• By Julio Marquez - March 26, 2010
“How many people know
about the oppression in the Middle East?”
asked a guest speaker to Locke named Susan. No one’s hands rose up. The
attentive faces dwelled on the question as the Iranian guest speaker
Women’s Day is a celebration for women, for all girls. You are our future.” The
words resonated in the back of students’ minds.
Susan told the
students of the hardships she faced while in Iran. Because she was active in the
struggle for women, she was imprisoned over five times. Her husband was
executed as was most of her family. Soon, she had to leave her children.
speaker Tina gave her story of what she witnessed in Iran.
“From when you are a
young child up to college, the classes are separated, and even then, women must
sit in the back of the class while men sit in the front,” she said.
Women around the
world still suffer from oppression, degradation and
“When a man dies,
they burn his wife,” said Susan. “She is his property and is useless once he
The weekend was a
weekend dedicated to being active in the struggle for rights for women. Through
marches like on March 6th and classroom presentations and a CS/A presentation
in Hobb’s Hall on March 8th, students were engaged in
an ongoing struggle for women’s rights.
March 8th became International
Women’s Day (IWD) as opposition to the Iranian fundamentalist regime which
assumed power in the 70’s. Students from Locke’s Mind Pollution collective
participated in the march two days prior. Though rain would turn most away, the
weekend seemed to be perfect for the protestors.
“I don’t think it’s right to keep women down,” shared senior Wilber Vega
who joined protestors on Saturday. As the rain poured down, chants shot out
like thunder under the torch lit skies.
“I decided to march
because it makes sense to want to make everyone equal,” said Isaiyas Jimenez who attended both the march and the
classroom presentations in 3-D art teacher Mr. Thomas’ art class.
“It was pretty cool
that the speakers came, but I don’t think many in the third period presentation
reacted well when the subject of homosexuality came about. People were simple
minded and went with their own opinions. It’s nonsense,” Isaiyas
Despite the unruly
kids in his third period, Mr. Thomas says, “It’s important to introduce people
to different countries. This presentation provided more accessible information
to students and the chance to ask questions freely.”
Among the guest
speakers brought by the Revolutionary Communist Party, USA and Mind
Pollution Collective to Locke high school was an Iranian speaker named Tina.
“In the streets of Tehran, kids your age are
fighting the system. It’s not for my things but for a different and better
world,” states Tina.
Many protestors have
been jailed, beaten and even killed. As a direct response to the stemming
global problem, many groups marched together and held discussions to celebrate
women’s struggle for independence.
As many kids
recognized the parallels with the Iranian struggle and segregation, guest
speaker and Revolution Newspaper writer Sunsara
Taylor commented, “it’s different here, but when women are oppressed anywhere,
they are oppressed everywhere.”
Day is a day to celebrate women everywhere, whether it is your mother, sister,
aunt, cousin or friend. As the slogan of the day went, “Break the chains
unleash the fury of women as a mighty force for revolution.”