Stop the War Against Womyn, Increase San Jose’s Minimum Wage and Celebrate International Womyn’s Solidarity
EDITOR’S NOTE: Interviews available with organizers, performers, and speakers the day of event.
WHEN & WHERE: Saturday, March 3, 2012
11:30am to 12pm—Gather at San Jose City Hall (200 East Santa Clara Street x 5th Street)
12pm to 1pm—March from San Jose City Hall to Washington United Youth Center
1pm to 3 pm—Live Jam Session of live music, speakers, kid zone and networking
WHY: We will march under the banners of: WOMYN UNITE!
· Stop the War Against Womyn,
· Increase San Jose’s Minimum Wage and
o Womyn of the 99% call for a Just Wage of $10/hour ·
o Don’t Wage War, Raise Wages ·
· Celebrate International Womyn’s Solidarity
· Respect a Womyn’s Right to Unionize
· Womyn’s Rights are Human Rights ·
WHO: The South Bay International Womyn’s Day Network
Founding Organizations: Cihuatl Tlatocan-MAIZ, FOCUS-SV, Silicon Valley DEBUG, San Jose Peace and Justice Center, San Jose Code Pink, Womyn’s International League for Peace and Freedom
Continuing endorsers from last year are: Cardea Center for Womyn · PAWIS · Anakbayan Silicon Valley
New Endorses are: Californians for Justice, Unite HERE Local 19, Anakbayan Silicon Valley · People for Education · Café J · 50/50 Crew · South Bay Labor Council · Silicon Valley Independent Living Center · Pride @ Work South Bay · United Methodist Womyn · Ethical Culture Society of Silicon Valley · SJSU MEXA · Construyendo Futuros Conference ·· OLO Oceania OneLove · Veterans for Peace Chapter 101 · Womyn Rising · Californians for Justice · ANSWER Coalition · Peace & Dignity Journeys-San Jose ·
End DV · Insane Craft Posse · South Bay Womyn’s Conference · SJSU V-Day “The Vagina Monologues” · CHAM · KKUP Radio·
· Guerrilla Theater
· Kid Zone
· Indigenous Blessing by representative of Indian Canyon, Anne Marie Sayers (Ohlone Nation)
March and Festival Narrative
Each organization marches collectively with the South Bay International Womyn’s Day Network under our banner of “Womyn Unite!” while addressing issues that matter to them in their community. The program includes a march that gathers at 11:30am at San Jose City Hall, followed immediately by a ceremony blessing by Ohlone Nation member, Anne Marie Sayers. Then with banners and signs in hand, we will walk down 4th Street, stopping along a few sites to conduct guerrilla theater before turning south on First St via Paseo de San Antonio and ending the route at Washington United Youth Center. A lively program commences with female motivational speakers and multicultural performances –– a journey of honoring womyns’ gender and workers rights locally and internationally.
Why the y? / Why “Womyn”?
The word Womyn has been rewritten as womyn influenced by Alice Walker, who came up with the term. With the intention of identifying ourselves as womyn without subset or 2nd class to “mankind,” we are taking back the identity by taking back the language.
Stop the War Against Womyn
We protest the continued use of federal funds to kill womyn abroad in unjust violent wars, militarization occupation, while womyn’s rights and services are being attacked domestically all over the United States. A trillion amount of taxpayers’ dollars continues to be drained from the national treasury while conservative Congressional elected officials think they can speak for womyn’s right to choose. To decide on reproductive policies that impact womyn without having a a womyn’s input is violence against her voice and her body. And to control a budget that is not benefitting the working womyn of this country is an economic war against them. In the context of immigration, it creates economic refugees out of many migrant womyn, undocumented or documented qho migrte here for a better life and suffer violation of workers rights pipelined into cheap labor, sex slaves, and sex trafficking.
We will honor International Womyn Day and Womyn’s History Month, as we join peoples and organizations around the world, including the International Migrants Alliance, made up of 118 organizations from 25 countries, to advocate for womyn’s rights. The deepening crisis of world economy leads to a more vicious exploitation and oppression of millions of people in the world but especially the more than 200 million migrants around the world.
Imperialist plunder, war and terror victimize, kill and displace whole families, communities, and nations, especially womyn and children. Womyn migrants are often the most victimized and abused. On the 8th year of the U.S. war on Iraq, the United States will spend $1 trillion to continue its criminal occupation of Iraq and Afghanistan. The U.S. spends approximately $700 million each day to fight a war in Afghanistan where womyn make up the majority of “collateral damage” in non-combatant attacks.
Being womyn, they experience added oppression – lower wages, stereotyped work opportunities, first to be laid off, sweat-shop slavery, sexual harassment, rape, etc. They are the most vulnerable in the human trafficking for forced labor, prostitution and other forms of slavery. We call for full and strict implementation of conventions protecting and upholding the rights of all womyn, womyn immigrants, and womyn refugees –– and addressing their specific needs on local and international levels.
Increase the Minimum Wage Ordinance
The Santa Clara County Living Wage Coalition founded by CAFÉ J believes that no one who works for a living should have to live in poverty. Every worker should be paid a wage that reflects not only the dignity of all work, but the cost of living within the community. A worker’s income should secure the right to the basic necessities of food, housing, education, health care, child care, and transportation
Enacting an ordinance in Santa Clara County that guarantees a living wage will allow workers to afford these basic necessities. A county-wide living wage ordinance will reduce income inequality and allow workers to become self-sufficient. A living wage will lift workers and their families out of poverty, increase workforce stability, revitalize the community by raising the wage ﬂoor, foster local economic growth, increase the municipal tax base, and decrease the amount of taxpayer-funded social services.
Implementing a Santa Clara County Living Wage ordinance will benefit workers and families, the economy, and the entire community of Santa Clara County.
History and Background
International Womyn’s Day (March 8th) is an occasion marked by womyn’s groups around the world. This date is also commemorated at the United Nations and is designated in many countries as a national holiday. When womyn on all continents, often divided by national boundaries and by ethnic, linguistic, cultural, economic and political differences, come together to celebrate their Day, they can look back to a tradition that represents at least nine decades of struggle for equality, justice, peace and development.
The first National Womyn’s Day was observed across the United States on 28 February, 1909.
In San José, womyn came together to have the first IWD March in 2010.
We are reviving a womyn’s movement in the once known “Feminist Capitol of America” to illustrate our solidarity in sisterhood and to build a network that will serve as a catalyst for advancing our human rights work in the South Bay and ensuring the healthy wellbeing of womyn in the process, who many times are the only model of leadership in the household.
It’s vital for our city to hold a march like this because we are home to an multi ethnic, multi lingual community that come from countries celebrating International Womyn’s Day. Womyn are bringing social justice to the forefront of our local politics, and we are a key to any political discussion. We are attempting to move away from a politics that defines us solely as victims and instead move forward to politicize us in order to improve our social conditions, while advocating for policies that may positively impact our healthy well-being, our families, our children and communities –– such as health care reform and civil rights for all, including the right to marry.