Switzerland: June 14th will go down in history as an important day in a country where normally everything is a little less spectacular. Hundreds of thousands of women in Switzerland took part in the second nationwide women strike. Actions and mobilizations took place in all parts of the country, in cities and in rural areas. By choosing June 14th a continuity to the first national women’s strike in 1991 was established. This is seen as the largest strike in Swiss post-war history. The women strike 2019 impressively ties in with that tradition.
Originally published by ajour – ★ – magazin für autonomen journalismus. Translated by Enough 14.
The mobilization of the last weeks and months, supported by innumerable local collectives, has gained incredible momentum and brought the critique on sexism, patriarchy and capitalism to a broad public. From the outside, the impression may sometimes have been created that the women strike in 2019 was a campaign of the trade unions, which mainly focused on the issue of pay and equal opportunities. But it’s the other way round: organizing and mobilizing from below has literally pushed the trade unions and left-wing parties forward. As a result, the contents of the campaign reflected the diversity and radicalism of feminist movements.
At this late hour it is impossible for us to adequately summarize June 14, 2019. The number of participants in the demos only gives an idea of the dimension: 160,000 in Zurich, 40,000 each in Basel and Berne, 20,000 in Lausanne and Geneva and even in smaller cities such as Delsberg, Aarau, Solothurn or Bellinzona, four-digit numbers were easily reached. We were on the streets in Zurich. And here, too, we quickly lost track during the course of the day. Because it wasn’t just the big demos that characterized the women strike, it was the countless actions, gatherings and happenings all over the city […]