About 100 leaders and participants in Los Angeles International Women' Day Global Strike for Wages relaxed at Alexeandria House in the mid-Wilshire District Thursday evening to eat & enjoy entertainment and speeches summarizing the days activities, which were highlighted by a noontime demonstration in front of the downtown Federal building.
Earphones, similar to those used at the UN were provided to the many Spanish speaking women in the audience.
Organizers Marisa Nuncio of Sweatshop Watch and Margaret Prescod of the International Wages for Housework Campaign, and a veteran of the D2K protests at last summer's Democratic Convention, estimated that 250 demonstrators had attended the rally in downtown to demand pay for housework & childcare, as well as equality of wages for those in formal employment. [The LA Times, par for the course for mainstream media,had estimated only 100 in attendance].
Edna Lopez gave account of the dehumanizing nature of the welfare system that inhibited her attempt to achieve a college education. Her speech was later amphlified by a song by Jane of the Crossroads Women's Center of South Los Angeles about a women's career plan to 'become an engineer being constantly stifled by male bosses, teachers', father's and spouse's demand that she "Just be a girl".
Other entertainers enthused the audience, including poet Felicia Montes of Mujeres de maiz ["Corn Women"], the female rap duet "Untitled" (another D2K veteran), soloist Javier, who also was the Spanish interpreter,and Raging Grannies.
Jeri Dietrick of LA Radical Women informed the audience of lesbian support for the Global Strike, Sharon Lugo reported on Native American womens' struggle at Big Mountain, and Evan Lovang of SEIU Homecare Workers concluded with a touching account of the plight of underpaid homecare workers, who average less than $ 10,000 per year. Evan said he once complained to an elderly mother of a quadriplegic that he hadn't had a night off from caring for her son in nine months. "Before you, I hadn't had a night off in 25 years", the mother replied.