By Ila Ananya
Every time there are movements and protests, there has been talk about how to sustain them and ensure they don’t fizzle out. The organisers of the Women’s March on Washington that happened on 21st January last month, have announced on Twitter that they’re planning to have a general strike, called ‘A Day Without a Woman’.
The will of the people will stand. pic.twitter.com/SKJCRLhRKn
— Women’s March (@womensmarch) February 6, 2017
It reminds us of how back in 1975, in a massive protest in Iceland, 90 percent of the country’s women refused to work outside or inside their homes. They refused to work, cook for their families, and turned up on the streets in huge numbers to protest the lack of equal pay and the low value placed on any of their contributions.
This call — which of course isn’t the first time that something like this is happening — comes after immigrant groups organised two strikes against Donald Trump’s immigration ban. There was a strike at JFK airport soon after Trump’s executive order was announced, and a week later, it was reported that New York City’s Yemeni-American community shut down their grocery stores and held a public protest in Brooklyn. There’s also another protest that writer Francine Prose (author of the lovely Reading Like a Writer), called for when she wrote in The Guardian after these same protests against Trump. She called for a general strike to show “how many of us there are, how strong and committed we are, how much we can accomplish.” Some other organisers have called for a general work-stopping protest on 17th February, to protest trump’s policies. And there’s also going to be another general strike on 1st May, the day labour groups have traditionally protested, called for by the Service Employees International Union.
The announcement began to be circulated widely after the Women’s March simply tweeted, ‘The will of the people will stand’, along with a call for a general strike, the date of which is still to be announced. Within 24 hours, the tweet was liked around 42,000 times, and retweeted 21,000 times, and we can only imagine how big the turn out will be this time round too.