The student media organization of California State University Northridge

Daily Sundial

The student media organization of California State University Northridge

Daily Sundial

The student media organization of California State University Northridge

Daily Sundial

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Protestors rally for equality of women

Protestors and music filled the corner of Westwood and Pico Sunday in a celebration of International Woman’s Day in the city of Westwood. The event celebrating resistance and internationalism was organized by the March 8 Woman’s Organization of Iran and

Afghanistan as part of a solidarity movement of street marches, clandestine meetings, and seminars also taking place in Chicago, New York, and parts of Europe.

The March 8 Woman’s Organization is a group of women from different backgrounds who united over 12 years ago to work towards the elimination of all oppression hostile to women. It is the group’s belief that the women’s struggle should be independent of the male-supremacists rulers of the world and that their involvement in politics could be the arena where accounts can be settled with the system of patriarchy and the resulting sexual oppression. The headquarters of the group is located in Germany but there are chapters in other parts of Europe as well as in Canada and here in the United States.

Sussan Gol is part of the organization and is one of the main coordinators for the International Woman’s Day March. Political activism has long been a part of her life. In 1979, she was forced to leave her native Iran due to her open objection and denouncement of women’s treatment of the Ayatollah Khomeni regime.

‘I can’t go back to Iran,’ says Gol, ‘ but I keep in contact with my family and the violence against women seems to be the same.’

The March in Westwood was part of an effort to break away from both the Imperialism of the United States and the fundamentalism of the Islamic Republic of Iran, for a creation of liberation for women not only in the Middle East but all around the world who live in oppression.

‘We don’t want to be objects in the world,’ says Sussan, ‘we are human and we want to be equal with our brothers’.

Other groups were present in support of the movement including; Danza Mexica Cuauhtemoc, the Santa Monica College Feminist Alliance, the Cal-State L.A. Students for Critical Thinking, and CSUN’s very own MeCHA.

And although CSUN was not one of the main groups in regard to power by numbers, some of the organization’s members were present.

‘One of the main priorities of MeCHA is to empower the woman through spreading the knowledge and awareness,’ said member of MeCHA, Child Development and Chicano Studies major Alexis Montoya.’ ‘We need to spread the word on campus a little bit more and since we are a commuter campus it is a little more difficult.’

Montoya also added, ‘It breaks my heart because you want people to know what is going on. It is frustrating. People need a reality check.’

And a reality check is just what the march was giving the city of Westwood. Protestors lead by Sussan and others in a truck covered in posters denouncing both the Imperialist powers and the Islamic Republic of Iran, chanted for hours as they walked from Pico to Wilshire with some handing our flyers to those curious by the event.

Business owners and their customers, pedestrians, and even people in cars driving by turned and watched on as the group chanted, ‘ Long Live International Woman’s Day!’
A Local business owner of a Persian restaurant observed and commented on the event.

‘This is a good effort and all, but there will be no change because of a march in protest in the streets of Los Angeles. Women have been and continue to be second class citizens in Iran.’

‘Raymond’, who asked for anonymity, has owned the restaurant on Westwood Boulevard since 1982 and says he has seen protestors around this time of year since the early 1980’s.

‘None of this has created an type of change, but I do admire their determination.’

At daybreak the rally kicked off again on Wilshire and Westwood in a torch light march through the Westwood Village, a symbolic attempt of guiding the way to the path forward for solidarity of all oppressed women.

Federico Garcia is part of the union for the March 8 Woman’s Organization and does feel such an event can and will make a change.

‘ I want to get to a better world and women’s liberation is a key factor to get there, Says Federico, ‘ I don’t want to live in a world where half of humanity is treated as second-class citizens.’

This is his second year participating in the total of three marches the group has had in Los Angeles and he says this year is much more spirited and bold.

At the conclusion of the March 8 Women’s Organization event, Sussan Gol had one message for all those listening.

‘If you are against woman beating, if you are against women getting stoned to death, wrongful persecution of women, and oppression of women all over the world, join us in the fight for our liberation.’

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