Rhode Island Women’s March, which has staged several very successful rallies in the wake of the Trump Presidency, has changed their name to Rhode Island Womxn’s Action Initiative (RI-WAI) and disaffiliated from National Women’s March. In a press release, Shanna Wells, one of the group’s organizers, writes:
We wish Women’s March well, but we can no longer in good conscience maintain our affiliation for the following reasons:
- National leadership’s reluctance to call out Antisemitism, and their defensiveness when asked to examine their own prejudices in this area: There can be no equivocating. If everyone deserves dignity, equality, and self-determination, then we must have intolerance for intolerance, wherever we find it. If it appears in our own communities, it’s our duty to address it.
- Their hierarchical organizational model: To build a stronger Democracy, we should be operating in a democratic manner, rather than perpetuating the top-down model used by the Patriarchy.
The Rhode Island Womxn’s Action Initiative defines itself as:
- Womxn-led, but all are welcome
- Centered on those who are historically under-represented
- Democratically run
The Rhode Island Womxn’s Action Initiative is driven by the mission of:
- Human/Civil Rights for all
- Elimination of the Patriarchy (defined as systemic institutional domination by White, Male, Christian, Cisgender, Heterosexual, Able-bodied rights over everyone else’s.)
The Rhode Island Womxn’s Action Initiative will:
- Support and amplify the work of Human Rights/Social Justice Organizations led by historically under-represented people, both locally and nationally
- Act as a clearinghouse of Human Rights / Social Justice actions happening around Rhode Island
- Support legislative actions
- Provide non-violent resistance against oppression
- Create opportunities for people of various groups to work together to end oppressive conditions
- Create opportunities for social engagement between various groups (recognition of common humanity through dialogue and exchange of culture)
NOTE: The use of the letter “x” in the word “womxn” is a deliberate choice to show inclusion of transwomen and nonbinary folks in our definition of women.
[From a Rhode Island Womxn’s Action Initiative press release]