Coming to la Tunisie has always been a mix of emotions for me. This time was no different-
though there are now new circumstances for some of those emotions. I am filled with curiosity, pride, inspiration, joy, nervousness and some sadness to come back to my father’s home to be a part of building solidarity with what the Tunisian people are working to create here. As GGJ comrade Souha Ben Othman from l’Association des Tunisienne des Femmes Democrates said so well, Tunisia is in the process of a revolution. I am hopeful that la Tunisie will grow and transform through this practice of building a democracy for all her people.
Meeting Souha and Wafa from l’Association des Tunisienne des Femmes Democrates at our welcome dinner made my heart sing with hope. To speak with women who are actively
working within this very entrenched patriarchial society for the rights of women was humbling. The same feelings of hope and love followed me heading into the women’s convergence by the World March of Women. The energy in the room was electrifying. Speakers represented fierce revolutionary women from all over the world- Mozambique, Tunisie, Mexico, Cote D’Ivoire, Morocco, Palestine and France. Their messages resonated with the crowd and pumped them (and me) up on multiple occasions…the struggle continues for all women’s freedom from all forms of violence, socio-economic oppression and racism- all driven by capitalism; and solidarity with all women beyond the borders imposed by imperialist forces.
The chant was, “so-so-so…solidarity..avec les femmes…du monde entier!” (solidarity with women worldwide)
It is difficult to imagine today was not even the official first day of the world social forum given the roller coaster of emotions-hope, love, inspiration, confusion, and exhaustion during the convergence and the opening day march. I look forward to continuing the ride this week and going back to Oakland rejuvenated in the spirit of revolution and transformative change.
–Mai-Stella Khantouche, Causa Justa::Just Cause, Oakland, Bay Area