On Wednesday afternoon, Women’s March co-organizers Tamika Mallory, Linda Sarsour, Carmen Perez and Bob Bland were among those arrested outside of Trump International Hotel in New York City.
— Women's March (@womensmarch) March 8, 2017
The organizers were participating in the nationwide demonstration strike ‘Day Without a Woman,’ an event to highlight International Women’s Day. The women were arrested for civil disobedience, and social media users suggest that the group was detained while attempting to form a human chain around the hotel, located at Columbus Circle. Soon after, the organizer’s arrests were confirmed by the Women’s March official Twitter page.
Before her arrest, however, organizer Linda Sarsour addressed the discourse around the idea that striking is a privileged form of resistance. “The movements we are all a part of have always been led by those that have the most to lose,” Sarsour told the crowd. “Social justice movements are not convenient; because if they were convenient, there would be millions of people out in these streets. It has always been a concerned few who have made the most impact and chance in our society. The question is do you want to be part of that small concerned few that makes our society better for all people.”
Building off the momentum of the Women’s March, organizers urged women to stay home from work, avoid shopping, and to wear red to “highlight the economic power and significance” of women.
According to the U.S Census Bureau, women make up more than 47 percent of the workforce, represent 55 percent of all college students, and make up a third of physicians and surgeons. However, according to Census data, American women earn 80 cents for every dollar a man makes—and that excludes the emotional labor of being a woman, particularly a woman of color, in a predominantly cisheteropatriarchal space.
“Throughout our history, women have made enormous contributions in the service of our country, and we know that as a Nation, America will only become stronger, more prosperous, and better able to meet our shared goals, as women achieve greater access to a level playing field,” said the White House in reference to International Women’s Day. “Today, the United States renews its commitment to fostering economic growth and job creation by harnessing the full potential of women in our economy.”
Almost concurrently with when the White House’s statement went live, dozens of House Democrats walked out of U.S Capitol in support of the day’s protests and in opposition to the Trump administrations threats to women’s reproductive rights, women of color, Muslim women, trans women, and women immigrants.
“We are resisting Trump and congressional Republicans and letting them know we will not go back,” said Rep. Barbara Lee of California. “We walked out today for ‘A Day Without a Woman’ to send a clear message: that we stand with our sisters across the country who have walked out in defense of equal rights for women… we are raising our voices for the millions of women who can’t.”
Alexa Strabuk is an editorial intern at Ms. and has worked as a writer, editor, graphic illustrator and editorial intern for magazines including ELLE, YES!, The Student Life and Mochi. She was recognized by the Asian American Journalists Association for her work as an up-and-coming reporter. Alexa is pursuing a B.A. in Media Studies at Pitzer College with a minor in Asian American studies.