by Ruth Todasco
Saturday, Mar. 20, 2010 at 1:05 PM email@example.com 323-276-9833 PO Box 86681, Los Angeles CA 90086
On Saturday, March 13, about 150 mothers, grandmothers, women who are not mothers, children, and men, came out for the Mothers March and Speak Out in Los Angeles. This was an International Women’s Day event called by the Global Women’s Strike and Women of Color/GWS.
On Saturday, March 13, about 150 mothers, grandmothers, women who are not mothers, children, and men, came out for the Mothers March and Speak Out in Los Angeles. This was an International Women’s Day event called by the Global Women’s Strike and Women of Color/GWS, under the banner Mothers Count – Count Mothers Work! with many placards Fund Mothers Not War.
Led by women and the Aztec Dancers, they marched down Wilshire Blvd from Shatto Place to speak out in front of the Department of Children and Family Services and in MacArthur Park. Mothers in a number of countries took part in the Mothers March to highlight all the work mothers contribute to society and to demand justice. In cities, towns and villages, mothers demanded our entitlements in Guyana, Haiti, India, Mexico, Peru, Turkey, UK, USA (Los Angeles, Philadelphia, San Francisco), and Venezuela.
A Resolution in support of the LA Mothers March was issued by the LA City Council and by the mayor. The speak out was co-chaired by Margaret Prescod, host of Sojourner Truth on KPFK Radio and Women of Color/GWS, and Nancy Berlin, director of California Partnership/LA.A historic coming together of groups made up the event planning group, they included: Alexandria House; Black Coalition Fighting Back Serial Murders, California Partnership, DCFS Give Us Back Our Children, Every Mother is a Working Mother Network, Haiti Vigil, Military Families Speak Out.
The event was a unified appeal to Invest in Caring not Killing and for Funding Caregiving Not War and Occupation, one of the banners on the colorful sound truck leading rousing chants throughout the march.Southern California mothers and grandmothers with the group DCFS Give Us Back Our Children, fed up with having their children unjustly taken by LA County’s DCFS because of racism, poverty and other discrimination, marched and spoke out in front of the DCFS building at 425 Shatto Place. with banners and placards calling for their suffering children’s return, and demanding resources for family reunification.
The DCFS contingent wore yellow arm bands and included a mascot, a dog wearing a t-shirt that read Don’t Break Up Our Family!,. Representatives of the Black Coalition Fighting Back Serial Murders, a mother and father whose daughter was killed by the South Central slayer protested that the murders have not been prioritized by public officials because of who the victims were. Black women murdered in South LA, an inner city community of color, and urged all to circulate the enhanced description of the killer and press for police accountability, their banner Every Life is of Value was included in the march. Military Families Speak Out made an impassioned plea to stop funding war, bring the troops home now, and take care of them when they come home! They were joined at the event by members of Veterans for Peace Chapter 067.
Supporters of the Haiti Vigil carried the banner Iraq, Haiti, Palestine… Occupation is the CrimeCalifornia Partnership addressed fighting State budget cuts and the impact on those with the least, low-income women, people with disabilities, elderly people, students. Cutbacks were also addressed by Communities Actively Living Independent & Free (CALIF) president Fernando Roldan. Pastor Logan of Ruach Christian Community Fellowship described the potential devastating impact of 90% cuts in IHSS (In Home Supportive Services) which funds care that makes it possible for elderly people and people with disabilities to survive and to continue living independently at home.
A worker from Korea spoke on behalf of Korean workers organizing for better wages and working conditions at the Cort guitar manufacturing plant. He described their fight and asked for solidarity, he also spoke about the oppressive conditions faced by women workers and told of their resistance. A representative of UWUA Local 132 spoke out in support of mothers, recognizing mothers’ work including women working a double day of waged work on top of unwaged work caring for a family; the local co-sponsored the march and presented a check to help cover the cost of the event. A member of SEIU 721 talked about the pressures County workers are under and how children’s needs are not always met.The sound system was provided by the IAC/Bail Out the People Movement. After arriving at MacArthur Park marchers enjoyed a delicious lunch provided by a family with DCFS Give Us Back Our Children, the South Central Farmers, Food Not Bombs, Alexandria House, and CALIF.
The South Central Farm Women’s Collective provided children’s activities. Several musical performances and poetry helped round out a festive powerful event. Co-Sponsors helped build the successful event, they included: A New Way of Life, ANSWER/LA, Coalition for Alternatives to Militarism in our Schools (CAMS), Communities Actively Living Independent & Free (CALIF), Eastside Cafe, Human Rights Cttee of UTLA, IAC/Bail Out the People Movement, Mujeres de Maiz, Office of the Americas, Orange County Peace Coalition; South Central Farmers, Utility Workers Union Local 132, Veterans for Peace Chapter 067.Media coverage included LaOpinion, Channel 34TV Univision, KABCTV, and KPFK Pacifica Radio, which was the media sponsor for the event.
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