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(en) Brazilian Anarchist Coordination (CAB): With the word and the fight of Alzira always! An unforgettable libertarian companion of class feminism. (pt) [machine translation]
Thu, 14 Mar 2019 11:03:24 +0200
In 1925, the seamstress and militant anarchist Alzira Werkauser took the floor and
presided over a session of the 3rd Labor Congress of Rio Grande do Sul. On this occasion
she served as a union delegate with a mandate from the tailors' union, seamstresses and
annexes. Alzira was an active militant of the resistance to oppression of women, the union
struggle of seamstresses and anarchist convictions in a daily and tireless struggle to
change the world with socialism and freedom. Her motion to the Congress to which we refer
led intuitively, through the miseries suffered as a working woman and oppressed woman,
that notion so strong and so feminist that communist Louise Michel said:Take care of women
when they get tired of everything around them and stand up against the old world. That day
a new world will begin. "
It had positioned the idea that women needed to have their own space
for self-organization and speak in their own right for their equals. That no one could
perform this task but their own. That the struggle of women was articulated with the set
of emancipatory struggles, against patriarchal oppression and capitalist exploitation.
That the comrades of movement had to change the social, daily and cultural relations that
played the burden of many days of work and care in women's lives. United against the boss
and the state but with the affective tasks and care, the home, the militancy, properly
socialized from below.
Alzira is a reference that can not be forgotten, either by the absence of an image, a
photo that makes memory, nor by the dominant masculine character in the historical
narratives, much less by the actual companions of a fight that did not start today and
does not end soon there. It represents a type of feminism, embryonic perhaps, which has
been experienced and learned since the poverty and outrages of an era, which was nourished
with resistance and solidarity from below and gave new tones and colors to the libertarian
flag with its gender agenda . Together with the rebellion of Sisters Martins, Elvira Boni,
Dorvalina Ribas, Maria Lacerda de Moura and many other social fighters. In their own way,
in their time, they made initial course of struggles, dreams and hopes of a new world
where women are not subject body of the system of domination.
To take the floor also in this month of March 2019 and who speak all
companions. Participate, fight, decide equally, today and forever. Our
best tribute: continue your fight, our fight!
Motion of Alzira Werkauser to the 3rd Operational Congress of the RGS of 1925.
" In my capacity as a woman, and having to speak to you about
proletarian women in general, I must warn you that I do so in the certainty of
much to be desired on the subject. I do not just take the
facts collected from the study books, but from the experience itself,
therefore, it may have some error, in particular matters.
But not so, in its general aspects, because as a worker I have the
opportunity to observe, living this life of woman producing.
I will divide this problem into two phases: the first, economic. The second,
I must warn you that it will only be a weak reflection of real life, because
the proletarian woman is doubly exploited as a
woman and as a worker.
(...) Most of them have to support their children, mothers, sisters and
themselves; the companions and companions may imagine
the difficulties, the struggles, and the terrible conditions of
food in which the proletarian women in general find themselves.
That is why we see them thin and dejected, without the courage to fight
for their own existence.
Even more when we take into account that the working day is eight
hours and more, since there are still cases where work is done from 14 to 16 hours, such
as the work of hat makers, tailor-made dressmakers,
etc. We can also predict the state of mind in which our
sisters find themselves , who after a hard work and a meager salary, need
to do their domestic services; as I have said, most are mothers of
families, who need to keep theirs and to protect them against
the miseries of life. We should not marvel at her lack of courage and
take interest in our companions who do not even have the time
to think about her bad situation and organize herself,
unite to make improvements in your life. Therefore it is urgent that the
companion that all who are organized, pay special attention
to these slaughtered and exploited sisters, trying to raise them, to animate them
and bring them to the organization, thus fulfilling a duty to them.
We know that the woman is considered to be inferior and weak because of
certain religious influences that causes them to
consider themselves without the right to fight for their claims. We see
in every industry the arm of a woman exploited miserably as a
producer of cheap labor by the capitalists, and we realize that
no one but herself can and should fight for her own
welfare. But we have the hard need to incite them and encourage them to
defend themselves against the tyranny of the exploiters.
This responsibility weighs on the workers' organizations.
That is why I propose that the Congress take a resolution to
remind every working organization of the need to be part of its
activities, the organization of women. Only in this way can
the plight of the large masses of
women workers be improved .
As I have already said, my words can only be a weak reflection of
real life ... only with your organization, with your union can one day
improve your bad situation.
We have to add that they can not and should not expect from any political party or
government their economic, physical, or moral defense, because the State has not recorded
facts of this nature, and they have registered, they are nothing but crumbs thrown to calm
irritated moods in a certain when the misery has been unbearable, I therefore propose:
1. That the Workers' Federation, as well as all the trade unions
adhering to it , and especially those who, in their class, have
women as comrades in the workshops, should devote special attention to
2 ° That in the periodicals, as in bulletins, lectures and conferences, they
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