Despite storm, “Mothers March Globally” for recognition of work, protest Phila DHS
Mary Kalyna | 03.18.2010
Pouring rain and high winds on Saturday March 13 forced Mothers March Globally inside, but spirits were not dampened. Fifty women and men gathered in Center City to protest the lack of recognition and support for mothering.
Pouring rain and high winds on Saturday March 13 forced Mothers March Globally inside, but spirits were not dampened. Fifty women and men – Black, Latina and white – gathered at Arch Street United Methodist Church in Center City Philadelphia to protest the lack of recognition and support for mothering.
Called by the Global Women’s Strike, Mothers March Globally was co-sponsored locally by Every Mother is a Working Mother Network (EMWM), which coordinates “DHS – Give Us Back Our Children,” a multi-racial self-help group of mothers and advocates who fight for the return of children unjustly removed by Philadelphia Dept of Human Services and to change DHS policies. The group was recently featured on the front page of the Philadelphia Daily News and met with DHS Commissioner Anne Marie Ambrose to press for changes.
Families are torn apart by child welfare services which reward agencies for taking children rather than using their resources to help families with housing, childcare and other essentials. The crowd was moved to tears – and to action – by a sneak preview of the documentary, “DHS: Give Us Back Our Children!” shown to a public audience for the first time. The finished film, produced in cooperation with the Scribe Video Center Community Visions Project, will be released in Summer 2010.
There was also some history, with a rundown of International Women’s Day (IWD), the Global Women’s Strike which revitalized IWD celebrations in the US beginning in 2000, and a screening of the 1976 film, All Work and No Pay, where the demand and campaigning for wages for housework are first put forward by an organization. A homemade meal and a report from Mothers Marches around the world was followed by a SpeakOut with a great rap poem written for the event (“Talkin’ DHS Blues”), soon be put to music.
Mothers March Globally events took place in Los Angeles and San Francisco, and around the world in Guyana, Haiti, Mexico, Peru, Turkey, the UK and Venezuela, echoing the demands of the Global Women’s Strike that society “Invest in Caring, Not Killing,” beginning with payment for caring work, including for the first carers: mothers. The year 2010 marks the 100th anniversary of International Women’s Day and the 11th Global Women’s Strike which revived the day in the US beginning in 2000.