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On February 14th, 2013, cities across the globe joined the One Billion Rising campaign to stop violence against women and girls. In Northern California, participating cities included Fresno, Santa Cruz, Monterey, Oakland, and San Francisco. One Billion Rising began as a call to action based on the staggering statistic that 1 in 3 women on the planet will be beaten or raped during her lifetime. With the world population at 7 billion, this adds up to more than one billion women and girls. Activists, writers, thinkers, celebrities, and women and men worldwide joined together to express their outrage, demand change, strike, dance, and rise in defiance of the injustices women suffer, demanding an end at last to violence against women. The event was organized by V-Day
, a global activist movement to end violence against women and girls that raises funds and awareness through benefit productions of playwright/founder Eve Ensler's award winning play The Vagina Monologues and other artistic works.
San Francisco |
SF: Dance Across the Golden Gate Bridge |
SF: Dance through the Streets for a Culture of Consent |
SF: Rise Beyond Borders |
Women Rising in Los Altos |
One Billion Rising Santa Cruz |
Idle No More in Solidarity with V-Day
On January 26, over 400 people from all over California descended on the rural Central Valley town of Chowchilla to protest the horrendous conditions in the notorious prison, Central California Women’s Facility. Close to 4,000 women are currently warehoused in the facility designed for 2,000.
Despite threats of retaliation, prisoner advocacy organizations Justice Now and California Coalition for Women Prisoners received over 1,000 declarations from people inside CCWF and the nearby Valley State Prison for Women (VSPW) highlighting a lack of basic medical care, increased tension and conflicts among prisoners due to crowding, increased lock downs, and seriously reduced access to jobs, programs and legal resources. People inside CCWF are calling the treatment of prisoners and their conditions 'gender discrimination' and a violation of their civil and human rights.
“Californians should care about this issue because we are talking about the importance of people’s lives. People die because of the inadequate medical help,” says Theresa Martinez, of Justice Now who spent 23 years of her life locked in California prisons. “Taxpayers are paying to keep warehousing people instead of figuring out how to set them free.”
Read More and View Photos | More Photos | See Also: Who Are We to Judge?
| Inhumane Treatment of Prisoners in Chowchilla
Justin Herman Plaza was the site of several feminist actions on Saturday, January 26th, as this week marks 40 years since the passage of Roe v. Wade. A Celebration of Women, Life and Liberty
began at 10 am with speakers including the famously Limbaugh-bashed birth control champion Sandra Fluke and a myriad of children's activities.
The celebration continued with a flash mob dance ritual
at 11:30 am to break the chain of violence against women and girls. From noon to 2pm Radical Women and supporters of women's rights gathered on Market St. at Justin Herman Plaza with signs to protest
the Walk for Life anti-abortion demonstrators as they marched through downtown San Francisco.
On January 22, the anniversary of Roe v. Wade, several groups sponsored a pro-choice march through downtown Los Altos
San Francisco Photos
The Cherán K’eri uprising on April 15, 2011 and the process of self-government now underway in that community is, for many, a source of inspiration, a strong show of resistance to be defended, and an experience to learn from. That’s why around 500 people from 15 cities in Mexico and 11 countries in the world set up camp just outside this Purépecha town in Michoacán on May 24-27, 2012, as part of the National Encounter of Autonomous Anti-Capitalist Resistance. The idea was to lend support to the Cherán community and share experiences of autonomy, options of self-organization, and ways of living in harmony with nature.
Guille, a Cherán woman, speaks:
“It was really early in the morning. A lot of people hadn’t gotten up yet. I was one of the first people to respond to the call for action. I was really worried because of all the fireworks set off in the area where the conflict began. Here, we use fireworks to communicate with each other when something important happens in the community. When people hear them, we unconsciously count how many have sounded. If there are more than three, we go out into the street to see what’s happening. That day it seemed like hundreds were set off. Then the church bells began to ring and that’s always a sign that something really big is happening. It’s like saying: Watch out, Cherán. We’re in deep trouble.
“When they heard the fireworks and the church bells, a group of young people joined in almost immediately, and then a lot more neighbors did, too. Seven trucks were burned and five men were detained. The rest got away with the help of our local police. From that time on, we stopped recognizing the authority of the police. Most of them weren’t even from here. And in fact, they were working with the organized crime group.
Read More and View Photos | Los caminos de la autonomía llevan a Cherán
The Winnemem Wintu Tribe will hold a four-day War Dance (H’up Chonas in Winnemem) May 24-27
at the McCloud River site where they hold their Coming of Age ceremonies. The War Dance signifies the tribe’s spiritual commitment to defend at all costs the ceremony from heckling, flashing, and violating disruptions by recreational boaters that have occurred in previous years. More than 400 volunteers from throughout the country, native and non-native, are expected to converge upon the sacred sites to help the tribe close the river and protect the War Dance from interference by boaters.
On April 28th, hundreds of women and men gathered at the capitol building in Sacramento, held a two hour rally, then marched through the downtown district. Speakers said that California needs to be at the forefront to keep the tide from turning against abortion and other women's rights. Protesters insisted that the war on women is very real, and vowed to be heard in the legislature and on the streets.
Related demonstrations were planned in almost every state in the US on the same day. The only states where protests were not scheduled were North Dakota and Mississippi. The California state capital event was supported by Deaf Survivor Advocacy for Empowerment (DeafSAFE), Women's Health Specialists of Sacramento, and Bay Area Coalition for Our Reproductive Rights (BACORR) , amongst others.
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deafSAFE | Women's Health Specialists | BACORR
Members of the Winnemem Wintu Tribe from northern California on Monday, April 16 challenged Randy Moore, U.S. Forest Service Regional Forester, at his Vallejo office to protect indigenous women from racial slurs and physical harm during coming of age ceremonies planned for this June. Although claiming to be unfamiliar with the issue, Moore promised to review the Winnemem's request to close 400 yards of the McCloud River arm of Shasta Reservoir for 4 days so that the Tribe can conduct the ceremony. Moore committed to respond to the Tribe's request by May 1, 2012. While closing the river will mean a lot to the Tribe, it will have no impact on the Forest Service, said Caleen Sisk, Winnemem Chief and Spiritual Leader.
During a Coming of Age Ceremony in 2006, a woman “flashed” the ceremonial participants with naked breasts and yelled racist insults. “If someone did this during Mass, they would be arrested,” Chief Sisk said. “Like many traditional people, we hold our women in high regard," said Sisk. "This beautiful ceremony is vital to our girls' transitioning to womanhood with confidence, grace and knowledge. We must hold this ceremony for our tribe to survive."
Read more and view photos | Winnemem Tribe press release and more photos
The legendary poet, essayist and feminist Adrienne Rich died on March 27, 2012, at the age of 82 in her Santa Cruz, California home. Rich was one of the most celebrated poets of the last half-century and a lifelong advocate for women, gay and lesbian rights, peace and racial justice. She was a key figure in the women’s movement and an uncompromising critic of the powerful.
Women's rights advocates will celebrate the 39th anniversary of Roe v. Wade in San Francisco's Justice Herman Plaza on the same day that the annual "Walk for Life" calls for its repeal in other parts of the city. On Saturday, January 21st
, the Rally for Reproductive Justice will feature music, children's entertainment and speakers from 11 am to 1pm. All activities will take place under large tents so attendees can enjoy the event shielded from forecasted rain showers.
Speakers will include Senator Mark Leno, San Francisco Supervisor David Chiu, Change.org's Women's Rights Director Alex DiBranco, Dr. Sophia Yen of the Silver Ribbon Campaign and Patty Belasalma, President of California NOW.
Tabling organizations will be on hand including ISIS (Internet Sexuality Information Services), World Can't Wait, Bay Area Coalition for our Reproductive Rights, SF NOW, and Religious Communities for Reproductive Justice, amongst others. Local artists the Raging Grannies and Ziva Hadar will perform on stage while balloon twisters and face-painters round out the program for this all ages event.
12PM Saturday Dec 21