NATIONAL — Join AF3IRM as we support the Dalit Women’s Self-Respect Movement and their events around the United States! The #DalitWomenFight Tour has visited cities across the country, from New York to San Francisco, with AF3IRM chapters coast to coast there to welcome them.
As an anti-imperialist, transnational feminist organization, AF3IRM is proud to be able to share space with the Dalit Women’s Self-Respect Movement and to support their fight against state violence and towards liberation. We have always recognized the intersectionality of oppressions and the part that the State plays in maintaining these systems of power. The caste system in India is a clear example of this. Because of their caste and their gender, the Dalit women have a long history of being targets of sexual and physical violence, discrimination, and trafficking, while the State does little to protect them. Their stories of caste apartheid are evidence of one of the oldest systems of oppression – yet their stories also speak to a long history of resistance.
Indeed, we salute the Dalit women’s continued fight against all forms of oppression and their willingness to put their bodies on the frontline of the struggle, as they did during the Dalit Women’s Self-Respect March. We are inspired by their fierce passion and leadership, as the Dalit women activists not only bear witness to the caste-based violence and oppression they face in India and in the diaspora, but also demonstrate their courage in breaking the silence around the caste system and share their visions for revolutionary change.
This week the Dalit women activists finish the Bay Area leg of their tour and make their way to southern California. AF3IRM San Francisco Bay Area and Central Coast chapters will host #DalitWomenFight Breaking the Silence on Caste Apartheid at Santa Clara University on Wednesday, October 7th. The event begins at 7pm at the Music Recital Hall – Room 103, located in the Music and Dance Facility Building 114, located at 952 Franklin Street. The night will feature Dalit-American artist Thenmozhi Soundararajan, as well as personal testimonies, songs, performance, film and discussion. There will also be photographs and posters that document the work of the Dalit Women’s Self Respect Movement from artists all over the world.
On Saturday, October 10th, AF3IRM will join #DalitWomenFight in LA at Chuco’s Justice Center (1137 E. Redondo Blvd., Inglewood, CA 90302) from 2 to 5pm. More events from the tour can be found via Facebook (http://bit.ly/dalitwf) and their website (http://www.dalitwomenfight.com/).
The activists on the frontline of the Dalit Women’s Self-Respect Movement show the world what we in AF3IRM have always known – that a woman’s place is at the head of the struggle for liberation! We call on all to join us this week and resist these divisions created by class, caste and oppressive traditions! Across borders and oceans, we join the Dalit women activists in calling for the end of caste apartheid, caste-based sexual violence, and all forms of state violence!
#DalitWomenFight Breaking the Silence on Caste Apartheid at Santa Clara University
Wednesday, October 7, 2015
7pm to 9pm
Music Recital Hall – Room 103
Music and Dance Facility Building 114
952 Franklin Street, Santa Clara, CA 95050
AF3IRM Info: http://bit.ly/dalitwfscu
Facebook Event Page: http://bit.ly/dwf-scu
#DalitWomenFight in LA: The Struggles Against Caste Apartheid and State Violence
Saturday, October 10, 2015
2pm to 5pm
Chuco’s Justice Center
1137 E. Redondo Blvd
Inglewood, CA 90302
Facebook Event Page: http://bit.ly/dalitwfla
In preparation for our International Women’s Day March, AF3IRM Los Angeles is hosting an educational discussion on “State Violence is Violence Against Women” on Tuesday, January 27th, 6:30pm at Espacio 1839 (1839 East First Street, Boyle Heights-Los Angeles, CA 90033). Live silkscreening will be done by SocialMachine – so please bring your own t-shirt to be printed with our official International Women’s Day print design.
For more information, contact [email protected]
NEW YORK: From 92-year-old Pearlie Golden, killed in Atlanta, to seven-year-old Aiyana Stanley-Jones, killed in Detroit, Michigan, police violence has impacted and continues to impact the lives of black women and girls, as well as queer, trans and gender-nonconforming people. It is time, says AF3IRM NYC and the Sister Circle Collective, to pay attention.
Under the hashtag #feministsonthemove, the two organizations are inviting women, queer, trans, and genderqueer folk, as well as allies, to help create a strong woman’s contingent for the 13th December Million People March against police brutality. Participants are asked to gather at Washington Square North/5th Avenue at 1 pm. We are asking anyone who would like to join to wear purple as a sign of unity in this struggle.
“The message is simple: state violence directly affects black women and girls, queer, trans and gender nonconforming people. The violence against black women and girls, queer, trans and gender nonconforming people, has been persistent and ranges from physical mauling to sexual assault. It is time to acknowledge this and add it to our understanding of state violence and police brutality,” said Olivia Canlas of AF3IRM NYC.
“We cannot change what we do not name. The violence against black women and girls, including queer, trans, and gender nonconforming people, has been with us for as long as such violence was inflicted upon black men. It is as significant an aspect of state violence and police brutality,” said Lanai Daniels of Sister Circle Collective.
Police brutality against black women, girls , queer, trans and gender nonconforming people occurs in practically all states of the United States. Yvette Smith, 47, was killed in Texas; Nizah Moore, 34, was killed in Philadelphia; Miriam Carey, 34, was killed in Washington, DC; Rekia Boyd, 22, was killed in Chicago; Kayla Moore, 42, was killed in Berkeley, California; Tarika Wilson, 26, was killed in Ohio; Alberta Spruill, 57, was killed in New York as was Shereese Frances, 30. We seek to call their names on the streets and the names of many others who have been murdered by law enforcement.
The intent in calling attention to the constant police violence against black women, queer, trans, and gender nonconforming people is to be inclusive, not divisive. It is to acknowledge the black women leadership of this movement, the anti-black racism prevalent in many communities of color and to show solidarity across racial and ethnic lines and the intersections we hold as women, girls, queer, trans and gender nonconforming people. Importantly, it is to recognize that minority communities, especially the Black community, is systematically targeted as a whole, but that there are special actions directed against black women and girls, queer, trans, and gender nonconforming people in particular.
One such case involved Daniel Ken Holtzclaw, an Oklahoma police officer, who has been charged with sexually assaulting seven African-American women. He is also accused of burglary and felonious stalking. He is currently out on bail.
“When we say #blacklivesmatter, that includes black women’s lives, black girls’ lives and the lives of black queer, trans, and gender nonconforming people. State violence, as manifested by police brutality, is not piecemeal,” said Veronica Agard of Sister Circle Collective.
The women’s contingent is both an expression of active participation in the opposition to the murder of black men and a statement of protest against state violence inflicted upon black women, girls, queer, trans, and gender nonconforming people.
www.af3irm.org; [email protected]
CALL TO ACTION – VIDEO MESSAGES
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
November 25, 2014
Contact: Barbra Ramos, National Communications Director, [email protected]
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.