by FEMINIST ANTI-WAR MOVEMENT
May 1, 12:00–16:00
On the first of May – Labor Day – we urge you to recall and feel what our labor is really worth. Strike!
Go out to the squares, avenues and streets named «Peace», and to other city objects where «peace» is mentioned — and feed the pigeons to meet like-minded people and reflect on your work.
The strike is a lesson in solidarity and support. It is a training in the ability to act together and a way of reflecting on one’s contribution to the reproduction of the system. It is a crack in the daily routine through which the future gets in. By taking yourself out of labor flows, breaking the usual rhythm, you create an opportunity to understand how your work — paid and unpaid — affects the reproduction of the system and what can be done to slow it down. By meeting fellow pigeon feeders, you can come up with new ways to resist.
DeliveryClub couriers, garbage truck drivers, M-12 highway builders, and workers at the Divenskaya compressor station are on strike in Russia. Independent trade union leaders are being persecuted in Russia, the home of Kirill Ukraintsev, co-chairman of the Courier trade union, was searched at night, people are being fired for their anti-war position. Strike to show solidarity! Come out to feed the pigeons on May 1st to find allies and come up with your own ways to strike.
How can we strike when it’s a day off?
Every day we work: we go to work and study, we work at state institutions and at private companies, we participate in the processes that allow our economy to function. But many people are taught from childhood to the idea that their work means nothing, that they are small cogs in a big machine. Or that doing you job is a virtue itself. A strike is a way to refute our insignificance, to see our strength and subjectivity in a current situation of political vacuum.
And there is another kind of work, unpaid and invisible — this is domestic and often female labor. Cooking, cleaning, caring for children and the elderly, thousands of practices of caring for loved ones — this is a huge job that takes many women 23 years of extra work in a lifetime. What will happen if women interrupt or reduce this for at least a day, refuse to do housework and set aside a day for themselves in order to devote themselves to rest, communication, protest practices, emancipatory practices? What if women show that this is work — and it should be paid?
To make your work visible — stop it! Feed the pigeons, not the war — and during this idle activity you can reflect on the practices of sabotage and meet like-minded people.
This year, on the First of May, political strikes will take place in many countries of the world, and we also offer our own format for participating in them. Technically, such strikes are simpler than strikes in the workplace, but they allow the creation of new connections and support networks. Let’s learn to strike!
We understand that for many, giving up housework and caring for others, even for one day, is a privilege. But we also understand that for many women it is very difficult in the space of their home, where other relatives can support war, sexism and violence. If you have the opportunity to leave the house on this day, shifting your affairs to other people, take part in our action, spend time outdoors. Idleness is sometimes the most fruitful time.
Why feeding pigeons?
Feeding pigeons as a kind of absurd street action gained a foothold in Russia back in 2019 during protests in support of independent candidates in the elections. In many cities, people took to the streets and squares with millet, met like-minded people there, and communicated in the process. We decided to recall this format: feed the birds of the world, don’t feed the war!
If women stop, then the world stops!