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Fury and Euphoria: A Declaration from Ni Una Menos to Our Feminist Comrades Around the World

Ni_una_menos_grafitti_santa_fe_2018-
Santa Fe, Argentina. July 2018. via Wikimedia Commons.

Translated by Liz Mason-Deese. 

Fury and euphoria is what we felt in our bodies after having mobilized from March 8 to today, taking the battle for legal abortion as a starting point of a much broader struggle: for our autonomy, our desire, our health, against the precaritization of our existence, and in defense of our bodies-territories.

Starting with the construction of the international feminist strikes, we have been weaving forms of rebellion and struggle that have projected feminism toward a new mass scale and radicality, in which all social conflicts resonate and are articulated. Today feminisms cross all types of territories: from world capitals to indigenous campesino communities. From feminist collectives and those of women, lesbians, travestis, and trans people to human rights and migrant organizations, feminism maps a new internationalism. These days we have received messages of support and sisterhood from compañeras from all over the world. From Mozambique to Chile, from Tokyo and Quito to Sydney, Mexico, Italy, and many other places, through the scarfazos in the most unexpected sites, with reprisals in several of them: repression in Chile or the threat of eviction of the students in the Casa Argentina in Paris.

August 8, as March 8 already is in the sense of the international strike (and not only as “Women’s Day”), was transformed into a key date in the calendar of the feminist revolution. Dates in which time condenses historicity, when we experience revolutionary time, that inflamed time when we feel the force of those who came before us, of the past that demands renewal in the present and demands a date with the future. The daughters’ revolution also belongs to the grandmothers, great-grandmothers, and ancestors: as the chant goes, “we are the granddaughters of all the witches you could never burn.” But also of those who they did manage to burn, the shamans and the machis, the healers and spiritual and territorial leaders that are currently being criminalized and assassinated in Latin America, Africa, and Asia, and of all the women who were disappeared.

For us abortion is not a liberal demand for individual rights, and that is why the struggle has convoked such profound and innovative debates, forms of organization, and international connections. Once again we raised the stake of the transversality that we have been building in popular feminist assemblies and therefore the voluntary interruption of pregnancy found its way into the agenda of unions, schools, hospitals, factories, the media, and households. From the perspective of work, legal abortion means resisting the domestic confine of unwanted pregnancies that are converted into unpaid labor. The discretion in the enforcement of the existing law (that decriminalizes abortion for three reasons), confronts us with the false alternative of maternity or prison, criminalizing our decision-making capacity and denying us as subjects of desire and right. We are disregarded as producers of value, transforming us, and the generations to come, into cheap labor.

Telling us that abortion is a demand from the IMF (as some Church spokesmen argue), is to invert our argument into a farce. Making our existence precarious lowers the wage in favor of the accumulation of capital in the hands of a few who own the senators as representatives of the patriarchal, property-owning corporation, whose interests need to be defended by putting the military on the streets. The Church seeks to impose a moral-spiritual disciplining that complements financial disciplining (making us comply with living in poverty and austerity due to fear of crisis) and the military disciplining with which they seek to enclose us in our homes.

The triple formula armed forces + IMF + the religious ultra-right corresponds to a global counteroffensive against our internationalism. The scene of disciplining that we are denouncing has its dramatic precedent in Marielle Franco’s assassination in Brazil a few days after March 8, and a series of political crimes across the continent, particularly in Colombia.

Fury and euphoria are generated within us by our rebellion and the scene set by disciplining and infantilization. Us, two million people in front of the Congress building in Buenos Aires; them, 38 representatives of the patriarchal caste, in the fathers’ theater of government of the fathers, those who decide for us against our lives.

The same ones who say they are defending “the two lives” are the same who appropriate or were complicit in the appropriation of babies in the extermination camps during the military-corporate-ecclesial dictatorship, those who killed and tortured pregnant women, those who justify rape in the very Senate building, as an “involuntary act” “without violence” (Senator Urtubey, representative of the feudal family of Salta). They say they are defending life when they kill us with pesticides, when they steal land at gunpoint, handing over entire communities to be dispossessed by transnational extractivist companies. They favor labor exploitation and the misery of millions, mass incarceration and the persecution of dissidence. They are in favor of clandestinity and dirty business, sexual and military repression: they are death. It is time for us to call them by their name: pro-death. Because life is on the side of desire, of rights, of freedom, and community bonds. We are life.

We are declaring that we do not renounce sovereignty over our bodies-territories and therefore, we do not recognize their power to represent us and legislate over and against us. We declare that we will oppose the war against women’s and feminized bodies, led by the Vatican and other religious fundamentalisms, with more organization and more autonomy. More fire and more disobedience. Because the fire is ours and now that we are together against this new inquisition, they will not be able to burn us. Fury and euphoria.

We want ourselves alive, free, without debt, and desiring.