Published 8th March 2020

“Sí se puede”: Celebrating International Women’s Day 2020

On International Women’s Day, Community Organisers is celebrating some exceptional organisers:

Dolores Huerta

“Huelga” (“Strike”) – Dolores Huerta during the grape strike, Delano, California, 24th September 1965, when grape-pickers from the Delano area refused to collect the ripening fruit to protest their poor wages and abysmal living conditions.

Dolores Huerta (born 10th April 1930) is an American labour leader, grassroots organiser, and civil rights activist who, with Cesar Chavez, is a co-founder of the National Farmworkers Association, which later became the United Farm Workers (UFW).

Huerta helped organize the Delano grape strike in 1965 in California and was the lead negotiator in the workers’ contract that was created after the strike. She has received numerous awards for her community service and advocacy for workers’, immigrants’, and women’s rights; and is the originator of the phrase, “Sí, se puede” (“Yes, we can”).

In California, 10th April is Dolores Huerta Day.

Dolores Huerta, aged 89, shortly before being arrested at the Fresno County Hall of Records in 20th August 2019, following a protest to try to get raises for workers who take care of the elderly and disabled.

Read more about Dolores Huerta HERE:

Dorothy Day

“We must make a start. We must renounce war as an instrument of policy. …Even as I speak to you I may be guilty of what some men call treason. But we must reject war.”

Dorothy Day (8th November 1897 – 29th November 1980) was an American journalist, social activist, community organiser, and Christian anarchist. In 1917 she was imprisoned as a member of suffragist Alice Paul’s nonviolent ‘Silent Sentinels’.

“She was a feminist before the word even existed!”

In the 1930s, she worked closely with fellow activist Peter Maurin to establish the Catholic Worker Movement – a pacifist movement combining direct aid for the poor and homeless with nonviolent direct action on their behalf. A political radical, Day practiced civil disobedience, which led to additional arrests in 1955, 1957, and 1973 (at the age of seventy-five).

Read more about Dorothy Day HERE:

Marguerite Durand

Marguerite Durand (24th January 1864 – 16th March 1936) was a French stage actress, journalist, and a leading suffragette organiser. She founded her own newspaper, stood for election, and was famous for walking the streets of Paris with her pet lion she named ‘Tiger.’

Her activism raised the profile of feminism in France and Europe. At the 1900 World’s Fair in Paris, Durand organized the Congress For The Rights of Women and in 1910, she attempted to organise female candidates for the legislative elections. The Bibliothèque Marguerite Durand library in Paris is named after her and holds a collection of materials on French feminism and the struggle of French suffragettes for equality.

Read more about Marguerite Durand HERE:

Angela Davis

“We have to talk about liberating minds as well as liberating society.”

Angela Davis (born 26th January 1944) is an American political activist and organiser, philosopher, academic, and author. She is a professor emerita at the University of California, Santa Cruz.

Involved in the feminist movement, the Black Panther Party, and the campaign against the Vietnam War, Davis was a member of the Communist Party USA until 1991, after which she joined the breakaway Committees of Correspondence for Democracy and Socialism.

“The idea of freedom is inspiring. But what does it mean? If you are free in a political sense but have no food, what’s that? The freedom to starve?”

In 1970, Davis was prosecuted for three capital felonies – including conspiracy to murder – when firearms registered to her were used in an armed takeover of a courtroom in Marin County, California, in which four people were killed. After an international campaign to gain her release, she was eventually acquitted of all charges in 1972.

Davis is the author of over ten books on class, feminism, and the U.S. prison system.

Read more about Angela Davis HERE:

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