Women across the US marked International Women’s Day last Wednesday with a roar of defiance against sexism and Donald Trump.
A spokesperson for the International Women’s Strike told Socialist Worker that over 60 events took place across the US.
“The strike went well from Fairbanks, Alaska, to New York City,” they said. “There were hundreds of cities and campuses involved—the Bay Area, Chicago, and New York had extremely impressive mobilisations.”
Trump has launched vicious attacks on women since coming into office little over a month ago.
He has threatened to defund women’s health organisation Planned Parenthood of its £400 million federal funding if doesn’t stop offering abortions.
Dawn Laguens from Planned Parenthood said, “Offering money to Planned Parenthood to abandon our patients and our values is not a deal that we will ever accept.”
Some schools were shut down as part of the day. A statement from the CEO of public schools in Prince George’s County, Maryland, said that “1,700 teachers and 30 percent of transportation staff have requested leave”.
Sharon Black from the Women’s Fightback Network in Baltimore, Maryland, explained, “It’s raising the concept of a strike, a general political strike and that’s a key thing for workers, particularly those most oppressed.”
The next test of the movement against Trump in the US is the mobilisation for protests on May Day, 1 May.
Crystal Gee from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, told Socialist Worker that “the local socialist organisations are planning to participate in the May Day strike”.
Some on the right have attacked the strikes and protests as being led by a privileged few. “Tens of millions of women have neither the benefits nor the flexibility to take the day off in protest,” argued one typical magazine editorial.
Such arguments undermine calls for unity and don’t put forward any solutions.
Heather Bradford from Duluth, Montana, argued for “increased unionisation and labour organising”.
Bob Bland, national co-chair for the Women’s March on Washington, spoke at a thousands-strong rally in New York City. “Today we are standing together in a much darker atmosphere than we did six weeks ago,” she said.
A spokesperson from the LA Women’s Strike told Socialist Worker, “The travel ban and the policy that separates mothers and children are exactly why we participate in the strike.”
Sharon Black agreed, arguing that “it’s critical that we build as much solidarity as possible with Muslim communities and with migrants”.
“And what happens in Britain and what happens here are linked—capitalism is global, our bosses are the same.”