The Socialist

The Socialist 15 March 2017

NHS: strikes and protests can stop cuts

The Socialist issue 940

Scotland 'indyref2' for socialist independence not the capitalist EU

State surveillance of unions: PCS assistant head demands inquiry

TUSC: SWP suspends participation in England/Wales


NHS: strikes and protests can stop cuts

Glenfield heart unit: "Children will die" angry parents tell NHS England


Socialist Party Congress 2017 reports


2,000 workers on three rail networks strike against driver-only operated trains

Derby teaching assistants' all-out strike against Labour council

Unison HE conference: Delegates give the bureaucracy a lesson in democracy


Fight racism and austerity


International Women's Day: taking action against capitalist oppression


Disabled workers deserve a living wage

'Nurses are angry and we are ready for action'

Women's struggles reduced to perfume sales and career ladder

 
 
 
 
 

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International Women's Day: taking action against capitalist oppression

Izquierda Revolucionaria, the Socialist Party's co-thinkers in Spain, joined half a million others to march in Madrid, photo by CWI

Izquierda Revolucionaria, the Socialist Party's co-thinkers in Spain, joined half a million others to march in Madrid, photo by CWI   (Click to enlarge)

International Women's Day (8 March) was celebrated with special enthusiasm this year by members of the parties and organisations affiliated to the Committee for a Workers' International (CWI), including the Socialist Party in England and Wales (see reports below). Millions worldwide were on the streets to denounce the reactionary views of US president Donald Trump, especially towards women.

It is also 100 years since women workers of Petrograd chose this day to take the action which sparked the historic Russian revolution.

From 'International Women's Day 2017: A century on from the Russian Revolution' by Clare Doyle (CWI). The article can be read on socialistworld.net


Spain: Hundreds of thousands in International Women's Day student strike

The call by 'Libres y Combativas' (a working class socialist feminist platform established by the Sindicato de Estudiantes and members of Izquierda Revolucionaria - CWI co-thinkers in the Spanish state) to strike against sexist violence and in defence of the rights of working class women brought out hundreds of thousands of students.

This is a historic strike, the first time ever that a strike of such dimensions has taken place on International Women's Day. Mass assemblies and protests took place in more than 1,000 schools and campuses.

Hundreds signed up to get involved in Libres y Combativas, to strengthen the ranks of working class, anti-capitalist, revolutionary feminism.

In the evening big demonstrations took place, including 500,000 in Madrid!


Republic of Ireland: Mass protests demand abortion rights

IWD was a major day of action by women and young people in Ireland to protest the archaic 8th amendment to the constitution which bans abortion.

The 'Strike 4 repeal' saw up to 8,000 gather in Dublin city centre in the afternoon. In the evening the 'March 4 Repeal' was 12,000 strong.

Socialist Party members supported the strike by assisting pro-abortion rights group Rosa in organising the 'Bus 4 repeal', which directly linked women to womenonweb.org - a group that posts safe abortion pills to women in countries where abortion is illegal.


Hong Kong: Solidarity with global mass protests and women's strikes"

Over 70 attended the Socialist Action (CWI) candle-lit demonstration in Hong Kong.

"Today, International Women's Day, we go to the streets - not to go shopping or organise dinners and ceremonies. We want a new, fighting feminism against the rule of the undemocratic billionaire 1%," said Sally Tang Mei-ching, Socialist Action (CWI, Hong Kong)


Pakistan

Female members of Socialist Movement Sindh arranged a workers' rally from the Socialist Movement Sindh office in Mirpurkhas to the Press Club.

They put forward demands that female workers and peasants working at home should be registered as industrial workers and given full social security facilities.


Leeds demo

A demo was held in Leeds Millennium Square marking International Women's Day. It was organised by socialist women and non-binary group (SWAN), and Leeds Socialist Party branch.

It was not just a celebration of IWD but a demo standing in solidarity with women striking for their rights across the world and, in particular, the continuing struggle for access to safe and legal abortions in Ireland.

The evening was rounded off by a speech from Amy Cousens from SWAN about the origins of International Women's Day, and how the Russian Revolution was kick-started by women workers refusing to accept their abysmal conditions.

Immediately after the revolution the Soviets adopted the Bolsheviks' policies on divorce, abortion and sexuality, which remain progressive even by today's standards.

Abigail Braybrook

Socialist Students Liverpool

University of Liverpool Socialist Students celebrated IWD with a debate and discussion on "what is the relationship between gender and class equality?"

We discussed events such as the peace and bread strikes which triggered the February revolution in Russia as well as events such as the Dagenham Ford sewing machinists strike in 1968 which was influential in securing the 1970 Equal Pay Act.

We later joined a demonstration held at the university in solidarity with the Strike4Repeal marches in Ireland on the right of women to take their reproductive health into their own hands.

The demonstration was met with some opposition from a group of male passers-by, who yelled profanities and misogynistic remarks. This clearly shows the congruence between harassment and the need for socialist feminism to fight the misogynist establishment which has been encapsulated with the rise of Trumpism.

We spoke to people at the demonstration about the link between fighting women's oppression and fighting the capitalist system and we informed the crowd of the Day X walkouts when Trump visits, and sold copies of the Socialist.

Afton McNamee

London - revolution past and present

In a room plastered in photos, displays and posters celebrating the Russian Revolution, nearly 100 socialists met on International Women's Day in London, organised by the Socialist Party.

The meeting explained the role of women in the February 1917 revolution and the gains made by the October revolution in attempting to liberate women and unburden them of domestic responsibilities through communal laundries, restaurants and child care.

Other Socialist Party members spoke on fighting sexism today, for abortion rights and women's equality in the workplace.

It was hard-hitting discussion because if the revolutionary movement in Russia had successfully spread internationally then women wouldn't still have to be campaigning for their rights today. But it was also inspiring to discuss with revolutionary women and men who continue to fight for socialism.

Helen Pattison

Kshama Sawant is a Socialist Alternative (US co-thinkers of the Socialist Party) councillor in Seattle, re-elected in November 2015. She has championed a $15 an hour minimum wage and measures such as rent controls to end the housing crisis. The following is an extract from her IWD speech to supporters.

We are fighting for a socialist world

Today is one of the largest ever celebrations of International Women's Day. In more than 50 countries around the world, women are marching, rallying, and going on strike. Many are protesting against Donald Trump. Because the 'Misogynist in Chief' and his vile right-wing agenda are not just threats to women in the United States, but to millions of working women everywhere.

While the protests today are much smaller than the tremendous Women's Marches just six weeks ago - the biggest single day of protest in US history - today is also historic.

Today's women's strike has brought forward the question of power, of our power as working women. Schools closed down in a number of cities today, and, around the country, thousands of women courageously took the day off, called in sick, or left work early.

We, as women, have begun a crucial discussion about what is really needed to defeat Donald Trump. And what is needed is the enormous potential power of strike action. To hit Trump and his billionaire backers where it hurts - by shutting down their profits!

But, to do so, we will need to get better organised. And we will need to build on a far larger scale.

Women's Day was originally called 'International Working Women's Day'. It began in this country over a century ago. And it wasn't about flowers or chocolate!

It was about working women standing up against their exploitation in their workplaces, for the right to vote and full civil rights, against sexual harassment, for the right to make choices about their own bodies, and for the right to equal pay for equal work.

And it was about capitalism. Because it is not only Donald Trump who is misogynist and racist. The capitalist system is deeply oppressive at its core - it has sexism, sexual violence, and racism written on its DNA. Capitalism relies on the brutal exploitation of women and other oppressed groups to divide and weaken the working class.

The women's marches in January and today's incredible events are a huge step forward for our movement. And we need to go further.

In order to fully tap into the power of working women and of the broader working class, we need to organise for broad strike action.

This is not only about an end to Trumpism or to corporate politics. We also have to demand fundamental change, and, for that, we will need a powerful movement independent of corporate politicians. We need our own political parties. We need a new socialist party, as a step toward a new mass workers' party.

Like the women in Russia a century ago, we are not just fighting for a less brutal system. We are fighting for a socialist world.


In this issue


Socialist Party news and analysis

Scotland 'indyref2' for socialist independence not the capitalist EU

State surveillance of unions: PCS assistant head demands inquiry

TUSC: SWP suspends participation in England/Wales


Save our NHS!

NHS: strikes and protests can stop cuts

Glenfield heart unit: "Children will die" angry parents tell NHS England


Socialist Party congress 2017

Socialist Party Congress 2017 reports


Socialist Party workplace news

2,000 workers on three rail networks strike against driver-only operated trains

Derby teaching assistants' all-out strike against Labour council

Unison HE conference: Delegates give the bureaucracy a lesson in democracy


Fighting racism

Fight racism and austerity


International Women's Day

International Women's Day: taking action against capitalist oppression


Socialist Party comments and reviews

Disabled workers deserve a living wage

'Nurses are angry and we are ready for action'

Women's struggles reduced to perfume sales and career ladder


 

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Related links:

Women:

triangleSchool students' remarkable tribute to workers' Spanish Civil War bravery

triangleWeakened Tories forced into Northern Ireland abortion u-turn

trianglePride 2017: we need a fighting, socialist movement for LGBT+ rights

triangleSwansea Socialist Party: Women against capitalism - New movement rising

triangleDerby Socialist Party: How can women fight back against Tory and DUP reactionary policies?

Socialist:

triangleWest London Socialist Party: Jobstown victory - protest is not a crime!

triangleBron Afon workers fight 3,000 pay cut

triangleVigil for Grenfell

triangleCaerphilly Socialist Party: Can we reform capitalism into something nicer?

Strike:

triangleSupport the Bart's strikers

triangleBin workers step up action

triangleStrike action against driver-only operated trains continues

Revolution:

triangleJuly Days 1917: battles with counterrevolution

triangleDerby Socialist Party: Russia 1917 - the July days

Abortion:

triangleLessons from the Russian revolution for LGBT+ struggle today

Socialist Party:

triangleSupport Barts NHS striking cleaners and porters!

Trump:

triangleTrump and the fossil fuel corporations - a lethal combination for the planet

CWI:

triangleCaerphilly Socialist Party: Global socialism - Report from CWI school

Ireland:

triangleJobstown victory: protest is not a crime!

Russian revolution:

triangleSwansea Socialist Party: The Russian Revolution 'July Days'

Donald Trump:

triangleCorbyn surge beats Trump

Demonstration:

triangle1 July demo: anger and enthusiasm shows potential mass movement

Students:

triangleTories' tuition fees wobble: fight for free education!

Leeds:

triangleLeeds campaigns to save NHS on its 69th birthday

Hong Kong:

triangleInternational news in brief

Socialist Students:

triangleSouthampton Socialist Students: The election result and what comes next

Sexism:

triangleMass movements, not 'fringe cultures', can win feminist change

Oppression:

triangleFight like Poplar's women councillors to change the lives of family carers

Equal pay:

triangleUS: women ice hockey players' strike threat wins living wage

London:

triangleWaltham Forest Trades Council: Back the Whipps Cross strikers!

Liverpool:

triangleSupport the Merseyrail strikes against DOO

Socialist Alternative:

triangleInternational news in brief

Seattle:

triangleSolidarity not racism - Socialism not Trumpism

Socialist women:

triangleThe Socialist Party and fighting women's oppression

United States:

triangleThe real origins of May Day

Civil rights:

triangleHow black women fought racism and sexism at Nasa

Bolsheviks:

triangleCaerphilly and RCT Socialist Party: April 1917 - Lenin and the Bolsheviks

Feminist:

triangleWomen's protests and walkouts around the world

Dublin:

triangleVerdict in Jobstown case - All defendants cleared by jury!

Kshama Sawant:

triangleBuy your ticket now for the political event of the year: Socialism 2017