Verona Trans-Feminist City

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In the patriarchal family, based on heteronormative principles, a sexist and hierarchical social model is constantly produced and reproduced. Most gender violence occurs within the family, the vehicle that reproduces sexual divisions at work as well as other forms of oppression. Moreover, the family is ideologically instrumental in the pursuit of racist goals, for instance when it is used to support the reproduction of a white national identity. For this reason, we claim that women and LGBT*QI+ subjectivities’ right to self-determination cannot be achieved without freedom of movement for migrants. The violence inherent in all kinds of borders affects places and the bodies of the people who cross them.

This idea of family is at the core of the World Congress of Families (WCF), which will take place in Verona on the 29th, 30th and 31st March 2019. This is why, in those days, trans-feminists from Non Una Di Meno, along with other Italian and international movements, will occupy the city with rage, determination and wonder. The congress will be organized by the local administration and patronised by the “Presidenza del Consiglio dei Ministri – Ministero per la Famiglia e la Disabilità” (President of the House of Representatives – Ministry of Family and Disability) and by the “Regione Veneto” (Veneto regional government). The Interior Minister, Matteo Salvini, the Family and Disability Minister, Lorenzo Fontana, the Education Minister, Marco Bussetti, and Lega Senator, Simone Pillon, will take part in the WCF. We believe these politicians are the main promoters of heteronormative, patriarchal and racist violence, and of its institutionalisation. We will oppose them and all those who will gather to support oppression and exploitation, with the power of a transnational movement of liberation.

Despite a rhetorical discourse that fosters the values of human life, the attacks against abortion rights and the celebration of a traditional idea of family, which are put forward by these ‘lords’ of patriarchy, are closely intertwined with a whole social system based on violence and oppression. The ideological claim for a white nation hides a form of institutional racism. This racism constantly perpetuates the exploitation of immigrant labor within the borders they want to defend. Behind their defence of the ‘natural family’ lays violence. Compulsory heterosexuality is imposed against the freedom of women and LGBT*QI+ subjectivities, who refuse to conform to established and prescribed identities and social roles. We reject all attempts to subordinate women to a caring role within the family and to maternity as a destiny. The world of education is also affected by this catholic-fascist offensive. This attack is nourished by narratives whereby children are the victims of an alleged “gender ideology”. As a result, we see strong limitations, if not actual censorship, on the circulation of ideas which critique the reproduction of gender hierarchies and acknowledge the liberty of difference. We are aware that the WCF is one of the counter-attacks put forward against a powerful global women movement, which is overthrowing a system based on coercion, exploitation and hierarchies.

We are going to Verona with the growing energy from the International Women Strike. On 8th March thousands of us occupied the squares and the streets of the world, abstaining from all forms of labor and deserting places where exploitation and patriarchal violence thrive. We spoke up against racism and oppression; we shouted out of our freedom from gender norms and from the oppressive institution that is the heteropatriarchal family. The feminism and transfeminism we put in place go beyond identities and their codification, crossing through spaces in our societies to create new forms of struggle, advancing through relationships rather than identification and running through every aspect of this global mobilisation. The  International Women Strike revealed the connection between heteropatriarchal violence, racism and exploitation. By taking our freedom and collective power into the streets, on the 8th March we broke that connection. Non Una di Meno is a feminist and transfeminist movement because it starts by challenging power relationships, hierarchies, male violence against women and gender violence, to then contrast every manifestation of systemic violence. With our struggle, we showed how sexism, exploitation, racism, colonialism, political and religious fundamentalism, homo-lesbo-transphobia and fascism are connected and reinforce each other.

The feminism and transfeminism of our movement originate in the freedom and self-determination of all subjectivities in order to build processes of collective struggle and liberation, which invest the whole society and its reproduction.

Right now all the rights women have obtained by fighting so hard are under attack: divorce, abortion and various reforms in family law. We respond to this reactionary wave with the strength of our demands, which we elaborated in our feminist plan against male violence and against all forms of gender violence.

We are the feminist, transfeminist, anti-racist, antifascist tide that will take over Verona, opening up liberating spaces which were born from the global power of the International Women Strike.

HANDS OFF OUR DESIRE!

 

Non una di meno claims:

* Schools and universities should become the primary sites where gender violence is opposed. We want “no gender” associations out of schools and more spaces for education to differences, sexuality and gender issues!

* Continuing professional training for figures involved in supporting women who escape male violence (such as teachers, lawyers, magistrates, educators, people working in the media and cultural industries). That’s why we want to fight against toxic narratives and promote a new culture.

* Continuing training  against harassment, violence and gender discrimination at work, with the aim of providing adequate and effective means of defense and self-defense.

* We consider health as a state of physical, sexual and social well-being and an expression of freedom of self-determination. We are against the pathologization of transgender people and forced gender reassignment for intersex people.

* We know that conscience objection in the Italian National Health Service affects women’s right to self-determination. We want full access to all abortion techniques for all women requesting them.

* We demand that freedom of choice is always guaranteed. We want obstetric violence to be recognised as one of the forms of violence against women affecting reproductive and sexual health.

* We oppose the logic of security in healthcare. We want interventions to take into account the feminist analysis of violence as a structural phenomenon and not interventions based on assistance or on emergency or repressive measures. We want teams composed of trained and expert operators.

* We demand universal, guaranteed welfare. We want health clinics to be secular, political, cultural, social and socio-sanitary spaces. We promote their strengthening and staff retraining through the recruitment of permanent and multidisciplinary staff.

* We encourage the opening of more and more feminist and transfeminist health clinics that are spaces for experimentation, self-inquiry, and mutualism, that enable a redefinition of welfare.

* We demand a European minimum wage, an unconditional and universal income of self-determination as a means of liberation from heteropatriarchal violence inside and outside the  workplace.

* Against the border regime and the institutional system of migrants reception, we claim freedom of movement and a European residence permit, without conditions related to family, study, work and income.

* We want citizenship for everyone, the ius solis [birthright citizenship] for children who are born in Italy and for those who grew up here, even though they were not born in the country.

* We are critical of the institutional system of reception and we reject the emergency logic applied to migration.

* We are against the exploitation of gender-based violence for the sake of racist, securitarian and nationalist perspectives.

* We want shared feminist and transfeminist political spaces.

* We know that the violence against the environment also affects people. We oppose the “environmental violence” that takes place against our bodies and the ecosystems in which we live, which are constantly threatened by exploitative practices.

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