FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 9, 2008
Reference: Valerie Francisco, Chairwoman, Filipinas for Rights and
Empowerment (FiRE), firstname.lastname@example.org, www.firenyc.org
FilAm Women March in Large International Contingent
in New York
New York, NY--Not even the heavy rainstorm could stop, Filipino American
women from Filipinas for Rights and Empowerment (FiRE) from marching and
chanting in the streets of downtown, Manhattan on March 8, 2008,
International Women's Day. Alongside 300 people and various New York
women's organizations, the soaked marchers kept their spirits up and their
voices to the sky.
"Women all over the world are celebrating resistance on International
Women's Day," stated Valerie Francisco, chair of FiRE, "Filipino women,
especially, have much to be proud of." In New York, FiRE celebrated by
participating in the women's festival at CUNY Hunter College and as a part
of the International Women's Day Coalition in New York.
As member organization of GABRIELA-USA, the Filipino contingent in New
York carried placards calling for the Philippine president, Gloria
Macapagal-Arroyo, to step down from office. Accounts of corruption coming
from Malacanang have been unfolding the past few weeks, pointing to the
president's acquiescence in deals that put millions and millions of
dollars in the pockets of politicians.
In the meantime, Filipino women across the globe are facing critical
issues. The Filipino woman in Japan raped by US marines in Okinawa is
still awaiting justice. Neither GMA nor the US government has issued
apologies. The trial for this Filipino woman has been prolonged as the
Philippine government awaits for the US' lead on this case.
Although, no governmental bodies have sought justice for her, streets in
Okinawa, Manila and New York were filled with outraged Filipino activists
demanding justice. The women rallying side by side with the Filipino woman
in Okinawa and Nicole and the countless others victimized by US
militarization are the ones calling for change.
"A woman president is only as good as what her puppeteer will allow her to
be," Francisco continued, "The real women's power, the real international
women's power is in the everyday woman. We will organize and mobilize
until our demands are met and our collective voices are heard!"
GABRIELA is spearheading a global women's movement, FiRE in New York along
with Pinay Sa Seattle and babae in San Francisco are harnessing power from
US-based Filipino women to strengthen an international struggle.
With their umbrellas painted with "OUST GMA" and their rain boots in tow,
FiRE is leaving a trail blazed with solidarity. Even a little rain
couldn't stop them.
Filipinas for Rights and Empowerment (FiRE) is a mass-based women's
organization serving New York City and its surrounding areas. We connect
the Filipino diaspora to the women's struggle in the Philippines. By
bringing woman-born and woman-identified people together, we challenge
pervading stereotypes and create self-defined Filipina identities. For
more information, please visit http://www.firenyc.org .
FiRE is a proud member of BAYAN-USA, an alliance of progressive Filipino
groups in the U.S. representing organizations of students, scholars,
women, workers, and youth. To learn more about the only overseas chapter
of BAYAN, and the other organizations in our alliance, please visit