International Women's Day 1988Primary Artist: San Francisco Fireworks

Created: San Francisco Collective, 1988

Medium: Offset printed

Dimensions: 16.5″ x 23.25″

Although International Women’s Day, now celebrated on March 8th, has become a worldwide corporate phenomenon, it was originally a day celebrated by radical women to demand freedom and equality – not only for ourselves but for everyone. It honors the scores of women who were killed in the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire of 1911.

During the 1980s and 90s, Women Against Imperialism would stage an annual protest on this day incorporating different themes to match current events. In 1988, Women Against Imperialism specifically was protesting against the establishment of the Lexington Control Unit in Kentucky. A prison within a prison, it was specifically made for women political prisoners. After a long campaign, in which organizations like Amnesty International designated the conditions tantamount to torture, the unit was closed. Despite this, this model has now been replicated in other prisons all over the country.

Image: Graphic of two hands pulling apart the bars of a prison cell.

Words: Free all Political Prisoners and Prisoners of War! Shut Down Lexington Control Unit and all Control Units! Stop Racist Attacks Behind Bars and On the Streets! Fight for Women’s and Lesbian Liberation! Celebrate Women’s Resistance!

Color: Purple, black, and green ink on white paper

Event: Demonstration, Pleasanton Federal Prison, March 5, 1988.

Sponsors: International Women’s Day Demonstration Committee, Women Against Imperialism, National Committee to Free Puerto Rican Prisoners of War, Out of Control Committee to Shut Down Lexington Control Unit, Free Puerto Rico Committee, Women’s Liberation Front, Bayside Legal Advocates

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