International Working Women's Day, Vancouver
For years, there has not been a public rally on International Working Women's Day in Vancouver. Socialist Alternative Vancouver initiated moves to change this. On March 8, 2020, Socialist Alternative, UNITE-HERE Local 40 and COPE (Coalition of Progressive Electors) held a rally. Over 100 people attended, on a sunny spring day.
UNITE-HERE Local 40 led a successful strike in 2019 of 1,200 hotel workers, mostly immigrant women. COPE is Vancouver's local left party that elected Jean Swanson to City Council.
Speakers and performers eloquently and powerfully addressed about women's struggles: Indigenous rights, violence, the housing crisis, poverty, access without fear, inclusion of transwomen in the women's movement, climate change and more!
Leslie Kemp of SA introduced and chaired the event. Speakers included Allie Pev (young Cree-Métis, member of SA), Annabella Zarow (Vancouver Sustainabiliteens, organizers of Vancouver's Climate Strikes), Ahalya Satkunaratnam (COPE volunteer), Nazanin Moghadami (Rainbow Refugee society), Jennifer Efting (Vancouver Tenants' Union), Jean Swanson (COPE Vancouver City Councillor), Nym Calvez (UNITE-HERE Local 40 organizer) and Nancy Trigueros (SA member and co-chair of COPE). Butterflies in Spirit's performance spoke movingly about Missing and Murdered Indigenous women).
Socialist Alternative sold 28 magazines, raised $152.60 and 23 people expressed interest in finding out more about us.
We hope that this modest rally is the start of a new tradition in Vancouver and grows for 2021