Is March 8 an Apolitical Event?

Ollantay Itzamná
Poster. 8M2022. MQC

“We are feminists, without a party, without a state, without a husband…”, is one of the constant slogans colorfully painted by our women comrades, who shout loudly every March 8th, in different cities around the world, on the occasion of International Women’s Day.

It is important to remember the assassinated heroines, in whose memory activism takes place every March 8, and those who were subsequently immolated, were and are essentially political: They were killed for defending/exercising rights and structural transformations of national and global order.

In this sense, March 8 is a “tremendously” political date. To denounce, awaken, politicize, the sleeping conscience of the sexist and patriarchal population that contributes to the criminal functioning of the state and social machinery that dispossesses and murders women for being women.

To understand the 8th of March “without political organization (party), without State (juridical-political organization) is to take away the essence of the subaltern collective actors. It is to take away the essence of March 8th.
Demonstration. Guatemala. 8M2022. OI

Apoliticism turns women, indigenous, subaltern, into victims. And victimhood is fertile ground for the irradiation of “international apolitical charity” through financial cooperation and its non-governmental organizations.

Women, youth, indigenous peoples, peasants, migrants, etc., bear the brunt of violent global and national disorder. In these conditions, our primary task is to transform this situation of overloaded colonialism. That is to say, our mission is essentially political because of our condition of subalternity.

Our bet is and must be to advance in the construction of new power relations. To think, to design new states. New legal systems. We have to generate new balanced interrelationships between men and women, between humans, and within the cosmic community. All this is done, for now, with new states, new laws, new political organizations.

To say that “without laws, without political organization” we are going to be free is to cooperate so that the conditions of violence and male domination endure over time, and so that others do business or make a way of life out of this situation of domination.

Fortunately, in Guatemala, as in other territories of the world, collective voices are emerging and growing, such as those shouted by our compañeras of the Committee for Peasant Development CODECA: “Let’s work for a Plurinational State, through a process of Popular and Plurinational Constituent Assembly to rebuild the Good Life”. And on this path they are advancing as collective socio-political subjects, together with their comrades, their families and their communities.

CODECA, and other subaltern/ dispossessed organizations, teach us that the path of liberation should not be an individual commitment. It must be collective, communitarian, integral, and with a horizon that questions and transforms the civilization of modernity that colonizes us, through proposals such as those of the good lives of the peoples.

In this sense, March 8 is not apolitical, much less only a day for the protest of the victims. It is a day to generate political awareness for the construction of new plurinational constituent processes that design and implement new forms of political, economic, social, cultural, spiritual and coexistence in the cosmic community. That is what March 8 is and should be.