FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Susan Celia Swan/Kate Fisher
media (at) vday.org +1 (917) 865-6603
ONE BILLION RISING FOR JUSTICE
Women, Men, and Youth in 200 Countries Rose For Justice on 14 February
Global Call For Justice For All Survivors Of Gender Violence, and Ending the Rampant Impunity that Prevails Globally was Unprecedented in Energy & Scope
Campaign Trended In UK, South Africa, and on Facebook
From Flash Mobs In The Streets To Protests On The Steps Of Government Buildings, Thousands Of RISINGS Take Place Across The World, Including Trafalgar Square In London, And The Golden Gate Bridge In San Francisco, And More
21 February 2014 – Last Friday, 14 February, the world rose up to demand an end to violence against women and girls. For the second year in a row, women, men, and youth in 200 countries took part in the ONE BILLION RISING FOR JUSTICE campaign, the largest mass action in human history to end gender-based violence.
For 48 hours as 14 February rolled across the globe, activists peacefully gathered outside places where women are entitled to justice and focused the world’s attention on the issue of injustice for all survivors of gender violence and delivered passionate calls for ending the rampant impunity that prevails globally.
“On Friday, a revolution of love and justice took place around the world – with grassroots women leading the way in every country – fusing urgent political justice demands with amazing artistry of dance, song, culture, poetry, art, theatre, and a clear vision of the future they are rising for. A future where women can live with what is their birthright: EQUALITY, DIGNITY and HUMANITY” said Monique Wilson, Director of One Billion Rising. “Grassroots women from all sectors brought the intersections that cause and perpetuate violence towards women and children – deeper into the Rise For Justice campaign with tenacity, fierceness, perseverance, patience, courage, devotion and heart.”
From thousands of grassroots groups and their constituents including Gabriela Women’s Alliance, Amnesty International USA, and Idle No More, to the Secretary General of the United Nations, to Mayors of major cities, community leaders, Members of Parliament and Congress, and college students via #CampusRising, people everywhere came together and rose to make 2014’s ONE BILLION RISING FOR JUSTICE campaign an international success.
Highlights from this year’s campaign include:
Protests, rallies, flash mobs, and dancing in places where the movement could not be ignored, including in front of the Presidential Palace in the Philippines, in the middle of towns in Congo, across the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco, on the steps of Parliament in London, in the streets of Ahmadabad, India, and many, many more events in 200 countries.
Real progress towards creating lasting change, including new sexual assault legislation in Guatemala, introduction of new legislation in Guyana, protests in Indonesia, and many more, reflecting the campaign’s commitment to not only shining a light on the issue of violence, but working and supporting ways to actively end it.
#rise4justice and #1billionrising taking over social media, trending on Facebook, in the United Kingdom and South Africa during the campaign. Tens of thousands of images, videos, art, and messages of support and defiance spread across our networks on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and Google Plus. Over 20,000 images were shared on Instagram alone.
Connecting together supporters via nearly two-dozen live stream events; kicking off with a march in the Philippines, the One Billion Rising Live Stream included events from locations as diverse as Ahmadabad, Atlanta, Budapest, Bukavu, Cape Town, Dhaka, Georgetown, Islamabad, Jakarta, Lima, London, Los Angeles, Manila, Mexico City, Miami, New York, Rome, San Francisco, Santa Fe, Sydney. One Billion Rising for Justice events were live streamed through our partners at YouTube and shown on our digital hub at onebillionrising.org. Activists streamed from every continent except Antarctica (believe us, we tried).
International coverage of the campaign, including live-blog coverage of the campaign on The Guardian, interviews with MSNBC, Al Jazeera, Democracy Now, CNN, BBC World TV and Radio, Buzzfeed, La Repubblica, El Periodico, Reuters, GritTV, USA Today, Associated Press, Agence France Press, and many more.
Support by global leaders including UN Secretary General Bang Ki Moon, the President of Croatia, Members of Congresses and Parliaments from around the world, and local support from Mayors of dozens of cities, including London, New York, San Francisco, and Los Angeles, among many others.
One Billion Rising awarded “Outstanding Achievement in Development Communications” by Hildegarde Awards. In addition, One Billion Rising Global Director Monique Wilson has been awarded the Lifetime Achievement Award for her lifelong commitment to advocating women’s rights in theater, media, and performing arts.
(RE)DISCOVER THE CAMPAIGN
The momentum from 2014’s campaign can be experienced online, as pictures, videos, and stories continue to pour in from around the world.
For a look on the passion and energy that the 2014 campaign has created, please visit:
One Billion Rising Homepage (www.onebillionrising.org)
The homepage continues to serve as a one-stop location for the campaign, with updates from grassroots organizers, access to event videos, links to coverage of the campaign, and statements from across social media.
The Guardian Live Blog (http://www.theguardian.com/society/2014/feb/14/one-billion-rising-to-end-violence-against-women-global-day-of-action-and-dancing-live-coverage)
Read The Guardian’s extended coverage of events from around the world and read a live webchat that V-Day Founder/Artistic Director Eve Ensler conducted with The Guardian readers during the day of mass action.
Watch the Live Streams (https://www.onebillionrising.org)
Watch an archive of live streams from nearly two-dozen events from around the world, and get access to other videos from the day’s events.
Follow the Conversation (#rise4justice and #1billionrising)
Online activists continue to make their voices heard, discuss the campaign, and share event recaps, personal stories, photos, videos, and art on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Instagram, and others.
IN THEIR OWN WORDS
At its core, ONE BILLION RISING FOR JUSTICE is about those who RISE and is truly a global grassroots movement. Each year, communities come together to organize for change and to add their voice in calling for an end to violence against women and girls.
Here are just a few of the reactions and statements of support to this year’s campaign:
Kamla Bhasin, South Asia Coordinator, One Billion Rising Campaign: “One Billion Rising South Asia is working to challenge patriarchal mindset and behavior; we are challenging all forms of violence against women and girls. We are asking that our National Constitutions be implemented by all and women and girls be given all the rights and freedoms given to them by the Constitution. We are launching a new Freedom Movement for the women and girls of South Asia. All those cultural and religious practices which go against our Constitutions need to go out.”
Kimberle Crenshaw, Professor of Law at UCLA and the Faculty Director of the Center for Intersectionality and Social Policy Studies at Columbia Law School, V-Day Board Member: “Bodies moving spontaneously, but not randomly, are participating in a global conversation about violence. And in dancing at the sites that the Risers select, the risings tell us something about intersectional politics the world over. People — women — live intersectionally — sites where sexism overlaps with economic marginality, racism, environmental degradation, queerphobia, able-ism, xenophobia and the like. Risers show us what the face of intersectionality is by what they choose to resist…[there are] thousands of unique actions that make up the global mapping of how violence festers at the intersections of vulnerability. Dancing at these sites calls attention to these vulnerabilities, and transforms them into sites of resistance. It is coalitional politics on a global scale.”
Isabelle Durant, Vice President of the Europe Parliament: “I am rising on the 14th of February, because it is shocking that a billion women will be raped or beaten in her lifetime. A billion is one of every three women on the planet. We need to break the silence about violence against women. I’m rising for justice because I’m over it. I refuse to stand by as more than a billion women experience violence. It is time to stop violence against women, which is unacceptable. It can be stopped and it must be stopped.”
Jane Fonda, actor, author, V-Day Board Member: “Why is this issue important to me personally? My mother was a victim of childhood sexual abuse; she killed herself as a result. And every single close girlfriend I have has been incested. So it’s an issue that’s very close to me…This touches every corner of our life.”
Ivo Josipović, President of the Croatian Republic: “Violence against women and girls is such a problem that we can not turn our eyes away.” The President went on to call for necessary steps to prevent violence and “fast, effective, and stronger” punishment of perpetrators.
Ban Ki-moon, UN Secretary-General: “The global pandemic of violence against women and girls thrives in a culture of discrimination and impunity. We must speak out… I am proud to emphatically raise my voice and join the chorus of all those taking part in the One Billion Rising campaign.”
Bernice King, CEO of The King Center and daughter of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and Coretta Scott King: “My father once said our lives begin to end the day we remain silent about the things that matter… Justice cannot and will not ever be served if we remain silent. My mother, Coretta Scott King, reminds us that struggle is a never ending process, freedom is never really won. You earn it and you win it in every generation. With her words and mine, I say it’s time for our generation to rise… It’s time for the next generation to rise. To not remain silent.” She continued, “In 1963 my father gave a speech at Western Michigan University where he talked about the idea of creative maladjustment. How one does not necessarily want to be maladjusted. How we all want to have a well-adjusted life. Then he goes on to say and I quote, ‘There are certain things in this nation and our world in which I am proud to be maladjusted and which I hope all men and women will be maladjusted.’ His words, as so often the case, are as true today as they were then. We must never ever adjust to violence as normal part of our existence as human beings. We will no longer be shut up, silenced or silent. We must spread our maladjustment to the masses by forming a new coalition called the international maladjusted coalition of One Billion Rising for Justice.”
Winona Laduke, Executive Director of both Honor the Earth and White Earth Land Recovery Project: “I work to try to protect our Mother Earth and it’s the same thing. This fall, many of my community rode our horses out against the tide of oil they are trying to bring in from the Bakkan Oil Fields or from the Tarsands. We rode because it destroys our Mother Earth and it destroys our water. Water in our teachings is the responsibility of women. In order to protect water, you have to stop extreme extraction, you have to stop the insanity going on with overdevelopment and exploitation of our water. So we rode our horses in honor of our water, in honor of our wild rice in honor of our people…We also rode because that extreme extraction brings man camps. And man camps bring violence against women. There are 10,000 men in man camps up in the Tarsands and there is a very active sex trade. There are 10,000 men in man camps in western North Dakota and very active sex trade and violence against women and children. And so what we know is that there is the same kind of philosophy, same kind of abuse that occurs to our Mother Earth occurs to women. It is incumbent upon all of us to continue to resist their entitlement to our bodies, their entitlement to our water, their entitlement to our land. Because no corporation is entitled to any of that. No government is entitled to any of that.
Pink, Recording Artist: “When I read about this organization, how people get together of their own free will and dance, use their bodies, to express their rage- outrage- around the injustice that women feel all over the world, every day- I was inspired.” Additionally, Pink recording a video performing “Break the Chain,” the official anthem of One Billion Rising for Justice.
Wevly, Haitian activist, Center for the Arts, Haiti, age 16: “It was a great experience for me to go to the Garden Studio for the One Billion Rising launch because I was among the fighters against violence and I heard a lot of speeches which gave me strength. I learned things I did not know, how dance can help someone in life; it’s like therapy. That impressed me…What I learned from that is courage and that you can get away from fear by dancing.”
EXAMPLES OF RISINGS
From Flash Mobs to Marches, from Lima, Peru to Trafalgar Square in the heart of London, activists took part in thousands of events happening around the world. Here are just a few of them:
Philippines: A large protest, march and rally took place outside the presidential palace, followed by a parade, a One Billion Rising fair and a concert on the grounds of the University of the Philippines.
India: A Three-day One Billion Rising for Justice campaign focused on land, environmental and economic injustices. On 2/2/14, every state held events with flash mobs, dances, speeches and other public displays calling for an end to violence against women.
Germany: In Berlin, due to the huge crowd, the street behind the landmark Brandenburg Gate was blocked for the RISING. In many cities, mayors and other senior politicians and celebrities confirmed their support and participation.
Palestine: In the center of Ramallah hundreds of women and men showed up from across the country to take part in flash mobs and One Billion Rising for Justice activities. They were joined by the Governorate and the Municipality of Ramallah, in addition to multiple Women’s organizations and cultural groups. Leading up to February 14th, ASHTAR Theatre performed a legislative play called “Even at home” for the Police Academy in Jericho, and at various universities in the West Bank. The play highlighted the issues of domestic rape and ‘Honor’ Crimes.
Afghanistan: Local grassroots activists made the connections to local justice issues, as outlined in this Associated Press article , which illustrates that in action. The Jalal Foundation launched a grassroots caravan for awareness raising on women’s rights and the elimination of violence against women. The campaign targeted 20 districts of Badakshan, including Kishm, Tagab, Teshkan, Daraem, Argo, and Khashand will be replicated in other provinces in the months to follow.
The Gambia: The rising in the Gambia included a street parade and an open forum on ‘Rising for Justice’ that included children, youth, women, and men from all walks of life among other actors in the wider civil society as well as NGOs and development partners.
United Kingdom: London hosted One Billion Rising for Justice 2014 in Trafalgar Square, one of the most popular, recognizable, historically rich and vibrant open spaces in the UK.
United States: From the Supreme Court and Capitol Hill to the Golden Gate Bridge, cities across the county participated in the campaign. In Atlanta, GA, activists gathered at Ebenezer Baptist Church, a historic site of Martin Luther King Jr.
In New York City, students at Brooklyn International High School danced to “Break the Chain.” They live streamed their experience, not allowing the weather to keep them down as they took over the hallways of their school. As the music cut off, the youth kept going, singing the song at the top of their lungs as they continued to dance. This was the culmination of a week worth of events in honor of One Billion Rising which included peer education, teachers incorporating themes of gender equality and justice for the week, and art projects done by the entire school. http://new.livestream.com/accounts/5637577/events/2766175.
Through Campus Rising, students at colleges and universities across the U.S. rose to stop sexual assault on campuses and to hold administrations accountable to properly prevent or adequately respond to the needs of college survivors. Campus Rising leveraged V-Day’s 15-year history at schools across the nation, which has contributed to what is now a widespread dialogue about reforming campus sexual assault policies.
IMPACT OF THE CAMPAIGN
This year’s campaign remained focused on advocating and supporting policy and activities that will have a real result on improving the lives of women and girls.
As a result, laws are being drafted and passed, women are empowered in places of disempowerment, and grassroots networks of women are springing up worldwide. Here are a few examples:
Caribbean: New legislation in the St. Lucian Parliament, creating a Missing Person’s Act in Guyana, the creation of the Top 20 Actions to Rise for Justice and Fight Sexual Violence in Haiti, among many others.
Mexico: A team of lawyers has begun working on cases that have come forward since One Billion Rising 2013.
Southeast and South Asia: Protests at the WTO conference in Indonesia, calling for developmental, economic, and environmental justice for women in the global south.
Germany: All major groups that work on ending violence against women at the federal level have come together and formulated joint political demands for One Billion Rising for Justice in Germany.
Southern Africa: From Swaziland to Zimbabwe, from Lesotho to Malawi and South Africa, One Billion Rising For Justice has reenergized the women’s movement.
The national school of lawyers is part of One Billion Rising Guatemala and has created V-Lawyers program to attend violence against women and femicide cases.
Has created the first virtual hotline to help women suffering violence, and plans are to expand it internationally.
United Kingdom: Efforts underway to make Sex and Relationship Education compulsory in UK schools, repealing visa laws that put domestic workers at serious risk of exploitation and abuse, and ensuring that vulnerable women are not subject to violence in immigration detention centers.
San Francisco: On the heels of San Francisco’s rising where thousands rose and danced alongside the Mayor, DA, and over 60 anti-violence groups on the steps of San Francisco City Hall, the first ever free legal clinic for survivors of sexual assault and domestic violence is being held on Saturday, 1 March. For information, visit https://www.onebillionrising.org/sflegalclinic.
Santa Fe: One Billion Rising inspired the Women’s Justice Center to organize a powerful resistance to the penal profiteers in New Mexico where the incarceration of women is the fastest growing in the U.S.
The Philippines: The PEOPLE SURGE alliance of victims of Typhoon Haiyan, part of the One Billion Rising for Justice task force groups of the Philippines – has already submitted their demands for justice for the victims of the storm directly to the office of the President of the Philippines for immediate financial relief, scrapping the “no build zone policy” which is effectively land grabbing, and to sustain the relief of food and water. Justice for Yolanda/Haiyan victims where women and children were the most severely affected, and where sex and human trafficking due to extreme poverty has escalated, is one the main justice calls of the Philippine Rise for Justice campaign. Nationwide Rise for Justice protests are being held until March 8th. March 8th will see the continuation of the One Billion Rising for Justice in the Philippines – huge marches and dance protest rallies will once again be taking place nationally – to rise for justice for the storm victims, rise against corruption, rise against militarization, rise against price increases of basic goods that affect women and their families, and rise against privatization of public services that deny women and girls basic rights to health and education. Student across the country will continue their “Rise for Education” campaign – where they are saying “NO to prostitution for tuition” – as girls are increasingly being prostituted just to be able to continue going to school.
One Billion Rising For Justice is not simply a day of action, but an activist led effort with global momentum and local impact that occurs in the days leading up to and following 14 February.
For more information, visit https://www.onebillionrising.org/
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About One Billion Rising
The campaign, launched on Valentine’s Day 2012, began as a call to action based on the staggering statistic that 1 in 3 women on the planet will be beaten or raped during her lifetime. With the world population at 7 billion, this adds up to more than ONE BILLION WOMEN AND GIRLS. On 14 February 2013, people across the world came together to express their outrage, strike, dance, and RISE in defiance of the injustices women suffer, demanding an end at last to violence against women. This year, on 14 February 2014, One Billion Rising for Justice focused on the issue of justice for all survivors of gender violence, and highlighted the impunity that lives at the intersection of poverty, racism, war, the plunder of the environment, capitalism, imperialism, and patriarchy. Events took place in 200 countries, where women, men, and youth came together to Rise, Release, and Dance outside of court houses, police stations, government offices, school administration buildings, work places, sites of environmental injustice, military courts, embassies, places of worship, homes, or simply public gathering places where women deserve to feel safe but too often do not. The campaign continues, visit www.onebillionrising.org.