Revolutionary Women March Against Violence Across Europe

Photo: Demonstrators in Hamburg, Germany carry a banner reading, “Don’t Mourn! Strike Back!” in the annual march for the Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women

By Jakob Stein

November 25 marked the International Day for Elimination of Violence Against Women, and revolutionary women formed red blocs in marches in Germany, Switzerland, and France.

The demonstration in Hamburg, Germany was called for by the International Women’s League, marching behind a banner with the slogan “Don’t mourn! Strike back!” The Red Women’s Committee Hamburg also produced a video for the occasion, calling for women to mobilize for the march and form a combative and class-conscious women’s movement in Germany.

During the course of the march, demonstrators passed through Reeperbahn, a street known for having the highest concentration of prostitution in Hamburg. Protesters stopped in the area and gave speeches denouncing the capitalist exploitation of women.

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German revolutionaries march through Hamburg with hammer and sickle flags

The march also emphasized internationalism, expressing solidarity with the fighting women all over the world, especially in the People’s Wars in Peru, India, Turkey, and the Philippines. Several revolutionary organizations from Turkey, Iran, and other countries participated in the action as well.

Revolutionaries in Zurich, Switzerland also formed a red bloc in a march comprised of an estimated 600 people, under a banner reading, “Against imperialism and patriarchy!” The demonstration denounced the murder of women as well as imperialism, the police, fascists, “patriarchal pigs,” and other class enemies.

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Swiss revolutionaries carry banner reading “Against Imperialism and Patriarchy!”

The red women’s bloc also distributed flyers reading, “Instead of mourning over our murdered sisters, we fight back and unleash our anger as a mighty force against the patriarchy.” At one point a reactionary attempted to provoke the demonstrators, and was subsequently beaten back with a flagpole, demonstrating the militant character of the women.

Revolutionary organization Jeunes Révolutionnaires (Revolutionary Youth) also participated in a march in the Aubervilliers commune in the northeast suburb of Paris. Throughout the march organized by Place Aux Femmes (Place for Women), revolutionary activists carried hammer and sickle flags.

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French revolutionaries march against violence against women

These important demonstrations mobilized women against misogynistic violence and exploitation, and revolutionaries emphasized the necessity for proletarian women’s organizations to fight for liberation. They correctly asserted that it is right to rebel against women’s oppression and that a woman’s place is in the struggle.