3/27/2007

Spring Cleaning, Spring Planting


The petition may be 800 strong and growing but we need to keep our grandmothers in the forefront of our attention. The current goal is 1000 signatures, but even better would be 200,000 signatures, one for every documented woman and girl enslaved and raped in the Philippines during WWII.

Spring is about renewal, of moving past the dead leavings of winter and allowing new life to sprout and grow. It means uncovering and removing the dreck of our lives, our consciousness, the things we don't need any more, the things cluttering up and potentially choking out the newer things coming through to reach the sun.

It's about seeing what is, what's in our houses and in our closets, both real and in our minds and hearts, dusting off the forgotten treasures, fixing the things that need fixed, letting go of the things we don't need any more.

Spring is also about planting and planning, of hoping and preparing for a better, brighter tomorrow. About rearranging the soil, loosening things up, nurturing new thoughts and new perspectives, then letting them grow into what they are mean to be.

Last year was about exploring for me; exploring different possiblities, pursuing old dreams and new projects, seeing what could and couldn't be done between an 8-to-5 job, two kids in elementary school, a loving husband, and various health issues. It was a rich year, richer than I had imagined, but also scattered, with no one project really taking my whole attention which isn't exactly what I thought would happen.

So with Spring this year, I'm taking a different approach, looking at things from a more integrated viewpoint, learning how to be content with smaller steps of progress instead of seeing a general lack of great movement as failure.

I'm also looking for more focused, external support. I'm great about taking classes, getting training and buying resources/tools. Now I need to tap into the means to nurture projects on a more long term basis.

I picked up a copy of Demystifying Grant Seeking in the hopes I can turn my "Gosh if I only won the lottery" into finding and gaining access to Other People's Money to fund my projects and writing. It's a nice big seed, hefty by book standards, but I'm hoping ample enough to carry me through the next stage of things.

It's about putting vision together with action, but it's also about gratitude and being thankful for what resources I already have, and what bits and pieces of the projects I can accomplish with the time and money at hand.

More blogs may be in order... hard to say, but that's the thing about seeds, the more you have to spread around, the more likely it is that something good will grow.

800 Strong and Growing


Dear Friends and Colleagues,

The petition to support Comfort Women House Resolution 121 is two weeks old and 800 signatures strong. Though it began as a United States petition to House Speaker Pelosi, we have received global support from citizens in Japan, Thailand, Malaysia, The Netherlands, The Philippines, Australia, Germany, Italy, France, Singapore, Austria, Hong Kong, Indonesia and Taiwan. If you go online you can read comments written by our international community, expressing concern, outrage, apologies, compassion, and testimonies from survivors of WWII comfort stations. It is turning into an amazing international document of support.

Yesterday, Prime Minister Abe said, “I express my sympathy toward the comfort women and apologize for the situation they found themselves in.” While this sounds like an apology, Prime Minister Abe is not taking responsibility for Japan’s Imperial Army’s action under the direction of the Japanese government. He is not apologizing for these war crimes. His statement falls short of a sincere apology.

The House Committee on Foreign Affairs has decided not to take action on the Comfort Women issue until after Prime Minister Abe’s U.S. visit April 26-27. This gives the petition one month to grow and to truly support House Resolution 121. If it passes, Congress will ask Japan to take full responsibility for the systematic rape and enslavement of the 200,000 women and girls during WWII.

More importantly, the petition itself sends a strong message to surviving Comfort Women. It honors and respects their experiences and demonstrates to them that the global community hears them and believes them. Their experiences are a part of history.

I urge you to send the petition around. Continue to post the link on your blogs, continue to send out email blasts and to announce the petition to your friends, your colleagues and your family members. After all, this is about our women. This about how we choose to treat one another. Let’s aim for 1000 signatures at the very least. Let’s see if we can find 200,000 signatures for each of the women who suffered during WWII.

To sign the petition go directly to http://www.gopetition.com/petitions/comfort-women-house-resolution.html or for more information you can go to Laban for the Lolas.

Sincerely,

M. Evelina Galang

M. Evelina Galang
Assistant Professor, English
University of Miami
PO Box 249214
Coral Gables, FL 33124
M Evelina Galang website
Laban for the Lolas website

3/21/2007

121 Coalition's Grassroots Lobby Day

(can't make it to the rally? Sign the Petition)

(WASHINGTON, DC) --- Yul Kwon, winner of the TV reality show "Survivor: Cook Islands," will join the 121 Coalition's Grassroots Lobby Day on Capitol Hill on March 22 to push Congress to support H. Res.121.

The resolution, introduced by Congressman Mike Honda (D-California), calls upon the Japanese government to take full responsibility and officially apologize for enslaving thousands of girls and women at military "comfort stations" and raping and torturing them during its colonial and wartime occupation of Asia and the Pacific Islands.

The 121 Coalition -- a national coalition endorsed by nearly 100 civic and human rights groups -- will walk from office to office, meeting with Members of the House of Representatives and their staff to raise awareness of and support for the resolution.

A press conference sponsored by the 121 Coalition will feature Yul Kwon, a graduate of Yale Law School, who once worked for Senator Joseph Lieberman as his legislative aide, and Becky Lee, the runner-up of "Survivor: Cook Islands," a human rights lawyer in Washington who has advocated on behalf of "comfort women" as a member of Justice for Comfort Women. At the press conference, Kwon and Lee will be joined by Jackie Bong-Wright, John Feffer, and Dr. Ok Cha Soh.

Press Conference Details:
When: Thursday, March 22, 2007, 9:00 a.m.
Where: Langston Room at Busboys and Poets Bookstore/Cafe
2021 14th Street, N.W.
Washington, DC 20009

Speakers:
Yul Kwon, winner of "Survivor: Cook Islands" and Asian American leader Becky Lee, a human rights lawyer and runner-up of "Survivor: Cook Islands"
Jackie Bong-Wright, anti-human trafficking activist and author John Feffer, co-director of Foreign Policy in Focus and the director of global affairs at the International Relations Center.
Dr. Ok Cha Soh, President of Washington Coalition of Comfort Women Issue

Program:
Reading of a testimony by Becky Lee
Premiere of a new YouTube video by Eric Byler featuring Yul Kwon discussing H. Res. 121 and introducing testimonies of "comfort women"
Reading of the 121 Coalition Statement

For the video and the coalition statement, go to: www.support121.org.

CONTACT: Annabel Park, 703-944-9661 or annabelpark@mac.com
SOURCE: 121 Coalition
URL: http://www.support121.org

© Copyright 2006-2007, The 121 Coalition (Support 121). All Rights Reserved.

Going for 1000

Updating on this post , Evelina reports:

As of tonight there are 604 signatures on the petition and they're coming in from the Netherlands, Malaysia, Canada, Japan, India and of course the Philippines and the United States. Please encourage one another and your colleagues and friends to view the petition and to sign it. We'd like to get 1000 names at the very least and I think we can do that and more.

Sign the Petition. Bring justice to our lolas (grandmother/elders).

QOTD

Obstacles are those frightful things you see when you take your eyes off your goal.


--Hannah More

3/15/2007

Comfort Women House Resolution

110 Signatures (and counting)

Created by M. Evelina Galang on Mar 13, 2007
Category: Human Rights
Region: United States of America
Target: Everyone
Web-site: LABAN for the lolas
Description/History:
On March 2, 2007 Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe insisted, “There is no evidence to prove there was coercion, nothing to support it (the coercion of WWII military sex slaves).” We ask Congress to urge Prime Minister Abe to look at the evidence, to see the coercion, to apologize and give appropriate reparations. The women are waiting.

Please See Justice for Comfort Women or visit
LABAN for the lolas
Petition:
Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi
H 232 Capitol
Washington DC 20515-6501

Dear Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi,

We the undersigned request you to support House Resolution 121-1H. We urge you to bring the House Floor to a full vote.

Historians and researchers in South Korea and Japan discovered several official war documents in the late 1980’s that established the existence and systematic abuse of WWII Comfort Women. They estimated 200, 000 young women were taken hostage by Japanese soldiers to serve as military sex slaves from all of South East Asia.

After fifty years of silence, surviving Comfort Women have broken the culture of shame to document their experiences of systematic rape and sexual slavery by the Japanese Imperial Army. Their demands are simple -- they would like a formal apology and reparations for the war crimes they suffered, crimes that continue to affect their aging bodies in physically, mentally and sexually abusive ways. The women make their demands in order to reclaim their dignity, and ensure the safety of their own daughters, granddaughters and now, great granddaughters.

The surviving Comfort Women are mostly in their 80’s now. Many are dying. We urge Congress to act swiftly so that some may see justice before they pass away.

Sincerely,

Rebecca Saxton (ne'Mabanglo-Mayor)

***

(Go to Go Petition to sign)

***

Also, find the contact information for your elected representatives and encourage them to sign/support the petition. For Washington go to the Elected Officials Website.

3/12/2007

Because the Body Remembers


LABAN! Fight for Comfort Women

On March 2, 2007 Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe insisted, “There is no evidence to prove there was coercion, nothing to support it (the coercion of WWII military sex slaves).” LABAN! Fight for Comfort Women is an online revolution fighting for justice. We ask Prime Minister Abe to look at the evidence, to see the coercion, to apologize and give appropriate reparations. The women are waiting.

Thank you M. Evelina Galang for keeping our lola's in the public eye and consciousness.

addendum

Please take time to sign the petition calling for support of House Resolution 121-1H

3/11/2007

Continental Divide


Blogs could be books on a shelf, files in a drawer, or even stacks of loose paper on a desk.

Today, though, I've created a new continent on the-world-that-is-this-blog, mostly because I needed the mental space to better focus this space on writing.

So, if you're interested in exploring new territories, you can find Stardust and Moonshine the place to be.

3/03/2007

Free Speech for the Silenced

"Poetry's capacity to rattle governments is not, it appears, confined to totalitarian regimes. A collection of poems by detainees at the US military base in Guantánamo Bay is to be published later this year, but only in the face of strong opposition by suspicious American censors." -- Inside the wire