Thursday, February 16, 2017

Women's Strike Has a Date and a Questionable Name

Okay so the Women's March people have released a date for the general strike. It's to take place on March 8th, which is International Women's Day. That gives us three weeks to spread the word and organize. It seems like not enough, and as I said before, I hope they're working with union leaders or anyone who knows how to organize an effective strike.

If this is about sending a message, the Women's March already did that. If this is about forcing real change by cutting off the capitalists' source of income, it requires more than one day, and it requires a huge amount of dedicated participation. This strike is only going to be for one day. I don't think it's going to be all that impressive. But I'm sure there will be more marches and demonstrations, which I will gladly participate in.

But there's another problem. Maybe you heard that the Women's March on Washington had issues initially because they appropriated the name of a black women's march from the Civil Rights era? And then changed it to another one that was still the same as the March on Washington that ended in MLK's famous "I have a dream" speech?

Well, this strike is called "A Day Without A Woman." That sounds awfully familiar.

'Day Without Immigrants' protests being held across US

I've been hearing about this at least since the beginning of the week, and now it comes out that the strike led by the Women's March people is called "A Day Without A Woman"? Are you kidding me?

I know that the leadership of the organization was passed largely to women of color, including a couple Latinx women. There's still not really any information about this strike or who is organizing it. I don't know if they're in collaboration with the leadership of those organizing the Day Without Immigrants or if Latinx women approved the name of the women's strike. But I think I'm right to be suspicious here. Can the Women's March people please release a statement or something about this? We already had so many failures during the Women's March in terms of alienating marginalized women. And with Latinx people in the U.S. currently facing the threat of mass imprisonment and deportations (even more than usual), we can't afford to let them down.

This gets worse when you consider the fact that many immigrants, particularly those who are women of color, cannot afford to take a day off work for anything. Many of them do not get paid days off and missing a day's pay is devastating for them. They also risk being fired for taking a day off for what will be called "political reasons." I'm still waiting for alternative participation options to be released.

As always, I remain critical and with high expectations for people and organizations whom I know can rise to meet them.

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