FURIE, or Feminist Uprising to Resist Inequality and Exploitation; is a newly formed “radically inclusive grassroots feminist organization” here in Chicago. They are definitely an organization to keep an eye on and we look forward to collaborating with them in the future. To learn more about FURIE, check out their facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/chicagofurie
On Sunday, January 18th, members of the Chicago IWW GMB grabbed some flags and a megaphone and caught a bus downtown to attend FURIE’s “Dance Party to Counter Protest IL ‘March for Life’”.
“Why would a labor union show up to an action for women’s reproductive rights?” You ask.
Remember, the IWW stands for the liberation of all members of the working class. This means doing more than organizing at work – it means fighting oppression in all its forms, such as racism, homophobia, transphobia, ableism and, of course, sexism. Furthermore, the IWW firmly stands against patriarchy and all of it’s manifestations, including the policing of women’s bodies.
Anyway, back to the event! We arrived just as the counter protesters finished marching across federal plaza to take a stand across the street from the ‘pro-life’ rally. We found over 100 strong and rightfully angry women standing up for their reproductive rights and countless male comrades standing in solidarity.
Pro-choice and pro-women activists shouted chants including “Not the church, not the state, women must decide our fate”, “Pro-life your name’s a lie – you don’t care if women die”, “Queer, straight, black, white – all unite for women’s rights”, and “Racist, Sexist, Anti-Gay, Right Wing Bigots, Go Away!”.
I was honored to help lead chants and to spread the message of women’s liberation. It was also extremely exciting to see a few old friends alongside an inspiring amount of new faces in the street.
The action continued with an energetic march through the loop, a moving speakout, and, of course, a dance party! I stayed for a couple hours and was still sad to leave before the action ended but, unfortunately, we haven’t overthrown capitalism yet, and I had to head to work.
Want to learn more about the work the IWW does to fight patriarchy and stand up for women’s rights?
Check out the Gender Equity Committee (GEC) Facebook page here: https://www.facebook.com/GenderEquityCommitteeIWW
Photos from the Event:
Women’s’ Rights Activists Gathering Alongside Federal Plaza as Police “Protect” Anti-Choice Protestors
“No Borders, No Prisons, No Occupations. Only Feminist Liberation”
Women Share their Stories at the Post-March Speak Out
“Keep Abortion Safe & Legal”
Chicago IWW member leading a chant on a megaphone. She was later interviewed by ABC 7 News about the importance of reproductive rights.
“Abortion on Demand and Without Apology”. I think this one is my personal favorite.
Wobbly Flags Flying High alongside Women’s Rights Activists
Look at all those people! Thanks to everyone who came out to support women’s liberation!