Protest, music, ‘economic solidarity’ planned for International Women’s Day in Philly

Protesters are shown gathered on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway for the Women's March in Philadelphia on Saturday, Jan 21, 2017. (Brad Larrison for WHYY)

Protesters are shown gathered on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway for the Women's March in Philadelphia on Saturday, Jan 21, 2017. (Brad Larrison for WHYY)

On Wednesday, more than 400 people are expected to demonstrate with Philly Socialists organizers, as part of a larger effort of protest for International Women’s Day Protest.

As a woman of color raised in an urban, working-class environment, activist and Philadelphia International Women’s Day Protest organizer Olivia Ngo, 23, said it’s easy for her to empathize with people of various intersecting backgrounds.

For example: “It makes it easy to fight for funding in public schools,” she said, “when you went to a public school.”

And as a Philadelphia resident who was born and raised in Kensington, Ngo said she’s been living through some of the reasons why protesters and organizers are now mobilizing.

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“My time with Philadelphia slowly has a history of protesting and really creating change through the power of the masses,” she said.

Ngo and hundreds of others are expected to take to the streets on Wednesday as part of a globalized effort of protest organized by Philly Socialists and other groups. 

On Jan. 21, millions of women from the U.S. and abroad protested the election of Donald Trump with marches on Washington, Philadelphia and elsewhere, but Ngo said those marches did not include everyone. 

“International Women’s Day was historically started in New York by working-class women,” she said. ”We say that the Jan. 21 march didn’t really represent the working-class woman. So we wanted to not only kind of tip a hat on why International Women’s Day started, but also move the conversation from the current political climate to the real issue that women face around the world.”

The election was a catalyst, Ngo said, but women and other groups— like working-class women, women of color, transgender people and anyone who identifies as a woman — aren’t energized only because of the election, especially in Philadelphia.

“Historically, coming up slowly up until this point, people have been becoming more mobilized and radicalized,” she said.

Some of the speakers on Wednesday include representatives from Global Women’s Strike, Socialist Alternative, the Philadelphia Tenants Union and Black Lives Matter activist Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor.

Related International Women’s Day events

Women’s Strike March: Youth and Families GatheringThere’s a gathering before the International Women’s Day Protest for children and families to participate in craft-making, games, conversation, and reading about women in history.Where: Aviator Park across from Logan SquareWhen: 3:30 p.m.
Unify! An International Women’s Day Benefit ConcertThe show will feature several local artists to benefit the new Crossroads Women’s Center — a community-based meeting place for women’s supprt programs. Tickets are $20 online, $25 at the door; for ages 21 and up.Where: Underground Arts, 1200 Callowhill St.When: Doors open at 7:30 p.m., and the show begins at 8 p.m.
Philadelphia Federation of Teachers info picketsBefore school on March 8, Philadelphia Federation of Teachers’ women (and men) will be holding information pickets before school for parents and community members about the school district’s negotiation of contracts.Where: H.A. Brown Elementary, 1946 E. Sergeant StreetWhen: 7:30 a.m.
A Day Without A WomanIn line with the national call from the same organizers who spearheaded the Women’s March on Washington, A Day Without A Woman calls for a one-day demonstration of economic solidarity,” according to the event’s website. The events calls for women and allies to: take the day off, avoid shopping, and wear red in solidarity. 

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