Students at Norman High School in Norman, Oklahoma walkedout of their classes at 9:20 A.M. on Monday, November 24th, 2014 greeted by hundreds of activists and supporters boldly standing with them in solidarity. Why?
Throughout the semester, an 18-year-old senior at the school raped three female students, publicized the rapes and humiliated the survivors. These girls were met with bullying and harassment, one being forced to leave the school because of constant hazing; another was not even able to enter the school before being violently confronted by the rapist’s friends. Another retaliated when being harassed and was asked to leave the school for the remainder of the year until things “blow over.” The administration punished the survivor for self-defense and has done nothing to address rape, sexual assault and harassment in their school community.
A brave group of students, supporters, and friends of the survivors decided to take action against this injustice. Three weeks ago, meeting in coffeehouses and in supporter’s homes, a core group of organizers brainstormed what they could do to force the administration to address this problem. Through cooperation with local activists and media, the #YesAllDaughters campaign was born, garnering almost 5,000 likes in two weeks, bringing media attention to the issue (including a publishing in Jezebel) and rallying hundreds of students and supporters to stand outside the school next Monday morning.
As a union committed to the abolition of patriarchy and all forms of exploitation, the Industrial Workers of the World (IWW) stands with these students in solidarity and will be represented at the walkout. Christophe Parsons, a delegate for the Oklahoma IWW, was part of the core group of organizers. Parsons said, “Both as a friend of the survivor and as a revolutionary unionist committed to building a new world, inaction was not an option. I am proud of my fellow students and community supporters who have rallied around these girls, and I am proud of my union, which has showed incredible solidarity and support in organizing this event.”
“Anyone who denies the role that patriarchy plays in oppression, anyone who will not practice gender equity and feminism is not a revolutionary. The Oklahoma IWW will not stand silent in the face of such a blatant injustice in our community against our young people,” said Parsons.
The Oklahoma IWW echoes the cries of the student-activists and stands alongside them in their struggle and the struggle of all victims of patriarchy. #YesAllDaughters