For Immediate Release
Barbra Ramos, National Communications Director
LOS ANGELES–A march with an estimated 2,000 participants, organized by two feminists of color groups, AF3IRM and Ovarian Psyco-Cycles, shut down the streets of downtown Los Angeles this past Sunday. It was obvious from the onset that this was no ordinary march – as AF3IRM National Chair Jollene Levid stated, “when our history books look back, they are going to recognize the statistic we are creating today. When they look back to March 8, 2015, they will see that waves and waves – hundreds, thousands, of women of color and allies shut down downtown Los Angeles.”
Those in attendance joined together on International Women’s Day in the name of women’s issues and lives and to continue the fight against oppression and violence. They held up signs to inspire and inform, such as “Dreaming is an Act of Resistance,” “Your Transphobia is Not Feminism,” and “Feminism is a not a word – it’s an action.” Posters even reflected feminist literature and celebrated women of color activists, artists, and authors. The event also remembered many of the women victims of violence, with participants carrying placards with images of several women and girls murdered in recent years, including Aiyana Stanley-Jones, Shaimaa al-Sabbagh, Mary Unique Spears, and Jennifer Laude.
Following the lead of AF3IRM and Ovarian Psyco-Cycles, speakers and participants addressed diverse issues to reflect the intersectionality of women’s oppression, including police brutality, state violence and occupation, immigration rights, economic justice, transwomen rights, and reproductive justice. The march was particularly unique in that multiple rally points were made as participants gathered at City Hall, moved to LAPD, the Federal Building and the Detention Center, and finished at Mariachi Plaza. Representatives from the Fight for $15, BlackLivesMatter LA, Immigrant Youth Coalition, Labor Strategy Center, [email protected] Coalition, and others, who were among the more than 70 groups that endorsed the march, educated and fired up the crowd. In front of City Hall, Def Jam poet Mayda del Valle’s voice soared as she asked “Where’s the sense in this, LA? Where’s the beauty in this, LA?” in her critique of economic inequality. Indeed, these were questions raised in spirit at all the stops and answered with calls for continued resistance and affirmation for women’s lives.
Many moments of beauty and resistance were found that day. In front of LAPD headquarters, journalist Thandisizwe Chimurenga led libations and invoked the names of murdered black women. Those imprisoned in the detention center responded to the crowds’ call “Our youth, our nation – stop the deportations!” by clanging on their walls and windows. Marchers chanted “We are the women, the mighty mighty women, fighting for justice and our liberation” and “Whose streets? Our streets!” Whole families participated- including a mothers’ contingent with their children in strollers at the front of the march- while musicians led groups in song, with people dancing around them.
As The Oracle Jayne Doe sang in the closing program, “Rebel – you’re a rebel with cause, fighting for it all” – it was clear from the many marching and the chants that echoed throughout the streets and neighborhoods of downtown Los Angeles and Boyle Heights, that the spirit of revolutionary and transformative change, especially for women of color, are very much alive. The women are “organized and dangerous,” as AF3IRM asserted in their national statement for International Women’s Day, and with more joining the movement and in solidarity, liberation is on its way.
Coverage of our International Women’s Day March:
ARTICLES, VIDEOS, & AUDIO
From EFE International: Dozens of organizations demand gender equality in Los Angeles (Video)
From Fight for $15 LA: International Women’s Day (Storify)
From La Opinión: Mujeres marchan en Los Ángeles en su día
From ABS-CBN: Pinays join International Women’s Day protests in LA
From Balitang America: Why Protecting the Rights of Filipinas Must Extend Beyond Borders (Video)
From Latino Rebels: International Women’s Day march in LA radio report segment coverage (2nd segment)
From La Prensa: A thousand people advocate for gender equality in Los Angeles
From The Sundial: Celebrating International Women’s Day
From TeleSur: International Women’s Day: Women Resist (Storify/Photos)
From LA Times: Hundreds rally for women’s causes in downtown Los Angeles
From National Journal: INTERNATIONAL WOMEN’S DAY: CELEBRATIONS AND DEMONSTRATIONS (Photo)
From Informativo Pacifica: Madre de Juárez inicia huelga de hambre al término de la marcha del Día Internacional de la Mujer (Video)