International Women’s Day: The endless struggleBottom Highlights, Scene Out Thursday, March 12th, 2015
Social Chaos: Scene Out
Powerful voices took over downtown Los Angeles March 8 for International Women’s Day. According to the United Nations the first National Woman’s Day was observed in the United States Feb. 28, 1909 in honor of the 1908 garment workers’ strike in New York, where women protested against working conditions. Today, events are planned around the world to honor women’s achievements, bring focus to continued struggles and unite all those that want to see a day where women are valued as they should be.
The L.A. event was organized by AF3IRM and Ovarian Psyco-Cycles and led by women-identified, feminists of color and open to all who were willing to voice their support for women’s struggles. Over 1,000 people gathered at the steps of City Hall and ended at Mariachi Plaza. Various domestic and international issues were spoken about throughout the route. Marchers were encouraged to create art, signs, clothes and chant about topics that they wanted to bring awareness too. Each stop coincided with issues women face today.
At the meeting point guest spoke about low-wage women workers and women resisting gentrification in the city of L.A. The second stop was at LAPD headquarters where police brutality was highlighted especially against black women and girls. Did you know there are about 64,000 missing black women and counting in the U.S? At the Federal Building they highlighted the U.S.’s role in the occupation, state-sponsored rape and genocide occurring in Palestine. In Iraq, hundreds of girls and women, some as young as nine and some in their 70s, have been arrested, abused, raped and tortured by U.S.-trained Iraqi police.
At the Detention Center im/migrant women’s rights and struggles, including deportation, family separation, raids and reproductive justice were highlighted. You could see detainees waving from the barred windows up above. Migrant activist Socorro addressed the crowd, “In this moment we are here because we need to demonstrate that women are strong, because God made us this way, strong for the pain, that’s why we are here fighting, for all the things that have happened with immigration, with the deported mothers who have had to leave their children in this country, we are here to keep fighting, because this is a big war, we have won victories but not the war, and we will keep fighting the struggle.”
They also spoke about trans rights and the current situation involving Nicoll Hernández-Polanco. Hernández-Polanco fled from Guatemala in search of asylum and is being held at the Florence Detention Center in Arizona with male detainees. She has been assaulted emotionally and physically since October 2014. Performances and additional speakers ended the event at Mariachi Plaza. Posters of missing children and women were laid out on the ground including one with the hashtag . Cinthia was only 13 when she disappeared in 2008 in the City of Juarez. She went out to get shoes for school and never returned. The male dominated law enforcement protects the kidnappers; they take no action in looking into the disappearances of over 2,000 girls and women. In Canada, there are at least 1,200 missing or murdered aboriginal women. From 2010-2014 at least 2,250 women were killed in El Salvador, while in Honduras, at least 4,000 women have been murdered since 2002, all because of their gender.
How do so many women disappear without a trace? Their deaths don’t matter. Let’s not forget the 2.5 million trafficked persons globally at any given time with Asian and Pacific Islander women being the largest group trafficked in the United States.
These situations don’t occur because women are respected, valued or have equal rights. Everyone who has a mother, daughter, aunt, sister, friend, wife and a woman in their life needs to speak up!
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