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Rada Boric Elected Member of Croatian Parliament!



Image courtesy: Dragan Matic / Hanza Media

We are thrilled to share the news that One Billion Rising Coordinator Rada Boric has been elected to the Croatian parliament! Rada is a member of the New Left party in Croatia and the We Can coalition, a Croatian platform of local green and progressive movements that formed a progressive political party and won seven seats in Sunday's parliamentary election.

"We showed in the span of a month and a half what courage means - that's what we brought to the table from activism. We also showed what creativity and respect for people and talking to them can do," stated Rada in Slobodna Dalmacija, when commenting on the electoral success of the platform. "What the Prime Minister resented about us was our political activism and we think that many had been politically dormant in the past and the success of the election reflected that. This success is not just the success of our platform. I would say it is the cumulative success of 30 years of activism, gathered from different movements - anti-war, anti police powers, for women's rights," she added.

In Parliament, Rada will continue her lifelong commitment and advocacy to advance gender equality in Croatia, including fighting for a modern Abortion Act to provide women with free, safe, and accessible medical treatment and contraception. She will advocate for sex education, a modern civic education program designed to help students understand gender equality, and equal rights for the LGBTQ+ community, including adoptions and foster care.

Rada is a feminist linguist and activist who has coordinated One Billion Rising across Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Greece, Macedonia, Montenegro, Romania, Serbia, and Slovenia since the campaign launched in 2012. Prior to One Billion Rising, Rada has been a pillar of the V-Day movement, producing benefit performances across Europe. Rada is a member of the Initiative for the Women's Court for Former Yugoslavia, regional coordinator of V-Day, the global movement against violence against women, and a member of the Nobel Women's Initiative Advisory Board. In 2012 she was elected vice-president of the European Women Lobby (representing Women's Network Croatia). In 2013, the Croatian President awarded her with the decoration Order of Danica Hrvatska for her work on promoting women's human rights.

Please join us in congratulating Rada!


We are thrilled to share this new poem written by Kevin Powell. Kevin is a poet, journalist, civil and human rights activist, public speaker, and author of 14 books, including his new one, WHEN WE FREE THE WORLD, about the present and future of America (exclusively an ebook on Apple Books). Kevin is currently writing as part of our ‘Artists Rising' series.

we them people
By Kevin Powell

dream on
the way Alvin Ailey
and Maya Angelou
and George Floyd
and Breonna Taylor
dreamed of
dancing and
slow marching
their sorrows
down the yellow
brick roads
second-line members
humming from
the heels of their dirt-kissed feet:
i wanna be ready/to put on my long white robe….
we are survivors
we are survivors
we are survivors
of people
who were free
and became slaves
of people
who were slaves
and became free
we know why the caged bird sings
we know what a redemption song brings
we them people
we the people
we are those people
who shall never forget
our ancestors all up in us as we sleep
our grandmother all up in us as we weep
because we are
native american
black irish welsh french german polish italian
jewish puerto rican mexican greek russian
dominican chinese japanese vietnamese
filipino korean arab middle eastern
we are biracial and we are multicultural
we are bicentennial and we are new millennial
we are essential and we are frontline
we are everyday people and we are people everyday
we are #metoo we are #metoo we are #metoo
we are muslim christian hebrew too
we are bible torah koran atheist agnostic truer than true
we are rabbis and imams and preachers and yoruba priests
tap-dancing with buddhists and hindus and rastafarians
as the Nicholas Brothers
jump and jive and split the earth in half
while Chloe and Maud Arnold
them syncopated ladies
twist and shout and stomp and trump
still we rise still we surprise
like we got Judith Jamison's crying solo in our eyes
every hello ain't alone every good-bye ain't gone
we are every tongue every nose every skin every color every face mask
we are mattered lives paint it black
we are mattered lives paint it black
we are mattered lives paint it black
we are every tattoo every piercing every drop of blood
every global flood
we are straight queer trans non-gender conforming
we are she/he/they
we are disabled abled poor rich
big people little people in between people
we are protesters pepper-sprayed with knees on our necks
we are protesters pepper-sprayed with knees on our necks
we are protesters pepper-sprayed with knees on our necks
we them people
we the people
we are those people
who will survive
these times
because we done
those times
where pandemics were
trail of tears and lynchings and holocausts
where pandemics were
no hope and no vote and no freedom spoke
we them people
we the people
we are those people
while our planet gently weeps
we bob and bop
like hip-hop
across the tender bones
of those tear-stained photographs
to hand to
this generation
the next generation
those revelations
that blues suite
that peaceful dance
inside a raging tornado
we call

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Image Courtesy: The Calvert Journal

In Russia, portraying women's bodies can get you arrested.

Yulia Tsvetkova, a Russian artist, has been criminally charged with “production and dissemination of pornographic materials” after she shared stylized depictions of vaginas on social media. Trouble with authorities started after Yulia planned to stage a play called “Blue and Pink” about gender stereotypes in her city. She ultimately cancelled the play due to pressure from the authorities. "I don't know which was worse for the authorities, the play about gender, which they don't understand, and they are afraid of, or the other play, which was pretty political, very sharp. I guess it's the combination of both that got me here," Tsvetkova said over a phone call. "After that I was called to the police station every week or every other week."

Tsvetkova was fined 75,000 roubles ($1,000) on Friday on charges of spreading “gay propaganda” among minors by publishing drawings of same-sex couples with children online. The court in the eastern city of Komsomolsk-on-Amur confirmed the 27-year-old had been fined under a 2013 law that bans disseminating “propaganda on non-traditional sexual relations” among young Russians - legislation condemned by rights groups.

The pornography charge came after the police discovered a group called "The Vagina Monologues" (named after V’s play) that Tsvetkova founded and moderated on Russian social media network VKontakte. Yulia is currently unable to leave her town and is waiting for a court date. If convicted, Yulia faces up to 6 years in prison.

We must stand with Yulia and RISE in her defense.

Here is how you can help: