Who is organizing this effort?
Locally: Individual women, non-binary folks, and allies associated with Pittsburgh DSA, Fight for $15, IWW, Planned Parenthood of Western Pennsylvania, Socialist Alternative, The Union Edge, Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom, Western PA Fund for Choice, Women of Steel, and the list continues to grow!
Who will be speaking?
Speakers at the Downtown rally and demonstration include Alisa Grishman (Access Mob), Blak Rapp Madusa (1Hood), Jess Semler (Planned Parenthood of Western Pennsylvania), Rosemary Trump (First female VP of SEIU), Edith Bell (Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom), Alaa Mohamed (Islamic Center of Pittsburgh), Jessie Medvan (Veterans for Peace), Brenda Solkez (Party for Socialism and Liberation) and Rachel Nunes (Women of Steel)/
How can I get to the event via public transit?
What do we want?
Together we demand an end to gender violence, which disproportionately affects trans women, particularly trans women of color, reproductive justice for all, labor rights, full support of providing social policies and benefits, an anti-racist and anti-imperialist feminism, and environmental justice for all.
How to get involved?
- Wear red and black in solidarity
- Strike in your workplace collectively or individually
- Stop work of any kind at 3:08 p.m. if you cannot strike
- Abstain from housework and caregiving
- Rally and demonstrate with us Downtown from 4:00 — 6:00 p.m.
- Boycott misogynistic businesses by withholding your cash and assets (#grabyourwallet)
- Share your support with the hashtag #PGHM8
- Total strike: stop work or housework and social roles as caregivers for whole workday.
- Strike from gender roles, sex, and shopping (#grabyourwallet)
- Organize a workplace strike: If you have a union, get your union on board; if you don’t, assess with coworkers whether it’s possible to organize a walkout without jeopardizing your job.
- Part-time strike: stop production/work for 1-2 hours. Walk out of your workplace or school at 3:08PM
- Organize/participate in direct actions of civil disobedience: This can be organized in support of already existing campaigns or labor negotiations or controversies, especially if involving working women.
- Symbolism: If you can’t stop work, opt for symbolic attire – black and red clothes, ribbons, etc.
- Boycott companies using sexism in their ads or approach to workers and local misogynist bosses.
- Submit statement in solidarity with the hashtag #PGHM8
- Attend the march/rally!
What individuals were involved in organizing the planning meeting?
Urgency was stirred up when the Pittsburgh DSA when the Democratic Socialists of America endorsed International Women’s Strike. Arielle Cohen (Data Analyst and Community Organizer) and Emily Fear (Teen Librarian) of the Pittsburgh DSA met with Krystle Knight (Fight for $15, IWW) and Marcela Anita (Doula & Childbirth Educator) and Casandra Armour Capri (Socialist Alternative) to figure out the next steps for our city. Seeking to mobilize grassroots groups, organizations, collectives, and coalitions, we held a public planning meeting facilitated by Emily, Krystle, Arielle and Casandra.
What is the gender/race pay disparity?
Women, on average, earn less than men in virtually every occupation with sufficient earnings data. The income inequality gap is worsened through racial discrimination and a legacy of racial inequality. Hispanic women make 59 cents to the dollar of every White man, while Black women make 69 cents and White women make 77 cents to the dollar. This statistic does not even highlight inequities also experienced by Native American women and Asian women.
What is the history of International Working Women’s Day (IWD)?
The International Women’s Strike on March 8th, 2017 is an international day of action, planned and organized by women in over 30 different countries. In the spirit of solidarity, March 8th will be a day of action in Pittsburgh, organized by and for women who have been silenced by decades of neoliberalism directed towards working women, women of color, Native women, disabled women, immigrant women, undocumented women, Muslim women, lesbian, queer, trans women and non-binary folks.
The origins are in the struggles for equal pay and decent conditions amongst women in the USA in the 19th century. On March 8, 1857, garment workers in New York City marched and picketed, demanding improved working conditions, a ten hour day, and equal rights for women. Their ranks were broken up by the police. Fifty-one years later, March 8, 1908, their sisters in the needle trades in New York marched again, honoring the 1857 march, demanding the vote, and an end to sweatshops and child labor. The police were present on this occasion too. A conference in 1910 of socialist women involved in the Second International, adopted a proposal of the German revolutionary fighter, Klara Zetkin, to establish an International Womens Day. In 1917 this was the day the working women of Petrograd literally started a revolution. In protest at rising prices and food shortages, they filed into the centre of the city, calling on all fellow workers to join them. Down with hunger! Down with the war! Hunger was claiming the lives of thousands of children, along with those of older men and women, and the very sick and very poor.
Why is striking an important tactic?
The Women’s Strike is a powerful political weapon because when women and allies say “Enough! things can’t go on like this anymore!” we challenge the existing order, build community and trust, connect with women all around the world, create networks and win women’s recognition. Recently the women’s strike in Poland against the abortion ban, marches in Latin America against male violence, massive women’s demonstration of the last November in Italy, protests and the women’s strike in defense of reproductive rights in South Korea and Ireland all point toward mobilizations combined struggles against male violence with opposition to the casualization of labor and wage inequality, while also opposing homophobia, transphobia and xenophobic immigration policies. These combined tactics push for a new international feminist movement with an expanded agenda–at once anti-racist, anti-imperialist, anti-heterosexist, and anti-neoliberal.