#OneBillionRising heightens call for revolution

by Max Santiago


Hundreds of people from different walks of life, mostly women, converged at the Lapu-Lapu shrine in Luneta Park in Manila to participate in the #OneBillionRising (OBR) global campaign.

The campaign’s aim is to seek an end to violence and injustice against women. Now on it’s fourth year, the event’s current theme is the ‘escalation of the call for revolution’.

Launched on Valentine’s Day 2012, the #OneBillionRising campaign started as a call to action based on the statistic that 1 in 3 women on the planet will be beaten or raped during her lifetime.

According to the OBR website, the campaign encourages people around the world to rise through dance to express rage against injustices and [to harness] the power of global solidarity and global action.

OBR started with V-Day, a movement to stop violence against women and girls formed in 1998. From its launch in 2012, over 190 countries and 5,000 organizations have participated and launched tens of thousands of OBR activities, including the globally synchronized dancing on February 14 Valentine’s Day. Celebrities around the world who have expressed support to the campaign included Hollywood stars Rosario Dawson, Jane Fonda, Anne Hathaway, Charlize Theron, musician Zoe Kravitz and Indian sitar player Anoushka Shankar. Some of the men who have given their support included Robert Redford, TV star Vinny Guadagnino, Bollywood star Aamir Khan and NBA player Royce White that meant to V-Day that “this campaign is not only for women.”

Gabriela, an alliance of grassroots women’s organizations, has spearheaded the OBR campaign in the Philippines. Gabriela member Monique Wilson is this year’s Global Coordinator of OBR.

In the Philippines, OBR has engaged the participation of comfort women calling for justice, typhoon Yolanda (Haiyan) victims for adequate relief and rehabilitation, plantation workers and union members for living wage and better working conditions, urban poor for decent housing, youth for accessible education and health workers against privatization of public hospitals.

“OBR is also really about social justice,” said Arlene Brosas, spokesperson of Gabriela Women’s Party chapter in Metro Manila.

The founder of #OneBillionRising, renowned American playright, writer of “Vagina Monologues” and activist Eve Ensler took part in Manila’s #OneBillionRising event.

She visited different parts of the country to learn more about the plight of women.

“I have seen what women are suffering in Tondo, and they are dumping coal in Tondo,” Ensler shared.

The coal stockpile, located near Barangay 105 in Tondo, is allegedly continuing operations despite a closure order by the Manila city government.

Ensler also went to Davao City and visited the Lumads displaced due to militarization.

“This government should stop militarizing, stop killing, stop harrassing and stop destroying these precious indigenous people who carry the future of the Philippines and the earth in their ways, in their wisdom and in their bodies” said Ensler.






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