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Raging for 16 Days and Renewing Our Commitment to 365 Days of Activism

by Jollene Levid Tuesday, Dec. 08, 2009 at 3:16 PM 323-356-4748

AF3IRM/GABNet/Mariposa Alliance Statement on Human Rights Day:

Raging for 16 Days a...
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Along with hundreds of thousands of women in over 150 countries, AF3IRM/GABNet once again firmly expressed its opposition to Violence Against Women and demanded both immediate and structural changes to end women's oppression.

On the 15th anniversary of the historic Beijing Platform on Women, the world is nowhere near even making a dent on the worldwide incidence of violence against women. To AF3IRM/GABNet, this is merely an indication of how inextricably intertwined women's oppression is to class societies; to end one, the other must be ended as well. There is no escape from this equation, as the political devolution of Russia and China have shown.

Even as we raged in the streets in protest, 21 women, five of whom appear to have been raped, were massacred, along with 30 journalists, in one of the most impoverished areas of the Philippines, the country that is the world's top exporter of women into the global labor and sex markets. This year, the Philippine government is exporting nearly a million Filipinas, 30% of whom end up in the sex trade. This unprecedented record of villainy is directly linked to the intense penetration of imperialist globalization into the Philippine national economy, wrecking alternative sources of women's livelihood, destroying whatever traditional protection they have, commodifying their essence and leaving them subject to ever increasing violence on both the individual and collective levels of being. It is no coincidence that the worst instance of the massacre of women and of journalists in the world occurred in a country that lives off the selling of women.

It is also no coincidence that such vileness occurred in an area of operation for US "aid" programs and military incursion. Some of the weapons used in the massacre were marked US government while all were products of US weapons manufacturers. Be clear-eyed about this, America! This is the result of US intervention in the internal affairs of countries! Be clear-eyed as you contemplate the coming US military surge in Afghanistan!

During our 16 Days campaign, we affirmed that as women, we must demand an immediate end to the current US "War on Terror" and withdrawal of all troops in Iraq, Afghanistan, the Philippines, and everywhere else the US imperial forces are stationed. On day 8 of the campaign, AF3IRM/GABNet rallied in the streets after Obama announced the escalation of the US occupation of Afghanistan.

We affirmed that domestic violence is systemic and must end immediately and unconditionally. Chapters across the country held speak-outs, AF3IRM/GABNet Youth hosted high school workshops, and art was used as a vehicle for women to share their stories: women in Irvine created an online video explaining the impact of violence, LA chapter member Loralei Bingamon hosted an art workshop in a local mall, and the Riverside chapter held up signs with statistics on domestic violence in a dramatic silent protest on campus.

We affirmed that access to services and education are fundamental rights. AF3IRM Riverside and Irvine continue their campaign against the 32% tuition increase on UC campuses, while chapters nationwide participated in phone-banking and letter-writing to demand single-payer healthcare and to stop the Stupak-Pitts Amendment, which proposes to cut access to abortion coverage.

We affirmed that the sex trade of women and children must be abolished immediately. AF3IRM/GABNet Irvine launched a letter-writing campaign to remove all mail-order bride ads from Myspace. The Riverside chapter held educational pickets on the UC Riverside campus to bring light to the plight of trafficked Filipinas. Nationally, AFI3RM/GABNet partnered with Tahirih to disseminate resources for women who may be victims of the mail order bride industry.

On December 10, Human Rights Day, AF3IRM/GABNet will participate in nationwide activities to shed light on and protest the ongoing political repression that women face worldwide. AF3IRM/GABNet Irvine will be hosting its annual "Human Writes Day" event where local musicians, performers, and poets will share their protest art. In Los Angeles, the chapter will picket at the Philippine Consulate, to hold the Philippine government accountable for the Maguindanao Massacre and subsequent declaration of martial law. San Diego will be holding an educational event on the UC San Diego campus, and Riverside will be hosting a ceremony on the UC Riverside campus. For details of Human Rights Day events, please go to

As women of Philippine ancestry, as feminists and as residents of the leading imperialist country in the world, AF3IRM/GABNet states bluntly that we are duty-bound to continue with our activism 365 days of the year. This commitment to end women's oppression and to affirm our right to exist as full human beings is our historic responsibility.





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16 Days Interactive Display in Los Angeles

by Jollene Levid Tuesday, Dec. 08, 2009 at 3:16 PM 323-356-4748

16 Days Interactive ...
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