Today is International Women’s Day and also the day of the International Women’s Strike. Women all over the world are taking part by upping sticks, putting down their tools. leaving their houses and places of work and rallying or marching in solidarity. The call is to unify and resist in order to end violence against women and children, end poverty, deportation and discrimination, exploitation, criminalisation and war. Women are striking for reproductive justice for all, labour rights and a living wage for all including mothers and carers. We are pretty much still fighting for the same old shit we were fighting for back in the 70s.
The cry went out for women … and men …to wear red today in solidarity. John and I decided that today was the day for us to stop being keyboard warriors in the fight for women’s equality and to join today’s rally at the Federation Building in LA. Neither of us had much in red to wear but I managed to find an old T shirt from my slim days which was two sizes too small and John found a kind of washed out, faded old baggy number – that I thought quite suited his personality.
We went into Brentwood feeling pink and perky, had lunch at Sortino’s, our favourite Italian restaurant, wondered why nobody else was wearing red, got back in the car and excitedly drove to the Federal Building. This was our first rally! We were fired up with a sense of unity, ready to wave our placards and shout out our outrage in solidarity.
The roads were packed as they usually are at 3.30pm in LA, but the Federal Building soon loomed into view. We sent a quick prayer out to the parking angel and peeled our eyes for the usual rare parking spot.
There were acres of empty parking spaces… acres … and not a single solitary person at the Federal Building No rally, no march, nothing, nada.
We’d got all dressed up for the party but the party had moved. We were at the wrong Federal Building. We were supposed to be Downtown and not off Wilshire Boulevard. We looked at each other, we looked at the big queue of traffic ahead, we shook our heads, said ‘Nah’, turned the car round and headed back home.
It was the most exciting rally we’d never been to!