WMW Statement: 24th April 2023, International Feminist Solidarity Day against Transnational Corporations
Following the WMW’s 9th International Meeting’s decision, the 24th of April has become the International day on which we stand in solidarity with the thousands of lives lost and affected by the greed of transnational corporations in Bangladesh.
The date was chosen to remember the collapse of the Rana Plaza building in Bangladesh in 2013, which killed 1138 people, 80% women, and injured more than 2,500 people. This building was home to clothing manufacturers such as Walmart, Benetton, H&M, and C&A.
The collapse of the Rana Plaza building is not only a local story of bad working conditions but a moment of global importance which exposes capitalist practices structured by free market profit, which systematically violates labor rights and workers’ safety.
Moreover, transnational corporations specifically exploit women’s lives, bodies, and livelihoods while destroying their lands and dispossessing them in every sphere of life.
This year, we find ourselves remembering the Rana Plaza crime in light of a wide and extended wave of militarization and war industry raging around the globe. This wave is inherently connected to the exploitation of workers, as it is another form of capitalism’s tools of plunder and exploitation, reinforcing authoritarianism and violence against working class, women, and peoples, as we are witnessing through the oppression and torture of women in Iran and the complete annihilation of women’s education and participation in public life in Afghanistan.
This is also witnessed through the war on Ukraine and the destruction of a whole country and killing and expulsion of its people; through the zionist attacks on Palestinian land and daily killing of the Palestinian people; through the ruination of a rich and diverse land and culture in Yemen, and through the Islamist and military control over Mali, along with the Russian-European fight over control of the country. Meanwhile, economic sanctions continue to suffocate countries like Venezuela and Cuba.
The ongoing wave of militarization is taking place along with the development of a borders industry, one that increases social, economic, and spatial divisions and responds to the extreme right wing’s xenophobic, racist campaigns. In this sense, we are experiencing the growth and extensive control of military and security companies that provide the equipment to border guards, the surveillance technology to monitor frontiers, and the IT infrastructure to track population movements.
In addition to destroying and controlling lands, wars expel people from the place they have always lived in a while denying them fundamental rights, like a decent life, housing, food, and physical, sexual, and mental safety, amongst others.
Finally, the responsibility of transnational companies -the (in)visible hand behind these horrors- also lies in creating and sustaining the ongoing climate crisis, as Fossil fuels, pharmaceutical companies, border and surveillance, and agribusiness corporations and their value chains are responsible for increasing greenhouse gas emissions, the widespread environmental destruction, and gross human rights abuses. This is also exacerbated by the exploitation of natural resources and its results, which can be easily seen through the attacks on food sovereignty, the abuse of peasant rights, the exploitation of land and water resources, and the absolute control of the agribusiness moguls.
Ten years after its collapse, we see in the Rana Plaza crime how the warmongering capitalist project is still being updated.Workers, women, people, lands, nature are being victims of the abusive tools of this system.
On the occasion of the Rana Plaza crime, we say no to militarization and war industries, no to frontiers and walls, and no to the exploitation of natural resources, workers, women and peoples!
We will keep marching until we are all free from the violence of corporate power!
You can watch our short documentary, which was produced at the Feminist Solidarity in Resistance and Construction of Alternatives to Extractivism meeting, held between 12 and 16 November 2018 in Maputo, Mozambique. Angolan, Brazilian and Mozambican women sharing experiences and knowledge related to the resistance to extractivism and the construction of alternatives to the extractive model in our territories.
On the occasion of the Rana Plaza crime, we say no to militarization and war industries, no to frontiers and walls, and no to the exploitation of natural resources, workers, women, and people!
Also, in the below video, you will see different testimonies from all over the World. Our effort is to tell our own stories of struggle against mining by breaking away from capitalist practices. Transnational corporations specifically exploit women’s lives, bodies, and livelihoods while destroying their lands and dispossessing them in every sphere of life. We will continue to resist transnational corporations.