February 5, 2014- Almost a year ago last February 14, 2013, thousands of women from all over the Philippines danced and rose in protest to highlight violence against women. Issues ranged from gender-based violence to state and structural violence that rendered women and their families poor and oppressed. Last year’s rising had the theme “Rise against Imperialist Plunder, Poverty and Violence!” The main issue that GABRIELA highlighted was the rape of sovereignty in relation to the destruction of the World Heritage Site Tubbataha Marine Park by a US minesweeper USS Guardian. After a year, the US has yet to pay for the damages and rehabilitate the reefs.
This year, GABRIELA sustains its call to Rise against Poverty and Violence and elevates the call for justice for all victims of the Philippine government’s utter disregard of their welfare and rights. Particularly to be highlighted is the call for justice of women and their families who have been victims of the superstorm Yolanda and of the Aquino government’s criminal neglect. February 14, 2014 will again see thousands of Filipino women nationwide dancing in protest in front of various government agencies and business headquarters that represent the oppression and injustice borne by women. They will strike, release, dance to call for JUSTICE.
On February 14, 2014, women in Mindanao will dance in front of mining companies and agribusiness plantations to decry plunder of resources and environmental destruction. In the Visayas, Taclobanons will demand for the immediate release of funds for the rehabilitation of their homes and livelihood. In Metro Manila, GABRIELA women will gather at the gates of Malacanang Palace to demand lower electricity rates and prices, justice for Yolanda victims and a stop to government corruption.
Also in Metro Manila, a multisectoral parade will be held from Quezon Memorial Circle to the University of the Philippines in Diliman to highlight a multitude of justice issues among peasant, workers, youth, urban poor, migrant and government employees. The parade and rising, slated from 3:00 to 7:00 PM will gather thousands of men and women to STRIKE, RELEASE, DANCE for Justice. The rising women will also be enjoined to participate in the International Women’s Day Campaign on March 8 that will highlight Aquino’s accountability. ###