On Feb 14th, 25 Filipina women, girls, and allies led by Gabriela Seattle joined the global One Billion Rising movement by performing a flash-mob at a local shopping mall frequented by many Filipino immigrants, migrants and Fil-Ams in commemoration of “International Day to Eliminate Violence Against Women’s Day” or most known as “V-Day.” According to the United Nations, one in three women will be raped or beaten in their lifetime, totaling about one billion.
“There are always so many Filipino families at Seafood City, so we wanted to go where our community was. When they saw the dancing and heard the lyrics of the song, people stopped what they were doing, even the workers. We started singing along the Tagalog lyrics to get over our nervousness and also to connect directly to the people. It was a powerful moment.” reflected Elaine Agoot of Gabriela Seattle Campaigns Committee.
As part of their I vow to fight VAW (Violence Against Women) Campaign, Gabriela led efforts to continue educating their communities about the root causes of violence impacting women and children including forms of violence caused by economic hardship and political repression most often felt by people impacted by US Imperialism. These include issues of human and labor trafficking, forced migration, wage theft, access to healthcare, enforced disappearances, and many more.
“We are dancing again this year because it brings a serious issue to a highly visible platform to raise awareness on a global scale. We know dancing isn’t the solution. The solution is in the direct action we take to tackle the root causes, question the system that enables violence in our everyday lives, and we know we can’t do it alone. ” said Claudia Paras of Gabriela Seattle, “As a survivor, organizer, and ally I feel empowered and inspired to be with others here and internationally rising together on VDay.”
You can watch the Seafood City Flashmob here
Also, check out our press coverage.
Henderson, Danielle. “One Billion Rising.” The Stranger. http://slog.thestranger.com/slog/archives/2014/02/14/one-billion-rising
Shepard, Kim. “Empowering Women on Vday” Kiro Radio, Ron & Don Show http://mynorthwest.com/108/2458003/Empowering-women-on-VDay
Stuteville, Sarah, “Forget the Valentines, Filipino Youth Flash Mob is the Best Thing About Vday.” Seattle Globalist. http://www.seattleglobalist.com/2014/02/14/forget-the-valentines-filipino-youth-flash-mob-is-the-best-thing-about-v-day/20859 (reposted in Seattle Times – http://seattletimes.com/html/localnews/2022905947_sarahcolumn14xml.html)