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.
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.