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Reportback: Working Womens' Contingent at NY May Day March
by ILPS listserv forwarded by andy Monday, May. 02, 2005 at 8:41 PM

The Working Women's Contingent at this year's International Workers Day commemoration in New York City was a sight to behold.......

Reportback: Working ...
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2 May 2005



New York, NY--The Working Women's Contingent at this year's International Workers Day commemoration in New York City was a sight to behold: red and purple bandanas, malongs/tapis (Philippine native garbs), colorful flags representing more than a dozen organizations, and a lead banner that said, "Advance the Militant Women's Movement." Chants of "Women Workers Unite! Stand Up! Defend Our Rights!" and "Women! Rise Up with the People of the World! This War is Not in Our Name!" stopped the usual city bustle.

Initiated by the Task Force Working Women, under the auspices of the Women’s Anti-Imperialist League (WAIL), the Working Women's Contingent rallied and marched to highlight the distinct and unique participation of working women and call attention to the impact of imperialist globalization on the world’s womankind. Over a hundred participants gathered at noon in the southeast of downtown Manhattan’s Washington Square Park--a stone’s throw away from the site of a 1911 fire which killed over a hundred women workers locked in for night work at a garment factory. After a short program, the Contingent snaked along Broadway and made its way to Union Square, where the group’s dynamic presentation was greeted with much enthusiasm by the Jobs Not War/Troops Out Now Rally.

Linda Abad of DAMAYAN Migrant Workers Association and Dorotea Mendoza of GABRIELA Network, a Philippine-US women's solidarity mass organization, subsequently spoke for the Contingent at the rally with powerful speeches regarding the experiences and exploitation of women workers the world over. WAIL Spokesperson Vida del Sol said, “Organizing women workers on the basis of both gender and class serves to emphasize the double burden women bear under capitalist patriarchy… Organizing women on the basis of class, gender and ethnicity emphasizes the triple burden imposed upon poor women of color by imperialist globalization.”

Task Force Working Women is a joint project of DAMAYAN Migrant Workers Association and GABRIELA Network NY/NJ. May Day’s Working Women’s Contingent included: Andolan Organizing South Asian Workers; CAAAV Organizing Asian Communities; Casa Ache Atabex; Domestic Workers United; Desis Rise Up and Moving; Garment Solidarity Center; Haitian Women for Haitian Refugees; Kalusugan Coalition; Network in Solidarity with the People of the Philippines; Radical Women; Restaurant Opportunities Center of New York; Representing Activism, Education and Communities Through Hip Hop (REACH); Ugnayan ng mga Anak ng Bayan/Linking the Children of the Motherland; Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom; and Workers Awaaz. # # #


Ana Lisa Caballes, DAMAYAN Migrant Workers Association, (212) 564-6057

Rebecca Libed, GABRIELA Network, (212) 592-3507

Attached: photos by Erica Miguel.

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