International Women’s Day – After One Century: Turn 8 March into a Day of General Strike Actions!
Statement by the International Women’s Secretariat of the RCIT, www.thecommunists.net, 08.03.2017
The most important event in the history of the workers and oppressed was the first successful proletarian revolution in 1917. The Great Russian Revolution would not have been possible without the bold initiative of the women workers who – in the best sense of the word „impatiently“ – started the February Revolution, which was the prologue to Bolshevik Revolution of October 1917. The great heroines of the February Revolution turned International Women’s Day into a day of general strike, inflaming the country with the spirit of the revolution. On the eve of the International Women’s Day in 1917, this revolutionary spirit also spread to their class brothers. The vanguard role of women in revolutions had already been demonstrated long before during the French Revolution of 1789-94. Since the Women’s March to Versailles in 1789 (also known as The October March) we have repeatedly seen that, in the history of the oppressed, we as women, are the warrant for revolution.
In this, the ninth year since the beginning of the historic period of capitalist decay in 2008, the inner-imperialist rivalries are accelerating while the workers and oppressed have risen up in numerous countries against the ruling class (in particular in the Arab world), but have also faced a number of counterrevolutionary defeats.
A vivid symbol for this contradictory development is rise to power of the 45th president of the United States, Donald Trump. The new US administration led by Trump constitutes a severe threat of massive attacks not only against the working class and the oppressed in Northern America but throughout the entire world. We can see that this danger has already turned into a reality, for example, by the so-called Muslim Ban, a disgusting racist attack against migrants from several Muslim countries initiated by Trump. But we can also see the danger in the ongoing racist attacks against the Mexican people and the attempt, already started, to build a strong wall along the Mexican border as well as in the massively increased number of deportations. Yet another example is the renewed attacks against the heroic fighters on the ground at Standing Rock, North Dakota, ever since the Trump administration re-opened the road to massive destruction of the living conditions of Native Americans in this area by ruthless petroleum companies building a pipeline through this area.
However, all these attacks, and many others, are being undertaken by a government that is abhorred by billions of people in the world. Even moreso, the Trump administration provokes mass resistance because of its undisguised extreme chauvinism and super rich arrogance. It even provokes the shame of bourgeois imperialist forces who claim to defend democratic values, mainly the liberal sectors of the bourgeoisie of the United States, Canada and the European Union, while amusing and confusing the eastern imperialists like Russia, China and Japan. We don't take the democratic protest of the bourgeois liberals against the Trump government seriously, as they themselves have implemented such racist and imperialist policies in the past (and are still implementing them in Europe) against both the workers at home as well as against our oppressed brothers and sisters in the semi-colonial world. However, the Trump administration, while clearly a tremendous danger for the workers and oppressed and a catalyst for rivalries between the imperialist powers, at the same time also objectively (albeit unintentionally) constitutes a factor for the mobilization of the masses.
Women in particular were and still are a driving force in the mass mobilizations as we have seen during the inauguration of Trump on 20 January, when more than 5 million people, mainly women, marched world-wide against the new US government. There are already calls circulating for a women’s general strike on this years’ International Women’s Day (8 March) – something the world hasn’t witnessed for nearly a hundred years.
Less than a month ago there was a mass strike of migrant workers in the US on 16 February, the „Day Without Immigrants.“ Indeed, migrants have played a central role in reviving the militant May Day tradition in the US since 2006. In particular, Mexican brothers and sisters, along with migrants from other Latin American countries, brought the May Day tradition back to the US. It is the vital labor movement of Latin America which, through militant migrant protests, is enlightening the stiffened traditions of the US. Given Trump’s attacks on Mexico specifically and migrants in general, it’s no wonder that the new Trump Era provokes mass popular protests in Mexico and other countries of Latin America!
In October 2016 tens of thousands of women marched under the slogan of „Ni Una Menos“ (Not One Less) against femicide in Argentina. We have seen similar mass demonstrations in Mexico (Ni Una Muerta Más ), Bolivia, Chile, El Salvador, Paraguay and Uruguay. In the time of such important and impressive mass movements of women a US president who is known for boasting to „grab her by the pussy“ as well as for his racist slander against Mexican people, is an additional provocative factor.
Thousands have marched against the extremely racist Muslim Ban which was initiated by the Trump government – not only in the US but also in London. The politics of the Trump administration creates automatically a sharp demarcation line and provokes even those people to protest against the reactionary Muslim Ban who have not always been „comfortable“ with a multinational composition of the population respectively who have some issues with Muslim people as such. Even the deep popular mistrust – nurtured by the chauvinist propaganda of the imperialist forces against people of color and mainly Muslim people – is partly broken up amongst broader layers of the population.
However, at the same time we can see an increase of direct and violent attacks against migrants and Muslims as the right wing forces – and with them a relevant part of reactionary elements in the population – feel encouraged by Trump’s victory. Along the demarcation line it is the utmost duty of the working class and the oppressed – especially of its vanguard – to uphold the banner of class solidarity. In this it is the duty of us, women workers, urban and rural poor women, to be the role model for our class as we have been already in the past.
It is time to revive our own heroic tradition and to stand together with all oppressed. It is time to stop the imperialist beast, to revive the Arab revolutions, to turn the spontaneous solidarity with people of color and Muslim people into an organized joint struggle, to fight for a proletarian leadership of the emerging new Women’s movement as well as to broaden it by including our sisters in the semi-colonial countries who should play a leading role in an international, revolutionary Women’s movement. It is time to turn the 8th March into a day not only replete with the spirit of the heroic past, but rather with the spirit of a revolutionary present and future. Let us turn the 8th March into a day of general strike action! Let us make imperialists worldwide afraid again!
For a more extensive analysis of the women’s liberation struggle we refer readers to the following document: https://www.thecommunists.net/oppressed/resolution-womens-liberation/