Karleigh Chardonnay Merlot

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Karleigh Chardonnay Merlot is a New Haven Connecticut activist.

IWD 2019

March 8 is International Women’s Day and hundreds of thousands of women around the world will be striking for their most basic needs. The mass mobilization of women from popular and working class sectors is on the rise, and a new class struggle feminism is emerging!

Join the International Women’s Strike Connecticut in solidarity with their mobilizations and in an exploration of the kind of movements we need. Come and discuss with panelists who see the need for movements by and for the 99% of women left behind by corporate feminism but ready to fight.

Panelists include:

  • Reporter on the previous day’s women’s strikes in Argentina, Spain, and around the globe.
  • Ashley Braun is a founder of the Socialist-Feminist Caucus and current acting co-chair of the Quiet Corner Democratic Socialists of America and will be speaking on social reproduction and the feminization of poverty.*
  • Melissa Muldoon is a founder of the International Women’s Strike Connecticut and will present “Let’s Join the Surge of Global Class-Struggle Feminism!”*
  • Kyle Harrington is a crisis counselor, full spectrum doula, and has been active organizer in the queer liberation, anti-sexual violence, and reproductive justice movements. They will speak on the reproductive justice framework, and the relationship between reproductive labor and gendered violence.*
  • Diann St. Marks is a former cafeteria worker and an organizer for Unite-Here Local 217 who will speak on the topic “Organizing Low Wage Workers Must be at the Center of Feminist Work Today!”*
  • Milly Guzman Young has long participated in the struggle for the decolonization of Puerto Rico and is currently active with Latinas en la Resistencia.
  • Karleigh Chardonnay Merlot is a member of the Party for Socialism and Liberation who is working directly on issues from transgender rights, to workers right, healthcare for all and resisting police brutality at home and imperialist brutality abroad. She's also a lead operator with trans lifeline.
  • Constanza Segovia is a founding member of Hartford Deportation Defense, and a steering committee member of the Immigrant Bail Fund. Constanza was born and raised in Mendoza Argentina, and arrived in the US at the age of 17. She is deeply committed to fighting for migrant rights, and to creating community spaces centered around solidarity, cooperation, and radical imagination.
  • Camelle Scott-Mujahid, Training Director of CTCORE-Organize Now!, and has organized around a range of issues, including Immigrants Rights, Police Accountability, and Education Equity over the past 10 years. She believes in the power of collective action to make positive change and is passionate about supporting and holding space for black freedom fighters to organize and build community with one another.
  • Orisha Ala Ochumare is a founding member of Black Lives Matter New Haven, whose mission is to demonstrate integrity through educating individuals with knowledge of laws and their rights. We are dedicated to empowering our community.[1]

Trans Day of Visibility

To celebrate Trans Day of Visibility on March 31, organizers from the Party for Socialism and Liberation, New Haven Pride Center, Citywide Youth Coalition, Trans At Yale and other groups hosted an action on the steps of New Haven City Hall to allow members of the trans community to speak about the issues that affect them on a daily basis. Around 50 people came out to participate in the action.

IV Staklo, a Party for Socialism and Liberation member and trans community organizer who emceed the event, opened up with comments on what it means to be visible and live authentically.

Reed Miller, an organizer with Black & Pink Org., spoke about the tough time that trans inmates face while incarcerated, and how many trans inmates are forced into prison housing based on their sex assigned at birth, regardless of their actual gender.

Party for Socialism and Liberation member Chardonnay Merlot spoke as well: “Yes, it’s a difficult, dangerous and dark time. But we are the light. We will not only weather the storm, we are the storm…Hate will not win here.

IV Staklo, the emcee, made a brief statement in support of Palestine in light of the IDF’s violence on Land Day, and highlighted the tactics of those co-opting the LGBTQ struggle to further the goal of more global militarism: “Today I want to extend my solidarity to the people of Palestine who are being gunned down in protests on Land Day. We cannot let the U.S. and Israeli governments use pinkwashing to make us support their genocide against our family in the Palestinian people.”

When the event was finished, everyone was invited over to the New Haven Green for one final show of solidarity by forming the trans symbol out of a human chain. After that, the Pride Center hosted a resource and clothing exchange and pizza party for people to connect further.[2]