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1 March 2017

#DayWithoutAWoman

Protests and walkouts around the world for International Women's Day

This year's International Women's Day is of particular significance. Firstly, we celebrate the hundredth anniversary of the start of the Russian revolution.

Secondly, the movement against Trump, and in particular the massive 'women's marches' that took place in January, show the potential for a new phase of struggle against sexism and the oppression of women.

Coming in the midst of the anti-Trump movement, there are plans in various countries for bigger scale protests on International Women's Day than has been the case in recent years. Importantly, the idea of strike action is being discussed - in part inspired by last year's 'women's strike' in Poland as part of the successful movement to prevent the implementation of a full ban on abortion.

Socialist Alternative, our cothinkers in the US, write: "In the face of record-breaking, historic resistance and record-low poll numbers, Trump isn't stepping back, he aims to speed up the attacks. We cannot wait until the next election. We need to step up our protests now."

Strike

They point to an article in the Guardian by Angela Davis and others who wrote: "The massive women's marches of 21 January may mark the beginning of a new wave of militant feminist struggle. As a first step, we propose to help build an international strike against male violence and in defence of reproductive rights on 8 March."

Socialist Alternative says: "This call to action should be taken up and organised by the major women's organisations and the labour movement... Socialist Alternative calls on everybody to support this strike and participate in it where it is possible to do so without risking your job or other retaliation."

Given the short build up to this date however, they also call for it to be used as a springboard for bigger action, if possible a one-day national strike, on 1 May - international workers' day.

In Spain, young people are showing the way, led by Sindicato de Estudiantes (SE - student union). SE has launched a new initiative 'Libres y combativas' (free and combative - a slogan of the Spanish revolution in the 1930s).

They write: "The Student Union has made the call to the whole student movement to walk out of classes on 8 March from 12-1pm and gather in the grounds of the schools and campuses to say: Enough with sexist violence! In defence of women's rights! Down with Trump and all governments that encourage sexism and our oppression!"

Not one less

Big protests and some strikes are expected in Latin America, where, particularly in Argentina, there was a one-hour walkout by many women in October in protest against sexual violence, under the banner 'not one less'.

Members of our sister party in Brazil told us: "Protests are organised around two main slogans - against the pension reforms, which will hit women hardest, and against femicide. There will be some strike action - for example of teachers in Sao Paulo."

Members of our sister party in Ireland tell us: "In Ireland, the call for a 'Strike 4 Repeal' will see school and college students, and some workers, walking out to demand an immediate referendum to lift the abortion ban. There will also be a major march to parliament in the evening.

"Socialist Party activists, as part of the socialist feminist campaign Rosa, will join in these events, and will be part of a bus going to five cities from 6-8 March, defying the abortion ban by providing safe abortions pills in conjunction with Women On Web."




http://www.socialistparty.org.uk/articles/24803