FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
November 25, 2014
Contact: Barbra Ramos, National Communications Director, AF3IRM@AF3IRM.ORG
NATIONAL – Trailed by the soot and smoke of street confrontations over the Ferguson decision, the women of AF3IRM begin today the 16 Days of Activism against Gender Violence, enraged by the knowledge that sexism and racism are but two sides of the systematic oppression which maintains class society.
Even as we confront the casual murder by the police of black youths in the United States, we face the reality of an equally casual and racialized kidnap, murder and trafficking of women.
We face a world where one of three females experience sexualized violence. We face a world where girls are killed rather than allowing them to be educated. We face a world where women’s bodies are a commodity. We face a world where women’s work, including the birthing and nurturing of children, is so undervalued that a bullet can wipe out with impunity years of care and struggle. We face a world where women are blamed for the very violence inflicted upon them, where their rights over body and uterus are handed over to others in authority. We face a world where women fight femicide and are killed as casually as earth itself is destroyed.
The numbers do not lie: 64,000 black women missing in the US; 328 women murdered in Honduras this year alone; 530 women murdered in Mexico in 2012-2013 with 1,200 disappeared between 2012-2013; 1,200 mostly First Nations women missing and murdered in Canada; 6,000 women murdered in Guatemala over a ten-year period; 20.9 million trafficked globally, 55% of them women.
We begin the 16 Days in a state of fury as Mike Brown’s murderer Darren Wilson, a police officer, walks free. Set against the jail sentence imposed upon Marissa Alexander – who killed no one and who fired a warning shot against a man intent on further domestic violence – the refusal to indict Wilson underscores how women of color, transnational women, are at the lowest rung of this (in) justice system.
We begin the 16 Days with the knowledge that more than a million women still await their visas to be united with their families here in the US, and that the presidential executive order purported to be immigration reform is but a police directive intended to be a sop to a certain segment of the (im)migrant population and thus split the movement against colonialism’s artificially created borders.
We begin the 16 Days with a indictment of Capitalism and Imperialism, for its export of violence and instigation of armed conflict in the homes of millions of women, from Palestine to Afghanistan, from Nigeria to Olongapo, Philippines, where a US marine allegedly murdered Jennifer Laude, a transgender, after a brutal beating.
We begin the 16 Days with the awareness that entire governments are corrupted by this profit-making machinery called war and business — a machinery protected and institutionalized by agreements and treaties over which women are not consulted.
We begin the 16 Days in rage over Mexico’s 43 missing students, victims of Capital’s drug-profiteering machinery and its corollary weapons-smuggling machinery.
We begin the 16 Days in nausea over the results of the legalization of prostitution, where $3.50 can buy sex with a child in Brazil and a flat fee can buy a man whatever sex with no matter how many in the brothels of Germany.
We begin the 16 Days with an immense burden of grief and anger over so many deaths and murders and violence.
But we also begin the 16 Days buoyed by the knowledge of the transformative power of women’s activism. We shall change this; we shall end capital’s rapacity; we shall consign imperialism to the dustbin of history where it belongs. We shall gather together; we shall march; we shall shout; we shall weave our voices into a song of humanity triumphant. We shall grieve and heal and fight on.
Women, rise up! Now is the time to end exploitation and oppression. Now is the time to end sexism and racism. Now is the time to create a new human world.
SURVIVAL FOR ALL, NOT FOR THE FEW!
END VIOLENCE AGAINST WOMEN – FROM THE VERY THOUGHT OF IT TO THE REALITY OF IT!
A WOMAN’S PLACE IS AT THE HEAD OF THE STRUGGLE FOR THE LIBERATION OF HUMANITY!
The 16 Days of Activism Against Gender Violence includes: the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women (Nov. 25), International Women Human Rights Defenders Day (Nov. 29), International Day for the Abolition of Slavery (Dec. 2), Anniversary of the Montreal Massacre (Dec. 6), and International Human Rights Day (Dec. 10). Throughout the 16 Days, AF3IRM chapters will engage in activities that challenge the militarization, exploitation, and erasure of women and our communities, beginning with New York’s altar remembering our fallen sisters on November 25th. The women of AF3IRM will present visual and performance art events and displays as well as engage in political education and subversive acts of resistance. Visit our website for a calendar of events.