‘There’s no such thing as a privileged strike,
Tina Brown brought her Women in the World Salon to the Neuehouse Hollywood on Sunset Boulevard in Los Angeles on Tuesday night for a lively discussion on a range of topics facing women today. Following Brown’s call to arms, he salon’s opening panel, “The Path Forward,” took a look at the Women’s Movement 2.o. On the eve of “A Day Without a Woman,” which was organized by the people behind the Women’s March on Washington, two of the group’s key figures joined Brown onstage to talk about the general strike and address some of the concerns that have been voiced about it.
Carmen Perez, the national co-chair for the Women’s March and executive director, The Gathering for Justice, Tamika Mallory, national co-chair for the Women’s March and founder of Mallory Consulting, and Rabbi Sharon Brous, senior and founding rabbi of IKAR, discussed advancing the momentum put into motion by the Women’s March on Washington.
Mallory talked about how momentum for the strike has gradually built and, as it took hold, began having a noticeable affect on daily life in the country.
“As I was walking in tonight, I got a call from other organizers that several school districts are closing tomorrow across the country,” Mallory said. “We knew that two in particular were going to close, but it’s starting to be a domino affect. Also many private schools are closing. So I think it has caught on — strikes are not something everyone jumps on quickly and it takes time for people to really to get comfortable with what that looks like.” She added, “And one school districts specifically said the reason why they are closing is because over 300 teachers in the particular district had asked for the day off and so they needed to close down.
Brown then pressed Mallory about those who can’t afford to take a day off to strike. “It’s not going to an elitist thing where you can only afford to strike if you can afford to strike,” Brown said.
“What we’ve been saying is, number one: There is no such thing as a privileged strike” Mallory replied. “Because if you look at the history of strikes it’s been the most marginalized people who have taken that sacrifice and who have been the ones to say “enough is enough,” and we are prepared to take that sacrifice to the next level. But we’ve said to people there are three ways to participate — if you feel you cannot strike — do not strike. Don’t stay home. Go to work, and that others should support them and strike on their behalf. But everyone, men included,” Mallory said, “should wear the color red tomorrow to stay in solidarity. And also everyone can stay out of McDonald’s of the big stores and Walmarts and all of that — everyone can pack a lunch and go to work and focus on what it feels like to have economic power.”
Later in the discussion, Carmen Perez talked about how she marshaled her organizing experience to pull rally support for the Women’s March and Rabbi Sharon Brous addressed the wave of anti-Semitism that has swept the country in recent weeks and how marginalized and discriminated-against communities are finding solidarity.
Watch the full panel below and to see a video of the event in its entirety, click here.