PRESS RELEASE: National and Local Organizations Denounce U.S. Imperialism at White House, World Bank
March 8th, 2023
GABRIELA-USA & International Women’s Alliance
WASHINGTON, D.C. — On the eve of International Working Women's Day, hundreds of activists marched to the White House to protest U.S. imperialism, militarism, and exploitation. Led by the International Women’s Alliance (IWA) and grassroots Filipino alliance GABRIELA USA, progressive organizations local to the Washington D.C. area joined the call to place “women over profit.”
Philippine National Democratic organizations exposed the continuing impacts of U.S. imperialism on the Filipino people. Pyxie Castillo, chairperson of GABRIELA-USA, shared about the recent Charter Change proposal to the Philippine Constitution by the Marcos Jr. administration, “This could potentially allow for 100% foreign ownership — a direct attack on Philippine sovereignty,” Castillo asserted. “Proponents of cha-cha claim that easing restrictions on foreign capital will help develop the economy. [However], the entry of more foreign companies will only worsen the crisis — especially for workers and peasant farmers, [including] women. Only foreigners and the ruling minority will benefit from Cha-cha.”
Vivian Flanagan from Terrapin Committee for Human Rights in the Philippines (TerpCHRP) at the University of Maryland College Park, spoke to the impacts of war on women. They focused on one weapons manufacturer found on their campus, Lockheed Martin, and shared how its former Executive Vice-President, Linda Gooden, is on the Board of Regents that oversees all of Maryland’s public universities. “Let Linda’s ‘professional success’ at the expense of trafficked, exploited, and martyred women affected by Lockheed Martin’s war machine be a reminder of the treachery of liberal feminism,” she said.
The contingent took the streets chanting “U.S. imperialist, #1 terrorist” and demanding the end of U.S. intervention in countries abroad.
Once at the World Bank, organizations from Palestinian Youth Movement, Katarungan DC, CODEPINK, and spoke about the World Bank’s role in global suppression through foreign aid that perpetuates national debt. Raymond Diaz from Katarungan DC shared about their parents’ migration experience, “much like many children of poor immigrants, my Mexican parents left everything they knew when NAFTA came in, driving out thousands of laborers out of their homeland and becoming a part of the working class in this country.”
Towards the final destination on their route, the White House, the contingent once again filled the streets and chanted phrases showcasing how the US prefers to fund militarism, rather than education. After hearing about the plight of overseas workers, there were also calls for justice during this leg of the march for an American worker at Amazon, Poushawn Brown, who lost her life due to negligence from the company during the height of the pandemic, further driving home the international nature of the march.
Preparing for the final part of the program, Fran from GABRIELA Seattle reminded participants exactly what the White House represents to people around the world experiencing the brunt of American imperialism. “This country claims to be a beacon of freedom and democracy, while locking children in cages and forcing families to be separated!”
Once at the White House, speakers from United Students Against Sweatshops (USAS), Committee in Solidarity of the People of El Salvador (CISPES), Anti-Imperialist Action at University of Maryland Baltimore County, International League of Peoples Struggles (ILPS), African National Women’s Organization, Resist U.S. Led War, and IWA emphasized the call for international solidarity.
Katie Comfort of IWA called for the unity of women and urged for the need to organize. “Women are uniting around the world against US imperialism and [women in the] the US [have] to be a part of that movement. The International Women’s Alliance takes seriously the call to build IWA Americas not just here in the US but in the Carribbean, in Latin America, to unite women around the world, to understand our common enemy is the US, the US state, the US military who kills and rapes our women. So we are here today to say the movement has to start now. We are not just here this weekend to speak out about it one time, but to keep speaking out about it until this House belongs to the People. We are here to declare Women over Profit.”
With this mobilization, IWA officially launches their campaign: “Meet Women’s Needs; Stop Corporate Greed” to address the failings of the US government to meet the needs of women and their families, and demand change.
Link to press kit here. More photos and videos available upon request