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Pro-accountability police district councilors celebrate election victories on International Women's Day

By Kobi Guillory

Chicago celebrates International Women's Day.

Chicago, IL – Freedom Road Socialist Organization (FRSO) held its annual International Working Women's Day celebration on Sunday, March 5. The program honored the women's liberation movement, as well as the women leading working-class struggles and fights for national liberation in the U.S., Palestine and the Philippines, among other places.

The event also celebrated the over 30 newly elected police district councilors, the majority of whom are women, and who ran on a platform of holding the police accountable.

The wide scope of topics covered in the program demonstrated the words of the FRSO Women's Day statement: “Anywhere you see people fighting oppression, you will see women and LGBTQ people leading that fight, carrying the struggles for justice, liberation, and an end to exploitation forward.”

Among the organizations represented at the Women's Day event were the Chicago Teachers Union (CTU), the U.S. Palestinian Community Network (USPCN), AnakBayan, Students for a Democratic Society (SDS), Good Kids Mad City, Chicago for Abortion Rights, and the Chicago Alliance Against Racist and Political Repression (CAARPR).

The struggle for police accountability was at the start of the program. Attendees heard from Brenda Waters and Angelica Green, newly elected councilors in the 4th and 25th Police Districts respectively. Waters and Green were joined at the Women's Day celebration by fellow Councilors Kiisha Smith, Julia Kline, Ponchita Moore, Dion McGill, Alexander Pérez, Anthony David Bryant and Eric Russell.

Of Chicago's 22 police districts, candidates supported by the Fraternal Order of Police (FOP) won a majority in three districts while candidates supported by the movement for police accountability won the majority of council seats in 14 districts.

“In short, we kicked the FOP's butt,” said Dod McColgan, co-chair of CAARPR and emcee of the International Women's Day celebration.

“We marched, we fought and in the end we got the victory because of it,” said Angelica Green.

“It's been a long road. It's been a fight but the struggle is real and it still continues,” added Brenda Waters.

With the mayoral runoff election approaching on April 4, speakers at the IWD celebration voiced their support of Brandon Johnson and opposition to Paul Vallas.

“We have a choice between a former educator who wants to invest in the people of this city, and a man who has made it his business to destroy public schools everywhere he's gone,” said Tessa Simmonds, a leader in the Alliance of Charter Teachers and staff of the Chicago Teachers Union.

Frank Chapman, NAARPR executive director and CAARPR field organizer, mentioned the mayoral race after speaking about the importance of working-class men actively supporting and following the leadership of the women's liberation movement.

“We have to unite the people around the concept of winning,” Chapman said. “Saying 'Brandon for mayor' is talking about winning. We gotta win this fight. All power to the people!”

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