February 14th, 2014
Contact: Jill Mangaliman, Pin@y sa Seattle – Gabriela USA

Filipina Women and Youth Answer Global Call to Dance for Justice for Women Surprise One Billion Rising Flash-mob To Highlight Violence Against Women

SEATTLE, WA – On February 14th, Filipina women, girls, and allies led by the members of Pin@y sa Seattle – GABRIELA USA, 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 to 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.” reflects Elaine Agoot of Pin@y sa Seattle.

One Billion Rising was initiated last year by Vagina Monologues creator, Eve Ensler as “a call to survivors to break the silence and release their stories – politically, spiritually, outrageously – through art, dance, marches, ritual, song, spoken word, testimonies and whatever way feels right.” In 2013, participants in over 207 countries rose and danced in demand of an end to violence against women. This year, the numbers are expected to escalate.

As part of their I vow to fight VAW (Violence Against Women) Campaign, Pin@y sa Seattle is leading 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, accessibility 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. ” says Claudia Paras of Pin@y sa Seattle, “As a survivor, organizer, and ally I feel empowered and inspired to be with others here and internationally rising together on VDay.”

The dance choreographed by GABRIELA Philippines is being performed all around the world. Video and photos of the performance will be available online following the flash-mob on Friday.

Pin@y will continue raise awareness on issues of violence and in particular economic violence as they relate to women by taking these issues to the streets in a city wide march and rally on International Women’s Day, March 8. For more information, contact j.a.mangaliman@gmail.com . ###