IWD in San Antonio—Building for the film showings

March 12, 2013 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us


A crew of us went from Houston to San Antonio for the annual International Women's Day (IWD) march. For many years, San Antonio has been one of the few cities to consistently hold a march and rally for IWD, and this year people took to the streets in defiance of a new city ordinance demanding exorbitant fees for marches.

Our crew, though small, had a significant impact, and there was a lot of interest in the film, with some people struggling over making the trip to Houston to see it. At the beginning of the rally, we marched through the crowd with a large banner in English and Spanish, "Break The Chains - Unleash the Fury of Women as a Mighty Force for Revolution!", and agitating about the film and the need for revolution to end the oppression of women and all oppression. People grabbed up the palm cards for the film, with many taking extras to get out to others they know.

Many marchers slapped on the bumper stickers, "BA Speaks: REVOLUTION - NOTHING LESS!", wearing them throughout the march. It also made a big difference that one member of our crew was distributing stickers from the Stop Patriarchy movement, which were taken up broadly and could be seen being worn by people throughout the march.

We got out a large number of the IWD issue of the paper, as well as the special issue, "A Declaration: For Women's Liberation and the Emancipation of all Humanity".

The crowd was smaller than years past, and not quite as spirited. This was reflected in a lack of chanting... and most of the chants that were done did not even mention the fight against women's oppression. Our crew started raising chants such as, "Not the church, not the state, Women must decide their fate", and "Whatever we wear, wherever we go, yes means yes, no means no", to address this, but we did not leave it there.

Large numbers enthusiastically took up the chant: "How do we end patriarchy? Revolution - Nothing Less!; How do we end racism? Revolution - Nothing Less! How do we end imperialist war? Revolution - Nothing Less!". The chants livened things up and raised people's sights. It was part of establishing a real revolutionary pole, and stood in stark contrast to a lot of the identity politics, trade unionism, and outright revisionism that has a strong influence in that city. It attracted the more radical elements, especially youth and immigrants, and the revolutionary pole significantly transformed the march.

At the end of the march, the MC agreed to announce the screening. She added, "this seems like an important film", encouraged people to go see it, and said, "I hope they show it in San Antonio". A retired professor bought BAsics, remembering BA from previous writings and work, and a young woman bought the Constitution for the New Socialist Republic in North America (Draft Proposal). She had shown a revolutionary her copy of the US Constitution, and the revolutionary had said she needed to check this out.

We also set up a couple of listening sessions among immigrant women, who listened to the Cornel West interview with BA. A lot of important questions came up in these, as people grappled with whether or not to come to Houston for the screening, and whether to organize others. One person agonized over the strong radical group she had been in the 60s, and how dialectical materialism had strengthened them, but in the end they fell apart under the repression. She kept asking "Why?", and there was talk about people's fears in terms of even daily survival. All of this was taken on as to why people HAVE to come to the movie showing, and that it is BA that has the most profound answers to these and other important questions facing people.

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