The Guardian • Issue #2045

Brisbane IWD

Peace is possible

  • The Guardian
  • Issue #2045

Photo: CPA

The CPA Brisbane Branch together with Australian Solidarity with Latin America (ASLA) held a successful collaborative event on Saturday 11th March to celebrate and commemorate International Women’s Day (IWD) 2023. The theme of the occasion was “How War Affects Women,” and included songs, poems, presentations, and discussions around the particular connections between IWD and the peace movement.

To kick off the afternoon, Casey from the Brisbane Branch welcomed the audience of around 40 and discussed the importance of remembering the roots of IWD, or International Working Women’s Day.

Unfortunately, IWD has been largely co-opted by bourgeois forces who now more than often use the day to put on champagne breakfasts at $150 a head, or to celebrate women who “have it all” – largely a jab in the ribs to the average working-class woman who deserves respect and liberation regardless of her “achievements.”

IWD has its roots in socialism, with the event first being proposed in 1910 by Clara Zetkin leader of the Women’s Office of the Social Democratic Party in Germany, and a close friend of Lenin.

In line with the theme of the event, Casey quoted from Zetkin, “Does not capitalism stick to the heels of the working woman from the grey dawn of morning until late at night, in order to squeeze out of her flesh and blood – and from her often with doubled cruelty and unscrupulousness – the riches with which it wishes to pay for its ravages in the world war and for its future destructive existence. The rising cost of living, intensified by profiteering and high taxes tear the piece of dry bread from her mouth.”

This shows the clear connection between IWD and how it has historically been a demonstration against war and poverty.

Casey was followed by Adela Brent from ASLA who, dressed as Clara Zetkin, spoke about revolutionary women including Rosa Luxemburg and Alexandra Kollontai. The audience then enjoyed three songs from the Voices of Spanish Speaking Women (VOSSW) choir.

Annette Brownlie, President of the International and Peaceful Australian Network was next. She gave an informative presentation about Women in war, and the importance of the peace movement in Australia.

Ovidio from both ASLA and the Brisbane CPA Branch then also performed some songs, which the crowd enjoyed singing along with.

The late Anita Reid, a lifelong peace activist in Brisbane was then honoured with a reading of her poem, Peace is Possible. The afternoon was complete with another few songs from the VOSSW choir, and a raffle with the winner receiving a Che Guevara-labelled bottle of red wine.

While the audience enjoyed participating in the IWD 2023 event, they were also left with important ideas and thoughts to ponder. IWD is a special occasion for all communist and working-class people, and is an important event to commemorate yearly, with a clear aim of promoting peace and liberation for the working class.

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