Sol Marquez of FRSO speaks out on International Women’s Day
Fight Back News is circulating the text of a speech given by Sol Marquez at a celebration of International Women’s Day in Los Angeles.
Buenas tardes, hermanas, friends, comrades y Happy 114th IWD 2022!
My name is Sol Marquez, and I am speaking on behalf of the Marxist-Leninist Freedom Road Socialist Organization, whom I’ve been a member of for almost 12 years.
“Nobody’s going to save you. No one’s going to cut you down, cut the thorns thick around you. No one’s going to storm the castle walls nor
kiss awake your birth, climb down your hair, nor mount you on the white steed.
There is no one who will feed the yearning. Face it. You will have to do, do it yourself.”
This poem called Letting Go by one of our Chicana, queer and feminist sisters Gloria Anzaldúa is to remind us that we are more than capable of freeing ourselves. Our holiday, International Women’s Day, began when our New York garment working sisters had had enough.
But today isn’t just a day to celebrate and recognize us, it’s also a day to fight back.
We have come a long way. For Chicanas and Latinas, between the 1920s and 1950s we suffered forced and state-sanctioned sterilization in the highest numbers of the U.S. Out of about 60,000 total sterilizations, more than 20,000 were Chicanas and in California, meaning one-third all the sterilizations in the U.S. were to our people. The graph here demonstrates how in California, working-class and less educated Raza was the target. In other words, the graph proves how this country not only was founded on racism, but how it happily commits eugenics on non-white, and working-class people.
Our Black sisters in the Black Belt South, were also targeted by these sterilizations, where they too were disproportionately sterilized over white and wealthier women.
And while Chicanas in California were the biggest number of sterilizations, the highest rate of them was to our Puerto Rican sisters – one out of three – of them during this time, fell victim to being sterilized.
Chicanas and Latinas’ reproduction has forever been seen a threat to the U.S. “The Browning of America” or children of undocumented immigrants like myself who are referred to as “anchor babies.” We are seen as parasites who only want to live off this country’s social programs like WIC and welfare, and that our mothers are unintelligent and lazy. Let’s also not act like sterilizations are a thing of the past, because today our undocumented sisters are the target! Today, detention centers are continuing in this longstanding tradition of eugenics.
Today, gender-based oppression is rising like never before. Sexual violence and intimate partner abuse continue to be tolerated and taken lightly by the U.S. legal system. It’s no accident that the weight of these crimes falls most heavily on women, both cisgender and trans, and on our non-binary siblings.
Texas, Mississippi and Florida are three places where the system is currently attacking our reproductive freedom, and the right to determine what is best for our bodies.
Let’s continue fighting back against these attacks on us, sisters. March 8 is our day, but also our reminder to keep pushing back against the many ways the U.S. attempts to wipe out our people, through controlling what we do with our bodies. In Los Angeles, I have learned that not only do women hold up half the sky, but we also quite literally lead the movements.
If you would like to talk with me about revolution and joining Freedom Road, send me a message or go to frso.org/join. If you’re here today, it’s because you understand the importance of us sisters, leading ourselves to freedom. FRSO is growing in Los Angeles, and it’s because we are sick and tired of being ruled. Thank you, sisters and happy International Women’s Day!