As A Dominicana, I’m Joining the Strike Today, Here’s Why
Written by: Natalie Matos
“Vencedores y vencidos: tened en cuenta solamente que para solucionar de manera cordial el complicado problema de nuesta emancipacion es preciso de refundais vuestra distintas opiniones en una sola..” – Petronila Angelica Gomez, Letter from the editor Femina magazine
Petronila Angelica Gomez wasn’t talking specifically on feminism in this quote, she was talking about Dominican sovereignty, but these words can easily be applied to the multiple oppressions she underwent as an Afro-Dominican working class woman turned Feminist Writer. It should come as no surprise that when women emerge from the margins, intersectional feminism is priority. Even before term existed, women of color, working class women, immigrants, LGBTQ folks, understood what it meant.
It’s why on March 8th, you will find us out on strike across 50+ countries for our multiple needs. Imperialism and capitalism does not protect us all, it only cares for the elite while the rest of remain vulnerable to gender violence, oppression and exploitation. We must stand for the freedom of every woman and and it’s why we need a feminism for the 99%.
We stand with the massive mobilizations in the Spanish state, Ni Una Menos in Argentina, and with the smaller groups like MUDHA in the bateyes of Dominican Republic who can’t mobilize the same way because of the very real obstacles they face. In New York where there are millions of Dominicans among people of color in the financial capital, we call a strike for:
“We will strike for reproductive justice, including unrestricted access to safe and free abortion and the end of forced sterilizations. We demand that New York State decriminalizes abortion by taking it out of the penal code and bringing state law in line with Roe v. Wade after 45 years of being unconstitutional. We demand the passing of the Reproductive Health Act, which will set a precedent for the rest of the country.
We will strike against gender-based violence in homes and workplaces, in prisons and detention centers. We demand justice for Anna Chambers in her fight against NYPD and the officers that sexually assaulted her.
We will strike for labor rights: for the recognition of women’s unpaid work outside the workplace; for $15 minimum wage; for equal pay; for the right to unionize and to collective bargaining; against wage theft, and for fully paid family and sick leave.
We will strike for the NY Health Act, to provide universal healthcare; to extend universal childcare for the ages of 0-3; for funds to public schools and for free higher education; for adequate funding for our public transportation system, which is so essential to the lives and wellbeing of the working people of this city. We will also strike for the right to housing and against the continuous displacement of women of color from working-class neighborhoods due to increases in rent and racialized gentrification.
We will strike for the rights of immigrant women: we demand paths to citizenship, full access to public services and labor rights for undocumented immigrants; we demand that ICE stops the persecution and detention of immigrant people, and that it stays out of the courts, for their presence pushes immigrant women suffering from abuse and violence at home or in the workplace to stay silent. We demand an end to the crackdown on immigrants rights activists. We support sanctuary cities and campaigns for cooperative economics, which allow undocumented women and others to work in conditions of basic human dignity.
We will strike against the criminalization of working-class people, institutionalized racism and white supremacy prevalent in the city: against broken windows policies, police brutality, mass incarceration, and the privatization of prisons and detention centers. We will strike for prison abolition and divestment. We demand an elected civilian review board, whose members are elected at the community level and offers genuine oversight and recourse to victims of police abuse.
We know that the policies that attack the conditions of life, rights, and wellbeing are connected to the exploitative and militarist policies that the United States carry or support abroad. This is why, we will strike in New York City, the beating heart of global capitalism, to oppose any increase in the military budget and demand an end to imperial wars abroad, from Syria to Yemen; the blood-soaked global “drug-wars”, from Mexico to the Philippines; and colonialism from Puerto Rico to Palestine. We will strike for the self-determination of peoples around the world, and against the U.S. covert crackdown against both democratically elected governments and movements for radical social change in the Global South, from Honduras and Venezuela to Egypt.
We will strike against the Global North extractive economic policies in non-industrialized countries, from uneven trade-agreements; appropriation of indigenous land and natural resources; to the imposition of structural adjustments by the IMF and the World-Bank, and the perpetuation of dependency via debt.
New York is a global city. On March 8, we will have a global strike.” – Excerpt taken from the NYC Call to Strike. For the full version visit www.womenstrikeus.org