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Overseas Filipinas rally and march as GABRIELA-USA, extending the Philippine women’s movement internationally

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Contact: Joanne Alcantara
Coordinator, GABRIELA National Organizing Committee
(641) 715-3900

On March 8, 2008, Filipino women in the United States will proclaim the formalization of a GABRIELA-USA Chapter, the first international overseas chapter of the Philippine-based women’s organization GABRIELA, through nationally-coordinated protest actions celebrating
women’s resistance and calling for the ouster of Philippine President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo.

GABRIELA, the General Assembly Binding Women for Reforms, Integrity, Equality, Leadership and Action, was first established in 1984 by 42 women’s organizations in the Philippines uniting against the US-backed Marcos dictatorship. In November of 2007, Pinay sa Seattle, babae in
San Francisco and FiRE (Filipinas for Rights and Empowerment) in New York planted the seeds for a USA-based GABRIELA. Subsequently, GABRIELA has committed to expanding our work in the US by providing organizing around the conditions of Filipinas in the USA.

In the seven years that the US-backed Arroyo has been President in the Philippines, she has worsened the economic conditions of the Filipino people and especially women. Her stark human rights violations record, subservience to US imperialism and militarization has
materialized in the murder of Filipino women and children in the hand of US troops supposedly training the Philippine military in Balikatan exercises. Arroyo has also stood silent on the increasing numbers of Filipino women raped by US military troops in the Philippines, and
recently in Japan.

The corruption of President Arroyo has been exposed through the NBN-ZTE scandal and the Filipino people are expressing their intolerance. We are uniting across continents and oceans to call for a new brand of people power. The intensifying political climate in the Philippines calls for genuine social change, an ouster of a decrepit president and the restoration of democracy in the Philippines.

GABRIELA-USA will rally to this call. As migrant women, we recognizethat the majority of Overseas Filipino Workers are women. The worsening economic and political crisis of the Philippines pushes Filipino women out only to be subjected to exploitation, human
trafficking, domestic abuse, sexual assault, torture and even death. We recognize our place is in the struggle to oust a puppet president and we will mobilize around our responsibility to the Filipino people.

During these times of heightened political crisis in the Philippines the women of Pinay sa Seattle, babae San Francisco and FiRE New York, all members of GABRIELA-USA, will continue to carry out the vigilant task of intensifying the people’s resistance against a tyrannical and immoral government. GABRIELA-USA stands behind all working women and Filipino progressives to expose the truth and call for Arroyo’s ouster from presidency.

On this March 8, we call on all peace loving people, advocates for human rights, and women’s organizations to stand in solidarity with GABRIELA and its newly formed USA-based chapter by joining us in the following mobilizations:

New York:
A Salute to Women’s Resistance
Union Square

Women Hold Up Half the Sky
Cultural Performances and Speakers
Jose Rizal Park

San Francisco:
For Our Sisters, We Must RESIST
San Francisco Dewey Monument
Union Square Plaza at Stockton and Powell

Women unite!
Struggle against oppression and exploitation!
Fight the Arroyo regime’s corruption and tyranny!
Oust President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo!
Long Live International Working Women’s Day!
Long Live International Solidarity!