Memory and Justice for Women
International Feminist Mobilization
8-14 March 2010
To women of Honduras and the world
To human rights organizations
To democratic and independent organizations
To national and international media
To people in general
We, Feminists in Resistance, members of the National Front of Popular Resistance of Honduras, issue a cordial and sincere invitation to all feminists, women, democratic and independent organizations, human rights organizations, individuals committed to the defense of human rights, students, researchers, professionals, and people in general: join us and participate in the Massive Mobilization of Feminists in Resistance, held to commemorate International Working Women’s Day, from the 8th to the 14th of March this year, in the cities of Tegucigalpa and La Esperanza.
On this occasion, we are organizing the Massive Mobilization of Feminists in Resistance and the Second National Summit for the Re-foundation of Honduras “Establishment of the First Popular and Democratic National Constituent Assembly” with the following sister organizations which are sponsors of the second summit: the Movement for the Re-foundation of Honduras; the Civic Council of Popular and Indigenous Organizations of Honduras (COPINH); the Broad Movement for Dignity and Justice (MADJ); and all member organizations of the National Front of Popular Resistance.
The commemoration on the eighth of March this year has profound significance for organized women, in that it coincides with the celebration of the centenary of the recognition of International Working Women’s Day. Nevertheless, it must be remembered that International Working Women’s Day is a result of great and heroic work that we have carried out throughout history to achieve dignity for, and emancipation of, working women in particular and women in general. We shall not forget the pioneering women who, on 8 March 1908, went on strike, demanding the right to join trade unions, higher wages, vocational training, and the less-than-12-hour working day.
During the aforementioned strike, 129 working women died in a fire, for which the boss was responsible, at a cotton textile factory in Washington Square, New York.* The women had been locked inside the factory, so they would be forced to remain at work and would not be able to join the strike. In 1910, at the Second International Conference of Socialist Women, to honor the memory of the fallen women comrades in the struggle, Clara Zetkin and Rosa Luxemburg, among others, proposed the eighth of March as International Women’s Day.
Today, we commemorate this day under dire circumstances in our country. We denounce the regime that has been imposed on our nation, the regime that rules through its state policy of repression. The current administration continues the de facto regime installed after the coup d’état of 28 June 2009. The ultra-rightists have established themselves in the institutions of the state, eager to stop, at whatever cost, the political reforms that our people demands.
In their attempt to stop the course of history, the powerful are resorting to the establishment of a fascist-style politico-military state, which violates individual rights and human rights. That is made evident by the escalation of assassinations that began with the death of Isis Obed Murillo Mencía and has continued with the murders of Vanesa Zepeda and Claudia Brizuela, human rights defender and LGTBI community member Walter Tróchez, and Artists in Resistance member Renán Fajardo. More than 150 young people have been murdered, disappeared, tortured, and persecuted on account of their ties to the Resistance.
We, Feminists in Resistance in Honduras, issue a call to feminist organizations of the world, international movements of women, popular movements and democratic organizations of all continents, and, of course, all of our people: wherever you are, help stop this wave of repression against the Honduran popular movement which is fighting a peaceful struggle in order to achieve a life of peace and freedom.
For freedom and respect for the lives of people in resistance!
No to the coup d’état and no to violence against women!
For the emancipation of women and all the oppressed!
8 March 2010
* Translator’s Note: The Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Fire, to which the Honduran feminists appear to refer, happened on 25 March 1911.
The original communiqué “Gran Movida de Feministas en Resistencia” was published in Vos El Soberano on 7 March 2010. Translation by Yoshie Furuhashi (@yoshiefuruhashi | yoshie.furuhashi [at] gmail.com).