Women Speak Out for Justice, Survival and a Living Wage for All
On July 26, about 300 women and men of different races, ages, and struggles poured into the Broad Street Ministry in Philadelphia for the Speak Out, chaired by Margaret Prescod. It was the only women’s event at DNC (Democratic National Convention) and was dubbed by The Intercept reporter Alice Speri "one of the most diverse crowds of the week".
The daughter of murdered Honduran activist Berta Cáceres, Laura Yolanda Zuñiga Cáceres, called for an end to US funding for repressive military and police forces in Honduras which are acting on behalf of multinationals stealing land from rural people. She asked for support for the Berta Cáceres Human Rights in Honduras Act (H.R.5474) in the US Congress. Hillary Clinton was accused by Berta Cáceres of supporting the coup in Honduras which resulted in her assassination and that of hundreds of other campaigners.
Flint Michigan residents, who drove overnight to be in Philadelphia for the DNC, called for Flint to be declared a Superfund site, Medicare to be available for all residents, and the abolition of the Michigan Emergency Law.
Family members and supporters of people who have been beaten and killed by police or unjustly imprisoned, including of Oscar Grant, young people from Baltimore protesting the police killing of Freddie Gray, Brandon Tate Brown, Russell Maroon Shoatz, Dallas 6 whistleblower Carrington Keys, Tyree Carroll, Frank McQueen, Mumia Abu Jamal and Rev. Edward Pinkney. Oscar Grant’s Uncle Bobby and Sister Beatrice traveled all night with no sleep to get to the speak out.
Welfare rights, child welfare and homeless activists Rev. Annie Chambers of Big Momma's House in Baltimore, working to help displaced people to find housing, food and education; Louise Hanible of Philadelphia Citizens in Action; and Pat Albright of Every Mother is a Working Mother Network called for passage of the RISE Out of Poverty Act and for a Living Wage for All including Mothers and Other Caregivers. Michigan Welfare Rights Organization sent a support message.
Anti-war activists Ellen Barfield of Veterans for Peace (pictured) and Code Pink's Medea Benjamin demanded military budgets for human needs.
Attendees spoke out too, including a rural woman demanding free and accessible transportation for veterans and others to get to services they need in rural areas.
Demands coming out of the event can be found here. These were distributed to delegates and Congresswomen the following day. We plan to use them in our ongoing campaigns.
The Speak Out was attended by Danny Glover who came not to speak but to listen. He reported the following day on Democracy Now in a segment with Mumia Abu Jamal, “I was at an event at a church on Broad Street… One of the women who was there, her father had been a political prisoner for 42 years. So, that’s the place where everything is happening. That’s where the real convention is. They were the people who are still fighting, who want their voices to be heard.”
Thank you to all who helped make the Speak Out a success, including Broad Street Ministry for providing the great venue and Resist for the emergency grant which helped make this event possible.
Co-ordinator of Global Women's Strike
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