Just eight days ahead of its main event, The Women’s March on Washington, a protest against the incoming administration, released a wide-reaching and radically inclusive platform. The document’s forcefully progressive agenda pushes for an end to police brutality, supports equal pay (especially for women of color), wants to see unions strengthened, demands a pathway to citizenship for undocumented immigrants, seeks to expand and protect the rights of LGBTQ people, and calls for protecting the right to choose.
There are currently 187,000 people marked as “attending” the march on Facebook. The release of this platform marks an incredibly powerful political statement as the country moves into an era of serious opposition.
The platform comes just days after the New York Times published an article highlighting tensions between some white women who said they felt alienated by the group’s aggressively anti-racist stance and black leaders of the march.
“This is a women’s march,” said Jennifer Willis, who was interviewed for the piece. “We’re supposed to be allies in equal pay, marriage, adoption. Why is it now about, ‘White women don’t understand black women’?”
Doubling down on its commitment to inclusivity, the group acknowledges the American Indian Movement, Occupy Wall Street, Marriage Equality, and Black Lives Matter in its platform. It also lists the names of prominent third world women, women of color, lesbian, and trans women as inspiration.
The group does not mince words about its position on inclusion: “We believe Gender Justice is Racial Justice is Economic Justice,” the group declares as a core value and principle. “We must create a society in which women, in particular women—in particular Black women, Native women, poor women, immigrant women, Muslim women, and queer and trans women—are free and able to care for and nurture their families, however they are formed, in safe and healthy environments free from structural impediments.”
The platform draws special attention to the country’s most vulnerable populations: poor women, women of color, and trans women.
For example, the group says ending the militarization of American police forces is a woman’s issue. “Women of color are killed in police custody at greater rates than white women, and are more likely to be sexually assaulted by police,” the platform states. “We also call for an immediate end to arming police with the military grade weapons and military tactics that are wreaking havoc on communities of color. No woman or mother should have to fear that her loved ones will be harmed at the hands of those sworn to protect.”
The group’s support of trans women, a population that has had its very identity challenged in the current political climate, is profound:
We firmly declare that LGBTQIA Rights are Human Rights and that it is our obligation to uplift, expand and protect the rights of our gay, lesbian, bi, queer, trans or gender non-conforming brothers, sisters and siblings. This includes access to non-judgmental, comprehensive healthcare with no exceptions or limitations; access to name and gender changes on identity documents; full antidiscrimination protections; access to education, employment, housing and benefits; and an end to police and state violence.
And on issues of immigration, the platform takes Trump’s xenophobic agenda head-on by “rejecting” mass deportation, family detention, violations of due process, and violence against queer and trans migrants. “Immigration reform must establish a roadmap to citizenship, and provide equal opportunities and workplace protections for all,” the document says. “We believe migration is a human right and that no human being is illegal.”