Even though we recognize the fact that a large protest in Washington DC has the potential to be impactful, the Socialist Party USA Women’s Commission is critical of the March on Washington taking place on January 21st and, therefore, does not support or endorse the event. From the very beginning, this event has proven to be a predominantly straight white event. Even the name was a blunder of appropriation, starting with One Million Women then March on Washington, two historic events organized by African Americans. Following this and additional criticism of lack of inclusivity, the organizers of the group made a general statement asking individuals of marginalized groups to join them instead of bringing in various organizations that support minorities to help plan the event. This is not radical feminism. This is classic white feminism which the Women’s Commission cannot support.
Additionally, there doesn’t seem to be any organization of continued action post the event. It is of the utmost importance that continued action be planned. An event of this size should be followed by an organizing convention so that women of the United States can plan coordinated protests and action against harmful legislation that the Trump Administration will undoubtedly bring in. This lack of organizing reduces the effectiveness of such a large event and is even wasteful of valuable time and resources.
As an alternative to this predominantly straight white event, the Socialist Party USA Women’s Commission encourages members and locals to organize and attend events locally that are taking place on January 20th. Aside from the reasons listed above, affordability and accessibility are major concerns. We do not believe that women of color or LGBTQ women will have a voice if they attend the March on Washington on January 21st. Poor under-represented groups cannot afford to travel to Washington to have their voices heard. It is because of this, that a coordinated effort among many activist groups is considered a best practice. In this way, we can refocus our efforts on bringing to light income inequality faced by women as well as give a greater voice to minorities, including individuals who identify as LGBTQ.
Anne James Wallace
(Passed unanimously by the Women’s Commission of the Socialist Party USA on January 7th, 2017)