Wednesday in Argentina, thousands of women walked out of work in an incredible display of direct action.
Wearing black and hoisting signs with phrases such as “If you touch one of us, we all react,” the protest came in response to the brutal drugging, rape, and murder of a 16 year-old girl in the town of Mar del Plata.
So far in 2016, 226 women have been murdered in Argentina, with 19 in killed in October alone.
This week’s murder of Lucia Perez served as the proverbial straw, perhaps due to the graphic particulars of the case. Maria Isabel Sanchez – who is spearheading the prosecution of the case, discussed its severity:
I know it’s not very professional to say this, but I’m a mother and a woman, and though I’ve seen thousands of cases in my career, I’ve never seen anything like this.
The Wednesday walkout – dubbed Black Wednesday – was in part sponsored by the feminist organization Ni Una Menos (Not One Less). Several hashtags began circulating on Twitter binding activists together, including #VivasNosQueremos and #NosotrasParamos.
IMPRESIONANTE BAJO LA LLUVIA ESTE SENTIMIENTO
# NI UNA MENOS pic.twitter.com/My2a83T5iL
— Aida Cortez (@aida12argentina) October 19, 2016
Mirroring components of Poland’s recent protests – which included tens of thousands of women staging a strike against a proposed total abortion ban – the events in Argentina are further evidence of a growing international movement that merges feminism, women’s equality, social justice, and direct action.
Indeed, the protests in Argentina – while directed against what protesters deem the “machismo” culture that enables the abuse of women – are broader in scope, emerging out of a growing anti-establishment sentiment that is generally opposed to inequality and social injustice.
If the success of Polish protesters who deployed similiar direct action techniques is any indication, then the large-scale demonstrations in Argentina have are predicated on an efficient for activists pressing for positive social change.
Impact Tap will continue bringing you updates on this new global movement, as well as further updates on the events unfolding in Argentina.