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LA: Boyle Heights honors International Women’s Day

By Jared Hamil |
March 20, 2019
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Women join together for a photo celebrating Women’s Day in Boyle Heights.
Women join together for a photo celebrating Women’s Day in Boyle Heights. (Fight Back! News/staff)
Lisa Vargas, mother of police crime victims Anthony Vargas speaks to the crowd
Lisa Vargas, mother of police crime victims Anthony Vargas speaks to the crowd about the murder of her son by LA Sheriffs.

Los Angeles, CA - The neighborhood of Boyle Heights celebrated International Women’s Day, March 8, by honoring women on the Eastside who shake things up. Organized by Centro CSO, the event took place in the historic Casa del Mexicano building. The celebration doubled as a fundraiser for legal fees in a major lawsuit against big-time corporation KIPP Promesa Charter school. A large group from all over East Los Angeles and Boyle Heights attended.

Headlining was Fe Montes, of Mujeres de Maíz, who performed multiple readings, poems, and chants. Met with applause, Montes spoke about the need to honor the “Chingonas we grew up with and who are leading today.”

Liza Ceballos of [email protected] Coalition put in long hours to set up the event with members of Centro CSO. Ceballos spoke about the need to be united with trans issues every day, and not just on International Women’s Day. She told the crowd, “We have to be there for each other through the good times and the bad times.”

Lisa Vargas, mother of Anthony Vargas, spoke about police crimes against the Chicano, Mexicano and Samoan people living in East Los Angeles. “Not a lot of people know that my son killed on August 12, 2018 by East LA Sheriffs was part Samoan. I am a proud Chicana and it is my duty to fight back when my family is under attack. I fight for my son Anthony but I also fight back for the women and the survivors in my community. I have been for years and years.”

Eloisa Galindo of Eastside Padres Contra la Privatizacion walked on stage with her children and nieces holding a banner. She spoke about the fight against charter school corporations who are moving into the Eastside. “Today I give honor to all the strong women in the fight against multi-billionaires and sellouts like LAUSD board member Monica Garcia! Today I honor all the mothers who fight for their children against privatization of education!”

UTLA teacher in Boyle Heights from Sunrise Elementary, Mimi Duncanson, gave a powerful and educational presentation about countless women throughout history who have shaped the conditions for women today. She spoke of the recent teachers strike in LA in which 35,000 teachers fought for higher wages, against privatization and for smaller class sizes, saying that “when we organized one of the most significant strikes in the second-largest school district in the U.S., I know that a majority of us were women.”

Sol Marquez of Freedom Road Socialist Organization spoke about the origins of International Women’s Day. “Proposed by German communist Clara Zetkin, International Women’s Day has its origins in the socialist working-class. Today we hear a lot of people calling themselves socialists - like Bernie Sanders or Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, which is a good thing. But the FRSO takes up issues like self-determination, for us Chicanos, and the need for the working class to take all political power in its hands. This will lead to our ultimate liberation.” Marquez ended by referencing Alexandra Kollontai’s writings on communism and the family as necessary reading to see what socialism can do for working-class women.

A photobooth, food donated by Boyle Heights businesses like Casa Fina, and music performances by a Chicana musician named Samantha, made Boyle Heights’ International Women’s Day celebration and fundraiser a huge success.

To donate to the Centro CSO fight against gentrification in Boyle Heights go here: http://gofundme.com/HelpCentroCSO

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