FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
December 10, 2009
Emelyn dela Pena, GABNET Campaigns Director
Tel: (858) 688-2385
AF3IRM/GABNet Commemorates International Human Rights Day Nationwide
While governments, corporations and so-called progressive groups around the world celebrate the 60th Anniversary of the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights on Dec. 10, 2009, this day reminds us that even after 60 years after the adoption of this declaration, there is a widening chasm between what has been declared in writing and what has been achieved in the areas of human, political, and women’s rights around the world.
Along with hundreds of thousands of women in over 150 countries, AF3IRM/GABNet once again acknowledges the widespread violence that women, especially poor women, experience every day. In solidarity with all women defenders of human rights, AF3IRM/GABNet firmly expresses its opposition to Violence Against Women and demands both immediate and structural changes to end women’s oppression.
The human rights of women and the violence that they experience are both a cause and consequence of poverty and class oppression, affirming our belief that ending one requires ending the other.
Even as we raged in the streets in protest, 21 women, five of whom appear to have been raped and mutilated, and 30 journalists were massacred in Maguindanao, on their way to assert their basic human rights, while the Philippine government continues to remain silent about the human rights violations perpetrated by private armies. The Philippine government continues to arrest, beat, and forcibly disappear defenders of human rights who dare bring to light the current atrocities against the people of the Philippines brought by the Arroyo administration.
During our 16 Days campaign, we highlighted the many forms of violence against women, from lack of access to healthcare, to interpersonal violence, to state violence against women. AF3IRM/GABNet chapters nationwide raged for 16 days through awareness campaigns and direct action. We affirmed that access to services and education are fundamental rights. We affirmed that the sex trade of women and children must be abolished immediately. We affirmed that all women throughout history have remained resilient, determined, strong, and hopeful.
On December 10, International Human Rights Day, AF3IRM/GABNet participated in activities from the west coast to the east coast, which shed light on and protested the ongoing political, economic, and patriarchal repression that women face worldwide.
AF3IRM/GABNet Irvine hosted its annual “Human Writes Day” event where nearly 100 local community memebers, musicians, performers, and poets shared their protest art and expression. In Los Angeles, the chapter co-sponsored a vigil/rally with The Alliance-Philippines (AJLPP), ANSWER-LA, KmB (Pro People youth), EFJP, Mindanao Bangsa Moro Caucus, and PESANTE-USA to demand justice for the Maguindanao Massacre victims. Members of AF3IRM/Gabnet Los Angeles joined with over 50 other individuals to protest in front of the Philippine Consulate, which was under heavy police surveillance and chanted slogans such as “No to Warlordism, End Political Repression” and “No Justice, No Peace, US out of the Philippines.”
In San Diego, chapter members dropped hundreds of leaflets about healthcare reform at several strategic locations around the county, highlighting the disproportionate burden that women without healthcare face and highlighting the issue of violence as a health epidemic. In Riverside chapter members hosted a 16 Days Closing Ceremony honoring the experiences of women affected by violence, and celebrating their strength and resilience.
With the closing of the 16 Days of Activism Against Gender Violence, AF3IRM/GABNet once again reiterates its commitment to 365 days of activism to assert that women’s rights are human rights. We call on every person to help promote and defend those rights!
OPPOSE WOMEN’S OPPRESSION NOW!
END VIOLENCE AGAINST WOMEN NOW!
ERADICATE CLASS, RACE AND GENDER OPPRESSION NOW!
WE ARE THE LIBERATION WE HAVE BEEN WAITING FOR! —##