This report is hella tardy, even though I’ve been working on it off and on for a long time. But as the Hobbits say: “Need brooks no delay, yet…better late than never. And always carry a bit of stout rope in your pack”. Here’s hoping you’re inspired by their endeavors.
‘Mexican Women Plan Historic Strike Against Femicides; Millions of people are being called to join the country’s first all-women labour strike, to demand government action against gender-based violence, By Isabella Cora, Open Democracy, March 8, 2020
“In Mexico, where an average of ten women are murdered each day, many are growing restless – and angry at this level of violence. Tens of thousands are expected to take to the streets on Sunday 8 March, as part of protests happening around the world for International Women’s Day.
But recent news of gruesome femicides – murders with suspected or confirmed gender-related motives – and the government’s perceived indifference have driven women to also organise a nationwide strike the next day, 9 March, under the banner #UnDíaSinNosotras (#ADayWithoutUs).
This will be the first all-women labour strike in the country’s history, and its impact could be significant. There are about 22 million women in the workforce and, according to one estimate, if they all stop working for one day, the country could see economic losses of up to 26 billion pesos (£1 billion).
The strike, aimed at gender-based violence, also comes amidst movements to legalise abortion in all 32 states (currently it is only legal, up to twelve weeks of pregnancy, in two) – and campaigns to protect the rights of LGBTIQ individuals and end hate crimes and violence against trans people.” [snip]
In late 2018, a new federal government took office led by Andrés Manuel López Obrador, who promised to tackle “the root causes” of violence and organised crime. But in the fifteen months of his administration so far, Mexico’s record on violence has instead reached an all-time high.
The Veracruz group, called Brujas del Mar (“Witches of the Sea”), is connected to a nationwide network of other feminist groups who supported their call to action that quickly went viral on social media. Women all over the country began announcing that they too would join the strike.”
Sowing Rebellion for 2020’, February 20, 2020, schoolsforchipas.org
“On February 11th 2019, the Zapatista compañeras released a chilling letter to women in struggle around the world, cancelling a much-anticipated 2nd international gathering. Citing paramilitary attacks, precursors to the advancement of bad government’s megaprojects, the compañeras warned that they could no longer keep themselves or others safe in Zapatista territories.” [snip]
“Like shadows that presage the extractive development projects of the Lopez Obrador administration, threats loomed over the peace of indigenous communities across Mexico. On the 20th of February, armed individuals murdered community leader Samir Flores Soberanes on his doorstep in Amalcingo, Morelos, just one day after he presented arguments against the thermoelectric plant and gas pipeline of the Morelos Integral Project. As the bad government simulated false people’s referendums to advance similar plans in its Program for the Development of the Isthmus of Tehuantepec, and the mega – tourist development of the so-called Maya Train, indigenous and campesino communities experienced narco and paramilitary threats abetted by the inattention of federal troops, and encirclement by the National Guard. In May alone, four members of the Popular Indigenous Council of Guerrero- Emiliano Zapata were brutally hunted and murdered, with no consequence. As “development” proceeds apace under AMLO’s regime, violent backlash against any resistance has become the norm.
If you are new to the struggle of Zapatista women, take a moment to watch this oldie but goodie — Women in the Zapatista Movement. (from 2014, 6:13)
‘The Revolutionary Autonomous Zapatista Movement in Chiapas: a Primer’, wd, Café Babylon, Feb. 28, 2018
‘Over 3500 Landless Women To Occupy Brasilia at 1st National MST Women’s Meeting’, By Staff, Brasil de Fato, March 9, 2020
This is the first time in the history of the Landless Workers Movement (MST) that a meeting is spearheaded exclusively by rural women. The meeting will take place at the Parque da Cidade, one of the biggest urban parks in the world and the biggest in Latin America.
“From the Amazon to the south of the country, we have our experiences of resistance and for sure, on this day we’ll make an important diagnosis, but more than that, an idea of how women do and will continue to participate in the struggle more and more,” says Kelli Mafort, part of the national directorate of the MST movement, also explaining that the gathering will serve as a guiding principle for social movements on the question of gender.
Mafort highlights the fact that the meeting is strategically positioned at the crossroads of attacks by the Bolsonaro government against land reform and women’s issues, and that one of their goals is to outline the medium term vision for the political struggle in the country. “The current situation requires radical action so we can stand up to and defeat those in power. This radicalized struggle, comes from those fighting for land, for rights, but also fighting for life, and when we speak of women’s struggles, we speak of the struggle some are facing to stay alive. So we are talking about extreme occurrences of violence, of femicide, violence that is even worse for rural and black women”, Mafort points out.
The people under pressure
One of the main points the meeting will focus on is legislation (MP 910) that seeks to legalize, until 2022, around 600 thousand rural homes. Public lands that will be appropriated by “grileiros” (those forging documents to obtain land rights) and big rural landowners, according to MST.
“Public land belongs to the people, it cannot be negotiated, sold, it needs to be passed on for land reform in accordance with the Brazilian Constitution, and this legislation is rewarding the criminal “grileiros”, which will certainly increase deforestation, and pressure on the people living in our country”, explains Mafort.
Another topic of discussion of the gathering, showcased by the Movement’s leader, is the February of 2020 decree 10.252, which ends the National Educational Land Reform Program (Pronera). Over 20 years, Pronera guaranteed the schooling of 192 thousand youth, from basic to post graduate education.”
‘‘March 8 is International Women’s Day and around the world, women protested for equal rights and an end to sexual violence and exploitation’, Kevin Zeese, popular resistance, March 8, 2020
“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.” [snip]
“By 2014, International Women’s Day was celebrated in more than 100 countries and had been made an official holiday in more than 25 countries.”
Zeese then cites the many venues and offers photos by Tweet and Instagram.
The following Insurrections from (mainly) the First Nations Matriarchs of the Wet’suwet’en and Unist’ot’en Camp is a complicated story that began on Dec. 31, 2019. But let’s start here:
‘Callout for Ongoing Support’, by UnistotenCamp / March 3rd, 2020, dissidentvice.org
“As Canada and BC have proposed an agreement to recognize Wet’suwet’en title on our unceded lands, Coastal Gaslink and the RCMP continue to violently trespass against our will.
A message to our supporters: This is not over. We want the RCMP and CGL off our lands.
This proposal from BC and Canada is long overdue, following decades of denial of Wet’suwet’en rights and title after the 1997 Delgamuukw-Gisday’wa court case. Our ancestors proved what we have always known – that these lands belong to the Wet’suwet’en – and thanks to thousands rising up across so-called Canada, the government is forced to acknowledge this.
We need to keep the pressure on.
The proposal will be reviewed by our clans, and decided upon by our nation in our bahtlats (feast hall) in accordance with Anuk nu’at’en (Wet’suwet’en law) in the coming weeks.”
She provides a lot of links, #hastags, and first nations solidarity movements, rail blockades across Canada, and even Guatemala.
“Love and rage,
Unist’ot’en Solidarity Brigade
The Unis’tot’en (C’ihlts’ehkhyu / Big Frog Clan) are the original Wet’suwet’en Yintah Wewat Zenli distinct to the lands of the Wet’suwet’en. Over time in Wet’suwet’en History, the other clans developed and were included throughout Wet’suwet’en Territories. Read other articles by UnistotenCamp, or visit UnistotenCamp’s website.
‘Timeline of Wet’suwet’en solidarity protests and the dispute that sparked them’,
“RCMP began enforcing an injunction earlier this month that prevents interference with construction of a $6.6-billion natural gas pipeline in northern British Columbia.
Dec. 31, 2019 — The B.C. Supreme Court grants Coastal GasLink an injunction calling for the removal of any obstructions including cabins and gates on any roads, bridges or work sites the company has been authorized to use.
Jan. 1, 2020 — The Wet’suwet’en First Nation serves Coastal GasLink with an eviction notice, telling the company workers are “currently trespassing” on their unceded territory.”
This is the Wet’suet’en website’s Treaty Land page; below is a link to the Pipelines in their Territory with a 20+ min. video.
Reconciliation Is Dead: RCMP Invade Unist’ot’en Territory (Feb. 13, 2020, 7 + mins.)
‘Canada invades. Invades on behalf of industry. Invades during ceremony. Canada tears us from our land. Tears us from our families, from our homes. Takes our drums away. Takes our women away. Jails us for protecting the land, for being in ceremony, for honouring our ancestors. On February 10, RCMP invaded unceded Unist’ot’en territory, arresting and forcibly removing Freda Huson (Chief Howilhkat), Brenda Michell (Chief Geltiy), Dr. Karla Tait, and four Indigenous land defenders from our yintah. They were arrested in the middle of a ceremony to honour the ancestors. Police tore down the red dresses that were hung to hold the spirits of missing and murdered Indigenous women, girls, and two spirit people. They extinguished our sacred fire. We have had enough. Enough dialogue, discussion, negotiation at the barrel of a gun. Canada comes to colonize. Reconciliation is dead. It is time to fight for our land, our lives, our children, our future. Revolution lives!’
(cross-posted at caucus99percent.com)