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Women oppose Wall Street’s wars

Published Apr 5, 2012 8:26 PM
WW photo: Brenda Ryan

A rally and march denouncing Wall Street’s war on women took place March 31 in New York City in commemoration of International Working Women’s Day, March 8. Despite cold, windy, damp and drizzly weather, women activists and their supporters rallied at the bull, a tourist attraction on Wall Street that represents the interests of the 1% — the bankers and bosses.

The rally addressed global issues impacting the 99%, especially women and their communities, who are the most severely affected by the current global capitalist crisis. These issues included housing, health care, the environment, immigrant rights, jobs, union organizing, education, imperialist wars and occupation, reproductive justice, human trafficking, socialism and Indigenous rights.

Political repression against women was a focal point. Particular emphasis was placed on the case of Cece McDonald, an African-American trans woman in Minneapolis facing murder charges in a case of self-defense, and Dr. Aafia Siddiqui, an imprisoned Pakistani woman falsely accused and convicted of terrorism. Another political prisoner, people’s lawyer Lynne Stewart, sent a message of solidarity to the rally. Go to www.workers.org to read her statement.

Many of the marchers wore hoodies to keep attention on the demand for justice for Trayvon Martin, the 17-year-old African-American youth gunned down and killed by a vigilante in Florida on Feb. 26. The rally also addressed other police killings, such as that of Ramarley Graham, an 18-year-old Black youth killed in his bathroom by police earlier this year in the Bronx, N.Y. The recent killing of Muslim immigrant Shaima Alawadi in San Diego was also raised.

Speakers represented such groups as Filipinas for Rights and Empowerment, GABRIELA-USA, Million Worker March Movement, Occupy 4 Jobs, Transport Workers Union Local 100, International Action Center, Women Workers for Peace, International Women’s Alliance, Coalition To Save Harlem and Workers World Party.

Activists from these groups and others worked together in the International Working Women’s Coalition 2012 to organize the rally and march. The coalition is launching an ongoing “Can We Live” campaign that plans to reach out to poor and working women of many nationalities in order to struggle together against all forms of capitalist oppression and exploitation.