Everything You Need To Know About WITCH, The Ultimate Feminist Action Group

Javier Pardina

Maybe witches always knew something we didn't.

They were certainly ahead of the all black everything trend.

And, tbh, at the core of the criticism of the Salem witch trials was the idea that religious rebellion should be free from government persecution.

This is, ahem, an issue we still struggle with today.

But truly, at the core value of every group of witches, or within each coven, is sisterhood.

Witches were thriving in the '90s, with shows like "Charmed" and hit movies like "Hocus Pocus," but the true meaning of WITCH has been political throughout the 1900s.

Columbia Pictures

In the '60s, W.I.T.C.H., which stands for Women's International Terrorist Conspiracy from Hell, was the driving force behind the women's liberation movement.

Staged acts such as protesting pageants and bridal fairs, and creating "hexes" on various institutions of oppression, were led by WITCH veterans like Robin Morgan.

Recently, given the oppression of feminist values driven by the largely male, largely white Trump administration, the themes of WITCH are resurfacing.

WITCH has a few rules: 1. You must be anonymous; 2. You must be intersectional; 3. You must differentiate your group with the name of your city.

The Portland chapter has already begun veiled protests, holding signs that read statements like, "White silence is violence."

The WITCH PDX website encourages many covens in different cities to take action now.

Here are a few things you need to know about WITCHes. If the below points speak to you, consider joining a WITCH group in your city, or even starting one of your own.

1. Guerrilla theater

The term "guerrilla theater" refers to a type of public protest of social or political oppression, carried out in a theatrical way.

Past WITCHes have done things like left fingernail clippings throughout buildings, and publicly burned clothing tied to feminine oppression, such as bras and dish rags.

The goal is to "spook" and "intimidate," but also to make a strong statement.

Guerrilla theater protests occur in direct response to events that go against the WITCHes main beliefs about equality.

2. Hexes

WITCHes are known for their "hexes."

In mystical books and movies, this means casting spells and using supernatural powers. But in real life, WITCH hexes are a bit different.

In 1968, WITCH members, including Robin Morgan, placed a "hex" on the New York Stock Exchange. They snuck around the building at around 4 am and put crazy glue into the locks and seals of the doors of the building.

The next day, the Dow Jones Average dropped noticeably by five points, and the WITCHes took credit.

3. Covens/Chapters

If you wish to start a coven in your city, you must follow the above rules of all witches, and have no more than 13 members.

However, anyone is free to join and start their own group of WITCHes.

Refinery 29 noted that covens are the new "girl squad," which is great news to anyone who's over the Taylor Swift label that refers to girls gathering together to... hang? Shop?

Covens are for political action!

If you're down to end white supremacy with your girls, maybe a coven is more your style.

4. Ideology

You cannot be in a coven if you don't have intersectional members. Queer members and women of color are not only encouraged, but required.

A few core values on the WITCH PDX website include anti-fascism, support for sex workers, environmental protection, disability justice, gender self-determination and immigrants' rights.

Basically, there is no hate unless it's directed at the white norm patriarchy.

5. Stance on men

Robin Morgan has famously said,

I've never been a man hater, though I've been pretty damn furious with men, many times. When I get angry at a man or at men, it's because I think they're capable of change. If I didn't, I wouldn't waste my anger on them.

WITCHes aren't anti-men; they are anti-patriarchy. Men who support women's rights are certainly people WITCHes can get down with.

She continued,

The smart men at least have always tried to give lip service to feminism. It's harder to put it into practice because it means giving up power and nobody -- male or female -- likes to give up power.