What that July 2016 call would quickly unleash was something no one anticipated: Saudi Arabia’s first feminist mass movement.
The movement in Switzerland was patiently constructed from below, in a capillary fashion, in connection with social movements and militant and trade union organizations, without renouncing the radical elements of its program. This is undoubtedly one of the keys to its success, manifest on the evening of the 14th of June.
A lot of people involved in the different CUTE committees were involved in the 2012 student strike and from that experience we drew some critiques that led to new forms of organizing in the student movement. One of them was the critique of centralization that led to creating autonomous committees, which are the CUTE. One of the principles that led to this movement is that of political autonomy, to try to achieve this as much as we can.
The “Feminist International” is (and for a long time has been) a lived reality of the Polish feminist movement – we participate in international feminist groups and activities, in workers’ unions, grassroots organizations, political parties and their alliances on the European level, as well as in initiatives such as the Women’s International Strike. The feminist international is perhaps the biggest and most promising international today, apart from the independently forming international of the fascist groups, which obviously inspire our resistance.
There has not been a counter-revolution, there has been a process of advance for the Right, but with popular resistance. And it’s interesting that there is a new generation. Those who struggle now have processed the experience of the progressive cycle. We will see how they translate this politically, we don’t know. But the generation that produced the earlier cycle did it without experience, arising out of pure neoliberalism. Now, the new generation is leading this process.
The feminist movement, especially as connected to popular feminism and popular economies, thus shows that we cannot delegate to capital – through the tool of the wage – recognition of who are workers. That is why we say, “All Women Are Workers” (#TrabajadorasSomosTodas). Now, that statement does not operate as a blanket that covers up and homogenizes an abstract class identity, but rather it functions because it reveals the multiplicity of what labor means from a feminist point of view, with all of its hierarchies and all of its struggles.
“At every node in this global chain, the technical and the political are intimately entangled. Declaring by fiat that decarbonization is unlikely or impossible amounts to an avoidance of the complex, historic, world-making tasks ahead of us.”
With six million people on strike in Spain, general strikes or work stoppages called by labor organizations in Italy, Argentina, and Chile, mass demonstrations in a number of countries including Turkey and Mexico, and a significant growth of mobilizations in the UK, Belgium, and Germany, this March 8 has demonstrated the expansive dynamic of the new feminist movement.
The necessity of rethinking and practicing the strike as a feminist initiative and to share common discourses and claims has been and continue to be the guiding orientation for NUDM organization. Since 2016, local assemblies have been established throughout Italy, coördinated on a national level through mailing lists, Skype calls, and general national meetings. The effort has been to move beyond the simple coalition of already existing organized groups, starting from the feminist strike as a process.
Since its inception the Feminist Strike has been an intergenerational movement, driven by strata of very young women but also managing to incorporate older women, who in many cases had no prior political experience. This mixture seen in assemblies and work commissions has now crystallized in personal bonds, where our comradeship precedes any existing differences. The principle of active solidarity is enabling women from diverse backgrounds to become quickly aware of the problems and conflicts that affect other women.