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From The Socialist newspaper, 1 March 2017


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.

CWI members and other women protesting against Trump in Brazil

CWI members and other women protesting against Trump in Brazil   (Click to enlarge)

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."


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."

Campaigning for abortion rights by Rosa in Ireland

Campaigning for abortion rights by Rosa in Ireland   (Click to enlarge)

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 the Sindicato de Estudiantes in Spain on strike in November

Members of the Sindicato de Estudiantes in Spain on strike in November   (Click to enlarge)

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."

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In The Socialist 1 March 2017:

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Build a movement to save our NHS

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Grantham: 1,000 march for reopening of A&E

NHS England missing paperwork scandal

Heart centre closure consultation 'farce'


Socialist Party women

International Women's Day

Women's protests and walkouts around the world

Lessons of Russia 1917 for women's struggle today

Why I joined the Socialist Party

How black women fought racism and sexism at Nasa

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

What we think

Byelections: Break with Labour Blairism wasn't on offer

Socialist Party feature

Debates on building the anti-Trump movement

Workplace news and analysis

"I worked from 9am to 11.30pm with only one break"

Warehouse workers walk out over pay and pensions

Derby teaching assistants continue fight against 6,000 a year pay cut

Picturehouse strikers blockade Leicester Square

Ford workers demand answers to Bridgend plant sourcing questions

Hearing into alleged rule-breaking by Unison ends

Leeds: Protest against tip stealing

Mixed Fleet cabin crew announce more strike days

RMT plans protest against 'driver only' Merseyrail trains

Southern Rail strike continues

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Socialist Party reports and campaigns

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Bristol cuts: the fight goes on

Tower Hamlets: There is an alternative, Mr Biggs

Spelthorne: we need socialist councillors

York University: socialists prevent far-right hate speech

Socialist Party Wales conference report

Northern region Socialist Party conference

Socialist readers' comments and reviews

The Socialist Inbox

What we saw


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