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Fox Valley, WI celebrates International Women's Day

By Hollie Poupart

Appleton, WI – On March 9, about 20 people gathered at Harmony Pizza in Appleton to celebrate International Women's Day and all of the amazing revolutionary women past and present who have shaped the world we know today.

United Action Oshkosh (UAO) hosted this year's event with aims to give local women a chance to use their voice to both demonstrate and educate, but ultimately to celebrate inspiring women.

Lindsey Spietz, a leader of UAO, welcomed everyone and gave a brief introduction of the work that the group is doing, highlighting how combating police crimes is a women's issue, stating, “40% of police officers commit violence against their partners or children versus 10% in the general population. The most common disciplinary action taken by the department of these perpetrators is simply putting them through counseling.”

Spietz continued, “A police department that has domestic violence offenders among its ranks will not effectively serve and protect victims in the community. We must hold them accountable by putting power back into the hands of the people, especially people of color, women and the working class.”

From there, those in attendance were treated to a program that featured two keynote speakers.

First to speak was Wisconsin Freedom Road Socialist Organization's Isabella Beaupré, who powerfully highlighted capitalism’s attack on women and victims of domestic violence and left those in attendance feeling moved and inspired.

“We celebrate International Women’s Day to celebrate and honor the women who are neglected by history, who shaped the freedoms we do have, and continue to fight for the freedoms we still desperately need,” Beaupre said. “Women should go forward from IWD continuing to struggle, feel, survive, ache, love, and build for a new world.”

The second keynote was Kellie Lutz, who, as chair of the Stone Creek Coffee Worker's Union, spoke on her efforts to unionize 135 service industry workers at 13 different locations in southeastern Wisconsin. There has been national support as this would be the first union-backed coffee shop in Wisconsin history. The fact that this union effort is being led by a woman, although not surprising, is proof that women are the driving force and fire of movements in all aspects of life.

The mic was then opened up the audience. Members of United Action Oshkosh and the broader Fox Valley community took to the stage to share their experiences or to remember the true history of International Women's Day and all of the inspiring women that have and continue to move mountains.

#AppletonWI #PeoplesStruggles #InternationalWomensDay #UnitedActionOshkosh