FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
November 25, 2012
Reference: Valerie Francisco, Chairperson, GABRIELA-USA
GABRIELA-USA Commemorates November 25th, the International Day of the Elimination of Violence Against Women
GABRIELA-USA, an alliance of organizations representing Filipino women across the U.S. commemorate November 25, the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women (IDEVAW) by denouncing the attacks on Gaza by Israel that continues to kill women and children, and opposing the ongoing human rights violations and killings of our women in the Philippines.
GABRIELA-USA stands in solidarity with the Palestinian people to demand Israel to stop this ongoing massacre on the people of Gaza and to end the U.S.-backed occupations of both Gaza and the West Bank. For absolute peace, the U.S. must not interfere and keep out of the affairs of the Palestinian people and the Israeli state must give up its murderous Zionist path and respect the human rights and sovereignty of the Palestinian people.
During this time of a global economic crisis caused by U.S. imperialism, multi-national corporations are vultures competing for and hoarding natural resources throughout the globe, imposing their power through militarization. Air strikes and massacres happening thousands of miles apart between Gaza and Mindanao yet have something in common: U.S. military power and funding for the corrupt puppet regime of the Philippines and the U.S.’s closest ally in the middle east and #1 recipient of U.S. military aid, Israel; in turn, victimizing people all over the world in order to protect the interests of the global 1%.
GABRIELA-USA continues to support ManiLakbayan, a caravan and march that aims to raise the national consciousness around the deteriorating human rights situation in relation to large-scale mining, thus far raising over $1,100 in the last 2 weeks to help community delegates from Mindanao to launch this campaign in Manila. The October 18 massacre in the Philippines of two-months pregnant Juvy Capion and her young sons, Jorge and Janjan, aged 13 and 8 reflects the reality of daily violence faced by the B’laan tribe and other indigenous peoples throughout the Philippines for actively opposing large scale mining by foreign multinational corporations encroaching on ancestral lands. GABRIELA-USA condemns the killings of indigenous leaders and anti-mining activists in Mindanao, and we are continuing to reach out to our communities in the U.S. to support efforts in raising awareness of the recent events in Mindanao. GABRIELA-USA acknowledges that the system massacring women and children in Gaza is the same brutal system victimizing Filipina women globally.
“As Filipino women we hold people like President Benigno Aquino III and President Barrack Obama accountable for the culture and system of violence they perpetrate on women around the world. Hunger and poverty, joblessness and exploitation, evictions, forced migration, lack of housing and healthcare are all part of imperialist plunder and war on women and children” said Valerie Francisco, Chairperson for GABRIELA-USA, “We must rise up and fight for our basic human rights and demand to end violence against women.”
As these current atrocities continue to happen to our women, we are launching a petition letter to demand action from the Philippine government to stop these heinous acts of violence and stop the use of rape as a tool of war against the people. We call upon women across the globe to help us in our fight to end violence against women.
GABRIELA-USA supports people’s right to fight for their own self-determination against aggressive exploitation and oppression. From the U.S. to Palestine to the Philippines, on this day, we honor and support the fighting spirit of women throughout the world against violence towards women and children.
Women’s activists have marked November 25 as a day to fight violence against women since 1981. On December 17, 1999, the United Nations General Assembly designated November 25th as the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women by Resolution 54/134. The date came from the brutal assassination in 1960 of the three Mirabal sisters, political activists in the Dominican Republic, on orders of Dominican dictator Rafael Trujillo.