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Fight for Women’s Equality! Trump Must Resign or Be Removed!

Fight for Women’s Equality! Trump Must Resign or Be Removed!

Fight for Women’s Equality!

Trump Must Resign Or Be Removed!

Women’s March in Washington DC. Photo by Chicago Tribune

 

Women must be equal. That premise which is so basic and so fundamental to human progress is a radical demand. In a society in which Donald Trump could be elected as President of the United States because of his misogyny and not in spite of it, the assertion that the second class status of women can be ended seems like an unachievable fantasy. Realists are supposed to know better than to imagine that we could ever build a movement powerful enough to end the degradation of women. Every prominent woman leader counsels for moderation, for setting our sights low, for fighting for piecemeal solutions.  

We deserve better. We deserve more. We deserve equality and freedom. Fighting for less will win us nothing, not even lasting partial gains. We must build a new independent youth led women’s rights movement to end the paucity of basic human rights that define the lives of women in this society. The right to live in a society free from constant sexual harassment and the threat of sexual violence and abuse always hovering over us is not only possible to win it is absolutely necessary to win for this nation to advance and thrive.

Lessons of The Civil Rights Movement Led By Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

The civil rights movement led by Dr. Martin Luther King would have won nothing if it had fought for a little less segregation or for gradual change. Adopting a strategy of placating white racism rather than taking it on directly and relentlessly would have done nothing to advance the struggle for black equality and freedom. Dr. King’s determination to settle for nothing less than full social, economic and political equality for people of all races produced a movement strong enough to break the back of the old entrenched Jim Crow.

In the early 1950’s ending Jim Crow segregation seemed as remote a possibility as woman winning the right to control our own bodies or to win equal pay for equal work. The most important lessons we must learn from Dr. King’s success are 1) to stand on unswerving principals 2) build a movement independent of both political parties and 3) fight for a set of demands that are essential to advancing the cause of women’s freedom and equality. Without political demands it is impossible for a movement to measure its strength or for young leaders to learn how to win.

BAMN Contingent at the Women’s March in Washington D.C. on January 20, 2018

Where the Immigration Rights Movement Needs To Go From Here

At this moment, the women’s movement lacks a clear program of demands to unify it and drive it forward. It has a single tactical objective, put more Democrats in office. This tactic is not a road forward to make woman fully equal members of this society. Building independent mass mobilizations and militant actions is the only way to shift the balance of power in our direction. Dr. King died before he could realize his vision for America. Luckily he left us with an example of how to fight to win. All we need is the courage and will to act on what history has proven will work.

A year ago on January 21, 2017 millions of women across the globe took to the streets to declare their commitment to fight for women’s rights and their opposition to the racist, ultra-nationalist and misogynist Trump presidency. Calling for and mobilizing a massive turnout of people in Washington D.C. provided the anchor for massive marches to occur in other cities both with in the United States and abroad. The size and determination of our mobilizations made clear that two new powers were emerging with the inauguration of Trump, one for democracy and equality the other for tyranny and increasing inequality and that a contest for power had begun.

The first test of the power of each side and who could win when the two sides collided in open combat came when the Trump administration attempted to institute the racist xenophobic Muslim ban. Moralized and inspired by what we achieved on January 21 our movement organized mass demonstrations, strikes and airport occupations to defeat Trump. We won. Trump lost. All that we lacked was a leadership that could maintain the momentum of our movement through continuing to build massive demonstrations in Washington and militant actions to crush each new initiative of Trump.

In the months that followed our movement became dispersed and weak. Demoralization and cynicism began to replace the optimism and hope that filled the hearts of every young woman who marched in Washington D.C. on January 22, 2017.The leaders of our movement favored organizing pseudo militant local actions and abandoned organizing the national mobilization’s that could have given the Trump movement the body blows it needs to be defeated. Local actions can never realize or express the potential of our movement’s tremendous power. This year’s marches will be much smaller and will lack confidence in the victory of our side.

We can win the struggle for democracy and freedom and defeat Trump’s tyranny and the consolidation of his alt-right movement. Our side is so much stronger and far more powerful but we will continue to lose if we work from the premise that we cannot act or win without some wing of the Republican Party playing a vanguard role or that we should refrain from waging the fight needed to defeat Trump now because it might offend Trump’s white racist base and cost votes to anti-Trump candidates in the 2018 election.

Women’s March in New York January 20, 2018 Photo by Boston Herald

Relying on Trump to defeat himself only strengthens and emboldens Trump and his supporters.  The only way to defeat a Trump is to beat him again and again. We were on our way to doing that a year ago.  With each passing day, the necessity of defeating Trump becomes more pressing and obvious. We must put our movement back on the course that will assure the victory of the resistance.

The women who claim credit for last year’s march will be selling a book commemorating the event at this year’s march. This is not the time for nostalgia. We cannot allow what we did last year to be treated as a once in a lifetime experience. The task of every young woman who attended last year’s march and have longed for more marches just like it, is to take leadership of the women’s movement and to build the movement to get Donald Trump to resign or be removed now.

Moving forward requires two things — bold youth leadership and a program of action. The only wing of the movement that is capable of advancing those two objectives is BAMN. The full name of BAMN is the Coalition to Defend Affirmative Action, Integration and Immigrant Rights and Fight for Equality By Any Means Necessary. We have stood at the forefront of building a new women’s movement that is developing a new youth leadership and has a program of demands to build the struggle for women’s equality.

Our first demand is Trump must resign or be removed now. The Trump administration is systematically dismantling every legal protection won by the civil rights and women’s rights movement. Getting Trump out of office is paramount to restoring the rights of women that are being eliminated.

BAMN has led the fight to stop the growth of Trump’s far right wing racist and fascist supporters.

We have repeatedly successfully mobilized to stop the fascists from marching in Berkeley, California. We were one of the few organizations that understood the danger posed by Nazi supporters before Charlottesville showed the whole nation why the fascist movement needs to be shutdown. Many of BAMN’s leaders began their careers as civil rights activists building successful mass mobilizations to protect Roe v. Wade including stopping the closure of abortion clinics by right-wing fanatics. The leaders of anti-abortion terrorist organizations are now deeply ensconced in Trumps racist and misogynist base.

On college campuses we have to maintain affirmative action programs. The banning of affirmative action in certain states, universities and local communities has led to a rise in the sexual harassment of woman who demand equal treatment, respect and the right to advance on the basis of their talent, intellectual strengths, creativity and drive. We have learned through more than 25 years of fighting against rape on college campuses what is needed for women to prevail over their rapist.

Most importantly BAMN has always stood on the principal that the struggles of the oppressed must be united. The fight for equal treatment for all immigrants and against racism are the defining struggles of every developed nation. The women’s movement must stand for immigrant rights and for racial equality. The greatest gains for woman in this country all arise from the struggle for black equality. The right of women to own property, to divorce unwanted husbands and to vote in some state elections in the 1870’s and 1880’s all were secured through the struggle to free the slaves. The 1964 Civil Rights Act which gave women new rights and protections was the outgrowth of Dr. Kings 1963 March on Washington.

BAMN had always had a membership that is majority women.  Our most prominent leaders are women. We have openly and consistently fought against sexism in the civil rights and immigrant rights movement. We have a long and successful history of developing young women as leaders of the struggles for equality.

What distinguishes BAMN from every other leadership is that we fight to win. Putting up the good fight and then accepting defeat runs counter to our DNA. We are not afraid to mobilize and give expression to the aspirations and anger of the oppressed. We do not believe that we can defeat Trump or advance our fight for full social equality unless the youth of the Latina/o, black, Asian and other immigrant communities and the working class and poor and oppressed communities rise up and fulfill their historic mission to create a new America faithful to its founding ideals of equality, democracy and freedom for all.

BAMN’s Perspective And Program of Action & Demands

BAMN has a program for the women’s rights movement to stand on. Here are some of the demands that we believe the women’s rights movement must fight for to truly represent the interests of women:

  1. Trump Must Resign or Be Removed

The women’s movement cannot succeed so long as the President of the United States has as a central and decisive plank of his political program support of misogyny. Dozens of women have accused Trump of sexual abuse and harassment. The demand for Trump to resign or be removed has been popular in our movement. Women leaders of the movement must fight to realize this demand. What sense does it make for members of the House of Representatives and Senators to campaign to get former Senator Al Franken or Congressmen John Conyers to resign and not fervently campaign for the resignation of Trump until we win.

     2. Defend Roe v. Wade.

The Trump administration opposes abortion rights. Trump is loading the federal courts with judges who believe that Roe v. Wade should be overturned and who would uphold measured steps to limit women’s access to get abortions.  Trump is trying to institute policies which would allow federal funding for insurers and health care institutions that refuse to perform abortions. He is trying to make it possible for individual health care workers to defy their employers’ policies and refuse to provide care for women receiving abortions. Our movement can defeat the attacks on abortion rights but only if we raise the profile of the issue and mobilize to stop Roe v. Wade from being overturned by the Supreme Court outright or chipped away until it’s a hollow shell.

     3. Equal Pay for Equal Work. Restore Affirmative Action. Fully Paid Family Medical Leaves.

Women earn less than men in virtually every job category. The successful attacks on civil rights laws and on affirmative action has led to a rise in overt discrimination in pay, promotions and hiring. Gender discrimination and sexual harassment are so commonplace that they are treated as inevitable and unstoppable. The earning power of women compared to men continues to decrease. Women who give birth while working are often forced to return to work after a week or two of leave because they cannot afford to take unpaid time from their jobs. The health and well being of both mother and child are often compromised just to keep food on the table.

There have been proposals to pass legislation to give mothers and in some instances fathers also paid family leave. This popular demand can be won if our movement is in full force out in the streets. Not a single legislative reform will be passed by Congress if we fail to build mass militant struggles. We should not settle for second-class citizenship. No amount of lobbying or campaigning for election of a progressive sounding of a candidate has the power or the will to create a shake-up big enough to make Congress act. If our movement asserts the power we possess we can leave Trump no other option than to resign or cede to the will of the movement.

    4. Stop Sexual Harassment and Sexual Abuse of Women

Despite this year’s rash of revelations about men in powerful positions sexually abusing women and whole companies like Google fostering a culture of sexual harassment and abuse, concrete measures to stop the epidemic of sexual harassment and abuse have not been proposed or passed. It is a step forward for women to out their abusers.  However without stronger laws and policies in place to protect women, very few working women will believe they can act without facing retaliation.

Many employers have implemented policies that allow managements to discipline and or discharge women who bring unsuccessful sexual harassment complaints. The laws on sexual harassment, abuse and rape all result in the women making the claim being put on trial not the perpetrator. The procedures for bringing successful sexual harassment cases are already cumbersome and skewed against the women. Under Trump, government, civil rights, and workers rights agencies will not only rule for the boss but will see that the women bringing the action will be forced out of their jobs.

Restoring civil rights protection and restoring affirmative action are necessary for women to gain the protections they need to stop being sexually harassed or abused in the workplace or on a college campus. The old civil rights movement and woman’s rights movements working in tandem won affirmative action and legal workplace protections for women. If we did it once there is no reason why we can’t do it again. All that stands in our way is our self-imposed subservience to the Democrats. If we organize independently of the Democrats we can free our movement and bring it back to life. We can develop a new generation of women leaders capable of taking on all the sexism and abuse women political leaders are subjected to. We can be known for our ideas and not for the shape and size of our bodies.

    5. Stop The Epidemic of Rape on College Campuses. Save Title IX.

Almost every universities’ freshmen orientation includes a lecture telling women that if they get drunk at a party, walk through the campus alone at night or fail to make explicit their sexual boundaries they are likely to get raped. Many campuses have fraternities notorious for raping women chartered to stay on campuses. Women who reported being raped to university administrators were often advised to never go public, blamed for the rape or subjected to hours of questioning by campus police, counselors and administrators that ended with the rapist being vindicated and the woman broken and traumatized by the rape and the university’s handling of the situation.

In 2011, the Obama administration mandated that university administrations adopt a set of procedures for investigating rape charges. Universities were told that they had to follow procedures that began from the standpoint that the person charging rape is telling the truth. Consent was redefined as “affirmative consent”. Under the Obama mandate know as the “Dear Colleague letter” the definition of what constituted a rape was broadened. Procedures for investigating and adjudicating rape cases based on preserving the due process rights of the accused and the accuser were spelled out in detail. The California and New York State legislatures passed “Yes Means Yes” laws in accordance with Obama guidelines which gave universities some protection against legal actions if they implemented the new regime.

The Dear Colleague letter gave women the right to publicly name their accuser without facing discipline by University administrations. This made it possible for BAMN to initiate campaigns designed not only to help rape victims win their cases but to put every would-be rapist on notice that his/ her identity would be known through out the campus.

Betsy DeVos, Trump’s famously ignorant Secretary of Education has already rescinded the Dear Colleague letter. She has pledged to revoke every other Title IX right for women including funding for women’s sports programs on college campuses. It is going to be essential for the women’s rights movement to demand that university administrations continue to follow the policies on rape established by the Obama administration. Campus mass student demonstrations marches and strikes are the only way to save Title IX and to save state Yes Means Yes laws. We cannot allow the burgeoning campus-based student movement fighting for women’s equality to be shutdown. We have the power to defeat Trump, DeVos and their racist and misogynist movement.

    6. Full Equality for the LGBT people.

When the rights of women are under attack the rights of LGBT community are bound to be placed under siege. The new women’s movement must be vigilant and prepared from this point on to defend the gains made by LGBT movement. [01-20-2018]

 

 

BAMN Contingent at Women’s March in Washington D.C. January 20, 2018

 

Coalition to Defend Affirmative Action, Integration, Immigrant Rights & Fight for Equality By Any Means Necessary (BAMN)     [email protected]      (855) 275 – 2266

 

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About The Author

BAMN is a mass, democratic, integrated, national organization dedicated to building a new mass civil rights movement to defend affirmative action,integration, and the other gains of the civil rights movement of the 1960s and to advance the struggle for equality in American society by any means necessary.

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