International Women’s Day, 2017
In Houston the IWD celebration, organized by Freedom Road Socialist Organization/FightBack!, educated and motivated activists and students as well as some new to the struggle. Kinsey Tamsin, a trans woman and FRSO activist, spoke about daily obstacles trans people face. She praised socialist Cuba for the tremendous progress made through CENESEX, the Cuban National Center for Sex Education, on LGBTQ+ rights, including free sex-affirmation operations for trans people. Tamsin also praised Workers World Party member Leslie Feinberg as a trailblazer for trans liberation.
Gloria Rubac, speaking for Workers World Party, gave a history of International Women’s Day and its socialist origins. She explained that the material basis for women’s oppression was the beginning of class society, and how that oppression will only end when the capitalist ruling class is replaced by a socialist revolution.
Rubac’s talk focused on five women. Emma Tenayuca, a San Antonio labor union organizer, was also a Communist Party USA member in the 1930s and 1940s. Marsha P. Johnson and Sylvia Rivera, an African-American trans woman and a Latinx trans woman, respectively, fought back against New York City cops in the 1969 Stonewall Rebellion. Assata Shakur, a Black Liberation Army member, was framed on murder charges, imprisoned and escaped to liberation in Cuba. Leslie Feinberg, a friend and comrade of Rubac, wrote the first Marxist analysis of trans liberation. Feinberg’s writings, read worldwide, include “Rainbow Solidarity with Cuba,” “Transgender Warriors: Making History from Joan of Arc to RuPaul” and “Stone Butch Blues.”
Anti-fascism in the age of Trump
On September 15, 2017 at the University of Houston the Platypus Affiliated Society organized a panel discussion, Anti-fascism in the Age of Trump. Participating on the panel were Gloria Rubac of the Workers World Party; Gus Breslauer of Redneck Revolt; Mark Kazanski of Socialist Alternative, Houston; and Bernard Sampson of the Communist Party USA, and the Democratic Socialists of America. Danny Jacobs of Platypus moderated.