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The Women’s March took place on January 21st, the day after Donald Trump’s presidential inauguration, in Washington, D.C.  Upwards of 500,000 participated in the march, over twice the anticipated 200,000 and three times the estimated 160,000 in attendance at the inauguration.

View of the National Mall, taken by the National Park Service EarthCam at noon ET, an hour before the march was scheduled to begin.

Sister marches also occurred throughout the U.S. and across all seven continents; a total of 673 marches were organized.  Political scientists have estimated that somewhere between 3.3 million and 4.6 million people marched in the U.S., making it the largest protest in the country’s history.  The highest turnout was in downtown Los Angeles, where over 750,000 people filled the streets.

This view does not capture the entire crowd in downtown Los Angeles, where traffic was completely shut down for blocks around Pershing Square for the march.

The organizers said that they did not plan the event as a protest, but instead as a response to “rhetoric of the past election cycle.”  They do not even describe their non-confrontational demonstration as anti-Trump.  The official website states that the march “will send a bold message to our new government on their first day in office, and to the world that women’s rights are human rights.”  Their language is very timid and insubstantial, with no mention of patriarchy, female liberation, or the fact that men are the oppressors of women.  Let alone naming the misogynist who was just inaugurated as head of “our new government”!
Fortunately, women did not listen to the “not an anti-Trump protest” message.  We showed up in D.C., chanting, “Donald Trump has got to go” and, “not my president.”  One sign at the Los Angeles march read “EXPECT RESISTANCE YOU FUCKING NAZI,” clearly addressing Trump and his racist hate speech.

A sign at the DC march reads “abuser in chief” with a red circle and line through the text.  Donald Trump raped Ivana, his ex-wife, and has been accused of sexual assault by several other women.

In a country where “vagina” is a bad word, where women are not allowed to make choices about our own bodies, where a rapist who has made disgusting comments about women has been elected to the highest political office, women are fighting back.  In D.C., women loudly exclaimed “my body my choice,” and “a woman’s place is in the struggle.”  Protest signs read “keep your rosaries off my ovaries,” “pussy grabs back,” and “we need to talk about the elephant in the womb.”  We refuse to shut up about our anatomy, despite how uncomfortable it makes men, as long as those same men continue to oppress us by restricting our reproductive freedom and objectifying our female bodies.

A sign at the LA march reads “we were all born from womyn.”

A group of radical feminists (perhaps inspired by Meghan Murphy’s article) marched in DC with a huge banner reading “WOMEN RISE UP! AGAINST TRUMP AGAINST RAPE AGAINST THE SEXIST STATE.”  They also had signs reading “ANGRY, HAIRY FEMINISTS UNITE!” and “SISTERHOOD IS POWERFUL.”  Women will not quietly ask for our dignity, our rights, and our humanity, we will demand them.  Because we know that the Trump administration and all the other misogynists of the world will not listen to our appeals.  They will only listen to political force.  Sisters across the globe, join the resistance to fight for your liberation!

A sign from the DC march reads “POWER CONCEDES NOTHING WITHOUT A DEMAND,” a quote from Frederick Douglass.  Keep this in mind over the next four years.

On Sunday, November 6th, the Santa Barbara chapter of Deep Green Resistance hosted the first stop of the Women’s Resistance Tour in Los Angeles, CA.  There were approximately 25 attendees, traveling all the way from Sacramento in the north to San Diego in the south.

 

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The focus of the Women’s Resistance Tour stop in LA was to give attendees the tools to engage in effective radical feminist activism to end patriarchy.

 

There were two presentations in the morning:

1. “Radical Feminist Resistance” discussed the distinction between liberals and radicals, described the categories of patriarchal control & examples of ways to respond, outlined the difference between alternative and oppositional cultures, and presented some examples of effective resistance movements.

2. “Misogyny and Ecocide” discussed the link between our woman-hating culture and the devaluation of the natural world, including the fact that the advent of agriculture & civilization contributed to both the formation of patriarchy & militaries as well as marking the beginning of widespread ecocide & the severing of humankind’s connection to nature.

 

The afternoon consisted of different workshops for the female and male attendees.  The women’s group started off with a kickass presentation from Warrior Sisters, an organization that provides free self-defense classes to women in order to combat the high rates of violence against women in our culture.

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Warrior Sisters gave a presentation about their organization. You can learn more here: http://warrior-sisters.org/.

 

The two representatives from Warrior Sisters demonstrated some helpful techniques in setting boundaries and, when necessary, physically stopping perpetrators.

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Two Warrior Sisters trainers showed us how to break free of a wrist grab.

 

Next, the women heard from a Board member of the Women’s Liberation Front (WoLF), a radical feminist organization dedicated to the total liberation of women.  WoLF is currently in the process of suing the United States federal government over the recent joint DOJ/DOE guidance that redefines “sex” to mean “gender identity” under Title IX.  This sets a dangerous precedent for the rights of women & girls in the United States, as Title IX is the only piece of federal legislation which protects females as a historically oppressed class.  Redefining Title IX to erase biological sex, the basis of the oppression of women & girls under patriarchy, will eliminate a multitude of protections for women & girls, such as: certain scholarships in STEM fields, separate locker rooms and showers for females in public schools, anti-discrimination laws in the workplace, and much more.

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WoLF is suing the U.S. federal government to protect the rights of women and girls.  You can donate to the legal fundraiser here: https://womensliberationfront.nationbuilder.com/.

 

The women’s group concluded with a discussion of how to strategize when organizing radical feminist actions, inspired by this video by Zoe Blunt: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2vS4dJ2WWLE.  The end of the workshop consisted of a discussion on a topic that the women attendees chose: ending sexual exploitation of women & girls (i.e., pornography and prostitution).  I was so inspired by the group’s passion about this topic and look forward to working with them on this issue in the future.

 

The men’s group participated in two discussion-oriented presentations entitled “Male Violence: A Men’s Problem” and “How to Be a Better Pro-Feminist Ally,” led by two male members of DGR, Kyle and Dillon.  “Our discussions went very well.  It was nice to sit down and talk in a group of similarly-minded men about how to improve our activism, especially when we shared and critiqued each others’ stories of what to do and what not to do in relation to bystander intervention,” said Kyle.

Men are not feminists, but they can ally themselves with feminists to help fight patriarchy.  You can read DGR’s Feminist Solidarity Guidelines here: http://deepgreenresistance.org/en/what-we-do/deep-green-resistance-feminist-solidarity-guidelines/.

 

It was great seeing all the attendees talking to each other and getting excited about the activities throughout the day.  I really felt like we were coming together as a radical feminist community, and this was an essential part of creating a resistance movement against patriarchy here in southern California.

 

If you are interested in seeing the presentations from this event, or want to be involved with organizing events like this in the future, please email us at santabarbara@deepgreenresistance.org.