RISE! RESIST! UNITE!
Once again, the theme of SOLIDARITY remains the focus of One Billion Rising 2018.
We are coming into a time defined by a fierce escalation of fascist, imperialist, neo-liberal attacks on the lives of people around the world. And the most marginalized – working class, minority and women on the margins in every part of the globe – experience the impact and are forced to confront these attacks on their welfare and rights and homes.
In response to Trump’s election in the US, joining the emergence of other anti-women, anti-people leaders and governments around the world, we are seeing mass global rising of movements and deep and ongoing engagement creating a vigorous solidarity and dynamic energy to a rising resistance everywhere – for women’s rights and gender rights, the protection and defense of indigenous lands and the rights of indigenous peoples, against fascism and tyranny, discrimination and racism, environmental plunder and destruction, corporate greed, economic violence, poverty, state brutality and repression, war and militarism. This year, OBR is set to escalate RISINGS against all forms of violence against women – including a rising resistance against the systems that cause other forms of violence: imperialism, fascism, racism, capitalism and neo-liberalism – and will continue to highlight where all these issues interconnect.
OBR 2018 continues to sustain the theme of “Solidarity Against the Exploitation of Women” as neo-liberal policies and rapacious capitalism have become the engine of most governments, bringing profound consequences for the long suffering working class and marginalized sectors. The unprecedented exploitation and poverty ravaging most of the world is becoming harder and impossible to ignore. Suffering has reached new heights and this year OBR is seeing a new, dynamic and radical militancy and vibrancy that is opposing and rising against such repression and oppression.
A focus continues to remain on “Exploitation” – because women across the globe are suffering from the reign of neo-liberalism that has worsened social and economic conditions for women. Hunger has reached new levels and poverty can no longer be excluded as a distinct form of violence. Joblessness, homelessness, labor exploitation, forced labor, government cutbacks to social services, landlessness, contractualization, lowering of minimum wage, privatization, displacement from wars, militarization and climate, environmental disasters cause by corporate greed, human and sex trafficking and more – all outcomes of a global system that is plunging the world into economic crisis – lend to other forms of violence that come hand in hand with excruciating poverty, hunger and deprivation.
The theme of exploitation highlights, in particular, workers rising everywhere. From women peasants and indigenous communities rising against extractive industries like mining, oil drilling, fracking, and against the plunder of the environment and natural resources, to factory workers rising against abuse from multi-national companies inside export processing zones, to nurses rising for better pay and dignity of labor, to government workers rising against their own employers, to restaurant workers rising for minimum wage, to migrant and domestic workers rising against abusive labor practices, to garment workers rising for safety in the workplace, to workers everywhere rising for live-able wage, safety , dignity, equal pay and more.
Women workers everywhere are rising against the neo-liberal attacks on wages and against the degradation of workers, reducing them to no more than cogs, part of a global capitalist wheel that keeps churning for profit which do not serve or go back to workers. States, nations, international instruments and institutions who so often pretend to safeguard the welfare of the people sanction this economic exploitation – but they exist only to stand as imperialist purveyors of capital – and therefore, vanguards of exploitation.
In 2017 – major risings saw workers, minority groups and the most marginalized communities rising even in the face of suppression, deception, manipulation and violence. But because of the strength of solidarity the Risings also saw a collective energy and political resistance that could not be crushed.
Our call of SOLIDARITY is local and global and includes (but is not limited to)
Violence Against Women
Resource and land exploitation
And Rising For:
Women’s equality and safety and freedom
Safety of women's rights defenders
Civic and sex education
Like in years before, the working class, grassroots, minority and marginalized women will continue to fiercely and dynamically lead the way – women who have been most affected by anti-women, anti-democratic and anti-people policies.
The magnitude of women’s suffering continues to generate creative and political resistance in the One Billion Rising movement like we have never seen before. What began as a worldwide creative dance protest is emerging as a collective creative resistance using art and solidarity as powerful tools for protest against all forms of violence.
Today, One Billion Rising is growing and goes beyond opposing the effects of patriarchy and physical and sexual violence to women, to confronting and resisting global capitalist, imperialist and fascist systems that cause and sustain worsening forms of poverty, unprecedented forms of labor, economic and sexual exploitation, human and sex trafficking, forced migration, state sponsored violence and wars, racism and exclusion, environmental abuse and plunder, militarization, and internal and international displacement.
One Billion Rising shows us that women play a crucial role in this resistance, creating solidarity movements, as they lead from the forefront of local, national and international struggles. It shows us that women are continuing to organize everywhere, harnessing collective energy, building hope and solidarity, and using creativity and vision as they raise political consciousness in their unwavering and fierce determination towards a future of freedom, equality, respect and dignity.
Creative risings are not only centered on collective and defiant dance protests in the fight for women’s rights. This year, from 14 February to 8 March OBR actions, we are calling activists from around the world to stage ARTISTIC UPRISINGS – focusing on revolutionary, transformative and radical ART.
ARTISTIC UPRISINGS will use art forms from storytelling to theatre, poetry and music, dance and film as radical calls to action and to escalate political consciousness.
ARTISTIC UPRISING events will bring together women from the marginalized and most oppressed sectors of each community to tell their stories through monologues, spoken word, song, music, and dancing.
OBR unites people globally in the dream of a world devoid of exploitation, discrimination and violence. OBR continues to become the catalyst and the energy that intensifies local campaigns and struggles, strengthens local and global solidarity, harnesses creative collective action, and contributes to the struggle of women everywhere for a life based on democracy, justice, peace and equality. More importantly, OBR continues to connect local communities to the larger global solidarity movement. This creates a united force necessary to raise the call in the pursuit of fundamental economic, political and social change.
And SOLIDARITY is a much stronger engine than the existing systems will ever be. It is the fuel and fire that keep women and their allies rising – marching and rallying on the streets, organizing in communities, protesting governments and holding them accountable, mobilizing, educating, radicalizing, inciting, inspiring, strategizing, uniting, envisioning, dancing and creating so many forms of disruptive and uplifting ways to resist. Women in neo-colonial countries are rising for their sisters in imperialist countries, women’s movements who have had long histories of militant resistance are rising in solidarity with younger and newer movements all around the world who are now rightfully claiming their space and voice. Women in developed countries are rising for their sisters across the globe against exclusion, occupation, militarization, war and economic violence. Women everywhere are rising for LGBTQI rights. Women’s movements are rising together, for and with other social justice movements. And the energy and political fire is continuing to strengthen.
What imperialist, fascist and supremacist states banked on is turning out to be the opposite: women around the world are not discouraged or threatened or halted in despair or fear at the onslaught, escalation and perverse “normalization” of so many increasing forms of violence towards women. Instead, the OBR global movement is going deeper into a radically creative, political, militant struggle. SOLIDARITY continues to usher a sharing of gained wisdom across countries, generations and political spheres. It builds a common strength and energy across women’s movements around the globe. It creates a vibrant and dynamic creative rebellion that connects us and gives collective strength, courage and defiance in the face of immeasurable suffering.
There can be no REVOLUTION without SOLIDARITY. We cannot call for system change – the change of mindsets, the change of structures, the change in consciousness, awareness and understanding of violence, the change in policies that affect women economically, socially, sexually, physically, emotionally, and the end of the revolving patterns of domination, oppression and exploitation – ALONE.
SOLIDARITY IS RADICAL CONNECTION.
This revolution demands vision, community, trust, commitment, courage, belief, hope and LOVE.
ONE BILLION RISING REVOLUTION: SOLIDARITY
RISE! RESIST! UNITE!
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