Filipino Women, Survivors, and Allies to Rise, Release, and Dance to
Fight Violence Against Women and Demand Justice
On February 14th, 2014 GABRIELA-USA will join One Billion Rising (OBR), a global call for women survivors of violence and those who love them, to gather safely in public spaces to demand justice. We recognize that we cannot end the various forms of violence against women, including gender violence, poverty, racism, war, the plunder of the environment, without addressing that they are rooted in a global imperialist and patriarchal system. GABRIELA-USA, along with partner organizations and individuals, will be rising for justice on V-DAY in cities across the U.S. including Seattle, San Francisco, New York City, Portland and Washington DC, and are calling on all Filipinos and solidarity allies to join in our actions.
In its second year of participation in OBR, GABRIELA-USA is highlighting survivors of human and labor trafficking, as well as migrant workers. Its newest chapter, launched in Washington D.C. this past October 2013, majority of the 50+ members are survivors of human trafficking. These trafficked teachers were recruited by an agency that promised high-salaried jobs with benefits, housing and transportation. Upon arriving to the U.S., the teachers were regularly threatened with deportation, kept under constant surveillance, control, and manipulation. It is under these slave-like conditions, that these women worked in order to survive.
“The Aquino Administration praises Overseas Filipino Workers as the modern heroes of today, but does not want to be accountable to them when abused, exploited, or taken advantage of abroad,” said Jo Quiambao, Co-Chairperson of GABRIELA D.C. “We will educate, organize, and mobilize our women to fight for their rights and demand that this type of violence stops in our community. The GABRIELA chapter in the San Francisco Bay Area is also working closely with teachers recruited by the same agency, and the GABRIELA chapter in New York continues to work with the women of the Florida 15, who have already filed human trafficking cases with the Department of Justice, and still in search for their trafficker, Jojo Villanueva.
Tina Shauf, National Campaigns Officer, says “The Aquino Administration is actually the biggest human trafficker of Filipinos abroad, with its Labor Export Program. We demand an end to the trafficking and exploitation of our people! We call on the Filipino community and our allies to support all trafficking survivors engaged in legal cases, both in the Philippines and the U.S.”
On February 14th GABRIELA-USA calls on the Philippine government to respond to the issues of trafficking of all Filipino people, and to address the root causes of migration, poverty and underdevelopment in the Philippines. The fight to end violence against women is the fight against an imperialist system that inherently imposes violence on women. Join us in major activities across the country, in a global dance-protest to demand justice for all survivors and victims of human and labor trafficking, and forced migration!
NOYNOY AQUINO: THE BIGGEST HUMAN TRAFFICKER OF FILIPINOS!
END THE LABOR EXPORT POLICY OF THE PHILIPPINES! NO TO IMPERIALIST TRADE POLICIES!
JUSTICE FOR ALL VICTIMS OF HUMAN TRAFFICKING AND ALL MIGRANT WORKERS! OUR PEOPLE ARE NOT FOR SALE!
San Francisco, California
February 14th at 4-6pm
Official SF One Billion Rising Event
San Francisco City Hall
GABRIELA flash mob performance at 5pm
February 14 at 6:30pm-7:00pm
Flash mob at Seafood City
Seafood City, Southcenter Mall
2800 Southcenter Mall, Seattle, WA
Friday, February 14th at 12:00pm
One Billion Rising Rally at Supreme Court
U.S. Supreme Court, 1 First St. NE, Washington, DC, US 20543
Rally at Philippine Embassy
Sunday, February 16th at 4:00pm
Isang Bilyong Dance at Cleveland
Park Library, NW DC
February 15 at 12:00pm
One Billion Rising Dance at the Annual Filipino Olympics
Portland State University
1825 SW Broadway, Portland, OR
February 14, 8pm-Midnight, Performance @ 8:45pm
V-Day’s Rise NYC Party
Hammerstein Ballroom, 311 West 34th St, NYC
RSVP at: http://www.onebillionrising.org/risenyc/
- 3 weeks ago
Filipino Women, Survivors, and Allies to Rise, Release, and Dance to
#LingapGABRIELA brings “Mother and Child” and Family Packs to typhoon stricken Eastern Samar
The Lingap Gabriela team, composed of 30 urban poor leaders and women health care workers who toiled the past few nights in bundling up 1,500 “Mother and Child Relief Packs” containing underwears, sanitary napkins and VAW educational fliers, aside from over 2,000 packs with standard relief items. Fliers written in Tagalog and Waray languages, will also be distributed to provided instructions for women to defend themselves from gender violence in situations where they are vulnerable. The women’s team will also conduct initial Stress Tension Reduction Theraphy for the communities.
GABRIELA wants to zero in on the reported incidences of violence against women and children and the rising risks to human trafficking especially in the totally devastated areas of Samar and Leyte. Earlier an advance team was sent to assess the needs of the communities and reported that the Gabriela center for women’s services was damaged alongside hospitals, clinics, and schools, which makes women so vulnerable and all the more without access to health services.
The BALSA caravan hopes to bring a total of 60 trucks of goods into the disaster-ravaged areas. To help the public follow their progress, the organizers put up the Twitter hashtag #TabangEV where they post pictures and stories of updates, as well as action bulletins for donors and volunteers.
You can also follow the team through twitter @gabrielaphils and https://www.facebook.com/gabriela.alliance.
Please join us for a Candlelight Vigil Honoring Victims of Typhoon Haiyan
SiGAw - GABRIELA USA will be joining the National Alliance for Filipino Concerns (NAFCON) Southern California in a Candlelight Vigil to honor and remember the victims of Super Typhoon Haiyan/Yolanda on Friday, November 15, 2013. Please join us as we offer our prayers and testimonies and take up the call to assist the victims and survivors of Typhoon Haiyan/Yolanda.
Where: Front Entrance of Grace United Methodist Church
2325 East 3rd Street Long Beach, CA 90814.
When: Friday, November 15, 2013 7:45PM
- 3 months ago
Contact: Valerie Francisco, GABRIELA-USA Chairperson
GABRIELA-USA Calls for Urgent Relief Aid for Survivors of Haiyan
Filipino American women in GABRIELA-USA and their allies across the U.S.A. launches a relief campaign in the wake of Super Typhoon Haiyan. Reports from local areas affected by Haiyan, also referred to as Typhoon Yolanda in the Philippines, have already reached staggering death toll estimates of more than 10,000. In the immediate aftermath of Haiyan, survivors of the ordeal now face additional challenges of having no electricity, clean water, food, medicine, and other basic necessities. GABRIELA-USA calls on community members to assist in meeting the urgent needs of survivors by joining the relief campaign and making a contribution.
The path of destruction wrought by the Cateogry 5 typhoon Haiyan/Yolanda is exacerbated by the retreat and abandonment of social infrastructure and services for the most oppressed people in the Visayas region. Women and children have long borne the brunt of government negligence.With the lack of government investment into Visayan livelihood, built environment and safety protocols, impoverished Filipino women have had to subsist at an atrocious level of poverty. Filipino women, at the helm of family structures, were not able to work and find the money to evacuate their families into safety or save up for emergencies such as these. Instead of prioritizing public social and physical safety, the Aquino regime has become infamous for the corruption in the misuse of public funds. Many in his political halls are culpable in the current and ongoing Pork Barrel scandals. The typhoon’s consequences have become disastrous in part because of the failure of the Aquino administration to provide for the citizens of the Philippines.
Aquino’s negligent management of funds have put Filipino citizens in danger. But the scope of the typhoon’s damage coupled with the administration’s ruin affects Filipinos worldwide, watching from afar, unable to help their families in the Philippines. Jennine Ventura, secretary general of Filipinas for Rights and Empowerment (FIRE) in New York City has relatives in the devastated areas. She states, “My mother and her family are from Palo, Leyte and we are still trying to reach relatives who live there. The church that I visited as a child is now operating as a morgue.” Migrants and children of migrants who have been driven out to find work outside of the country are also worried. “Noynoy stated that Tacloban was not that prepared compared with other areas. In Leyte, there have been reports of flooding and ceiling collapses even at evacuation centers. Preparedness has not been a priority for Aquino, anywhere. This typhoon’s devastation is yet another failure of the Noynoy administration to carry out the core responsibility to protect the Filipino people,” Ventura added.
GABRIELA-USA turns to our community members and organizations in the U.S. for support. Our reliable and reputable partner organizations have long-standing history in serving the communities mostly affected by disasters, both natural and Aquino-made. The high mistrust in the Aquino government leads us to rely on our networks of community health workers, social workers, organizers and volunteers to provide swift response to the needs of Filipinos in Central Philippines.
GABRIELA-USA has partnered with the National Alliance for Filipino Concerns (NAFCON) to accept online donations. Our relief campaign will be directly sent to partner grassroots organizations in the Visayas region, the most affected areas. Cash and check donations can be submitted to the nearest local GABRIELA-USA chapter. (please see below for more details)
How to Donate:
To ensure aid reaches the Philippines as fast as possible, GABRIELA-USA is collecting and remitting monetary donations. GABRIELA-USA is partnering with NAFCON and the Bayanihan Relief campaign to accept online donations. Donations can be made through NAFCON’s Paypal account at http://tinyurl.com/bayanihanreliefeffort.
Babae-GABRIELA USA– San Francisco, CA
Filipinas for rights and Empowerment (FiRE)-GABRIELA USA – New York, NY
GABRIELA Washington DC - Washington DC
Pinay sa Seattle-GABRIELA USA – Seattle, WA
Sisters of GABRIELA Awaken (SIGAW)-GABRIELA USA - Los Angeles, CA
GABRIELA-USA will contribute half of the money it has raised to LINGAP GABRIELA (Gabriela Philippines’ own disaster relief program, which assists women and their families) and half to BALSA Philippines (to assist other sectors).
October 29, 2013
Reference: Jessica Antonio, BAYAN-USA Secretary General, firstname.lastname@example.org
Aquino’s Pathetic Response to Earthquake Relief Is No Aftershock
BAYAN-USA Echoes Call for “Bayanihan Relief” in Face of Pork Barrel King’s Continuing Pattern of Neglecting the People
With millions of survivors lacking food, water, or medical attention in the wake of the 7.2 magnitude earthquake that rocked Cebu and Bohol and the typhoon which hit Northern and Central Luzon in the Philippines earlier this month, the Filipino-American alliance BAYAN-USA criticized President Aquino for perpetuating the system of neglect that ensures that millions of Filipinos will continue to suffer and die while a tiny handful get filthy rich.
“Aquino’s inept response to Typhoon Santi and the earthquake in the Visayas isn’t any different than his response to Typhoons Sendong and Pablo in past years. The Pork Barrel King should actually be held responsible for the deaths of all the people who perished in the typhoon and earthquake, because he presides over the system which funnels money away from genuine development and disaster preparedness and into the bank accounts of political dynasties, landlords and multi-national corporations,” said BAYAN-USA Chairperson Bernadette Ellorin.
“It is especially disgraceful that Aquino is celebrating the Supreme Court’s decision on Friday to not to issue a Temporary Restraining Order on his Disbursement Acceleration Program (“DAP”), which will simply allow the accelerated distribution of pork to his cronies, while hundreds of thousands of people are still languishing in makeshift shelters without any effective government assistance. Is this the way that Aquino will mark All Soul’s Day next week—by dancing on the graves of those who died?” commented Ellorin.
BAYAN-USA contends that as the president of a country that experiences an average of five earthquakes each day and which is ranked as the third most prone to natural disasters in the world, Aquino needs to place the people’s welfare over his cronies’ riches. “Countries like Cuba, which also experience massive tropical storms and hurricanes every year, have managed to effectively mitigate many of the effects of potential natural disasters by investing in infrastructure and services which prevent the wide-scale death and destruction which plagues the Philippines. Aquino would have plenty of money to do the same, if he stopped pocketing it or giving it away to the billionaires who need it the least,” said Ellorin.
“In the spirit of honoring all those who lost their lives in the earthquake and all those who have given their lives fighting for the poor and oppressed, this All Soul’s Day BAYAN-USA asks everyone to support grassroots efforts to bring relief and rehabilitation to Bohol and Cebu. It’s the power of the people which will rebuild the towns which were reduced to rubble in the earthquake, and it’s the power of the people which will build a new society in the Philippines,” stated Ellorin.
BAYAN-USA encourages monetary donations from the US to be made to the Bayanihan Disaster Relief and Rehabilitation campaign of the National Alliance for Filipino Concerns (NAFCON). Donations can be made online at http://tinyurl.com/bayanihanreliefeffort or via cash or check. Make checks payable to “St. George Fontana,” on the memo line, write: “NAFCON Bayanihan Relief” to clearly allocate it for this purpose, and mail to 17895 San Bernardino Avenue, Fontana, CA 92335-6155 c/o Naida Castro. Please include your return address with your donation. Cash or check donations can also be given to NAFCON Bayanihan Disaster Relief Regional Coordinators (see www.nafconusa.org for list of Regional Coordinators in the Pacific Northwest, Northern California, Southern California, Midwest and Northeast regions of the US). For qualifying tax-deductible donations, please, email email@example.com for the necessary documentation.
- 4 months ago
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
October 28, 2013
Reference: Valerie Francisco, Chairperson, GABRIELA USA, firstname.lastname@example.org
GABRIELA USA Further Advances the Filipina Women’s Movement on National Women’s Day of Protest
On October 28, 1983, over 10,000 women surged to Mendiola in the Philippines to protest the oppression, repression, hardship, and corruption of the Marcos dictatorship. Thirty years have passed since women have shown the power of collective action in the overthrow of a dictatorship, but even with the dictator gone, oppression, repression, and the struggles of the people still remain under the implementation of neo-liberal economic policies that further plunges Filipino families into hardship. Today, on the weekend of National Women’s Day of Protest in the Philippines, GABRIELA Washington DC launches as the newest GABRIELA USA chapter in advancing militant Filipina women’s voices across the world against the exploitative and repressive practices of the global imperialist system.
Most of the members of GABRIELA DC are survivors of human trafficking and are also mothers who have left their children back home to find a means to survive. All of them had been left to fend for themselves in a foreign country. Private recruitment agencies, along with loan sharks are given free reign to victimize Filipinos, who are seeking dignifiable work for their families. They leave their families for a job they were promised, and in this case as professional teachers, only to find themselves jobless when they arrive, and if they do find a job, they are not practicing their profession. The teachers followed all the correct procedures, protocoled by the Philippine government through the Philippine Overseas Employment Agency, only to find themselves, along with thousands of others scattered throughout the U.S., as victims of the same private recruitment agency.
“It is easy to feel hopeless in the situation that we are in, but we are survivors. Even though many of us have unstable legal status, we still have rights and should be treated like a human beings and live in decent conditions. We have to be united so we are able to give justice not only for ourselves, but also for the welfare of everyone,” says Fen Ecleo, Co-Chairperson of GABRIELA DC. The trafficked teachers who are members of GABRIELA DC came to realize that they are not alone, that this is a problem bigger than their own individual situations.
“In the Philippines, there is a crisis in every aspect of the public social sphere, including education and ensuring the well-being of the people through social services. Why are we sending our teachers abroad, only so they can waste their talents instead of teaching the future of our country?” says Tina Shauf, Vice Chair of Campaigns of GABRIELA USA. Bureaucrats and their cronies in the Philippines are able to access billions through the “pork barrel” system, and yet struggling Filipino like the trafficked teachers are given few humane options to make a decent living.
We will continue to respond to a need to organize against corruption that prevents the genuine development of the Philippines and Filipinos globally. GABRIELA USA demands the right to stay with our families while working dignifiable jobs at home. The launching of GABRIELA DC highlights a historic moment in the Filipina women’s movement, given that the U.S. is the number one destination for Filipino migrants, the majority of whom are women.
In the spirit of National Women’s Day of Protest in the Philippines, GABRIELA will continue to utilize collective action to expose corrupt and unjust practices enforced by the U.S.-backed Philippine government. Until the Filipino people are treated with dignity and respect, GABRIELA will continue to advance the militant women’s movement to fight against such injustices.