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.
The Women’s Strike Assembly in Britain began with women coming together to explore our visions of the red feminist horizon – what it could look like and, crucially – how we could get there.
Between March 8, 2018 and March 8, 2019 then, we built a way forward centered on our capacity to articulate, beginning with feminism and the force of its interpellations, its capacity to bring our concrete, everyday lives into the open.
What is novel about the current moment is the confluence of two processes: on the one hand, the diffusion of feminism among a new generation of women, especially borne of confrontations with gendered violence. A second process concerns the decolonization of (neo)liberal feminism, which began with the impact of the Zapatista movement and the uprising of 1994.
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.
In order to ensure autonomy from parts of the movement more reluctant to this recomposition, working-class layers need to increase their capacity to raise a massive movement, and to draw inspiration from and coördinate with movements abroad. With such an internationalist inspiration, and given the unprecedented opportunity that Macron’s presidency is giving to France’s working class to build new solidarities, the women’s movement has the chance to inject anti-capitalist and internationalist perspectives into the struggle, as decisive contributions to the processes of subjectivation that are already in motion.
We see the womxn’s strikes as an expression of this broader motion: they address class issues as well as issues of gender violence and racism. They make it possible to bridge the gap between struggles against economic exploitation and sexualized violence, which have been tackled separately for far too long.