Tag Archives: International Working Women’s Day

AF3IRM: Now is the Time for the Feminist Uprising!

NATIONAL – This International Working Women’s Day and Women’s Month, AF3IRM raises the call for the Feminist Uprising! On Sunday, March 5th, we took to the streets of downtown Los Angeles with 3,000 people for our third straight International Women’s Day March and we will join the actions for the International Women’s Strike on March 8th with women in over 50 countries. We lead and participate in these militant actions and activities for this year’s Women’s Month, because as transnational women of color living in the United States today, we know that women’s resistance and leadership in the struggle must be intensified in the face of systemic violence against women and the onslaught of fascism.

We mark International Working Women’s Day (IWD) and remember our feminist roots of resistance and the new movements led by women that have carried us forward- IWD’s radical roots in the labor strikes of 1909, organized by the International Ladies Garment Worker’s Union, as well as the 1912 Bread and Roses strike for a living wage and the right to live with dignity; Women’s Groups for Defense and Assistance (Gddd) who fought against fascism in Italy; the World War II comfort women from the Philippines and Korea, who still fight for recognition and are against revisionist history to this day; the women leading Idle No More and Standing Rock; the founding of #BlackLivesMatter by queer black women; #NiUnaMenos in Argentina; and the mass mobilization of the Women’s March on Washington.

The history of women’s resistance has not only taught us that we must fight for our lives, but has also shown us new possibilities. For every time women mobilize, we can taste liberation. As much as colonization, capitalism, patriarchy and white supremacy have tried to exploit, erase and silence us, we women see each other and the power others have tried to strip away, and we believe in what we can achieve together. We become architects of a new vision of freedom that we recognize in each other – not just in the massive actions, but also in the vigils, the art and music, the educational spaces created by community, the women’s circles occurring in the face of the murders and rapes of women, of countless economic and social injustices that happen when the world cannot be bothered to pay attention. We see the everyday acts of struggle, of strength, of support, of survival, and of triumph, and we take it even further – we dream, organize and consistently resist because we believe in the persistence of our hope and vision.

We in AF3IRM have fought for women’s liberation for decades, well before the current administration, and the conditions today are ripe to heighten the fight. There is a global resurgence of fascism through the far-right movement not only here in the United States but in France with Marine Le Pen, Brexit in the UK, and leadership in Greece, Germany, Poland, Netherlands, and the Philippines, and as feminists we must defeat it . Its authoritarian dictatorships have always relied on the oppression of womankind, therefore the liberation of women must be central in the struggle against it. As transnational, im/migrant women of color, we recognize that the roots of fascism are deeply entangled with a centuries-old ideology of the patriarchal right to women’s bodies. We women also face issues that go beyond governmental politics – systemic racism, sexism, class oppression, homophobia, transphobia, islamophobia, and ableism are built into the very fabric of this country. Every day women face violence in many forms from street harassment to cyber bullying, to domestic violence, rape, stalking and their own criminalization as they fight the abuse inflicted upon them. Now is the time for the feminist uprising – to harness the power of women and lead a resistance centered on the dismantling of systems that oppress the most marginalized among us until our collective liberation is won.

We women must engage in the feminist uprising. To defeat fascism and to end the genocide of womankind , we must take lead in a resistance that is intersectional, deeply political, comprehensive, and critical of current systems, but also reflective of our vision. Our liberation means reproductive justice – safe and affordable access to birth control and abortions and to be able to parent without fear of violence. It means we fight for the women and children in the sex trade – that we call for the end of trafficking and push for the decriminalization of those trafficked and prostituted, but also fight against the power dynamics that exploit women’s bodies. We must stand against the terrorizing of our im/migrant communities as new Muslim and refugee bans are enacted and Islamophobia wage violence against Muslim, Arab, Southwest Asian and North Afrikan, East Afrikan, and Southeast Asian communities – and the end to US imperialist intervention. Our liberation means we defend our communities against ICE raids against im/migrants and push back against detention, deportation, family separation and the building of a wall with Mexico. It means we defend the rights of queer and trans people- especially as trans women face high rates of violence, with 7 of our sisters killed already this year, and are at high risk of suicide. We stand for the missing, murdered and trafficked indigenous women and the calls for self-determination and sovereignty from Standing Rock to Hawai’i. It means continued and improved protections – not cuts – to Violence Against Women programs and grants and asylum for im/migrant women trying to escape violence, not just from war but also domestic and interpersonal violence. Our liberation means that as survivors of sexual assault and harassment, our stories are heard and believed and that justice reflects our needs and healing.

We call on those who have started to rise up to fight beyond today because the far-right, Neo-Nazi movement will continue with or without a Trump regime. The danger is not just in these blatant attacks on our communities – but it is also in the failure of those to rise up in the fight for the liberation of all. Our collective liberation demands we all take action and that we women build and practice a feminism that is political, because our lives and those of our sisters worldwide depend on it.

Join an organization that is strategic and has a vision to win. We must put our belief, our energy, our labor into a massive movement of people, with specific demands that may involve sacrifice, such as the Women’s Strike on March 8th, because our freedom depends on it. Our oppression crosses borders and in the face of global fascism, so must our resistance. We must build strategic alliances within the U.S. and abroad that are horizontal, intersectional, and decolonized.

The time for the feminist uprising is now. As transnational women of color, our resistance is revolutionary. It is our time to build and fight for this new world. We in AF3IRM have stepped up our organizing and planning. We have developed our own plan of action that is specific to the needs and demands of these challenging times. We have actions planned throughout the year that will lead up to our National Conference in New York City in October. These events and actions include/have included: the International Women’s Day March in Los Angeles, the International Women’s Strike, our No Ban No Borders noise demo in the San Francisco Bay Area.

Our feminist uprising has already begun. You will see us. You will hear us. You will fear us and you will yield.

We women of color have come together as a force – we know we have more to lose so we have a stronger will to fight and win. Without women there is no revolution. And without women leading, liberation will never be won. Join the feminist uprising today!

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AF3IRM has events planned throughout Women’s Month, including the International Women’s Day March and Rally in Los Angeles, the International Women’s Strike in the United States, a noise demonstration for all immigrants at the Contra Costa West County Detention Center in Northern California, and more. Please see our calendar (http://bit.ly/af3iwd17) for more info.

SAVE THE DATE! IWD March in Los Angeles on March 8th!

IWD March 2015

SAVE-THE-DATE!

This March 8th in Los Angeles, AF3IRM  & Ovarian Psyco-Cycles are hosting an INTERNATIONAL WOMEN’S DAY MARCH & RALLY to end the genocide of womankind.

For more info on how to endorse, volunteer, and/or join AF3IRM, email [email protected].

More details to come!

AF3IRM LA’s Statement Supporting the Comfort Women Statue in Glendale, CA

Presented March 8th, 2014 in Glendale, CA  at the International Women’s Day Comfort Women Press Conference organized by the Korean American Forum of America

AF3IRM is an anti-imperialist transnational feminist organization and we stand firmly with you all today in demanding a formal apology from the Japanese Government to the comfort women and to oppose the recent lawsuit against the City of Glendale that seeks removal of the comfort woman statue.

We stand here today on March 8th, especially, for International Women’s Day – which began as International Working Women’s Day, in recognition of the women workers in New York City who marched and picketed to demand better working conditions back in 1857, and of those women garment workers who led protests on the same day in 1908. We stand here today as women, as women of color, as transnational women, and in the same spirit of protest and resistance to combat this deliberate erasure of women’s history, the neglect for women’s lives, and to continue the fight for our collective survival.

For 15 years, we have waged the Purple Rose Campaign against the trafficking of women and children and this past year, we have evolved and expanded the Purple Rose Campaign into a nationally-coordinated campaign against sexual violence towards and the commodification of transnational/women of color. We know that today women of color are the majority of sex trafficking victims in this country. Women of color worldwide are the ones who comprise the majority of those sold in the mail-order-bride system, who are the commodities offered up in brothel houses around US military bases in and out of this country, and who are the goods offered for sexual violation in prostitution.

We continue the fight in the Purple Rose Campaign because we know that the commodification of and sexual violence towards women today are repeats and continuations of the past. Women’s bodies have been used over and over again as the battleground for militarization and imperialism, with rape and forced prostitution constantly emerging in war and in the wake of conflict.  Indeed, the commodification and fetishization of women’s bodies has a long history – and we remember our collective histories and the over 500 years of colonization and imperialism that have oppressed transnational and women of color and claimed their bodies for pleasure, control, and profit.  We remember the women from Korea, the Philippines, Vietnam, Thailand, and other countries who were forced to become comfort women and who have been subjected to the colonization of their bodies for the profit of imperialism. We remember these women, their stories and their struggles. The sexual violence and abuse inflicted upon them was and is still unacceptable. For decades the comfort women survivors have asked for recognition, yet have been denied. The violations committed against these women have left scars on their bodies, their souls, and their lives and these attacks by the Japanese government on their experiences and their truths only works to dehumanize, invalidate and violate them once again. These women are relevant in our communities and in the women’s movement and are sheroes in our eyes. They can no longer continue to be marginalized or ignored and we will not let their stories be erased from history.

We stand together in unity and solidarity to honor the victims of Japanese Military Sexual Slavery during the 1930s and WWII. We stand by the remaining survivors and demand full acknowledgement, a formal apology, and just compensation. We reject the Japanese government’s objections to honoring these women. We reject their need to question the validity of these women’s stories – they cannot water down the record of their war crimes! We reject their request for the statue’s removal!

We stand firm with the comfort women and those who work to honor them. This is an attack on not only the comfort women- but on ALL women, our bodies, our lives, and our histories. We women will not be silenced. We will not be erased.

The women united will never be defeated!

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– Gayle Palma, Los Angeles co-Coordinator

 

AF3IRM’s 2014 International Working Women’s Day Statement

For Immediate Release
March 7, 2014
Contact: Barbra Ramos, National Communications Director
[email protected]
(323) 813-4272

On March 8th, more than any day, we, the women of AF3IRM, salute all women, their struggles, and their stories in honor of International Working Women’s Day and Women’s History Month. This day was born from the New York City women garment workers in 1857 and born again in 1908, and from their protests for workers’ rights and better working conditions. This day was born from their purposeful resistance and calls for revolution– so on March 8th, AF3IRM joins with women around the world calling on the same spirit of resistance, justice, and revolution- with Marissa Alexander and her fight within Florida’s unjust system, with the UC Berkeley and other college students speaking out against sexual assault on college campuses, with the Saudi Arabian female activists demanding more rights from the Saudi Arabian Shura Council, with the women in Bolivia, Venezuela and other countries speaking out against violence and imperial interference in their homelands. We salute their strength!

As transnational feminists and women of color, we especially take this year to celebrate our own organizational history, as well as  the personal and collective histories of the women workers and warriors that we know and are. For almost 25 years, the women of AF3IRM and previously of GabNet, have come together to stand up for liberation, justice, and freedom and so we celebrate 25 years of sisterhood, 25 years of knowing that feminism is an action, not a noun, and 25 years of collective resistance and survival. Because yes, for almost 25 years, we will have survived –  against the continuing war on women, rape and rape culture, the attacks on women’s rights, the systematic and state-sanctioned assaults on women’s bodies, every label of “whore” and “slut,” the harassment and discrimination on the streets, in schools, at our jobs, and across these borders.

Within these 25 years, we have struggled and survived together – to win victories, from the Stand With Grace campaign to gaining Jusice for Laya, from #NotYourFetish to the passage of the International Marriage Broker Regulation Act (IMBRA) to protect mail order brides. We have advocated on behalf of women workers and immigrants. We have educated high school and college students around issues like trafficking and militarization and welcomed them into our membership ranks. We have mentored, trained, and empowered women and girls to be fierce leaders and political activists.

This year, we renewed the charge on the 15th anniversary of the Purple Rose Campaign against the trafficking of women and children to include the fight against sexual violence and the fetishization and the commodification of transnational women/women of color’s bodies. AF3IRM chapters have also been preparing for and conducting social investigations from coast to coast to identify sex trafficking. We have hosted report-backs on findings from Phase 1 of our sexual violence relief centers project with NAPIESV that took place in the Philippines in areas devastated by Typhoon Haiyan and by armed conflict. We recognize the need for justice, not charity in these areas of disaster and are working to put the control of resources back into the hands of women and their communities so that they can rebuild their lives their way.

Together, we have achieved numerous victories and as an organization, we are striving to reach even more goals and win more campaigns. But we have also struggled together to support the unheralded individual journeys and fights – the ones our members and allies have endured and triumphed over. AF3IRM women have personally dealt with domestic violence and sexual assault, state-sponsored violence and institutionalized harassment, abusive relationships, trafficking and the sex industry, discrimination and poverty. Many of our women have left abusive relationships or faced sexual violence. These struggles have left scars on our bodies and souls and we continue to bear the scars of physical and emotional abuse and trauma everyday.

But we also carry these truths – that scars are signs of healing wounds, that we are survivors and warriors, and that we as women are not alone in our struggle – and it is these truths that have held us up and changed us. We see the scars on each other and recognize the scars on our own bodies and souls.

So we come together and bridge our stories of struggle across our backs – bridges built and welded over the scars that keep us whole. As Rumi said, “the wound is the place where light enters you” and we remember each scar, each wound, each triumph – collectively and individually – and use it as light towards liberation. Our women lead campaigns against trafficking and against sexual assault; we do work as community advocates, social workers, healers, creators. We have become stronger with each story and each woman we take along with us. As transnational feminists and women of color, we celebrate our personal and collective herstories of struggle, survivorship, and triumphs. We celebrate each other.

We know that without our celebration, without our voices rising together, without our collective light, we will be forgotten and even purposefully erased. We have been taught that scars are ugly, unsightly and unwanted –  just like how the histories and experiences of our women and communities of color are considered unnecessary and irrelevant. We have been taught that we do not matter, that we deserve to be hurt, to be raped, to be killed, that we are the scars of human existence, and they have tried to marginalize, silence, and erase our histories and our lives. Media, politics, education, even our own movements have at times tried to cover us up or wash us away, but they underestimate us. They forget that we are fortified by those who came before us and those who struggle alongside us. They forget that we will not get pulled under, that we will survive, and that together we rise.

On October 4th through 5th, we will show them our strength and what it means to survive as a woman, at the AF3IRM Summit: Women on the Wave, which will take place at The Women’s Building in San Francisco.  As transnational feminists, we recognize how we act as bridges between each other and our stories, as well as the bridges from the lands of our roots to the lands where we reside, as we remember our diverse histories and cultures. We are Women on the Wave because we call upon the power of the waves to connect us, with our ancestors, with each other, with future generations. These waves also connect the history and legacies of feminism with our own – yet we are more than the declared waves of feminism, going beyond the fourth wave as we go break through intersections and separations of feminism. As women on the wave, we traverse the boundaries of feminist political theory and connect it to an active and engaged practice. We also resist and refuse to be pulled down and washed away by those who wish to extinguish our light. This isn’t just our resistance – this is our renaissance. We call on all to join us as we come together as women, as feminists, as transnational peoples for Women on the Wave.

As we look forward to October and look back on our 25-year journey, we, the women of AF3IRM, want to remember and recognize all the women who are working towards liberation and freedom.
We salute our sheroes and the women warriors who came before us!
We salute our mothers, grandmothers, and every mother – because every mother is a working mother!
We salute our sister organizations and allies in the struggle for liberation!
We salute all of the sisters who have joined us and all of the sisters who made the conscious decision to stay and continue the fight!
We salute every woman engaged in this every day struggle to survive!

We would not be here without these women and without each other. As women, especially as transnational working class women, we were never meant to survive. But, together, even with these scars, we will continue the fight. Together, we will survive, we will thrive, and we will dismantle these systems and agents of oppression!

Onward to women’s liberation and to the liberation of all humanity!

[Download the PDF of this statement: AF3IRM_IWD2014-final]

IWD2014-state

AF3IRM Los Angeles March 7th Event: “Bridging Stories Across Our Backs”

IWD2014dFOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 4, 2014
Rachel Escosia & Gayle Palma, AF3IRM LA Coordinators
[email protected]
310-913-0375

On March 7th, the Los Angeles chapter of AF3IRM will present “Bridging Stories Across Our Backs” – a night of political art, poetry, hip hop, dance, and song by women of the transnational Los Angeles community. As we celebrate 25 years of struggle and sisterhood, we invite all freedom-loving people to join us on International Working Women’s Day. We will come together to celebrate our personal and collective histories and stories, and in the protest spirit of March 8th, strengthen our calls to forward the struggle for genuine liberation.

The event’s doors open at 6:30 PM and the program begins at 7 PM. It will be located at The Park’s Finest, 1267 West Temple Street (cross street: Edgeware Road) in Los Angeles. The night will feature music spun by L-Boogie of Sessions LA.

Headliner, Australian musician and hip hop artist Maya Jupiter, will bless the stage with her lyrical genius. Poets Egyptian Princess, Malou, and Tres Generaciones will share their work. Members of a West African Orisa Dance group will energize us with their movements. Eledar, Asa Lioness, and several other artists will also perform.

Support women’s livelihood and the work of the female artisans and sellers by purchasing merchandise and crafts that will be on sale, including books from IMIX Bookstore, accessories from Nena Soulfly and Native Sol, and apparel from Myra Teocintli of Espacio 1839. Visual artist Cora Love will showcase her work and sell vegan goods.

Supplied by the venue host, The Park’s Finest, food will be available for purchase. Come ready to satisfy your appetite with delicious BBQ infused with Filipino flavor. Macarons from Munch Bakery will also be on sale. All proceeds from Munch Bakery and a portion of the sales from The Park’s Finest will benefit AF3IRM and Phase 2 of its sexual violence relief project with NAPIESV.

The suggested donation for the event is $10; no one will be turned away for lack of funds.

This one-night only event is open to all individuals who want to celebrate the personal and political victories of women and stand resolute with us and in solidarity as we remember our journeys as women and as transnational feminists.

What: “Bridging Stories Across Our Backs” Event

When: Friday, March 7th

Time: Doors open 6:30 PM

Where: The Park’s Finest, 1267 West Temple Street (cross street: Edgeware Road) in Los Angeles.

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