Minneapolis, MN - Around 60 people gathered in Mayday Plaza on Sunday, March 6, for an International Women’s Day protest organized by the Twin Cities district of the Freedom Road Socialist Organization. Demands for reproductive rights and healthcare for all, justice for missing and murdered indigenous women and two-spirit people, an end to gender-based violence, queer and trans liberation, and justice for all stolen lives were raised. The demonstrators also stood in solidarity with Twin Cities educators preparing to strike, signs reading “Victory to the educators!” dotted the crowd gathered in the square, and similar phrases frequented the speeches given. As the demonstration began, chants demanding an end to the oppression of women and attacks on reproductive rights and trans rights echoed around the neighborhood.
The past decade, particularly 2020 with the onset of the coronavirus pandemic, has shone a light on the full extent of existing inequalities in the world. Ahead of this International Women’s Day, we would like to draw attention to ways that women – whether Indigenous, rural workers or those enduring an occupation – resist and mobilise in the face of multiple, long-term crises. Existing patriarchal systems, structural inequalities and discriminatory laws have long stalled meaningful progress towards gender equality and women’s rights. For women living in crises such as conflicts, facing recurrent environmental disasters and cyclical financial shocks, the Covid-19 pandemic has come as an additional blow, severely impacting their right to adequate food. Conflict is a key and persistent driver of food system breakdown: more than half of undernourished people live in countries experiencing conflict. Extreme weather, economic shocks and climate change are also prevalent drivers of food crises and greatly affect food systems.
The first National Woman's Day was observed in the United States on February 28, 1909, organized by the Socialist Party of America, to honor the 1908 garment workers' strike in New York. Thousands of people showed up to various events uniting the suffragist and socialist causes, whose goals had often been at odds. The 1910 International Socialist Woman's Conference adopted a proposal that "a special Women's Day" be organized each year. History.com reports, that on March 19, 1911, the 40th anniversary of the Paris Commune, a radical socialist movement that briefly ruled in France in 1871, the first International Woman’s Day was held. It drew more than 1 million people to rallies worldwide. During World War I, women continued to march and demonstrate on International Woman’s Day.
March 8th is International Women’s Day. It’s a day to work for women’s equality in all sectors of our world. Yet there’s one peculiar effort toward fake equality that must be vehemently opposed by feminists of all genders . . . drafting women – or anyone – into the US military. On March 26th, the National Commission on Military, National, and Public Service will issue a recommendation to Congress on whether to expand the US military draft and draft registration to women – or abolish it for everyone. Their report is several years in the making, and was triggered when the male-only US military draft and draft registration was ruled unconstitutional by the courts. On March 26th, we’ll discover whether they think women’s equality means having to live in equal terror of the scourge of the military draft, or if they have the rare foresight to assert that people of all genders should regain/retain their freedom from conscription.