Among the many events staged to mark International Women’s Day last week was the Capital Woman conference in London. The highlight of the event was a speech by the black revolutionary Angela Davis.
The former Black Panther spoke to a packed room of 3,000 people and proved she has not lost any of her spirit of resistance.
Angela’s theme was that we have a duty to remember the countless unnamed women and men who formed part of mass movements for radical change.
She said that these had been the very people who kept her going when she was on the run from the FBI in the early 1970s.
Asked to comment on the US elections, Angela responded to those who uncritically support Barack Obama, saying that no individual black man or woman could represent thousands of oppressed people.
She warned that “diversity” among those in power does not necessarily translate into liberation for all.
Angela pointed out that US society today is haunted by its failure to fully abolish slavery, and that while physical chains may have been removed, others are left intact.
And the fact that as many as one in nine young black men in the US are currently in prison demonstrates this.
The veteran fighter concluded by saying that if we all stand together we can beat war, violence, sexism and racism.