Happy Valentine’s Day!

Happy Valentine’s Day:

Around the world, the sights, sounds, and energy of women, men and children in their communities can be heard demanding JUSTICE! Among the thousands events planned worldwide, risers will be dancing on campuses, at the gates of the High Court in Bangladesh, in Trafalgar Square in London, at game parks in Swaziland, at oil plants in the Bay Area, against the militarization of the mines in the Philippines, within Ministries of Women, in active violent conflict zones, with the rising girls in Siloe, Haiti, at the Palace of Justice in Rome, across the five Burroughs of NYC, at the steps of City Hall in San Francisco, at the International Criminal Court, in prisons, and more!

ONEBILLIONRISING.ORG, Your Window on the RISINGS

“Dancing insists we take up space, and though it has no set direction, we go there together. Dance is dangerous, joyous, sexual, holy, disruptive, and contagious and it breaks the rules. It can happen anywhere, at anytime, with anyone and everyone, and it’s free. Dance joins us and pushes us to go further and that is why it’s at the center of ONE BILLION RISING”

–Eve Ensler.

As we prepare for ONE BILLION RISING FOR JUSTICE, for the escalation and the deepening of the campaign, we want to take a quick look back and ask What did dancing do?

We have seen the power of communities coming together through dance and action.

Dance broke the silence in Somalia and new laws were passed in Guatemala. It’s unified groups, it’s made people feel free, it’s broken down barriers.

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Rising for Women Everywhere: V-Day

As activists in 128 countries escalate their efforts and plan local One Billion Rising For Justice 2014 events, our core team continues to create path breaking resources, tool kits, & short films; connect networks; and use social media to activate and engage the dialogue of justice.

Peru is Rising for the hundreds of thousands of indigenous women who were sterilized during the Fujimori regime and for the tens of thousands of women who were raped during the armed conflict and have never received justice.
Farm workers in the US and Mexico are Rising for immigration reform, farm worker, women’s rights and an end to sexual harassment in the workplace.
South Africa is Rising to end ‘corrective rape’ against lesbians.
Guatemala is Rising in support of laws to protect women and to highlight indigenous women and their vision of justice.
Bangladesh is Rising to lobby political parties to bring legislation to protect women.
Los Angeles is Rising to promote rape awareness and sexual assault in the military, engaging courts, local police and sheriff departments.
Haiti is Rising to bring a State of Female Justice to Haiti as defined by Haitian survivors and women’s groups.
The Philippines is Rising against militarization, corporate greed, mining, economic injustice and labor exploitation, and the plundering done by a corrupt government that severely impacts women and girls.
Mexico City, Atlanta, Miami and San Francisco are Rising to Stop Sex Trafficking.
College students in the US are Rising to stop sexual assault on campuses and to hold administrations accountable to properly prevent or adequately respond to the needs of college survivors.

Your participation on 14 February means everything to us!

With gratitude,

V-Day core – Eve, Susan, Cecile, Christine, Monique, Purva, Shael, Tony, Kate, Amy, Laura, Carl, Joliz, Noelle, & Kristina

Letter from the Congo

A Letter from Eve Ensler

Dear All,

First let me begin with the deepest thank you to all of you who believed in City of Joy and have stood by us with your confidence and support. I have spent the month here and all I can say, is you would be proud. Let me start by describing the current state of Bukavu. It is nothing short of catastrophic. In one of the richest resourced countries in the world, the poverty is inconceivable. In a place where it rains almost every day, there is no water.

It is a country with the most fertile green fields, people are starving. There is no electricity. Most of the month the children have been sent home from school as the teachers are on strike. (they have not been paid). Even the policemen are begging for food. The road is better but most of the time we have not driven on it as there are so many reasons for detours. This is the environment our director Christine and her astounding staff face and transcend every day. Then of course there is the issue of security. The month I have been here there have been no incidents, but it feels arbitrary as there is no real political basis for security and one feels anything can happen at any time.

I will not even begin to tackle here the many proposals that seem to be circulating for peace in Congo. They either feel rhetorical or implausible. I think it is safe to say that if Rwanda, Uganda, Burundi were to get out of Congo, if there were real leadership and a functioning government in Kinshasa, there would be change. But that is not the nature of what I am writing about. We made a decision four years ago to put our energy into the grassroots women of Congo, to support their visions, their plans, their desires, their futures. To believe in their strength. To find the support for them to heal from gender violence of all forms, to be trained and educated in skills and their rights, to become leaders in their communities so that they could build a grassroots movement that eventually would be strong enough to transform this country and turn pain to power.

I am happy to say we are on our way. None of it would be possible without the brilliant leadership of Christine Schuler Deschryver and Dr. Denis Mukwege. Their devotion, tenacity, great humor and fierce love makes all transformation possible. I could not admire or love them more. Let me also reassure you that Dr. Mukwege, in spite of his new life (which due to high security measures has limited his freedom and autonomy), is doing extremely well. Operating, working non stop in every direction to support all he can. We are so thrilled he continues to teach sexual education at City of Joy and be our partner. So let me begin to give you a taste of what is happening here.

I send my love and gratitude from that place which is the City of Joy,

Eve

To reqad the entire letter and see the accompaning photographs please click the following link: http://www.vday.org/dearall