20 May ONE BILLION RISING: RISING IN GLOBAL SOLIDARITY TO MEET THIS MOMENT
The Covid-19 virus has in a short time blown open and revealed the destructive veins of neo-liberal capitalist racist patriarchy. With each day, we see that the majority of people who are dying are those who have been historically exploited, oppressed and marginalized by poverty, racism, xenophobia. The virus is revealing the violent, broken, greed and growth systems that we have been both tolerating and forced to live with for far too long.
As we rise in global solidarity to meet this moment, we now MUST ASK ourselves; “what is essential”, “who is essential”, “what would it mean to live with just what is essential”, and “how would we value, protect and uplift those who are doing the essential work”?
The Earth. Most essential to all life, is the most violated. Indigenous people of the earth have taught, embodied and been calling for the true alignment of humanity and the earth.
Across the planet, the majority of frontline workers, health care workers, home care workers, domestic workers, farmworkers – are women. As with the EARTH, they are the least valued, underpaid and least protected. Health workers without necessary personal protective equipment (PPE) despite putting themselves at risk every day, food and agricultural workers providing the food on our tables while they cannot feed their own families, the list goes on.
Now is the moment for our movement and movements across the planet to open the window to a new world, to refuse to go back to a “normal” that was never fair or functional for the majority of people.
It is up to us to envision and demand this future as we collectively rise in global solidarity and organized creative resistance.
Because neo-liberalism has FAILED across the world to take care of the health and well -being of the majority of human beings and the earth:
We need to envision a world where ecology and economy live in alignment. Where the new economy is defined by LOVING CARE of the earth, and of the people.
Because in this pandemic, people are locked down, living in fear and uncertainty – it has become fertile ground for governments to control people, to curtail democratic human rights, to erode freedom of the press, and to exploit people and resources –for these forces to take root in the name of health and safety:
We need to Rise for a world no longer defined by political or religious totalitarianism, hatred, violence against women, violence to the earth and to people, tyranny, fascism, patriarchy, misogyny, racism, ableism and capitalism.
Because the violence of hatred, greed, separation and destruction has chronically disabled our ability to have empathy:
We need to create a world where community, trust, care and love are at its core. We need art, poetry, music, dance to inspire, connect and awaken us.
Because we have continued to take without permission from the Earth – which has led to her destruction:
We need to re-imagine and manifest a new way of living – one that recognizes we are not separate or apart from the earth. We need to honor and respect nature and all of LIFE and not take more than our share.
Because it has been ingrained in us to operate within divisions – “us” and “them,” to believe that some people matter and others don’t:
We need to build even stronger global solidarity to connect, in ways deeper than before, in order to dissolve hierarchy and come into our inclusive humanity. Will you dream, build, re-imagine, create, manifest this new world, and together RISE with us?
– One Billion Rising Global Coordinators
SUPPORT DURING THE COVID-19 CRISIS AT THE V-DAY SAFE HOUSE FOR THE GIRLS IN NAROK, KENYA
The rapid spread of Covid-19 across the globe has led artists, activists, survivors, and youth around the world to rise to assist their impacted communities, frontline workers, and survivors. While many are staying at home to help flatten the curve, elderly and marginalized communities are without food, medicine, access to clean water, and other critical resources needed to protect from exposure. At the V-Day Safe House for the Girls in Kenya, it is no different.
“The situation in Kenya at the moment is that all the schools, social places, and marketplaces, have closed to avoid crowds. The girls are back at the safe house and keeping busy with their personal studies while observing social distancing measures, since we don’t know when the schools are reopening.” says Agnes Pareyio
Founder Agnes Pareyio (the founder of Tasaru Ntomonok, Chair of the Anti-FGM Board of Kenya, and UN Person of the Year for Kenya) and her team immediately took action to support the young girls escaping Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) and the surrounding community. As Covid-19 hit and Kenya went on lockdown, girls studying at boarding schools took unexpected but necessary refuge at the safe house. Responding to the needs of the community, the safe house team is also supporting elders with food relief and other types of help.
This moment calls for our global solidarity now more than ever, to help and protect the most vulnerable – in the face of an unprecedented health crisis because we can only get through this together. Our movement is global, with activists in every country. Our Solidarity Rising series connects our activists together and we post their stories and experiences as they support marginalized communities.
These are unprecedented times. In response to these increasing needs, V-Day has created the RISING IN THE TIME OF CORONA EMERGENCY FUND to provide critical support grassroots activists leading their communities’ response to Covid-19.
“WHAT DOES FREEDOM REALLY MEAN?” – OBR PORTUGAL DOCUMENTARY OF ONE BILLION RISING 2020 IN ODEMIRA WOMEN’S PRISON
Since November 2019, Janka Striffler, OBR Global Coordinator for Portugal, with other activists, have spent time with the women of Odemira prison every Friday, while participating in workshops and activities. This year, in joint action with inmates of the Odemira prison establishment and community members, Janka Striffler and inmates raised the vibration to demand an end to violence.
“I can’t recall having ever been as nervous as I was before we first went. I had no idea what was going to happen. My imagination went crazy, “Who will we meet? Will these women listen to me? Will they want to listen to anyone?” After entering, it was such a relief to realize that these women aren’t at all different from me or you. They may have made a bad choice at some point or they may have been too poor to pay their bills – we know we live in a deeply unjust society – but basically, we are all the same. I had known this before, but in this moment, the realization sank deeper.”
Edited by Tamera Media and Isabel Rosa, Janka Striffler created a documentary showcasing the transformational process they went through together while preparing for and engaging in the project.