Peralta Community College District's Only Student-Run Publication
Peralta Community College District's only student-run publication.

The Citizen

Peralta Community College District's only student-run publication.

The Citizen

Peralta Community College District's only student-run publication.

The Citizen

    Shout out, Rise up!

    By Toni Cervantes

    A protester, center, named Kim (last name omitted) from feminist organization GABRIELA Oakland leads the crowd in a choreographed song and dance at an Oakland women’s demonstration March 11. Oakland was one of several cities in which marches and protests were held to highlight the struggles of women around the world. Photos by Toni Cervantes

    “Rise, resist and unite,” was the clarion call for the International Working Women’s Day marches held in Berkeley and Oakland on March 9 and March 11, respectively.

    Berkeley High School students Simone Szabo-Ewell and Anjuli Arrella-Burl were the MCs for the Berkeley march.

    They said they helped organize the rally at Martin Luther King Park to bring attention to violence against women, and the struggle for gender equality.

    Szabo-Ewell said that, as an upcoming high school graduate, she is “hugely concerned about the rising sexual assault rates on college campuses.”

    Arrella-Burl, who co-founded the Women’s Student Union on campus, aims to debunk society’s negative perception of feminism. Her group strives to fight the system of violence and misogyny in all strata of society.

    Demonstrators of all ages protest at the March 11 International Working Women’s Day in Oakland. Hundreds of protestors attened demonstrations in Oakland and Berkeley.

    Natalie Brizuela is a professor of Spanish and Portuguese film and media studies at UC Berkeley. She brought a contingent of South American PhD students with her. She said they worry about the “growing and enormous tide of femicide, dominated by the historic and systematic power of machismo and patriarchy in Latin America today.”

    There were several passionate speakers in the Berkeley plaza that addressed a small but enthusiastic crowd of 150 people.

    Marissa Kay and the Lunar Angels provided entertainment. The lyrics of their signature song, “Fight Like a Girl,” captured the mood of the protesters.

    From the minute we are born, we have to fight to survive.

    A demonstrator shouts a slogan at the March 11 International Working Women’s Day in Oakland. Hundreds of protestors attened demonstrations in Oakland and Berkeley.

    In this misogynistic society we’re either a virgin or we’re whores. I ain’t gonna stand for no man cuz I fight like a girl.

    Across town at the Fruitvale Village in Oakland, about 500 protesters in flamboyant colors held a raucous rally of a different flavor.

    The march, held in the heart of a predominantly Latino neighborhood, was awash with vibrant banners and demonstrators chanting battle cries.

    According to the website of the activist alliance group, GABRIELA Oakland, the goal of the march was to encourage communities to rise up and say “No” to violence against women, Trans and gender-nonconforming people, and to resist militarization and state violence!

    El/La Para Trans Latinas, Mujeres Unidas y Activas (MUA), and Causta Justa::Just Cause, also participated in mobilizing the rally to honor women, youth, immigrants and workers on the front lines.

    BoomShake, a multicultural collective drumming group, led the feisty and noisy protesters through the busy streets of the neighborhood.


    Together, with the event organizers, the message of “rise, resist and unite” was broadcast loud and clear.

    Equal pay for equal work, fair and equal representation in the workplace, reproductive rights, and protection from the stalking and secretive advancements of ICE deportation forces, are some of the issues these advocacy organizations aim to further.

    “Trump’s war on women has been a catalyst in creating this worldwide movement,” said Florence Oppen of the Workers’ Voice coalition.


    Toni Cervantes is a writer and photographer for The Laney Tower.

    About the Contributor
    In the fall of 2019, The Laney Tower rebranded as The Citizen and launched a new website. These stories were ported over from the old Laney Tower website, but byline metadata was lost in the port. However, many of these stories credit the authors in the text of the story. Some articles may also suffer from formatting issues. Future archival efforts may fix these issues.  
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