From Palestine to the United States Working Women Resist Imperialism


Palestine will free us all
– Popular chant on March 2nd Day of Action

March 8th is International Working Women’s Day. For over 100 years, people’s movements have marked the day with demonstrations, mass meetings, protests and more demanding women’s political, social and economic rights. It’s the day that launched the Russian Revolution.  

Today a world-wide movement is in a dynamic struggle for the liberation of Palestine. The U.S. and Israel have murdered tens of thousands of Palestinians in just five months, more than half of whom are women and children. Children between the ages of five and nine make up the largest population group in Gaza. 80 percent of housing has been destroyed.

An unknown number of people lie buried under rubble. Palestinians are forced to rescue their loved ones using just their hands and sticks. Where do they live? What do they eat? Palestinians in Gaza have been forced to subsist on animal feed. The U.S. and Israel have manufactured starvation to pressure Palestinians into giving up while Israel uses weapons paid for by the U.S. government to kill and destroy. 

Ceasefire is the slogan supported by 66 percent of people in the United States.  The government of the United States is the most steadfast supporter of Israel’s wildly unpopular genocide. 

Today, on international women’s day we recognize and honor the struggle of working women for liberation, from Palestine to the United States. We reject the false narratives of the political establishment that would confine our struggle to one waged by a small minority for representation in the imperialist world order. 

Women’s rights aren’t a weapon for occupation and profit

Last election featured ten Democratic primary debates by this point in the cycle. This time, zero. In lieu of debates the establishment Democrats are bringing forward the likes of Jill Biden to speak on “women’s issues.”

Jill Biden spoke at one such event in Arizona. Video footage from inside the event is revealing.

“Jill, when are you and the president going to call for a ceasefire in Gaza?” Clear words ring out from a young Latina woman who stands and disrupts Biden’s speech.

Two Biden supporters grab the activist’s hands and yank her down. An old white man in the row behind violently seizes her arm and forces her backwards. Another woman slaps her with a fan.

Later,  a young white woman calls out the genocide being committed by this government. “Shut up,” “Goodbye,” “Get out” – genocide supporters shout and hoot as security pulls her away. Biden, an educator by profession, watches as the young women are dragged off amidst the jeering crowd of Democrat party stalwarts and does nothing. 

Thus unfolded the “celebration of progressive women” of Arizona.

Among the honored guests included Janet Napolitano, who has held numerous posts in the ruling class world. As governor of Arizona, she signed vicious anti-immigrant laws into effect. As Homeland Security Secretary she proposed converting hotels and residences into immigration detention centers. Napolitano, ranked by Forbes in 2013 as the “eighth most powerful woman,” was investigated by the California state auditor for creating a de facto slush fund in her role as president of the University of California systems. Her school administration censored efforts in 2018 by student organizers to divest from Israeli apartheid profiteers. Today, student organizers have successfully forced four of the nine UCs to divest.

These desperate attempts to force acceptance of an incumbent now dubbed “Genocide Joe” are filled with  additional  hypocrisy as they speak about women.

Napolitano, Jill Biden and her reviled husband’s administration fake concern about women’s rights at home. They stoke fear that abortion rights will be even further restricted, glossing over the fact that the Biden administration oversaw the elimination of a widely-supported, core bodily right for 167 million women. 

Women’s rights are cynically manipulated by the imperialists. The suffering of Palestinian women is ignored to make it easier to build public support for the Israeli genocidal project.  But in other situations, lip service to women’s rights are used in the service of an imperialist project. The U.S. government has for decades pretended to care about the women of Afghanistan  despite subjecting the country to 20 years of occupation.

The ruling class mouthpiece the New York Times has gone to great lengths to absolve Israel of genocidal crimes against women and children while using women’s rights to further denigrate Palestinian resistance, in which women have always played key roles. Just recently, the NewsGuild of New York, the union representing New York Times workers, accused the paper of a witch hunt in retaliation for questioning the paper’s coverage of the Israeli genocide. Guild president Susan DeCarava wrote a letter noting that managers subjected  workers who had articulated concerns about the reporting to hostile questioning and were chosen “for their national origin, ethnicity and race.” 

According to the Washington Post, “The leak probe was launched after the Intercept reported that the Times’s flagship podcast, “The Daily,” had shelved a planned episode about the paper’s major investigative report describing a ‘pattern of gender-based violence’ during the attacks, after staffers and outside critics raised questions about the story’s credibility.” The Times’ reporting alleging systematic sexual assault by resistance fighters on October 7 has been widely condemned by journalists and women’s rights activists. The paper’s stories of rape and sexual assault have been shown to be biased, based on weak evidence and written by people advocating genocide publicly. These public supporters of genocide include Anat Schwartz, who co-authored the main NYT report. Schwartz had no prior professional background as a journalist before being contracted by the Times, but she did have experience as an officer in the Israeli Air Force Intelligence. Rather than apologizing, management turned their ire at workers for revealing the internal controversy.  

If the U.S. government actually cared about women’s rights, then its policies at home would be a lot different. In the United States – not a far away country with a demonized population – no federal right to abortion has been instituted. Women’s pay continues to be unequal.  We live in a country where corporations are extended personhood and a clump of cells is considered an unborn child, yet actual human beings are consistently denied the right to dignified housing, basic healthcare and voting rights. 

Given the resources that exist in this country, it’s shocking how little is invested in combating violence against women, reversing horrifying rates of maternal mortality especially amongst Black women, and ensuring reproductive healthcare for all. 

International Working Women’s Day: A day of struggle

On this same day in 1917, women in the thousands took to the streets in tsarist Russia in a strike for bread and peace in protest of World War I, high prices, and the oppression of women workers. That strike was the spark that ignited the Russian Revolution that overturned the dynasty of emperors who had ruled for hundreds of years. Immediately after the victory of the 1917 Revolution, the socialist government swiftly moved to guarantee political and economic rights for Soviet women, including the right to vote and the right to abortion, free and on demand.

Bread and peace echoes in the struggle for Palestine today — the right to live without the rampant threat of violence and war, the right to basic human rights of food, water and housing, and the right to a dignified life. The steadfast resistance of Palestinian women, just like the struggle of working class women across time and space, carries the banner forward. Palestine is the working women’s issue for socialists, feminists and internationalists. Palestine will free us all.

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