FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Susan Celia Swan/Colleen Carroll, media(at)vday.org; 917-865-6603 (c)
One Billion Rising 2016: The Revolution Escalates:
Focus on Most Marginalised Women & Girls To Bring About Deep Structural Change
Activists Globally Call For System Change And Revolution Through Art, Rising for Workers, Refugees, Indigenous Peoples and Migrant Workers, and Rising to End to Sex Trafficking, Sexual Slavery and Exploitation, & All Forms of Violence Against Women & Girls
Eve Ensler & Monique Wilson Tour Bangladesh, The Philippines, Hong Kong, Mexico, & UK
4 February 2016 – For the fourth year, globally One Billion Rising activists are planning their rising events, artistic uprisings, panel discussions, press conference, town halls, movies, articles, gatherings, poetry, art, posters, actions, and protests to take place on and about 14 February. With the theme – ONE BILLION RISING: Rise for REVOLUTION 2016, this year’s campaign will escalate the collective actions of activists worldwide, and amplify their call for systemic changes towards ending violence against women and girls once and for all.
Rising events will continue to focus on highlighting and creating bold artistic initiatives that reflect the actions taking place in communities. The theme Rise for Revolution allows creative and artistic expressions, multi-sectoral involvement, and provides a unique space to engage people from all walks of life. It allows the use of imagination, art and political actions – and allows everyone the freedom to localise their campaigns. REVOLUTION can bring everyone from the personal to the political – from the “I” to the “We”. It harnesses collective energy because it is hopeful and envisions possibilities and a future.
In a show of true global solidarity, activists across the globe are RISING and welcoming refugees who are fleeing war, persecution and poverty, from Italy to Croatia, India to the UK. In Germany there are over 100 cities hosting events and many are rising for and with refugees and other marginalized communities. Local OBR artist Phoenic Nicole Bornkessel has recently released this year’s local anthem “Station of Welcome,” featuring local activists welcoming refugees.
Across the world activists are rising for the victims of sex trafficking and labor trafficking; they are at the forefront of events and calls for revolution in New Mexico and Miami and Cancun, and more.
“We’ve danced, we’ve demanded justice, we’ve demanded changes. This year we are radicalising our actions — enlarging, deepening and expanding the revolution. Let’s continue to shift consciousness and be braver, bolder, more creative and determined with our actions. Communities will focus on the most marginalised women and girls to bring about true, long lasting change,” stated Monique Wilson, Global One Billion Rising Director.
“We are evolving our fight against violence against women, knowing that unless we put the marginalized at the lead, unless we address imperialism, war, climate change, racism, economic inequality, workers rights and patriarchy we will never end violence against women and girls. Let’s go further than we have ever gone, igniting revolution and paradigm change,” stated Eve Ensler, Founder of One Billion Rising who has penned a new monologue that activists worldwide will perform entitled “Rise, Dance, Disrupt”.
With the tagline Listen, Act, Rise, this year’s theme and call to action was created by the One Billion Rising global coordinators at their annual gathering in May. Their shared voices – from regions around the world – came to a unanimous decision to escalate the actions worldwide.
THE CALL FOR RISE FOR REVOLUTION 2016. LISTEN! ACT! RISE!
Amplify the Voices of Marginalised Women
Bring National and International Focus to Their Issues
Bring New Artistic Energy to Create This Possibility
Raise Other Issues That Have Not Been as Visible
Amplify REVOLUTION as a Call for System Change
Platform Voices That Have Not Been Heard Within Local Campaigns
Call on People to RISE FOR OTHERS
Call Upon People of Privilege to Rise for Those Who are Not
Create Synergy and Connection
Continue to Call for State Accountability and Justice
Keep Highlighting the Economic Context of Women
Remain INCLUSIVE, INTERSECTIONAL and COMPREHENSIVE
Keep Connecting the BODY with REVOLUTION
Rise for Change and Equality
Bodies of Revolution Panel to be Broadcast
The panel, Bodies of Revolution: Women Rise Against Police, States & Empire, which took place on 5 December in NYC, has been edited into an hour long TV special which will air on LINK TV and TeleSur on 8 March. Hosted by journalist Laura Flanders of The Laura Flanders Show, the event featured activists including Fartuun A. Adan, Suad Amiry, Kimberlé Crenshaw, Eve Ensler, Frances Garrett, Nimmi Gowrinathan, Yanar Mohammed, Lu Pin, Thenmozhi Soundararajan, Sara Milena Ferrer Valencia, Monique Wilson and Zoya. The two panel discussions explore how and why women experience violence at the intersection of multiple oppressive forces and systems and how they are rising against imperialism, racism, sexism and neo-colonialism. With performances by Climbing PoeTree and Abby Hobson.
Rising 2016 Tour with Eve Ensler and Monique Wilson
Atlanta; Dhaka, Bangladesh; Cebu, Tacloban, Davao, and Manila, The Philippines; Hong Kong; Playa Del Carmen and Mexico City, Mexico, and London. One Billion Rising Founder, Eve Ensler, and Global Director, Monique Wilson, are set to head out on a multiple country RISING tour where they will join local organizers and activists for local events. Each rising, city and country is applying the 2016 call to action in their local context, focusing on marginalized communities and calling for justice and systems change to end all forms violence against women in girls. In Dhaka, organizers are hosting a revolutionary panel discussion followed by an evening of feminist themed performances and artistic pieces, including performances by Monique Wilson and Eve Ensler.
The pair will spend a week in the Philippines, in multiple cities, rising for and with a cross section of Filipina communities including Gabriela Women’s Party, comfort women, youth activists, labor activists, indigenous groups, and more. In Tondo, one of Manila’s biggest slum areas situated by the bay where water floods its residents on a daily basis, and where makeshift settlements are surrounded by slaughter houses and now a Coal factory, the pair will rise with residents demanding and end to violence and poverty. In Tacloban they will join Typhoon Haiyan storm survivors who are Rising for climate justice and Mother Earth, and rising for justice from government neglect. In Davao City, they join with activists from many grassroots communities including workers, urban poor, peasants, teachers, students, women’s groups, community groups, families of migrants, LGBT groups, groups for the rights of sex workers, Lumad communities who are currently displaced because of militarization and living in evacuation camps in the city as they rise for Lumad rights, against militarization, against mining and environmental plunder, and against political oppression and killings. And in Pampanga, Angeles City (known as a brothel city where US troops come to purchase and use Filipina women and girls for “Rest & Recreation”, OBR Pampanga is Rising against foreign intervention and militarization and the sexual and economic exploitation of women and children.
In Hong Kong, they will join domestic workers from the Philippines, Indonesia, Nepal, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh rising for the rights of domestic and migrant workers on 21 February. The next day, there will be an East Asia Rising summit gathering 35 coordinators from Taiwan, China, Mongolia, Japan and Hong Kong, joined by Eve and Monique, discussing OBR initiatives and issues around East Asia, as well as future plans and directions. Hosted by Taiwan’s Garden of Hope and Rain Lily – Hong Kong’s first one-stop-crisis center for female victims of sexual violence.
In March, they will travel to Mexico where this year’s One Billion Rising Revolution focus is the issue of the national and international sex trafficking of Mexican girls and women.
The tour is finishing in London with the London Premier of Ensler’s newest theatrical work the “Fruit Trilogy” at the Southbank Center, part of the WOW (Women of the World) International Festival and co-produced with the West Yorkshire Playhouse and a “Bodies of Revolution” panel at WOW with Eve Ensler, Monique Wilson, Christine Schuler Deschryver from the Democratic Republic of Congo and Rada Boric from Croatia.
Rising Online – onebillionrising.org
Throughout the weeks ahead, the One Billion Rising website will mirror these efforts showcasing art, music, videos and news and blogs from global activists. A page featuring global videos is already live online, with more being added as the campaign unfolds. The website features an activist toolkit, campaign info and FAQ and more. Rising videos featuring activist voices from around the world are updated frequently and a social media feed keeps the campaign updated in real time.
Examples of Risings Round the World
Already activists have risen in London and Paris and New York for Climate Justice. They have marched to stop police killings of Black women and men and #SayHerName, joined forces with the Labor Rights group to stand for oppressed women workers after Rana Plaza in Bangladesh. We continue to fight sexual assault on hundreds of college campuses. We’ve joined in solidarity with the women of Cuba and will rise with them next year. We’ve stood with the women of the Balkans in their fight for justice for war crimes.
In Bangladesh activists will rise with garment factory workers and trade union leaders and members. They are rising for workers rights, for humane working conditions, for accountability and responsibility of factory owners and governments
Across the Balkans they are rising to protect threatened reproductive rights and against fascism. In Croatia the revolution is focusing on a cross-section of marginalized communities including Roma women, refugee women, women with disability and jobless female workers.
India is rising in a huge way, with large city events and small villages rising. They are rising for disability rights and access, youth are rising, rising against patriarchy, rising for mother earth. In Himachal Pradesh Tibetan communities in India are joining Indian activists and are rising for Peace and climate justice.
Activists in Puglia, Italy and Hong Kong and Taiwan are rising for migrant women and migrant workers. Activists in Perugia have incorporated sign language into their rising choreography to highlight violence against women with disabilities
In Palestine they are rising for women in marginalized areas in the Jordan Valley; a place that where women face domestic violence and daily harassment and surmounting atrocities from the Israeli occupation and the illegal Israeli settlers, who are building their settlements on the land of the Palestinians and increasing their suffering from lack of water, sanitary, health, education, and basic life elements.
Activists in Peru are Rising for justice and reparations for victims of forced sterilization in the 1990s.
Across the Philippines activists are rising and dancing to end multiple forms of violence in oppression that harm communities in particular ways. They are rising for real justice for the victims of the Typhoon Haiyan and rising for Climate justice to prevent future tragedies. They are resisting forced migration and rising with and for indigenous communities rights by rising against militarization, rising against mining and environmental plunder, and rising against political oppression and killings.
In Mexico, actors from national productions including “Annie,” “The Lion King,” “Mamma Mia” and many more are joining the movement and sharing statements on why they are RISING.
Girls in Swaziland are rising against forced marriages.
In Central and South America they are taking the revolution to the streets will rise, dance drum in festivals and marches from Rio to Bogotá, in Guatemala, Venezuela and Argentina.
For more rising stories, visit the blog.
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About One Billion Rising
One Billion Rising is the biggest mass action to end violence against women in human history. 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. Every February through 8 March, thousands of Risings take place in hundreds of countries across the world and within local communities – to show the world what one billion looks like and shine a light on the rampant impunity and injustice that survivors of various forms of violence face. Through the collective efforts of activists in 200 countries, One Billion Rising has mobilised, engaged, awakened and joined people worldwide to end violence against women. It has made violence against women a global human issue not relegated to country or tribe or class or religion, and revealed it as a patriarchal mandate, present in every culture of the world.
ONE BILLION RISING: REVOLUTION is an energy, a platform, a global movement, a catalyst, a worldwide decision to end violence against women, a demand for justice, a paradigm shift, an invitation, a gathering of the ready, housed everywhere, housed in our hearts, you, us, REVOLUTION.