Feminism wants to exhibit muscle this 8M. The movement recovers public space and manifests itself in cities and towns throughout Spain two years after the coronavirus pandemic broke out. Women will try to fill the streets against machismo and in defense of their rights as they did before the crisis, when the protests were massive. But aware that COVID, which has made gender gaps even more evident, has left a residue of discouragement and fatigue that can reduce the strength of the mobilization.
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The feminist movement has also taken its toll on the dissent related to the rights of trans people that also occurred within the Government. There is not unity in all the territories and the split of a part of feminism positioned against the Trans Law project marches separately in cities such as Madrid, Seville or Murcia.
In the capital, the 8M Commission, which forged the feminist strikes, demonstrates from the Plaza de Atocha under the slogan “Rights for all, every day.” It claims to “change the system”, the right to housing, the end of precariousness or the repeal of the Immigration Law. And it positions itself against “systemic racism” or LGTBIphobia. “In this pandemic we have suffered even greater violence than we have been suffering. Institutional, judicial, sexual violence…”, explained Rocío Lleó, from the 8M Commission, before the march began “of always, that of women that we work organized all year round and that we want to work from the agreements”, his colleague Julia Tabernero claimed minutes before beginning.
“The law of violent foreigners to women”, added Lleó. “We demand universal, public and free quality healthcare, universal, public and free quality education that incorporates all issues related to affective sex into the curriculum, violence comes from control since we are little ones,” he maintained.
The spirit of protest, contained during two years of the pandemic, was already perceived before the mobilization began. “We have returned because our lives depend on it,” shouted one of the organizers with a megaphone in hand. With chants such as “we feminists are here”, “Madrid will be the grave of racism” or “we are not all here, the murdered women are missing”, the march started from Neptune, where the head is located, a few minutes after 7:00 p.m. informs Martha Borraz.
Behind the main banner, a flood of women in groups, associations, blocks or individually demonstrate against machismo and fill the Paseo Del Prado. Pepa and Esperanza, who are over 60 years old, are two of them. Friends and neighbors of La Latina assured that going out this year “was more important than ever,” according to Pepa. “Not only because there was a desire after the pandemic, but because the current moment is very complicated, the offensive of the extreme right is putting many of the rights won at risk.”
“It is key that we racialized women take to the streets demanding our rights,” said Mónica Claros, with a sign that reads “My body needs its rights, not your opinion.” Monica describes the “multiple hit” women who, like her, are not white. “During the pandemic, many of us have lost their jobs, we face greater precariousness and we are in a gray area because many of us are in an irregular situation,” says the woman, who has decided to come to this demonstration because it is where she feels “more represented”. In the background they heard “We are anti-racist feminists” and they demanded the closure of the Foreign Detention Centers (CIE).
At the same time and under the slogan “Feminism is abolitionist”, the Feminist Movement of Madrid marches from Gran Vía, which claims to defend “the authentic feminist agenda”. Both coincide in the demands against sexist violence or in favor of quality public services, but this one calls for the abolition of prostitution and the withdrawal of the Trans Law.
A banner with the slogan “Against precariousness, borders and violence” opened the Barcelona demonstration, with which thousands of women have taken the city center, reports Lua Pena. The demonstrators have started the protest in Plaza Universitat and have advanced along Gran Via chanting slogans against sexist violence such as “if they touch one of us, they touch us all” or “they are not dead, they are murdered”.
To the rhythm of Rigoberta Baldini’s song Ow mom, Ernestina, who is originally from Argentina, explained that she has come with her friends from the Basque Country and Italy because they believe that this type of mobilization is the only way to put an end to sexist violence. “That they stop killing us”, she made it clear. The protest is organized by the Assemblea 8M, which brings together the majority of feminist organizations in the city, and plans to read the manifesto once the march reaches the Arc de Triomf.
In Albacete, hundreds of women and men have taken to the streets from 6:00 p.m. from the Molino de la Feria to the Altozano, summoned by the local Coordinator of the 8M, reports Elena Martinez Vazquez. The demonstration started normally on an afternoon where the sun shines and purple masks predominate, shouting various demands.
The demonstration for Women’s Day was again divided in Toledo, led first by the Women’s Council with an institutional presence such as the mayor, Milagros Tolón, municipal spokespersons and trade union representatives and organizations such as Doctors of the World, reports Francesca Bravo.
The Bolo Bolo association has closed this demonstration, lamenting the “transexclusive” nature of the two calls, both the institutional one and that of the 8M Platform. Ricardo Vicente, president of the association, has lamented that the trans collective and its “place within feminism” are not taken into account.
Hundreds of people have participated in the 8M protest demonstration in Mérida, in a call with abolitionist groups opposed to the Trans Law and LGTBI associations. With the cry “Long live the struggle of women” and banners with imaginative slogans, the demonstration filled the Plaza de España in the capital of Extremadura with people to go through the main streets of the center and conclude again at the door of the City Hall, where will read a manifesto, informs santiago spotted.
“There is a lot of work to do. We still do most of the work at home and we still carry a greater mental load. And despite that, we earn less and have fewer job opportunities. And of course, we suffer more violence,” laments Aurelie with a Greenpeace banner in hand at the 8M demonstration in Malaga, reports Nestor Cenizo. He expresses himself in an almost perfect Castilian that, however, does not manage to hide the French accent. In Spain she observes “more questioning” than in her country, perhaps because she did not evolve at the same rate during the dictatorship and France is “more sure of itself.” “That’s why the 8M in Spain is massive and in France, not so much.”
Tens, hundreds, thousands of people have been crowding the Plaza de San Antón in Vitoria when the main demonstration for 8M began at 7:00 p.m. after a 2021 with restrictions and a 2020 in which the Basque capital was one of the the epicenters of the then newcomer coronavirus, reports Iker Rioja Andueza. A batucada was welcoming while many young women displayed homemade posters made of purple cardboard with slogans such as ‘We don’t want rosaries in our ovaries’.
In the surrounding streets chants like ‘Gora borroka feminista!’ (‘Long live the feminist struggle!’) in Basque. The purple shirts, scarves or accessories have been joined this year by the mask itself, used by many of those present. One of the attendees, Verónica, has attended the mobilization with her husband, with her eldest son and with her two young daughters. The whole family has made a poster that on the front reads ‘Peace’ and the symbol of feminism and on the back, with the blue and yellow colors of the Ukrainian flag, implores ‘No to war’. She has doubted whether she supposes “mixing” but understands that the claim of some rights cannot be done while forgetting other equally basic ones. The demonstration ends in the Plaza de la Virgen Blanca, in the heart of Vitoria.
The rain has not prevented in the city of León that hundreds of Leonese men and women have taken to the streets in the center in the demonstration on March 8, reports Anthony Vega. They have done it with songs like “Feminism walks forward, machismo walks backwards” or “It’s not no, the rest is rape”, in a festive atmosphere despite the time. Dozens of banners have accompanied the protest on behalf of all groups, expressing different views on controversies around feminism.
In the province of León, in addition to the central demonstration on March 8, there have been feminist rallies in the Plaza de la Catedral focused on the abolition of prostitution and criticism of the trans law, outside the usual call. In the morning the protest took place in the city of Ponferrada, where more than a thousand people walked through the city center to end up in the town hall square where a manifesto was read. At the Ponferrada Campus, students and teachers participated in a symbolic hug on the occasion of 8M, but this year it was dyed blue and yellow, the colors of the Ukrainian flag.
Hundreds of Murcians have taken to the streets at 19:00 in the afternoon from the Plaza de la Fuensanta to cross the Gran Vía de Murcia to the Plaza Martínez Tornel, convened by the Feminist Assembly, the Feminist Movement and the Working Feminist Association. The main road of the city has been dyed purple in vindictive protests and without incident, reports Elisa M. Almagro.