (sweatshops) to women retail workers fighting for just wages and treatment.

On the national level, we stand in solidarity with the many striking Walmart workers who are fighting to be treated with dignity and a living wage in the 1,500 rallies across the country today. The average worker makes makes $8.81 an hour (or $17,000 a year). Compare that to Walmart CEO Michael Duke’s annual $35 million salary, which gives him more in an hour than a full-time employee makes in a year!

On the local level, today the SF Bay Area Chapter supports the Annual Shellmound protest in Emeryville, where a mall was built on top of sacred Ohlone burial grounds. It is no surprise that the day after the nation celebrates the lie of Thanksgiving and does not acknowledge Native American genocide, we are pulled into the frenzy of corporate consumerism in which women worldwide literally die to produce.

So today, we stand up against corporate greed and launch our list of women-owned and cooperatively-owned local businesses to serve as alternatives to giving our hard won dollars to corporations who do not care about women’s lives and livelihoods. This will be a rolling list and we invite women-owned businesses that are in alignment with our values to submit so we can continue to support one another. We are here for the long haul – to not only fight the mechanisms of imperialism, colonization, militarism and artificially created borders, but to create the world we want today.

 

AF3IRM’S LIST FOR WOMEN’S LIVES/LIVELIHOODS

San Francisco Bay Area (CA)
1)     LadyParts Automotive
Owner: Mae Castro
3033 Middlefield Road, Redwood City, CA
2)     Malayá Skin Studio
Owner: Mary June Hernandez
1630 Francisco Blvd., Pacifica, 94044
3)     Rain Decastro, Hair Ninja
Zip Zap Hair
Phone: 415.621.1671
245 Fillmore @ Haight Street
Website: mindbody.com
4)     Eastwind Books of Berkeley
2066 University Ave. Berkeley 94704
5)     31 RAX Clothing
Owner: Stephanie Madrinan
3309 Mission Street
San Francisco, CA 94110
Website: www.31rax.com
6)     Urban Bazaar
1371 9th Avenue
San Francisco, CA
7)     Retrofit Republic
Owners: Jenny Ton & Julie Rhee
8)     Ericalisa Rosales
Artist
9)     Eve Skylar / Eve Skylar Designs
Artist/Designer
10)  GO! Cakes & Cupcakes
Owner: Glen Obedencio
11)  Soul Desire Bakery
Owner: Leilanie Cakemaker
12)  CrossFit Kindred
Owners: Cindy Lau and Jeff Muya
1460 Tully Road, St 608
San Jose, CA 95122
Phone: 408-293-2051
San Diego (CA)
13)  Ollin Cali
A transnational womyns collective – former maquiladora workers came together and created this business to sell local Mexico/San Diego goods
14)  Fair Trade San Diego
15)  Bertha Gutierrez
independent jewelry vendor
16)  Filipino Food and Bakery
Owner: Lily Prioles
2852 Main Street
San Diego, CA 92113
Phone: 619-546-5665
17)  Rising International
Handcrafts made by human trafficking survivors and women living in extreme poverty or war-torn countries. The crafts are then sold by women living in the United States who are unemployed or under-employed who are trained to run their own home party businesses to help earn an income for their “global sisters.”
New York/ New Jersey (NY/NJ)
20)  Colors Restaurant
417 Lafayette Street
New York, NY 10003
Phone: 212-777-8443
21)  Hip Dhamma Yoga  
22)  La Casa AzúBookstore
143 E. 103rd Street
New York, NY 10029
Phone: 212-426-2626
Irvine (CA)
23)  Steppie
For all of your cute panda and ninja needs!
Website: thesteppie.com
24)  Sama Wareh / Wareh Art
Artist / Art, art lessons and workshops
Website: warehart.com
Los Angeles (CA)
25)  Paper Bird Creations
Designer/Owner: Michelle Villarroel
Michelle makes custom handmade double-finger rock rings .
Websites:
Phone: 714.395.4922
26)  Ladysoulfly
Designer/Owner: Tanya Melendez
27)  IMIX Books @ Espacio 1839
Owner: Elisa Garcia
1839 1st Street
Boyle Heights, Los Angeles, CA
28)  iIaments Jewelry
Owner: Lisa Rocha
29)  Cha Cha Covers
Owner: Ana Guajardo
30)  Fine Art Conservation:Tatyana Thompson and Associates
1453 13th Street, Suite B Santa Monica CA 90403
31)  Loralei Rose Bingamon
Artist & Expressive Arts Practioner – HeART Workshops
32)  alfie numeric
Designer/Illustrator/Artist
Websites:
33)  Made by DWC (Downtown Women’s Center)
Social enterprise created by DWC to break the cycles of chronic unemployment and homelessness by empowering women to discover talents and develop skills through vocational opportunities and generates economic and social capital to support programs at DWC.
Café & Gift Boutique
438 S. San Pedro Street
Los Angeles, CA 90013
Phone: 212-213-2881
Resale Boutique
325 South Los Angeles Street
Los Angeles, CA 90013
Phone: 213-225-8020
Websites:
South Bay Unit, Los Angeles (CA)
34)  Ms. Yellow
Freelance jewelry/artist based in Long Beach, CA
Email: bean_cheese@hotmail.com
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Ms.YellowOfficial
35)  Michelle Mojica
Free lance jewelry maker based in Wilmington, CA
Email: mmojica310@gmail.com
36)  Native Sol
Eco-friendly clothing/jewelry boutique based in Long Beach, CA
433 E. Broadway
Long Beach, CA 90802
Phone: 562-277-0224

Extradition of Former Congressman’s Mistress Dropped; AF3IRM Celebrates Victory on International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women

For Immediate Release
November 25, 2013
Contact: Barbra Ramos, National Communications Director
af3irm@af3irm.org | 323-813-4272


NATIONAL– “There is no better way for us to mark this day,” said AF3IRM National Chair Jollene Levid, upon receiving the news that the Philippine government had officially rescinded its request for the extradition of Grace Grande, who had fled her status as a congressman’s mistress.

“We want to thank, first of all, Grace Grande and her sons, who all stood with unwavering fortitude, in the face of seven years of lies, harassment, threats, imprisonment and all the garbage misogynists are capable of. We salute you!”

AF3IRM learned a lot, said Ms. Levid, in the course of this campaign against trans-border stalking, concubinage and outright persecution. “Perseverance is key,” she added. “For that, we thank our allies who enabled us to stand firm, providing us with political, psychological and material support. We salute you!”

Grace Grande, with her sons, had left a life as a concubine of a Philippine congressman, a patriarch of a warlord family allied with very powerful politicians. She was then accused of theft by an employee of the congressman, her name and face even emblazoned the world over by Interpol. ICE was tipped off as to her whereabouts and she was imprisoned for six months. Then the congressman filed for custody of the children he had never acknowledged before. He lost in a California court and filed again in a Philippine court where he, of course, won.

Ms. Grande filed for political asylum in the face of such persecution and reached out to AF3IRM for assistance. AF3IRM then launched the Stand with Grace Campaign. On the final hearing for her asylum, prosecutors brought to the court the sudden request for extradition by the Philippine government. Undeterred, AF3IRM and Stand with Grace supporters continued the fight.

“There were attempts to intimidate us,” said Ms. Levid. “Acts of vandalism, of stalking, of cyber bullying… but they learned that AF3IRM sisters do not back down. And thanks to our allies, the lawyers and Grace herself, who inspired us with her courage, we won.”

Today being the death anniversary of the Mirabal Sisters, Las Mariposas, AF3IRM dedicates this victory to their memory and the worldwide call for the elimination of violence against women.

It is time to think the unthinkable and make the impossible, possible. Onward to women’s liberation and the liberation of humanity!

###

To read more about the STAND WITH GRACE campaign, visit www.af3irm.org or visit the Stand with Grace Facebook page (www.facebook.com/standwithgrace).

AF3IRM Responds to SlutWalk: The Women’s Movement Is Not Monochromatic.

From the moment the first call for a SlutWalk in the US went out, the AF3IRM membership – transnational women who are im/migrants or whose families are im/migrants from Latin America, Asia, and Africa – has been analyzing and discussing this burgeoning movement to address the issue of sexual violence and continuing victimization of rape victims by police, the justice system and other agents of authority.

It is a testament to the compelling nature of SlutWalk’s call against women’s victimization that we hung fire for months, hammering out our position and analyzing why, while we applaud the effort of those who organize SlutWalk, we remain uneasy about responding to such a call.

We realized that we compose the majority of sex trafficking victims in this country, who comprise the majority of those sold in the mail-order-bride system, who are the commodities offered in brothel houses ringing US military bases in and out of this country, who are the goods offered for sexual violation in prostitution. We who are and historically have been the “sluts” from whom traffickers, pimps, and other “authorities” of the global corporate sex trade realize $20 billion in earnings annually cannot, with a clear conscience, accept the term in reference to ourselves and our struggle against sexual violence and for women’s liberation.

We therefore feel it is our responsibility to address the organizers and participants of SlutWalk and remind them that Women’s Struggle Cannot and Should not Be Monochromatic.

Our Concerns
We call upon the SlutWalk steering committee to reassess language use and re-examine how it is, in a sense, offensive to our history, how it is neglectful of historical and cultural sensitivity and competency. Indolent ideology only further pushes transnational women, women of color, away from the current mainstream feminist narrative. It prevents us from establishing a broad front that can create a powerfully dynamic and long-lasting women’s movement. The ebb-and-surge of the women’s movement in the US is clear enough an indictment of such neglect of the historic particularities of the condition of transnational women and women of color.

Our collective transnational histories are comprised of 500 years of colonization. As women and descendants of women from Latin America, Asia, and Africa, we cannot truly “reclaim” the word “Slut”. It was never ours to begin with. This label is one forced upon us by colonizers, who transformed our women into commodities and for the entertainment of US soldiers occupying our countries for corporate America. There are many variations of the label “slut”: in Central America it was “little brown fucking machines (LBFMs), in places in Asia like the Philippines, it was “little brown fucking machines powered by rice (LBFMPBRs). These events continue to this day, and it would be a grievous dishonor to our cousins who continue to struggle against imperialism, globalization and occupation in our families’ countries of origin to accept a label coming from a white police officer in the city of Toronto, Canada.
There are two pervasive pejorative words used for women globally, and “slut,” puta (in Spanish, Tagalog), sharmoota (Arabic), Jendeh (Farsi), Ahbeh (Lebanese) – is one. This label has become integrated in our languages and cultures, and has followed us across oceans into our own communities here in the United States. It has followed the poisonous spread of feudalism and capitalism into the economies and ultimately cultures of the global South, building its own systems of power and exploitation of women’s bodies. It has followed us into migration and still plagues us in our communities here in the United States. Women are treated and dismissed as “sluts”, “putas”, etc., as a product of both the structurally racist and sexist US society, as well as transplanted cultures from our families’ countries of origin.

We invite you, organizers of SlutWalk, to study how many times im/migrant women of color have been coerced into sex by immigration personnel, by border patrols, by jailors. Surely that will suffice to underscore why even the idea of joining a SlutWalk is like a massive boulder on our chests, squeezing out our breath, killing us, in effect.

We invite you, SlutWalk organizers, to peruse the catalog of women offered to men by mail-order bride agencies. Surely that would suffice to underscore why joining a SlutWalk would be equal to accepting an identity conferred on our being by this sexist, exploitative society of violence.

We invite you, SlutWalk organizers, to walk the brothel houses and see how our women are treated truly as “sluts” – i.e., mindless flesh with orifices from which profit can be made. Surely that would suffice to underscore why every fiber in our mind and being scream in protest at the word.

AF3IRM rejects this label; AFIIRM refuses this identity; AF3IRM views it as an abomination. It has been used to exacerbate class-exploitation, race and gender discrimination. AF3IRM prefers to work to eradicate it from the common vocabulary, along with other five-letter, four-letter, words derogatory of the humanity of womankind. More, AF3IRM works to eradicate the material social conditions which have made these words possible and acceptable.
We are not sluts. We are women, whose struggles are very much layered, trying to end the pervasive view of women as objects and commodities for profit and entertainment.

AF3IRM hopes this will serve as a basis for a dialogue with the Slut Walk organizers, because to achieve the egalitarian society we all aspire for, we need, will need, and have always needed a movement of women of all colors.

Thank you and we await your response.

In order to reach AF3IRM, please feel free to contact its officers from various regions:
National – Jollene Levid, AF3IRM National Chairperson, chair@af3irm.org
New York/New Jersey – Leilani Montes, Coordinator, nynj@af3irm.org
Boston – Emelyn De La Pena, Coordinator, boston@af3irm.org
San Francisco/Bay Area– Katrina Socco, Lauren Funiestas, Co-Coordinators sfbayarea@af3irm.org
Los Angeles – Angela Bartolome, Coordinator, losangeles@af3irm.org
Irvine – Mona Lisa Navarro, Coordinator, Irvine@af3irm.org
Riverside – Gayle Palma, Coordinator, riverside@af3irm.org
San Diego – Olive Panes, Coordinator, sandiego@af3irm.org

a transnational feminist organization