International Women’s Day 2018 – Spain: Strike against sexist violence on 8 March!

Thousands of students have already voted in favour of the 8 March strike in general assemblies. In the last weeks, the Sindicato de Estudiantes (Students’ Union) has organised assemblies in dozens of schools and universities throughout the Spanish state, explaining the reasons for our call for a general strike against domestic violence, joining an international call for a feminist general strike by calling a general student strike for 8 March.

In these assemblies we have agreed to call on all of our classmates to go on strike on 8 March and have voted school by school and university by university to add our efforts to this great mobilisation. We have organised mass postering sessions in our neighbourhoods, schools and universities. We have handed out tens of thousands of leaflets announcing the strike and student demonstrations on 8 March, throughout the state. And of course, we have also called on our class sisters and brothers, teachers, parents etc. to fill the streets during the mass demonstrations that will take place in the evening.

Below is a leaflet produced for the 8 March mobilisation.

We want to be alive, free and combative!

8 March: Strike in all workplaces and study centres

In recent years we have seen a real awakening of millions of women, massively mobilised against a deeply sexist system, which is especially violent and cruel towards women.

In this struggle, the youth and working class women have fought the policies of capitalist governments, especially the government of the Partido Popular (PP – ruling right wing conservative party). They approved a Francoist education reform which gives privileges to the church with millions of euros of funding, to continue to spread their openly homophobic, sexist and anti-abortion messages. The right wing government has cut social services at our expense, condemning us to domestic slavery, they evict us from our homes and enrich businessmen by imposing miserable discriminatory working conditions on us.

Moreover, the Rajoy government has also offered a lot of impunity to the abusers of women. In 2016 there were 142,000 complaints to police of violence against women, or 11,900 per month. However, only 2 out of 10 ended in convictions. In 2017, 91 women were murdered in the Spanish state. Every time we see the same spectacle. PP representatives act as if they are serious, hold minutes of silence etc. and ask ‘why did she not go to the police?’. They pose as defenders of equality, even as feminists, just as some of their leaders do! They could not be bigger hypocrites. They are the people responsible for this situation, and this is no accident. The PP has always defended the most reactionary “values” – sexism, homophobia and an elitist conception of class society.

Violence against women is institutional and facilitated by the courts, which even add to attacks on women. The case of Juana Rivas (an abused woman deprived of the custody of her children) or the victim of the “Manada” gang rape, clearly show this. It is not a question of individual sexist judges. It is an entire system which impacts on us all and sends us a clear message: just be careful! If you denounce the reality you experience – abuse, rape, harassment or any other form of violence – you will have to fight against a whole cavalry and you will be interrogated on all aspects of your life. It will be you that is on trial, and not only in court but on TV!

8 March: general strike against sexist violence!

Izquierda Revolucionaria understands that it is necessary to show our rage in an organised and powerful way. That is why we will actively participate in the feminist strike on 8 March. We also say that the workers’ movement must get involved in this struggle in an active and direct way. It is not enough for trade union leaders to hold press conferences or carry a purple flag. On 8 March, the Workers’ Commissions (CCOO) and the General Workers’ Union (UGT) – the major union organisations – must call on the whole of the working class to join a general strike, paralysing the economy in a campaign to defend working class women from violence, harassment at work, wage discrimination and social cuts.

We support the call made by Libres y Combativas and the Sindicato de Estudiantes for a student general strike, to empty the classrooms and fill the streets, attending all the united demonstrations which will take place in hundreds of cities around the Spanish state and across the world.

We know that the only way to end oppression is through organisation and mobilisation in the streets. We have shown our strength when we mobilise in the mass demonstrations – in the US against Trump, in the #NiUnaMenos (not one woman less) movement in Latin America, in Poland for abortion rights – in the leadership of the anti-evictions movement or in defence of our rights at work, like the Kelly and Coca Cola workers. On 8 March 2017 we were millions in the streets around the world with a deafening cry against sexist violence and capitalist oppression and this year we will be even more.
Therefore, we invite you to get organised with us, in Libres y Combativas, to build an anti-capitalist, revolutionary feminist movement and unite all those who suffer oppression and violence in one struggle to transform society.

Join Libres y Combativas!

Build our movement in your school, university and neighbourhood!

• No to sexist “justice”! For just sentences against rapists and abusers of women! For the sacking and punishment of all police and judges who allow impunity for abusers
• Drastic increase in economic assistance and shelter to victims of violence against women.
• Religion out of the classroom! No more sexist and homophobic messages in our schools! Repeal the LOMCE – the so-called law for the “improvement” of the quality of education!
• For the right to free and safe abortions. Access to sex education and publicly funded family planning services in all schools and universities. Free contraception in health centres and pharmacies for all young people.
• Free childcare in all neighbourhoods and workplaces, allowing mothers to work.
• For public laundry, canteen and cleaning services to end the slavery of domestic work for women. Drastic increase in public spending for carers.
• Repeal the labour reform. Decent wages for working class women. Exemplary punishments for workplaces which refuse to employ women, or who sack women for being pregnant or for not complying with dress and makeup codes. For the right to 6 months maternity leave for both parents on full pay.
• For an end to the multi-million euro woman-trafficking industry! Against prostitution, trafficking and paid surrogacy. Immediate withdrawal of all advertising which objectifies women’s bodies. Down with the promotion of sexist ideals of “beauty” which feed prejudices and encourage violence against women.

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