Statement to celebrate the hundredth anniversary of International Womens Day
March 7, 2012
In these tumultuous times, Radical Women salutes and celebrates the women textile workers and socialists who sparked International Women's Day over a hundred years ago! We draw on their courage for inspiration today.
To hang onto their profits, billionaires and their pet politicians in every capitalist country are slashing public services, putting millions of women, children, and elders into dire living situations. And worldwide, crumbling capitalist economies are being met with massive protest--from uprisings in Greece against austerity measures, to mobilizations against widespread layoffs in the United States.
Our U.S. government is up to no good. It presses the war in Afghanistan and demonizes Iran in order to threaten yet another war. Such a foreign policy keeps our tax money flowing to the Pentagon, military contractors and weapons manufacturers. According to the Cost of War website, the 2012 Department of Defense budget is over $9.9 billion dollars a week. American militarism is not only bleeding out desperately needed social programs in this country, it is also destroying our sisters and brothers abroad and ravaging the globe. Afghan political activist Malalai Joya reports that conditions in Afghanistan go from "worse to worse." "Today's situation for women," she emphasizes, "is as catastrophic as it was under the domination of the Taliban."
In the U.S., the corporate bigwigs are also waging war on women and workers. Every day there are news reports on more attempts to ban public employee unions and cut thousands of jobs, on outrageous assaults on a woman's right to control her body, on the phony war on drugs that is criminalizing our youth of color, and on vicious scapegoating of immigrants.
Bold fightbacks everywhere. Far from being intimidated, working and poor women grow angrier and bolder. From union strikes to Slutwalk rallies, from defending abortion clinics in Melbourne, Australia to mobilizing with immigrant workers in California, and in the Occupy Movement around the world, women and people of color are rising up to lead the protests against corporate greed and corruption and standing up for the rights of everyone. Why? Because we have the least to lose and the most to gain, and that makes us the fiercest fighters! We are doing it for ourselves, our families, our communities, our class, our planet! Keeping our eyes on the prize of total human liberation is the way to stay sane in this chaos.
Inspired by the Arab Spring, Occupy Wall Street burst onto the scene last September. It brought invigorated youth and others out into the streets, and greatly enhanced political discussion and debate. Occupy Wall Street (OWS) named the problem--the economic system and corporate greed on behalf of the one percent, at the expense of the 99 percent. But the movement has not coalesced around solutions. To address the ongoing demands raised by OWS will take more than reforms. What's needed is systemic change to a socialist society that applies austerity cuts to the profiteers and puts power in the hands of working people.
One way to tackle this job educationally is by radicalizing elections. As the campaigns for U.S. president heat up, don't settle for just keeping Republicans out of office. After all, the Democratic Party is controlled by the same wealthy people and serves the same corporate interests as the Republicans. Instead, let's propel a vision of a society that prioritizes human needs. Radical Women is thrilled to endorse a campaign with a platform of real solutions to the world's problems—a chance to support the greater good instead of the lesser evil. The Freedom Socialist Party's "un-millionaire" write-in campaign for Stephen Durham (President) and Christina López, Seattle Radical Women Organizer, (Vice President) offers concrete solutions to the problems faced by poor and working women. To learn more or get involved, email VoteSocialism@gmail.com or visit www.votesocialism.com.
Radical Women (RW) is also leading fightbacks to keep the things women need now to survive. Seattle RW initiated a Sisters Organize for Survival campaign to mobilize the community and unions to stop social service cuts and to tax the rich and corporations in Washington State. Bay Area RW's Sisters United Front for Survival organizes to save CalWORKS, which supports poor parents. Port Angeles RW defends immigrant rights. Los Angeles RW battles cuts in education. Portland RW joins with other labor activists to defend workers' rights. RW chapters in New York and Melbourne, Australia organize for abortion clinic defense.
Get involved with Radical Women!
Connect with a chapter near you and join a campaign to defend women and other poor and working people against endless cuts to health care, social services, jobs, and education. Or contact our national office about starting a chapter in your area.
If you want to fight alongside women revolutionaries who will not quit, then Radical Women is the place for you!
Happy International Women's Day!
Radical Women, National Office
747 Polk Street, San Francisco, CA 94109
Phone 415-864-1278 * Fax 415-864-0778
Donations are needed and appreciated. Please contribute online or mail a check, payable to "National Radical Women" to 5018 Rainier Ave. S., Seattle, WA 98118.