President Donald Trump has faced protests on a nearly constant basis since before he was even officially sworn in. Protests in Washington, D.C., and other cities across America and around the globe started generating headlines in the days leading up to his inauguration on Friday, January 20. The day after his inauguration, the anti-Trump Women’s March on Washington drew hundreds of thousands of participants in D.C., with solidarity marches in other cities attracting hundreds of thousands more protesters.
Since then, Trump’s executive order that temporarily banned travel to the U.S. for people from seven predominately Muslim nations inspired mass protests at airports and other locations, and the “Day Without An Immigrant” strike shut down hundreds of businesses on February 16 in response to other executive orders issued by Trump that critics view as anti-immigrant.
Now labor and women’s rights groups are organizing a “Day Without A Woman” general strike for Wednesday, March 8. The strike falls on International Women’s Day.
The Day Without A Woman event, which is actually a one-day strike and other actions, is being organized and supported by several prominent labor and women’s organizations, including the organizers of the Women’s March on Washington. The Day Without A Woman strike is part of a larger action called The International Women’s Strike.
“The International Women’s Strike on March 8th, 2017 is an international day of action, planned and organized by women in more than 30 different countries,” reads a post on the organization’s website. “In the spirit of solidarity and internationalism, in the United States March 8th will be a day of action organized by and for women who have been marginalized and silenced by decades of neoliberalism directed towards working women, women of color, Native women, disabled women, immigrant women, Muslim women, lesbian, queer and trans women.”
— Fusion (@Fusion) March 3, 2017
While the International Women’s Strike is focused on Donald Trump and his policies, the organizers make clear that they are also concerned with broader issues.
“March 8th will be the beginning of a new international feminist movement that organizes resistance not just against Trump and his misogynist policies, but also against the conditions that produced Trump, namely the decades-long economic inequality, racial and sexual violence, and imperial wars abroad,” the post on the International Women’s Strike website continues. “We celebrate the diversity of the many social groups that have come together for the International Women’s Strike. We come from many political traditions but are united [by] common principles.”
Those common principles, according to the International Women’s Strike website, include putting an end to gender violence, promoting reproductive justice for all, supporting labor rights, striving for full social provisioning (such as social services and other public safety nets), fighting for an anti-racist and anti-imperialist feminism, and endeavoring for environmental justice for all.
The website lists 10 different ways that people can participate in the strike.
“1. Wherever it is possible, help the creation of a large women’s strike social coalition. Check for information about local organizing on our website. If there is no meeting yet for your town, help call one!
2. Organize or participate in local marches, demonstrations and walkouts.
3. Organize or participate in picket lines and direct actions of civil disobedience. This can also be organized in support of already existing campaigns or labor negotiations or controversies, especially if involving working women.
4. Organize a strike in your workplace. If you have a union, get your union on board; if you don’t, discuss with your coworkers what risks you are able to take and organize accordingly.
5. Organize a boycott of companies using sexism in their advertisements or approach to workers.
6. Organize a boycott of chosen local misogynists.
7. If you can, leave care and housework for the day and join your local demonstrations.
8. In case you can’t stop work, get your friends together who support the strike and wear or use the color red that day, for example, red clothes, or a red ribbon.
9. Strike from gender roles.
10. Contact us for more information and organizing help.”
Additionally, if you intend to strike, please fill out this survey which will help us calculate the impact of the strike!
— Cheri Lovell (@thestrategicorg) March 5, 2017
It’s difficult to predict how successful the Day Without A Women strike will be compared to the Women’s March on Washington and other protests, but the group has been endorsed by dozens of prominent liberal and progressive organizations.
In February several organizers of the International Women’s Strike collectively wrote an op-ed for The Guardian in which they argued that the current political climate is perfect for another mass anti-Trump action led by women.
“The massive women’s marches of 21 January may mark the beginning of a new wave of militant feminist struggle,” the op-ed begins. “But what exactly will be its focus? In our view, it is not enough to oppose Trump and his aggressively misogynistic, homophobic, transphobic and racist policies. We also need to target the ongoing neoliberal attack on social provision and labor rights.”
[Featured Image by Mario Tama/Getty Images]