Tuesday, February 28, 2012

International Women’s Day 2012

Newsletter from the Political Information Bureau (February 28, 2012)

A Call to Working-Class Women: Join the Revolutionary Struggle! 

Capitalism is the main organizer and profiteer from women's oppression. It feeds, maintains and perpetuates the old oppressive social relations as it enforces discrimination, sexism and wage inequality. Capitalism uses working women as a reserve army for part-time, temporary or low paid jobs. The aim of the class of owners of the means of production is profit, regardless of the havoc it causes and without regard to women's needs, nor those of the entire population.

We demand the right to live in dignity, to participate fully in the organization of an egalitarian and classless society, without discrimination, without racism, without sexism, without exploitation of our bodies for sexual purposes and without degrading advertising. Our male comrades must fight with us to transform society so that women are respected and listened to.

We want a society that takes into account the interests of the vast majority of women, and therefore works for the betterment of everyone, not the enrichment of a few.

In oppressed countries like Nepal, Philippines, India, Bangladesh, as in the imperialist countries like Italy or Canada, women participate in large numbers in fighting and revolutionary movements. They do this not only to free themselves from oppression and the old patriarchal traditions, but also to make revolution and throw out the imperialist exploiters and the puppet governments. Their courage and determination should serve as an example.

Join the growing leagues of women fighting exploitation by Canadian mining companies!

(NB: The next four paragraphs have been slightly adapted from a communiqué issued by Women of Diverse Origins.)

Women play a crucial role in Canada and around the world to resist the aggressive development and the growing exploitation perpetrated by Canadian mining.

The actions from Canadian giant mining companies and the governments at various levels who bow to their demands, are part of an economic plan whose objective is to keep the profits for the business community. While the bourgeois state is actively courting First Nations, governments bestow mining companies with subsidies and tax exemptions, seeking by all means a way to circumvent or ignore the territorial rights of indigenous peoples and rural communities. This is what is happening right now, both on Mohawk land around Montréal, in more remote areas of northern Canada, in Ecuador, Colombia, Guatemala, the Philippines, Congo, India and other parts of the world.

Women are very active on the ground with their communities to resist these attacks. They are often criminalized, and even killed to pave the way for bulldozers and trucks. Many members of our communities came to Canada as migrant workers due to the destruction and displacement caused in their home countries by Canadian mining companies.

Join us on Sunday, March 4 at 9am and on March 8 at 6pm to celebrate our struggles and the International Women's Day!

The Proletarian and Revolutionary Feminist Front calls for support of International Women's Day 2012 and participation in these two events in Montréal, organized by the Women of Diverse Origins collective (FDO-WDO):

The first event will be held on March 4: a day of seminars, workshops and cultural activities will run from 9am to 4:30pm at 6767 Côte-des-Neiges. The event will focus on women migrant workers and women whose communities have been destroyed by capitalism. Translation and child care will be available on site. For more information: wdofdo.wordpress.com.

The annual March 8 demonstration will kick off at 6 pm at the Norman-Bethune Place at Guy-Concordia Metro. The demonstration will condemn women's exploitation, especially by mining capitalists. The Proletarian and Revolutionary Feminist Front will have a contingent present.

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Toward A Revolutionary Proletarian Feminism

In the lead up to International Women's Day, the next Revolutionary Student Movement (RSM) Communist Night School* will discuss issues of gender and class. Specifically, what does feminism mean to proletarian and working-class women? We will read about various strands of feminist thought —from radical feminism, socialist feminism, liberal feminism, to anarcho-feminism— and critique each strand. Finally, we will explore what proletarian feminism means in order to develop a revolutionary proletarian feminist politics.

Considering that proletarian feminist movements worldwide are geared toward women liberating themselves from the material oppressions of capitalist/imperialist systems, what is our role, in an imperialist and oppressor country, in helping to create a proletarian women's movement that will address the concrete, material struggles of proletarian women?

Wednesday, February 29th at 6:30pm
Charlie's Bike Shop, 242.5 Queen Street East, 1 block east of Sherbourne, Toronto.

–> Readings available at rsmtoronto.wordpress.com.

Hope to see you there!

* The Communist Night School series are hosted by a bunch of students who don't really have time to do all the readings they're supposed to do for school or more interesting stuff. We have engaged topics such as sexuality, people's wars, youth movements, etc. in past night school series. Visit us on rsmtoronto.wordpress.com.

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"Women Hold Up Half the Sky"

In response to a recognized need to combat patriarchy within its own ranks, the campus more generally and society at large, the University of Ottawa Marxist Students' Association has launched a new campaign called Women Hold Up Half the Sky, named after a campaign of the same name launched in China during the Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution.

Designed to encourage participation beyond cis-normative men as well as develop members; theoretical sophistication and practical capacities, this campaign will include postering, a line of specially-developed pamphlets featuring the works of historical revolutionaries like Rosa Luxemburg and Alexandra Kollontai, general agitation and a weekly women- and trans- discussion group wherein the interconnections between the class struggle and struggles against patriarchy, heterosexism and cis-sexism are elaborated and a revolutionary proletarian feminist line will be articulated.

The need for such a campaign was recognized when it was noted that, during the organization's public tabling roughly half of the people who expressed interest in the group were women, but the numbers who actually ended up participating were significantly skewed toward men. This presented both a challenge and an opportunity to develop some new method of rectifying what is, by and large, a systemic problem on the left in Canada.

An experimental venture, this campaign's development and success will be closely watched and, we hope, will be worthy of serving as a model for other such campaigns both in Ottawa and in the revolutionary movement more generally. To this campaign we extend our heartiest well wishes for empowerment and liberation.

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