On March 8 worldwide, women resist all forms of oppression

first_imgManila, Philippines, March 8.Struggle. Solidarity. Capitalist governments omit those words in their glossy, superficial receptions on International Women’s Day, March 8. However, those words convey the very essence of this important day for working and oppressed women worldwide.International Women’s Day was founded by European socialists in 1910; they sought to build global solidarity among women and promote their struggles for equal rights. It has also been marked by marches, rallies and sit-ins against war, occupations, political repression, corporate globalization and more.For more than a century, women have marched for jobs, livable wages, humane working conditions and unionization. Migrant workers decry abusive treatment and racism. Women from oppressed and Indigenous nations demand their rights. Women worldwide call for a halt to all forms of gender discrimination and anti-woman violence.A United Nations analysis issued on March 9 revealed a stunning global statistic: One of every three women has experienced domestic and/or sexual abuse or harassment. If that study included violence against women caused by imperialist wars and occupying armies, repressive governments and their police or corporate exploiters, the figures would be much, much higher.Below are some of this year’s highlights.Palestinians resistPalestinian women’s determination and strength are lauded worldwide. On March 7, 1,000 of these courageous women marched to Qalandiya checkpoint, which separates Jerusalem and Ramallah. They protested Israel’s brutal occupation of their lands on the West Bank and the siege of Gaza. Freeing their imprisoned sisters was another demand.Some 500 Palestinians and Jewish supporters marched to meet them from the Israeli side. But Israeli soldiers blocked the two groups from uniting. As women neared the gates, some trying to hang Palestinian flags, soldiers violently attacked them, firing rubber bullets, tear gas and stun grenades. Thirty women were injured, 10 hospitalized.As Israel confiscates more land in East Jerusalem and the West Bank, our sisters will keep on resisting. They deserve world support.From Turkey to IndonesiaIn Istanbul and other cities in Turkey, women protested gender inequality, domestic abuse, sexual assaults and the rising rate of femicide. Activists denounced President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who has publicly stated that women are not equals of men. Women say the government’s anti-woman policies are causing erosion of their rights, growing inequities and disregard of violence against women.Bangladeshi garment workers, labor activists and other women rallied in Dhaka on Women’s Day for comprehensive equal rights, equitable wages, safer working conditions and legal protections from sexist violence.Nearly two years ago, the world watched in horror when 1,135 garment workers were killed and 2,500 injured in the Rana Plaza building collapse. To date, 5,000 disabled workers or relatives of the deceased have received merely 40 percent of compensation due them by super-rich global brands. The struggle goes on.Gabriela, the Philippines’ mass women’s organization, coordinated demonstrations in Manila and countrywide to demand that President Benigno Aquino III resign. They want an end to his pro-U.S., pro-corporate policies, and call for economic relief for one-fourth of the population who are impoverished.Moreover, activists object to growing U.S. intervention, which brings more soldiers, leading to increased sexual exploitation of women.Promoting the rights of the 300,000 women migrant workers in Hong Kong was the focus of the Women’s Day demonstrations there.Indonesian women in Jakarta marched for legal protections and livable wages for the country’s 2.5 million domestic workers, often abused and unpaid.AfricaOn the African continent, many commemorations took place.In the Northwest, Saharawi women demonstrated against global companies that aid Morocco’s 40-year occupation of their homeland and plunder of their resources in the Western Sahara.In the South, an event in Zimbabwe highlighted governmental measures designed to advance gender equality and women’s rights and to make up for past inequities. Constitutional amendments in 2013 were intended to help achieve these goals in education, employment and participation in government.A lecture was held in Limpopo on March 12 in memory of Albertina Sisulu, anti-apartheid and African National Congress leader and spouse of 25-year-imprisoned hero, Walter Sisulu. Zingiswa Losi, Congress of South African Trade Union second deputy president, called for recognizing women’s role in the struggle, their equality with men and the need for unity within the union. She emphasized, “Comrade Albertina Sisulu participated in the struggle as an equal to all other leaders, both men and women of her time.” (sabc.co.za, March 13)Caribbean, Latin America“Women, strengthening our leadership to change our lives” was the theme of an International Women’s Day meeting organized by women in Canaan, Haiti — a city largely inhabited by people displaced by the 2010 earthquake.“We want to organize ourselves to tell Haitian authorities that we are entitled to basic services. We cannot accept the marginalization which is inflicted upon us in Canaan,” stressed Erlande Brutus, representative of the city’s women’s groups.Saniece Little Phat, coordinator of Solidarite Fanm Lakay, explained Haiti’s unique women’s movement. Geralda Sainville, a leader of Group for Repatriates and Refugees (GARR), encouraged women’s participation to strengthen their leadership, which “is the first step in being heard.” They emphasized building solidarity, too.Socialist Cuba is a beacon of progress for women. The Federation of Cuban Women, founded in 1960 by Vilma Espin, has been instrumental in this process. International Women’s Day is observed everywhere. The Revolution’s achievements are profound. Notably, Cuba ranks fourth in the world in the number of women parliamentarians with 48.9 percent and second in the Americas to Bolivia with 53.1 percent.In Mexico City, mothers of Ayotzinapa’s 43 “disappeared” students led a march on March 8. At an event the previous day, they pledged to keep searching for their children and asked supporters to maintain unity and keep organizing, as “the Ayotzinapa movement will not stop.”In Tegucigalpa, women rallied for Gladys Lanza, coordinator of the Honduran Women’s Committee for Peace “Visitacion Padilla,” and an anti-imperialist and former union leader. Juan Orlando Hernandez’s U.S.-backed coup government wrongly prosecuted her for slander for defending a woman whom a government ally sexually harassed. Women’s and human rights’ organizations and the popular resistance say, “Drop the charges!” against Lanza, 73, who faces imprisonment, reported Lucy Pagoada, of Honduras Resistance USA.Defend VenezuelaDespite heightened U.S. sanctions and coup threats, the Bolivarian government keeps advancing women’s roles. International Women’s Day was the final day of an 8,000-strong National Women’s Congress in Caracas. Women’s defense of the revolutionary process was highlighted. Rural and urban workers, mothers, youth, militia members and Indigenous women attended; they agreed on proposals to further empower women.The National Women’s Union was founded, which President Nicolás Maduro told participants would have its own “structures” throughout society. He agreed on initiatives for women’s progress, including that they comprise half of the National Assembly.Already, women receive six months’ paid maternity leave, free health care and food subsidies. Mothers are eligible for full rent coverage and are protected from eviction.Fight austerityEuropean demonstrators deplored austerity layoffs and service cuts imposed by capitalist bankers and their own governments. Women marched for equal rights, political representation, jobs, pay equity, reproductive justice and an end to anti-woman assaults. Australia’s actions opposed domestic violence, too.Women’s oppression is rooted in unequal class society. Corporate globalization, imperialist exploitation and oppression of nationalities further affect women. It is time to intensify the struggle against horrific capitalism — in the spirit of International Women’s Day, as its socialist founders intended.FacebookTwitterWhatsAppEmailPrintMoreShare thisFacebookTwitterWhatsAppEmailPrintMoreShare thislast_img read more

A journalist under threat of kidnap forced to leave the country

first_img Another journalist murdered in Haiti Journalist shot dead amid anti-government protests in Haiti News Reporters Without Borders expressed serious concern at the plight of Nancy Roc, presenter of the weekly programme “Metropolis” on Radio Métropole, forced to leave the country on 16 June 2005 after being threatened with kidnapping.”The forced exile of a journalist is always a sign of defeat for press freedom,” said the organisation. “The Nancy Roc case shows yet again that the establishment of the rule of law in Haiti remains a forlorn hope. The Haitian press is in danger. We call on the UN international force present in the country to step up its disbanding of gangs and armed groups and to guarantee the safety of journalists.”Nancy Roc left Haiti in a hurry to take refuge in Florida in the United States, on 16 June after being threatened with kidnapping.”A rumour was circulating for two weeks that I had been kidnapped,” she told Reporters Without Borders. She made the link with other disturbing incidents such as the murder of a neighbour on 11 June and took the threat of kidnapping even more seriously after a series of threatening phone calls.”In the space of four days I received six to eight calls a day,” she continued. “In the last of the calls I was told that my abduction was ‘a matter of hours away’ and that I was going to be ‘kidnapped at all costs.’ That was when I took the decision to leave the country.” She left for the airport in an armoured vehicle under armed escort.The journalist, who had also been warned she was in danger by her own sources, blamed the threats on drug-traffickers, linked, she believes, to the Fanmi Lavalas, militias that support ex-president Jean-Bertrand Aristide. Roc pointed to a worsening climate of anarchy in a country in the grip of armed groups “who even bully the soldiers of the UN Stabilisation Mission in Haiti (MINUSTAH). There are 182 gangs, 6,000 armed men and 5,000 adolescents involved. In Port-au-Prince, there are some six to 10 kidnappings a day. How can you explain kidnapping a child and putting out its eyes?” she said to Reporters Without Borders. The editor of Radio Métropole, Richard Widmaier, narrowly escaped a kidnap attempt on 11 June. Follow the news on Haïti HaïtiAmericas Organisation to go further Help by sharing this information News HaïtiAmericas Receive email alerts News October 11, 2019 Find out more November 14, 2019 Find out more Violence against the press in Haiti: RSF and CPJ write to Minister of Justice News RSF_en June 23, 2005 – Updated on January 20, 2016 A journalist under threat of kidnap forced to leave the country Reporters Without Borders is expressed serious concern about the plight of Nancy Roc (photo) presenter on Radio Métropole, who was forced to hurriedly leave the country on 16 June after being threatened with kidnapping. The journalist told the press freedom organisation that the security situation in Haiti is worsening. June 11, 2019 Find out morelast_img read more

Ice to entice

first_imgDespite the mounds of snow and bitter cold, more than 100 faculty, staff, and students gathered in the Science Center Plaza on Wednesday for the opening of this year’s Harvard Skate season.“It was so cool. It was a spontaneous decision to come here on our part, and I’m so glad we did. It really made my day,” said Celeste Mendoza ’17, who was making s’mores after watching the festivities’ opening acts.The annual celebration was significantly expanded this year. In addition to the skating, visitors could try their luck at curling and shuffleboard, warm up by toasty fire pits, and snack on some treats courtesy of the food trucks and Greenhouse Café. Harvard College student and 2012 Skate America silver medalist Christina Gao, 2010 U.S. Junior silver medalist Yasmin Siraj, and other talented figure skaters treated onlookers to a live performance.Kaitlyn Jeong ’16 (from left), Dillon Cruz ’16, Jasmine Chia ’18, Clara Chen ’16, and Kara Shen ’16 warm up by the toasty fire pits and snack on some treats courtesy of the food trucks and the Greenhouse Café during the Harvard Skate opening kickoff. Kris Snibbe/Harvard Staff Photographer“I’m so excited that this year’s opening day was such a huge success. Last year’s was on a much smaller scale, and we really added a lot more this year, and the turnout was huge! I hope we can do this every year, with each one just getting better and better,” said Harrison Choate ’17, manager of Harvard Skate.The rink is 64 feet by 44 feet, and features lighting and audio systems as well as built-in benches. The temporary ice rink is located on the plaza adjacent to the Science Center. Skating is free and open to all. Skate rentals, which are managed by students from Harvard Student Agencies, are also available.Upcoming, there will be many special events as well as free skating lessons on Fridays (check website for times), depending on the weather. Lessons are first come, first served, so those interested should gather at the rink at noon.“Harvard is thrilled to once again be able to offer this exciting program. Nothing says New England like outdoor skating and drinking a cup of hot chocolate while sitting by a warm fire,” said Meredith Weenick, vice president of campus services. “We hope faculty, staff, students, and community members alike all take the opportunity to enjoy the offerings, and we can’t wait to see everyone out there!”“They really did a great job making sure that everyone involved had a lot of fun,” said Preeti Srinivasan ’18.Harvard Skate is an integral part of Harvard President Drew Faust’s Common Spaces program. Created in 2009, the program’s goal is to strengthen the sense of community by developing inviting, usable, and flexible spaces to bring students, faculty, and staff closer together.The rink will be open every day from noon until 9 p.m. (weather permitting) until early March.For more information on event times, special events, and the food truck schedule, check the site.last_img read more

Bay Shore Crash Victim’s ID Sought by Police

first_imgSign up for our COVID-19 newsletter to stay up-to-date on the latest coronavirus news throughout New York Police released photos of the man’s clothing in the hopes someone can identify him.Suffolk County police are asking for the public’s help in identifying a pedestrian who was critically injured after being struck by a car in Bay Shore on Saturday night.The victim was taken to Southside Hospital in Bay Shore after being hit by a northbound Toyota on Fifth Avenue south of Juliet Street at 10:15 p.m. Saturday.The driver was not injured.The victim is described as Hispanic man in his mid-50s, 5-feet, 7-inches to 5-feet, 9-inches tall, 185 to 200 pounds with salt and pepper hair.He was wearing size 40 regular dark Italina Collezione suit pants with silver pin stripes, a white cloth belt and size 13 Saminto Laurenzini shoes.Police released photos of the man’s clothes Sunday night in the hopes that someone will recognize him and come forward to identify the victim.Third Squad detectives asking anyone with information on the victim to contact them at 631-854-8352.last_img read more