Tomorrow, cities in 46 countries will host strike actions and protests as part of A Day Without A Woman, an ideological successor to the Women's March that took place after Inauguration Day.
For organizers of the Oakland Women's Strike, the event is an opportunity to present a broader range of issues, including economic displacement, gentrification, and deportation.
"The whole point of the strike is to lower people’s perceptions of what is politically possible," said Tranesha Cooks-Lockhart, spokesperson for the Oakland Women's Strike Organizing Collective.
"A lot of people think they can’t do anything. Out of control rent, gentrification, livable wages — people can change these things if we all stand."
Blocking deportations is a focus of many activists in the Bay Area. While local politicians have offered assurances that law enforcement will not cooperate with federal Immigration and Customs Enforcement officers, organizers are skeptical.
"I feel like that all sounds like a beautiful, white liberal fantasy," Cooks-Lockhart said. "ICE, the police departments — they’re all run by the same things, same money."
"For our communities to say to these people 'hey, we’re not gonna work together, you should trust us,' that’s a huge red flag," said Cooks-Lockhart. "That's asking communities to go against everything they know."
The strike has had sign-making parties over the past few days; according to Cooks-Lockhart, many hope for a huge turnout akin to the Women's March, as the objectives of tomorrow's action are more inclusive than the January 21 demonstrations.
"Our message to everyone is 'man, woman, non-identified persons, we’re all one thing, we’re all human, we all have a voice, we should all be able to speak."
"We’re here to end gender violence, we’re here for labor rights, social provisioning—we don’t want it all to be boxed in for everyone," said Cooks-Lockhart. "What we’re doing here is an evolution of every women’s march. We want everyone to be heard, we want direct actions. We’re not just trying to go out and just march."
To ensure the event is safe and inclusive for undocumented people and sex workers, the strike will have legal support on hand, though Cooks-Lockhart said she doesn't expect the protest to be "taken to that place."
"We want this to be more revolutionary than simply getting rid of Trump, that’s the part we want to push. A lot of people are stuck on Trumpism as the root of all evil. We’ve had discrimination, police violence — this didn’t start on January 20th. We want people to have a revolutionary thought."
Tomorrow's strike will be held at Oscar Grant Plaza (Frank H. Ogawa Plaza) from 5 to 9pm. For more information, visit the organizers' Facebook page.
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