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Women from San Francisco and London Join Women in Ireland Against War, Occupation, Deportation...
Thursday November 06, 2003 12:44 by Global Women's Strike Galway womenstrike8m at server101 dot com Irl - 087 7838688
This week the Global Women's Strike in Galway is holding and participating in a number of events which will bring together women from several countries and many backgrounds to share with each other their experience, as mothers and other carers, of organising against war, occupation, deportation and present-day apartheid...
Women from San Francisco and London Join Women in Ireland Against War, Occupation, Deportation and Apartheid.
This week the Global Women's Strike in Galway is holding and participating in a number of events which will bring together women from several countries and many backgrounds to share with each other their experience, as mothers and other carers, of organising against war, occupation, deportation and present-day apartheid.
On Thursday evening at 7.30pm in the Arts Millennium Building of the university, Kay Chapman, co-ordinator of the No School Apartheid Campaign in the UK, will speak about campaigning since 2002. Made up of grassroots mothers, with fathers, teachers, heads, and other carers, the campaign fought against UK government proposals to segregate asylum seeker children in accommodation centres, taking them out of mainstream schools. Given the increasingly draconian system faced by people seeking asylum in this country, especially the savage State attack on the parents of Irish-born children, the Strike hopes that this will be an opportunity to share experience with those fighting deportation here. The event is hosted by the Ecology Society of NUI, Galway.
On Friday, the Women's Studies Centre of NUI, Galway, is hosting a seminar on women's anti-war activism, hearing from grassroots women from the Strike who have organised against the war in Iraq in many countries, with the theme of 'Invest in Caring Not Killing', demanding the return of military budgets to our communities and first of all to women the carers. The two speakers will be Rachel West from San Francisco and Kay Chapman from London, and women, and supportive men, from inside and outside the university are invited to come along. Other women from Greenham Common and from the Strike in Ireland will also be participating in the audience. The seminar will begin at 1.05pm in the Women's Studies Centre at 10, Upper Newcastle Road - next door to the Stat Oil station (tea/coffee available - people are welcome to bring sandwiches).
Rachel is a mother and a grandmother. She was born in Africa and has lived in San Francisco since 1981 where she is a community organiser at the Crossroads Women's Centre. She is in the Global Women's Strike which has held a regular anti-war picket and speak-out outside Bechtel corporation since March. Bechtel is a SF-based multinational, the world's largest contractor, and is profiteering from the Iraq war and water privatisation. Rachel also works at Rainbow Grocery, one of the largest worker-owned health food co-operatives in the US. This year, she and a co-worker spearheaded a boycott of Israeli goods at the store, which received international coverage and helped draw out the connection between the struggle of the Palestinian people for justice and the anti-war movement - both aiming to end the joint imperialist occupations by Bush and Sharon of Afghanistan, Iraq and Palestine. She is Jewish. (Her co-worker is a Black woman). Rachel co-ordinates the Every Mother is a Working Mother Network in San Francisco, which campaigns against welfare reform in the US and for the work of raising children to be recognised and valued. She is also a spokeswoman for US PROS (the US PROStitutes Collective) which campaigns for the decriminalisation of prostitution and for economic alternatives for women, so no man, woman or child is forced into prostitution through poverty.
Kay Chapman is a single mother of two who lived at Greenham Common women's peace camp 1983-84, then joined the occupation of the South London Women's Hospital, trying to prevent the closure of the last general hospital in Western Europe run for women by women. (The women were evicted nine months later.) In 1985, she joined the Wages For Housework Campaign and Wages Due Lesbians, and has been a community organizer at the multi-racial, unfunded, King's Cross Women's Centre (now Crossroads Women's Centre) in London from where the Strike is co-ordinated internationally. Kay has focussed especially on campaigning for single mothers' right to benefits and against the Child Support Act, and most recently, has been the co-ordinator of the No School Apartheid Campaign as well as one of the MCs of the Community Anti-war Picket & Open Mic twice weekly in Parliament Square, opposite the Houses of Parliament in London.
At the weekend, the Strike is participating in a number of workshops at the sixth Grassroots Gathering, being held this time in NUI, Galway on the 8th and 9th of November - a gathering of grassroots people to share experience and organise against war, poverty, deportation and environmental destruction. On Saturday at 11.45 am in the Arts/Science building (near the library), the Strike will participate in a workshop entitled Women Organising Against War and Occupation. This workshop is about making visible the survival work that women do all over the world, work imposed by poverty, racist wars, occupations; and women organising with other women in Iraq, Palestine, Uganda and elsewhere against every genocide and the military budgets which enforce them. Speakers include; Kay Chapman, Greenham woman and an mc on the anti-war community picket in Parliament Square, London; Maggie Ronayne from the Global Women's Strike in Ireland; Tracy Ryan, Shannon Peace Camp activist; Rachel West, campaigner for a boycott of Israeli goods and anti-Bechtel picket, San Francisco, and more!
For further information/interviews with Kay and Rachel, ring 087 7838688.
The Global Women's Strike is an independent network of grassroots women in over 60 countries. It is co-ordinated in Ireland by the Wages for Housework Campaign in Galway.
See web site: http://www.womenstrike8m.server101.com