Justice for the DSK Rape Victim!

by on August 22, 2011

JUSTICE FOR THE STRAUSS-KAHN RAPE VICTIM

PUT MISOGYNY ON TRIAL, NOT THE HOTEL WORKER

Women, Immigrant Rights, & Labor Groups urge everyone to attend next DSK hearing
Tuesday, August 23, 2011 9:00a.m.
100 Centre St. Downtown Manhattan by City Hall

Demand justice for hotel worker & IMF reparations for Guinea and everywhere!

The whole world now knows how incredibly sexist and woman-hating the former head of the International Monetary Fund, Dominique Strauss-Kahn (DSK), is. After charges of raping and attacking a hotel worker, law enforcement agents yanked him off a plane on his way back home to France. The vicious incident took place on May 14 at the Sofitel Hotel in New York.

Since his arrest, woman after woman has come out in France to reveal DSK’s appallingly chauvinist attitude. He clearly views women as objects and commodities. His hubris and sense of entitlement to do or say anything he wants to women is evident.

Obviously there must have been overwhelming evidence of guilt for law enforcement agents to have taken the head of the IMF — a powerful capitalist institution — off the plane. There is now an outlandish attempt in the media, in cahoots with legal officials, to defame the woman who was attacked. It’s the classic tactic of putting the rape victim on trial instead of the rapist. It’s reminiscent of the media vilification of Tawana Brawley, who was raped by a white cop, more than 20 years ago in upstate New York.

The hotel worker, just like Brawley, is fighting back against this attempt to defame her and undermine her credibility. She has heroically filed a libel suit against the New York Post for slanderous and demeaning articles. The New York Times had earlier opened this offensive against the hotel worker. A judge granted DSK bail and he has been released.

Even if any of the claims used to attack the woman are true, many of them could be said of any immigrant or worker in an unstable economic situation. It is called survival. Most important, it has absolutely nothing to do with the case.

This incident is a horrible case of sexism and violence. It has everything to do with class privilege and the imperialist domination of Third World nations. It has to do with international political relations between two imperialist countries — France & the U.S. with the IMF, an instrument of plunder and robbery.

It is not surprising that the head of the IMF thinks he can do whatever he wants. The IMF itself gets away with murder. It sets up economic programs known as Structural Adjustment Programs (SAPs) that require oppressed countries to privatize public property and reduce spending on health, education and development to pay their debt service. These SAPs harshly lower the standard of living.

In Guinea, the African country from which the hotel worker emigrated, life expectancy is 45 years. SAPs forced Guinea to privatize its government-owned enterprises, remove price controls, raise the price of food and lay off public workers. Guinea is a resource-rich country with almost half of the world’s bauxite reserves, but only 24 percent of the population is literate and there is one doctor per 46,000 people.

During Strauss-Kahn’s tenure another big loan was set up, so that Guinea is now more than $3 billion in debt. (CIA World Factbook)

The IMF is responsible for the migration of hundreds of millions of African, Latin American and Asian people, just like the hotel worker, who have been forced to leave their home countries. The Asia Pacific Mission for Migrants states that “migration of peoples from these poor countries became a forced one as people were left with no option but to find work overseas.” The IMF has actually encouraged the Philippine government to export its own people.(apmigrants.org, July 2009).

The gap between rich and poor is widening, due directly to the IMF’s programs. Half of the world’s population — more than 3 billion people — live on less than $2.50 a day, and at least 80 percent lives on less than $10 a day. Around the world 22,000 children die every day, mostly in the poorest countries indebted to the IMF. This has been going on before, during and since Dominique Strauss-Kahn’s term in charge.

When DSK took over in 2007, the countries of the world owed the IMF more than $4 trillion — a 70 percent increase since 2000. This debt increased even more during his tenure.

The case of this heroic worker who dared to challenge DSK is about violence against women. It is also about the horrible war against immigrant and all workers who are being told to accept attacks such as cutbacks, lay-offs, deportations and so on. Millions of people are being forced to migrate because of IMF and US foreign policies. Once here, we must demand and end to the abuse.

We urge women, progressives, immigrants, labor and everyone to demand justice for this woman hotel worker. Come to the hearing July 18.

Statement issued by the May 1st Coalition for Workers & Immigrant Rights
& the Women’s Fight-back Network.

www.may1.info 212.633.6646

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