The Women's March on Washington announced this week via its social media accounts that the date of its General Strike: A Day Without A Woman will be March 8, which coincides with International Women's Day.
In making the announcement, the Women's March posted to its 409,000 Instagram followers: "In the spirit of women and their allies coming together for love and liberation, we offer A Day Without a Woman. We ask: Do businesses support our communities, or do they drain our communities? Do they strive for gender equity or do they support the policies and leaders that perpetuate oppression? Do they align with a sustainable environment or do they profit off destruction and steal the futures of our children? We saw what happened when millions of us stood together in January, and now we know that our army of love greatly outnumbers the army of fear, greed and hatred. On March 8th, International Women’s Day, let’s unite again in our communities for A Day Without a Woman."
The post didn't give specifics about what is meant by the general strike, but suggested instead that women gather with friends, family and neighbors on Friday to brainstorm ways to "enhance your community, stand up to this administration, integrate resistance and self-care into your daily routine, and how you will channel your efforts for good on March 8."
It's the latest in a series of online directives issued to supporters of the march, which drew millions of women onto the streets in cities around the world in January to express their support for women's rights, reproductive rights, ending gender-based violence, LGBTQIA rights, workers rights, civil rights, immigrant rights, religious freedom and environmental justice.
Event organizers unveiled the 10 Actions for the First 100 Days campaign right after the march on its website, www.womensmarch.com, an effort to keep those who supported the march focused on activism in the first 100 days on President Donald Trump's administration.
The first action was to send a postcard to a senator to inform him/her about the issues that are most important to women and their families. The second action was a suggestion that people gather together or huddle up to discuss the next actions and plan for things they can do to express their political views and concerns.
This week, march organizers unveiled the third step. It calls for a week of action during the congressional break Monday-Feb. 24, when most U.S. senators and members of Congress return to their home districts. It urges all women to take steps to reach out to their elected officials by making calls, going to town hall meetings or coffee hours, attending rallies and ensuring their stories and voices are heard.
"Since the march, people like you ... have written hundreds of thousands of postcards to elected officials, made thousands of calls to our senators saying no to some of the most dangerous of this administration's cabinet and SCOTUS nominees and hosted over 4,500 community-based meet-ups that we call huddles in all 50 states and across 40 countries to determine next steps for the movement."
Cecile Richards, the president of Planned Parenthood, also spoke during the conference call, praising the protesters at a January rally in support of the Affordable Care Act in Macomb County.
"It has been so inspiring to see that folks are engaged because we have some very, very tough fights ahead of us," she said. "And we're going to need everyone more than ever before. ... I think the good news is this activism and organizing is working.
"I was out in Macomb County, Mich., and we had a rally of I think 10,000 people on a cold Sunday there. Folks were very, very concerned about their health care access. Congress has already delayed their efforts to repeal the Affordable Care Act to take away birth control coverage for millions of women. We've seen that Democrats and Republicans have spoken out against Speaker (Paul) Ryan's plan to defund Planned Parenthood because folks in office are seeing it's very difficult to look your constituents in the eye and tell them that you're going to take away the health care they rely on.
"We do have a tough fight ahead of us. ... We've got to keep working, keep speaking out and keep the pressure on folks in office to make sure they do the right thing. This is the time to link arms, and fight together and to be bold, to tell our stories and make sure we are heard."
Contact Kristen Jordan Shamus: 313-222-5997 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow her on Twitter @kristenshamus.
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