Vijou Bryant, Vice Chairperson, GABRIELA New York
Nadine Martinez, Deputy Mass Campaigns Officer, GABRIELA New York
Thirty-three years ago on October 28th 1983, over 10,000 Filipino women gathered on the streets of Manila to oppose rampant human rights violations enacted by the Marcos dictatorship. Continuing this legacy of women resistance today, GABRIELA New York advances alongside the Filipino people to educate, organize and mobilize women and communities towards national liberation and genuine democracy in the Philippines.
In lieu of the resumption of the peace talks between the Government of the Republic of the Philippines (GRP) and the National Democratic Front (NDF), GABRIELA NY and all chapters of the national alliance – GABRIELA USA – continues to support the peace negotiations and the immediate call to release all political prisoners. There are more than 500 political prisoners in the Philippines, over half of which were imprisoned under the Benigno Simeon Aquino III regime. Across the country, 48 women continue to languish in jail, unjustly imprisoned, facing false trumped up charges. The arrests of these women interfere in carrying out their participation and leadership in women’s organizations and people’s movements.
“I had the incredible honor to meet with 9 women who are political prisoners in Taguig City Jail this summer. Their charges are primarily possession of illegal firearms and explosives, however, it is clear that their charges are trumped up attempts to keep these powerful women in prison and not in the streets fighting for the rights of the people. Miradel Torres went into labor in the prison under inhumane conditions but the women rallied and fought for proper treatment and medical care for Miradel so that she could deliver her son. It is infuriating to witness the systematic erasure of powerful female voices from communities at the hands of corruption and greed!” states Cole Carothers, Chairperson of GABRIELA New York.
In commemoration of National Women’s Day of Protest, just weeks after the the second round of peace talks, we must continue to demand the release of women and all political prisoners in the Philippines and around the world.
As Filipina women abroad, we honor our legacy of resistance by organizing and mobilizing with Filipinas, friends and allies. Between now and International Migrants Day on December 18, 2016, there are several upcoming activities in the New York City, we invite you to join us!
1. Nov. 20: Trans Day of Remembrance/Resilience:
- Join BAYAN Queer Caucus for a panel discussion (Event details TBA; www.facebook.com/bayanqueercaucusne)
TransJustice of the Audre Lorde Project presents the Annual Trans Day of Remembrance (Event details TBA; http://alp.org)
2. Nov. 25th: International Day to Eliminate Violence Against Women
GAB NY zine release in commemoration of IDEVAW released on November 29
Open educational discussion with GAB NY (November 29; more details TBA)
3. December 10 International Human Rights Day
4. December 18: International Migrants Day
6th Annual Lantern Festival for International Migrants Day (Event details TBA)
Fight for Just and Lasting Peace in the Philippines!
Free All Political Prisoners!
Free Our Sisters! Free Ourselves!