Global Women's Strike at the ESF

Stop the world and change it, Women of Colour in the Global Women's Strike at the European Social Forum

07.Oct.04 - Stop the world and change it, Women of Colour in the Global Women's Strike at the European Social Forum

Sat 16th 11-1.30: Without papers, not without rights All African Women's Group (England), Association Femmes Urgences Droits et Logement and Droits Devant (France), Centro Las Mujeres Cuentan (Spain), International Prostitutes Collective (England, US), Legal Action for Women (England), Payday men's network, (England, Italy)

Women seeking asylum: rape survivors, mothers, lesbian women and sex workers, spearhead a largely hidden movement of campaigners including church people & professionals defending human rights, starting with the right to survival. Anti-trafficking - sexed-up immigration laws.

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Women's Open Day

Speak-out, affordable food, videos, information on grassroots campaigns for justice and resources

10am-10pm, Thursday 14th October 2004 Kings Cross Methodist Church, 57a Birkenhead St, WC1 Opposite Kings Cross Station, see blue and white signs Wheelchair access on Crestfield St (toilets nearby)

All women and men who support women's autonomous organising welcome

Since November 2003, women from all over Europe have been calling for a women's day at the European Social Forum. Many signed the Global Women's Strike call and many men support it. The UK organising group actively opposed it. They claimed "poor attendance" at the Paris ESF women's day - yet over 3,000 women participated as well as men. With only a couple of weeks to go we decided to organise a women's day ourselves and in doing so won a partial victory - there will now be a three hour women's assembly at the main forum! Lets discuss what to bring to it from our women's day.

Why a women's day!
- Women do 2/3 of the world's work. From breastfeeding, subsistence farming, healthcare, volunteering, fighting for justice . . . women and girls are the primary carers everywhere. Yet our contribution is invisible even at events like the ESF!
- The workers who do most of this survival work are unwaged or low waged. We refuse to be invisible!
- A Women's Day is women's insurance policy that there will be an autonomous space for the crucial issues that women are addressing. Grassroots women from different backgrounds and experiences can make our achievements more widely known - drawing out and strengthening the vital connections among us.
- A Women's Day enables non-party-political people to have a much needed voice at the Forum, starting with those who are being ignored. Like asylum seekers who are denied a platform while the asylum charities which implement the government's repressive anti-immigration policies are seminar speakers.
- The ESF should be an occasion to build the movement against US-led wars and militarisation, rape and other torture, prisons, repression and exploitation - starting with acknowledging how much we in Europe are dependent on the movement in countries of the South.

Sponsors: All African Women's Group (England), Centro las Mujeres Cuentan (Spain), Enfield Women's Centre (England), Femmes Urgences Droits et Logement (France), Frauenforum (Germany), Global Women's Strike (Ireland, Spain, England), Hillingdon Women's Centre (England), MiRA Centre (Black, immigrant and refugee women, Norway), United Workers Association (domestic workers, England), Women of Colour in the Global Women's Strike


12.30-2.30pm: Open mic and Community Speak-Out (like the successful Global Women's Strike anti-war picket Wednesdays 5.30-7pm in Parliament Sqare, London)

1.30-10pm Videos: Global Women's Strike 2000 Exclusive footage of the first-ever global strike against no pay, low pay and overwork from countries round the world.

Refusing to Kill (30 mins) Payday men's network interviews refuseniks, women and men, from Eritrea, Jamaica, Israel, UK, US . . . and first-hand testimony on rape in the US military.

The Bolivarian Revolution: Enter the Oil Workers (34 mins) Riveting interviews with oil workers in Venezuela - women and men - organising to "put the oil industry at the service of humanity".

Interviews with sans papiers/es in Paris (20 mins) Droits Devant and Femmes Urgences Droits et Logement

A Filipina Domestic Worker Speaks Out (United Workers Association)

Invest in Caring Not Killing Roughcuts of weekly anti-war pickets in Parliament Square by the Global Women's Strike

Ballad of the Sans Papiers (90 mins) Exclusive video footage of the historic church occupation in St Bernard, Paris

Salt of the Earth (94 mins) The 50th anniversary of this startling film - immigrant women holding the strike together by challenging the union, as relevant as ever!

Women of the Rhondda (20 mins) Wives and daughters of strikers remember the Welsh Miners' Strikes of 1926.

Venezuela: A 21st Century Revolution (98 mins) What the revolution is winning for all of us

Drowned Out (1hr 15 mins) Indigenous women and men at the forefront of organising against the Narmada Dam in India

All Work and No Pay (20 mins) Why we deserve economic recognition for all our work

French, German, Italian, Spanish interpretation available. If you would like to sponsor this Women's Day with a donation or help in any other way, please contact us:

Global Women's Strike, Crossroads Women's Centre, 230a Kentish Town Road, London, NW5 2AB.
+44 (0)20 7482 2496/fax +44(0)20 7209 4761

Friday 15th Oct, 6pm: Welcome to Fortress Europe -- Street Theatre Crossroads Women's Centre & les Treteaux de la Colere

Diorama Arts Centre Theatre, 34 Osnaburgh Street, London, NW1 3ND. Portland St Tube. Wheelchair accessible.

Humorous theatre de l'arte highlighting the situation of women asylum seekers and sans papierès, and the brutal excuses used to deny people safety from persecution.

Workshops at the European Social Forum

Venues to be confirmed [see

Sat 16th 9-11am: No blood or rape for oil - Invest in Caring Not Killing

Global Women's Strike (England, Germany, Ireland and Spain), Women of Colour in the GWS, Payday men's network (England, Italy), Bolivarian Circles (England, Netherlands, Spain).

Rape and other torture by the army in Afghanistan, Iraq, North of Ireland, Kurdistan, Palestine, the US . . .; the movement to refuse to kill and to reclaim military budgets, including families and veterans; getting compensation for illness caused by war; getting armies to work with the community as in Venezuela.

Speakers include: Black Women's Rape Action Project, Women Against Rape,

Sun 17th Oct 9-12: Venezuela: Creating a caring economy

Bolivarian Circle of the Global Women's Strike (England, Ireland, Spain);

Venezuela is the world's 5th largest oil exporter, yet 80% of its population are poor. President Chávez was elected to get their oil revenue back, defeating two US-backed coups and the corporate media. Oil workers, women's co-ops speak about putting the oil industry at the service of humanity. Speakers include international observers to the presidential referendum.