Written by Editor
Monday, 28 September 2015 18:47
Executive Committee and Women Secretariat of the PSTU (Argentina)
In the 80’s, she was very young and had just entered our international trend when she went to Argentina to work in the old MAS (Movement Towards Socialism). She always talked about that experience and all she learned with Nahuel Moreno and other comrades. She used to say fondly: “the Argentinian party is my second party.” Therefore, she could not miss the merger congress between the FOS and the COI to found the PSTU-A in 2011.
During the past few years, she traveled several times to Argentina. Cilinha was already famous among us, and she was known by part of the world vanguard, the workers, activists, and intellectuals because of her contributions to Marxism; her fight against male chauvinism and her book: “Women: gender unites us, class divides us”. Besides, she had the conviction, inherited from Trotsky, that art must be recuperated for the working class and it could be a great revolutionary tool. With this conviction and carrying out an enormous effort, she overcame her weakened health and helped us build a theatrical group to set her work on stage, Lucha Mujer Poética [Poetic Women in Struggle].
Cilinha will always be among us. We will remember her for her dedication to revolution; her ongoing battle against women’s oppression, “capitalism’s wound”– she called it- and against the exploitation of all the working class; her eagerness to approach Marxist Theory; the ardor with which she defended her standings; her internationalism, which she practiced without losing heart, intervening in polemics and problems, and traveling for the IWL’s needs even when she was very sick; and for her legacy as a journalist, a researcher and a revolutionary artist.
In her own words: “Therefore, the problem of the working woman is not being a woman, but living in a capitalist regime. She does not need to reject her femininity nor her maternity function. She does not need to see men as enemies. What she needs is to acknowledge her own strength and unite with her working-class mates – as a woman, with all her potential – to struggle for the end of the capitalist society. We must make women aware of their real enemy. They, who day-to-day face capitalism’s obstacles: hunger, misery, unemployment, sexual oppression, humiliation; must call on their working class comrades to struggle together against capitalism. This will be the first step for her to become a social being and be able to build a socialist egalitarian society with men, where all the traces of oppression will be thrown into history’s bin”.
Dear Cilinha, fighting for socialism always!
Executive Committee of the Partido de los Trabajadores (Workers’ Party) – Costa Rica
She was a woman of an exceptional strength and joy. As a Trotskyist militant, she had a vast career. She is a source of inspiration for the thousands of militants in our International, as she was a historic leader of the IWL-FI and founder of our Brazilian party, the PSTU.
Cecilia was characterized as an unstoppable builder of our parties. She was politically active and she visited several countries helping in the building of the International. Her joy and passion set an example for hundredths of young women in the IWL. Her strength shown in the struggle against cancer is impressive. Up until her last days, she continued to be a consequent revolutionary.
We learned a lot from Cecilia, we learned from both her life and her Marxist works on oppression and women’s liberation. She taught us the struggle for women’s liberation and world socialism is no sacrifice but a privilege. Comrade Cecilia Toledo, the task is too big for the void you leave, but we will continue to struggle for women’s liberation and world socialism in your memory.
Until victory, always, comrade and friend Cilinha!
Women Commission of the Partido Socialista de los Trabajadores (Socialist Workers’ Party), Colombia
Those of us who were lucky enough to be with Cilinha, whether it was for a few hours or days, will never stop missing her spontaneity and visible joy, her smile and sweetness that she spread around her, both to those closer to her as to those she had just met. To say we met her and heard her will be our pride.
The loss for our International and all its parties is immense. Cecilia Toledo concentrated most of the effort Morenoism made to take up the women issue, oppression and exploitation from a Marxist and working-class standpoint. She approached different aspects, for example, the gender issue, domestic violence, housework and many others.
All men and women from our International have the urgent task to carry on Cecilia’s arduous struggle. Side by side with many comrades of the PSTU-B and other parties that lead the fight against male chauvinism within the IWL-FI and all its parties. Our greatest tribute to her will be to continue struggling for the organization of the working class and in it, the working women.
Her loss is irreparable for the IWL and all the working women of the world. However, her theoretical and artistic contributions inspire all our parties in the world, making her immortal.
Comrade Cecilia Toledo, fighting for socialism forever!
Larry Bowles – Worker at the Broadgreen Hospital, Liverpool (UK), member of Old Swan Against the Cuts (OSAC)
I have just been informed by Martin, of the sad loss of Cecilia. My thoughts and sympathy go out to her family and many comrades and indeed yourself. Although I never spoke to her of late I thought of her every time we emailed each other. My last memory of Cecilia was giving her a gift of flowers; she was flying out the next day. She was to me an amazing woman; she was only small but seemed so strong and larger than life. Every time I listened to what she had to say I felt that I was being educated, I wish that I could find words that would be a fitting tribute her to her, but all I can say is the working class movement has lost an inspiration to us all. Please pass on this message comrade. My love to all. Larry