Feminism & Militarism: TRC’s Remarks at the Pioneer Valley Women’s March

502

On January 19, 2019 hundreds showed up in Northampton for the 3rd Annual Women’s March. The crowd gathered at Sheldon Field and marched to the steps of City Hall. The Resistance Center’s Miranda Groux spoke at Sheldon Field about the importance of demilitarization for all people, and especially for all women. Read her remarks below:

Hello, Northampton! It’s empowering to see such big crowd today. My name is Miranda Groux and I am the program coordinator at The Resistance Center for Peace and Justice here in Northampton, where we are confronting issues of peace and militarism in Western Mass. I specifically work on military involvement with our youth. I feel so privileged to be here with you today.

Two years ago, we came together when we needed each other the most. We built a movement that inspired thousands of women to stand up for their rights, become activists, and run for office. The 2018 midterms brought record-breaking numbers of women running for office. And we have elected women– Krysten Sinema: the first openly bi-sexual Senator; Jahana Hayes, Connecticut’s first black woman in Congress; Deb Haaland and Sharice Davids, the first Native American women in Congress; Veronica Escobar and Sylvia Garcia: Texas’s first Latina women in congress. Alexandria  Ocasio-Cortez- the youngest women ever in Congress. And, Ayanna Pressley- Massachusetts’s first black woman in Congress.

This is incredible. As we resist, we’re making history. But as we know, there’s still work to do. We have a long way to go before we have the representation we deserve as women– especially LBGTQ+ women, especially women of color, especially disabled women. Both in the US and abroad. We cannot continue to forget our sisters suffering beyond our border. In Yemen, in Syria, in Afghanistan. In Honduras, in El Salvador, in Mexico. Yes- I’m talking about the human right of migration. I’m also talking about the reality of our endless wars. War is not a friend to women. Women and girls are disproportionately affected by war and violence. We owe it to each other to create a world where all women have justice and all women have peace, locally and globally. We must remember to ask ourselves: “if our feminism is not intersectional, then who is it for?”

Today, I think it’s important to acknowledge an ugly truth: just as white women elected President Trump, white women perpetuate the military industrial complex in the US. 4 of the top 5 defense firms in our country are led by white women. White women, we’ve gotta do better.

The U.S. has the largest military budget in the world, at $700 billion for 2019. And the Department of Defense has countless contracts with businesses and companies right here in Western Massachusetts. We can demand change.

Investments in violence stop with us. We must look toward a future in which government spending is focused on healthcare, education, a clean energy economy, and a peace economy— for all of us, and especially for women and girls. So, today, we march. We listen to each other’s stories. We stand in solidarity. Tomorrow, we keep fighting. For all women, and for peace.

If you’re looking to continue conversations around peace and justice, The Resistance Center is hosting our 35th Annual MLK Celebration this Monday in Northampton. All events are free and open to the public. Thank you very much. And let’s make noise for the incredible organizers who made today possible!