Celebrating our strength, advancing our struggles

The people of Egypt, Tunisia and elsewhere around the world are throwing off the shackles of fear and oppression and rising up against authoritarian rulers and oppressive regimes that themselves are controlled by imperialist and neo-liberal powers. Their living situations with rising prices and increasing lack of human dignity have reached boiling point and are spilling over.  Political and economic exploitative systems are being revealed in all their starkness.

In Québec, Canada, Haiti, Sri Lanka, the Philippines, Mexico, Colombia, in indigenous lands near and far, women are on the front lines, always, a backbone of resistance to oppression, genocide, violence and exploitation. The women of Palestine, Tunisia and Egypt inspire us with their determination and courage fighting to gain the liberation of their people and themselves.  The March 8 Committee of Women of Diverse Origins celebrates these women  and sends out a call to all to join us as we mark INTERNATIONAL WOMEN’S DAY,  this year under the theme : The Slaves of the Slaves Rise Up !

As feminists, dedicated to a world of equality in all spheres, we oppose patriarchy in all its manifestations, within the home and outside the home, in political, economic and religious spheres .  Women workers, migrants, students, indigenous… women in all their diversity in Montreal and across Canada are playing a key role in transforming society. On the picket lines, standing on the barricades, marching, organizing, rising up against exploitation, discrimination and injustice while creating a new more just, and liberated world out of the old.

We celebrate the longevity of our local women’s groups that thrive despite cuts in funding or no funding at all – groups like PINAY, the Filipino women’s group celebrating its 20th anniversary, the South Asian Women’s Community Centre, celebrating its 30th anniversary, and the Mouvement contre le viol et l’inceste with its 35 years of continuing grassroots organizing and service to women. The Women of Diverse origins is also marking its first decade.

Collectively, we have contributed to  a new militancy and awareness in the women’s movement locally, across the country and even beyond. We have much to celebrate following the successful Montreal International Women’s Conference which we hosted in August, 2010  and in the formation at that time of a militant, anti-imperialist, anti-patriarchal and anti-racist International Women’s Alliance.
This year’s women’s day activities in Montreal will build on that momentum with a conference and rally. On Saturday March 5 from 10 am to 5pm our forum will feature speakers at the heart of local struggles, discussion groups, cultural presentations and literature tables.  It is open to everyone and childcare will be  provided.

Then on Tuesday March 8, which is International Women’s Day, we will join women all over the world by marking the day with a march starting at 6 pm starting from Atwater Square.  All are invited. Bring banners, slogans and noise makers as we take to the streets to announce that “the slaves of the slaves rise up!”

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