Our comrades at Dem Volke Dienen published this special report on actions around the world celebrating International Working Women’s Day, which we have reposted here in full. Incendiary would only add that a spokesperson for Austin’s Popular Women’s Movement – Movimiento Femenino Popular has said that the group does not describe itself as proletarian feminists and that it ideologically rejects that term.
More so then in previous years a combative 8th of March mobilization by revolutionaries all over the globe took place in a coordinated fashion. Among other things, this included an important debate within some of the revolutionary forces in Europe that ultimately led to the creation of a joint leaflet and common propaganda for the 8th of March signed by organizations from Austria, Germany, Norway, Peru and Finland(Translation: English, German, Portuguese, Danish, Finnish, Spanish). In order to give a first brief overview of the scope of actions made by comrades either in preparation or on the 8th of March itself, we will sum up some of the actions that took place on this occasion in the last couple of days but are aware that more reports will surely be published in the upcoming days from various countries not mentioned (in depth) here.
In Denmark, comrades – amidst the struggle for creating their own organization in their country – translated, studied and embraced the content of the international leaflet, actively spreading it in Denmark’s capitol of Copenhagen. Apart from leafleting actions, a number of graffiti was painted in southwestern parts of the city and dazibaos where hung up in the proletarian neighborhoods.
Same as the comrades from Denmark, comrades from Punalippu in Finland raised the slogan “Proletarian feminism for Communism” in their agitation and propaganda, painting it in the streets of Finland’s second biggest city, Tampere. Furthermore, a wall painting to take to the streets on the 8th of March was made, as was a translation of the international leaflet in Finnish and posters of the campaign.
In Sweden, comrades took up the slogan “For a class line in the women’s movement” and participated with a combative contingent in the demonstration in Stockholm where between one and two thousand protesters participated in the march. Loudly chanting slogans like “Women’s Struggle – Class Struggle,” a strong contingent of comrades participated with a banner as well as hammer and sickle flags in the demonstration.
In Norway, a campaign of yet unseen proportions developed with a plethora of actions, articles and documents. Leading up to the campaign, a series portraying revolutionary female leaders such as Jiang Qing, Nadezhda Krupskaya, Clara Zetkin, Edith Lagos and others was published. Additionally, proletarian feminists attacked the house of the conservative party denouncing their stance against abortion, signing it with hammers and sickles. On the 8th of March itself, manifestations took place in Oslo, Bergen, Trondheim and Kristiansand, where there had also been the distribution of leaflets, posters as well as stickers in order to mobilize for the respective actions in those cities.
After French comrades in the beginning of March announced their creation of an organization to serve as the foundation of the creation of a proletarian feminist movement in their country and publicizing a call for this day, militants of the Maoist Communist Party took action in the night leading up to the 8th of March: In Lons-le-Saunier a car dealership was attacked, smashing its windows, setting tires ablaze, with painted slogans denouncing the owner as a “sexist, thief, enemy of the people” and leaving behind leaflets and the painted signature “PCm” with the hammer and sickle.
From the United States, there are already reports from the comrades in Austin and Los Angeles on the actions in their respective city. After mobilization with their own artwork, and putting up posters, a combative contingent of proletarian feminists marched determinedly through Austins 7th Street behind a banner with the slogans of “Unleash the Fury of Women!” chanting “A woman’s place is in the fight! Workers of the world unite!” and “Working women give them hell! It is right to rebel!” — where police attempted and failed to stop the demonstration, blocking it at the front and attacking in the back. Also in Los Angeles, a masked contingent of revolutionaries took to the streets, loudly shouting slogans like “Abusive pigs deserve to die! Women hold up half the sky!” and enacting a play denouncing a local politician for selling the interests of the working class in collusion with the real-estate owners.
Turkish female comrades of the “Purple-Red Collectives” participated with their own blocks in the demonstrations that took place in Nuremberg, Germany, and Liege, Belgium. The appearance of revolutionary Turkish women under the leadership of these revolutionary collectives with their own banners, flags and combative appearance marks a great leap in the development of their struggle in Europe. From Turkey itself, yet unreleased footage of the female TIKKO combatant Çigdem martyred in April 2017 was published, making a speech on behalf of the Party’s Women Committee on the 8th of March, 2016.
In Mexico, comrades were present in two demonstrations: In the morning on the 8th of March, the educational workers followed the call of the Section XXII of the SNTE-CNTE trade union to take to the streets to protest against the so-called “educational reform” imposed by the government of Peña Nieto and combined these protest with popular demands for labor rights for women. In the afternoon, women activists from various organizations took to the street in another demonstration. In it, comrades of the Movimiento Femenino Popular were present with red flags promoting the New Democratic Revolution and chanting slogans against patriarchy, mobilizing also for the meeting that took place later where the question of the historical role of the 8th of March was further developed.
In Austria, the campaign for the 8th of March served to further strengthened and develop the existing Red Women Committees and to broaden this work also to other parts of the country. In Linz and Vienna, Red Women Committees took part in the demonstrations and – particularly in Linz – were able to assert leadership. These successful demonstrations came after a strong mobilization campaign with red women from all over Austria contributing in the distribution of posters, banners and wall-paintings politicizing, mobilizing and organizing proletarian women. Through the successful 8th of March campaign, the foundation for the development of the work in Steiermark, Tirol, Vienna and Upper Austria could be further developed.
In Germany, hundreds of posters and leaflets with the text of the international statement were distributed as part of the international campaign. As published in articles at demvolkedienen.org also a number of graffiti actions took place in different cities, helping in mobilizing manifestations in several cities. A more in-depth report on these activities will be published in the upcoming days.
According to reports from the comrades of El Pueblo in Santigao, Chile, a big manifestation took place with more then 300.000 participants. For this demonstration a wave of mass mobilization was developed on both national as well as international level by raising the demands of the popular woman and defending their conquests. Stencils were put up at bus stops and in the midst of the demonstration, and a great burning barricade was erected.
The Front in Defense of the Struggles of the People in Ecuador published a call for this 8th of March signing with the slogans “Long live working women’s day – oppressed, but conscious and revolutionary!” “No to bourgeois feminism” and “Long live the Popular Women Movement” as well as a poster by the Movimiento Femenino Popular in Ecuador. In their statement, they denounced that the majority of the violence against women in Ecuador takes place in the countryside and that every 84 hours a woman is murdered in the country; they called to intensify class struggle.
In Italy, the MFPR distributed their call for action for the 8th of March, which was also spread as a video message. In several cities, such as Palermo, the call was headed by women activists carrying flags of the MFPR in manifestations. Additionally, banners were put up in mobilisation for the 8th of March.
Canadian comrades already prepared for their 8th of March since early this year. In February a conference of the comrades discussed the question of proletarian feminism that led to the development of a document, outlining the position of the Canadian comrades on this question. Furthermore, a mobilization video – also depicting the struggles of the revolutionary women all over the world – was distributed through the Iskra website. On the 8th of March itself, a combative detachment of activists and masses came together in a manifestation of great and combative expression.
The MFP in Brazil organized a number of actions after a vivid campaign for this 8th of March, for which a specific brochure was developed and published on the MFPs blog that has also seen a frequent stream of updates in the past weeks. Particularly outstanding are the actions of the MFP in Minas Gerais were the MFP organized a demonstration on the 8th of March denouncing the crime of Vale in Brumadinho and mobilizing with a massive wall painting for this manifestation.