On International Women’s Day, hundreds of thousands of women around the world took to the streets and public squares full of energy and anger against the patriarchal oppression that makes them experience countless horrors and crimes on a daily basis. They also bravely expressed their dreams and wishes for a radically different life, a just and necessary aspiration. This can be accomplished through revolution aimed at overthrowing the entire capitalist-imperialist system in the world, to finally emancipate all of humanity.
Women took to the streets in Afghanistan, Iran, Turkey, Ukraine, France, the United Kingdom, Spain, Italy, Brazil, the United States, Colombia, Chile, Peru, Argentina, Uruguay, El Salvador, Venezuela, the Philippines, South Korea, and other countries.
In Mexico, from the south to the north, from Yucatán [east] to Baja California [west], in the 32 states of this country, covering a little more than 50 cities, from girls to older women were present in the streets. In some cities there were waves of thousands of women, who painted the air purple and green with their flares, with their clothes, with their hand-written posters, with their paint and graffiti on the pavement and walls, accompanied by rhythmic sounds and slogans. These waves of women flooded the streets in a festival of furious unity against all patriarchal and sexist violence expressing no more femicides, disappearances, rapes, acid attacks, and harassment! No more degradation and humiliation of women! They also demanded the right to legal and safe abortion for all women across the country, since it has not been decriminalized in most states, despite a Supreme Court decision to decriminalize it.
In Mexico City (CDMX), thousands of women gathered at the Monument to the Revolution, the Glorieta de las Mujeres que Luchan [Roundabout of Women in Struggle], the Ángel de la Independencia, and other points. A little after noon, contingents of women kept coming out, marching and forming a great continuous column of purple and green. The protesters at the end of that column entered the Zócalo [main central plaza in Mexico City] at night.
There were perhaps more than 100,000 women and a few men in total in CDMX. They sang and danced to the rhythm of drums corps. They yelled slogans such as: “We must overthrow, we must overthrow, this patriarchal system!” They papered over some corners with flyers and posters with denunciations, and some had their torsos uncovered, painted with denunciations. The young girls held their posters up high, saying, “I want to go outside to play, and come back home!” Many relatives carried photos of their murdered or missing loved ones. Women of all ages marched, with a predominance of young women.
Once in the Zócalo, many of the young women placed their posters with their denunciations on the ground at the base of the flagpole and wherever they could. Others beat on, and tried to tear down, the metal fences that surrounded the National Palace [headquarters of the executive branch of the federal government]. These metal fences since the night before were painted by protesters with the names of murdered or disappeared women. On other fences and walls they painted beautiful drawings. And once again the police from behind these fences were throwing tear gas to prevent them from being torn down.
When it was getting dark on the Zócalo, the young women lit bonfires with their posters. Forming circles, they sang the song “Vivir sin miedo” [Living without fear]. Others shouted out personal denunciations or about known cases of violence: Rapes, harassment by men in their schools, at work, on transportation and on the street. Finally, the other women around the circle applauded them and shouted, “You are not alone!” This March 8 resonated with joy and fury, hopes and dreams for a different life, where women are treated as full human beings.
And once again this movement is being attacked by [Mexican] President Andrés Manuel López Obrador (AMLO), by trying to justify once again the walling off of the National Palace, which represents precisely the epicenter of the attacks on women and all those movements or people who fight for justice and don’t bow down to him, to Morena [AMLO’s political party] and the capitalist system they defend. AMLO declared, “Why is the fence put up? Because these people are very violent (...) You might think that they wanted to destroy the Palacio Nacional, they attack it so that they can get national and international coverage.” (El Universal, March 9, 2023). In addition to boasting that “The 4T [Fourth Transformation, political project of the current AMLO government] is already feminist.”
But what is the reality? The overwhelming majority of crimes against women continue to go unpunished. On the same day, March 8, 11 women were murdered in Mexico: One in Cintalapa, Chiapas; two in El Salto and Tlaquepaque, Jalisco; one in Cuernavaca, Morelos; one in San Luis Río Colorado, Sonora; one in Chichimila, Yucatán; one in Celaya, Guanajuato; one in Felipe Carrillo Puerto, Querétaro; and one in the capital of the state of Chihuahua (24-Horas, March 10, 2023). This murderous violence breaks and ends the lives and dreams of girls, adolescent girls, young women, and adult women.
This does not have to be the daily fate of 11 women in this country. This was above all against this terrible situation of unbridled violence that this multitude of women came out to protest throughout the country, to demand: Stop femicides! Truth, justice and punishment of criminals! And that the state stop covering up the murderers.
No, this does not have to be the fate of women. The fury and anger of women are just. And that pent-up anger will continue to erupt time after time for justice against the perpetrators and persons who cover up these terrible crimes.
Solidarity with the women’s struggle in Iran was also expressed at the march in Mexico City. An Iranian woman said, “The liberation and resistance of Iranian women will be the liberation of the women of the world. When there is oppression and murders somewhere in the world, we must not give up, we must rise up to help each other” (El Universal, March 9, 2023). Also the flyer Long Live March 8—International Women’s Day! Fight for a revolution that will truly liberate women and all of humanity!, by the Revolutionary Communist Organization, Mexico, which was distributed during the march, spreads and supports the struggle of women and all the Iranian people and points out, “All those who hate patriarchal oppression and want a much better world need to support this heroic fight, which is of the oppressed around the world.”
In Iran, in Mexico, and all over the world, what promotes and protects all this oppression and unnecessary suffering is the capitalist system and the state that defends and reinforces that system (now headed in Mexico by the government of AMLO). As this same flyer points out, “All of this demonstrates the stark reality that fundamental change cannot be achieved within the capitalist system. The problem is not only ‘the lack of political will’ of certain authorities, but the nature and functioning of the system and its institutions. All these stolen lives, all these intolerable horrors, and all this unnecessary suffering will only be ended by ending the system that sustains and reproduces it... The oppression suffered by women is more than enough reason to make revolution, and the fight to eliminate this oppression has to be at the center of communist revolution”.
Break the Chains! Unleash the Fury of Women as a Mighty Force for Revolution!