A Woman’s Place is Rojava Thursday 10 March, 6pm UK Time/18.00 UTC
Over the past decade, the women fighters of the Kurdish-led forces in Northeast Syria have inspired our admiration and our hope for a better world, says the Women Defend Rojava UK campaign. Against all odds, these courageous women took up arms and defeated the Islamic State caliphate, while simultaneously fighting for a radical re-imagining of women’s liberation rooted in the Middle East and the Kurdistan Freedom Movement.
To mark International Women’s Day, we are joined by the Commander of the YPJ Women’s Defence Forces, Arzi Hesen, to discuss the challenges and victories of the women’s movement in Northeast Syria and how revolutionary understandings of self defence have shaped one of the most inspirational and successful social movements of our times.
The frontline of feminist anti-fascism in Northeast Syria in Conversation with YPJ Commander Arzi Hesen
The Wait of the World – International Women’s Day of Climate Action
We invite all women to Parliament Square* on International Women’s Day – 8th March 2022 – for a Women’s Day of Climate Action because the climate crisis is a feminist/womanist issue.
Women carry the weight of the climate crisis and the burden of waiting for the world to act. Women in most affected regions of the world are already suffering from human caused climate change. Women in every part of the world will disproportionately suffer in a world of mass suffering and extinction. Patriarchy, sexism, and misogyny seem to increase when society is in a state of stress or collapse – we have seen this during the COVID-19 pandemic, with the rise of domestic violence, and we see it in situations of war and other crises.
We owe it to women currently more affected than us, and we owe it to our future selves, our granddaughters and great-granddaughters to press for climate action.
Please be creative! Bring props and banners, music, songs, and games. Bring food to share. We want this event to be welcoming to all women. See here for some prop ideas: https://womensclimatestrike.com/prop-ideas/ !!
We are not affiliated with any party and are a grassroots group set up in August 2021 by two women in a small town in northern England. Since then, women from all over the world have been in touch with us and have formed their own Women’s Climate Strike groups (see @womsncs on twitter). There are IWD climate actions planned in Scotland, Wales, Ireland, Uganda, Zambia, Cameroon, and the Congo, and the list is growing every day. Join us!
Here is a basic outline of the time we will spend together:
One the hour, until half past the hour – leafletting and activities e.g. craftivism, juggling, chalking, singing
Half past the hour ’til ten to the hour – open mic slots available to anybody wanting to speak (we have MP Nadia Whittome speaking in the first slot!)
Ten to the hour ’til the hour – a vigil to remember those female environmental activists around the world who have been murdered by those with vested interests
*We will meet where Great George Street meets Parliament Square, near the Winston Churchill Statue
“To exist is to resist” – Why Labour Women Speak up for Palestine
Last year, the international community and labour movement widely condemned Israel’s militarised violence against the Palestinian people, including the attacking of the Al Aqsa mosque, the forced displacements from Sheikh Jarrah and the deadly assault on Gaza. But not enough attention is paid in the media to the ongoing abuses of the Palestinian people’s rights and what the illegal occupation really means.
The seriousness of the situation facing the people of Palestine is confirmed by the fact that the International Criminal Court is holding an inquiry into abuses committed in the occupied Palestinian Territories since 2014.
Now we must speak up for Palestine again – and ensure it doesn’t slip down the agenda.
In this context of ongoing illegal occupation, Palestinian women are at the forefront of protests in their homeland today, from Naqab to Gaza, defending homes, land and people, and struggling for liberation, justice and peace.
But imagining this is a recent phenomenon, as some commentators do, gives a wrong analysis of the role Palestinian women have played historically.
The reality is that Palestinian women have always played a leading role – from the British mandate, to the Nakba, to the blockade of Gaza Strip and the campaign against Israel’s apartheid wall, to opposing illegal settlements today.
And the role of Palestinian women is critical – from leading community groups and political movements, to building international solidarity and awareness of the Palestinian struggle, to educating the next generation of people there on Palestinian history and steadfastness.
As Labour members who stand with the Palestinian people internationally, our job here is to raise awareness of these and speak up in solidarity with the women of Palestine, the Palestinian people as a whole and their fundamental rights, including to self-determination.
In this context, Labour must build on – not step back from – its commitments to immediate recognition of the state of Palestine and an end to the blockade, occupation and settlements as outlined in the 2017 and 2019 manifestos, and in the motions passed by the Party’s annual conferences in 2018, 2019 and 2021.
Labour and Palestine will be facilitating an important online discussion on these issues on March 14th – between International Women’s Day and Labour Women’s Conference – please register and join us!
- Join thousands of other Labour members in signing the Labour Must Speak Up for Palestine statement, which argues that “We must support ‘effective measures’ including sanctions, as called for by Palestinian civil society, against actions by the Israeli state that are illegal according to international law. This must include action to ensure that Israel stops the building of settlements, reverses any annexation, ends the occupation of the West Bank, ceases the blockade of Gaza, brings down the Wall and respects the right of refugees to return to their homes under international law.” Add your name here
- ONLINE EVENT: Labour Women Speak Up for Palestine. Monday March 14th, 18:30. Register here // Share & invite here // Retweet here to spread the word.
With: live link from Palestine with Samia Al-Botmeh, Birzeit University. Plus: Ryvka Barnard, Deputy Director, Palestine Solidarity Campaign, Beth Winter MP, Kim Johnson MP, Gemma Bolton, Labour NEC member, Christine Blower, Labour peer + representatives of ASLEF, UNISON, Unite the Union & Labour & Palestine.
An online event in the run up to Labour Women’s Conference 2022. Free event. Open to all.
Organised by Labour & Palestine. Kindly streamed by Arise Festival.
International Womens Day Celebration with Ealing TUC
Tuesday 8th March 2022, 7:30 pm
(please sign in early)
Meeting ID: 812 2888 1871
We have a great line up of women speakers and performers. We’re now delighted to be joined by Erica Rasheed and Mimy Longangu, striking security guards at Great Ormond St. Hospital who are members of the United Voices of the World Union. They’re fighting against a two tier system that builds in racism and inequality.
It’s a free event so please tell others, and since we’ll be together online instead of the usual venues, please enjoy with friends a glass of wine – whatever is good for you.