RADIA – The feminist mobile studio bus
SOURCE: Radio LoRa - Switzerland
The Women's Strike in Switzerland on June 14, 2019 was the biggest mobilization in Switzerland since the General Strike 1918. More than half a million women took to the street. That is one out of eight women in Switzerland. In the big cities traffic was shut down for several hours but also in small villages in the country side, local strike committees organized activities. The demands of the women were diverse and made obvious that despite many years of feminist struggles there is still a long way to gender equality.
During the first Women's Strike in Switzerland in 1991 for equal pay for equal work for women and men, the feminist broadcasting team along with many women in media decided to to go on strike and we closed the radio station because without the important contribution women the radio would not exist. Afterwards we realized this was a mistake, because as a result of the media women striking, there was very little coverage on the success of the strike back in 1991. Therefore women in media decided this time, we need to work even more on this day, as male colleagues will not do the job for us.
"Radia" was such a success that we decided to rename the feminist broadcasting team "Radia - your feminist radio". And our mobile studio bus became so popular that it is present every March 8 and June 14 since 2019. This March 8 the feminist movement in Zurich organized decentralized activities and a short mobilization at the end on a big square, in line with corona security measures. But the police reacted with repression right from the start. They dispersed the decentralized activities despite the fact that the activists did not violate any corona-rules. The police in full gear harassed our mobile studio bus by stopping and checking us every corner and prevented us to go close to the activities. In other words they prevented us from doing our job as journalists, to report about the protest activities on International Women's Day and about the repression by the police. Luckily our flying reporters were able to call to our mobile studio bus and we could still broadcast of what was going on. And thanks to the persistence of the young feminist protesters, the pressure became to strong and the police had to withdraw. Finally a small rally was possible and as soon as the police withdraw our mobile studio bus was able to join the protesters and could once again report from the center of the activities. We received lots of positive feedback from the listeners and the protesters.