Monday 9 March 2009

March 8 demo in Warsaw

100 years after the first National Women's Day celebration in the USA in Feb. 1909, feminist demonstrations were held all over Poland to commemorate International Women's Day. In Warsaw the demonstration, known as "Manifa", was attended by around 6000 people. The "theme" of this 10th annual Manifa could more or less be translated as "every government is the same old story".

This year the Manifa concentrated on a number of issues including poor access to health care, lack of support for families, poor working conditions of women and church intervention in daily life. Other slogans for this year's Manifa included "the Bishop is not God" and "we want health care, not prayer".

Anarchists from ZSP (Union of Syndicalists) and WRS (Freedom, Equality and Solidarity), along with some individuals from other groups and non-alligned people took part in the radical blok with slogans such as "Neither Patriarchy of Capitalism", "No God, No Masters" and "Fuck the Patriarchy".
The demo was, as usual, picketed by right-wing goons from ONR (National-Radical Camp), All-Polish Youth and the Falange, complete with police-like uniforms and red and black flags.

Belows is a copy of a leaflet.

Leaflet (addressed mostly to liberal feminists and participants of the march):

All Governments are the Same Scam! All Authority Interferes with our Lives!

The fact that each government acts against the best interests of ordinary people is evident. Still, despite this, come every election, some call on the people to elect a different set of politicians, hoping that things will get better. And they don't.

Proponents of single issues sometimes call on us to vote if they believe that the politicians of their choice will, improve matters in one area or another. However even if they do, those in power give the people only crumbs. The main problems remain - mass poverty inflicted by greed, made worse by antisocial politics and the lack of any possibility to decide on the issues.

Government does not give people rights - government takes them away. Problems that women have with, for example, reproductive rights are the direct result of a bunch of politicians deciding what people should and should not do. The problems we all have with too little money spent on things like health care and education is the problem of not being able to directly control what we as a society spend money on.

Instead of being governed, we want to be active participants in social life. Instead of a world divided into better and worse categories of people, we want to all be equal, to all be respected and have rights.

Equality for us is not only equality between the sexes, but economic equality. Without it, there is not equality.

8 of March is a day of working women's struggle, it's origins commemorating the memory of female workers and activists; we do not accept attempts to water down the meaning of the day, a day which has its roots in the social struggle. The time has come to reject the bankruptcy of a women's movement laden with single-issue solidarity.

The changes we want do not come through a ballot box, but through mass organization and action from below.

Let's dare to fulfill our dreams and enjoy the sweet taste of freedom without god or master, without exploitation or the state.

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