Legislators, RH Bill Advocates lead protesters in Occupy for RH Movement
RH Bill advocates which include Kaka Bag-ao, Walden Bello and Antonio Tinio lead the "Occupy Congress" protest.
Photos from Day 1 of the Occupy for RH Movement. Click for more.
(SPOT.ph) Hundreds of Reproductive Health advocates and legislators marched to the South Wing of Congress on the afternoon of November 21 to mark the first day of the Occupy for RH movement.
Carrying purple placards and chanting, "RH Delay, 11 deaths every day" and "RH Bill, sampung taon na, sobra na, tama na. (RH Bill: 10 years of waiting, enough is enough."), protestors led by legislators Kaka Bag-ao, Walden Bello and Antonio Tinio tied purple ribbons on the gate of Congress and hoisted purple banners.
Inspired by the Occupy Wall Street movement, which now has a global following, Judy Miranda, Secretary General of Partido ng Mangagawa, read from a prepared statement:
"As we mark 10 years since the first Reproductive Health Bill was written, we stand outside the gates of Congress frustrated that our voices have not been heard. For 10 long years, the Bill has suffered countless delays at the hands of the elected legislators who listen more to the bullying of the Catholic bishops than the cries of the poor.
Starting today, tomorrow and until whenever, we will live here and camp out here until the RH bill is voted on and passed. It has been 10 years since the first RH Bill was introduced and it is still being discussed. There is nothing more to discuss," added Bag-ao.
"It is important that we get the RH Bill voted on and passed before the year ends and Congress breaks for Christmas break. Once we resume sessions again next year, legislators will start preparing the next election year," said Elizabeth Angsioco, chairperson of the Democratic Socialist Women of the Philippines.
"Yes, these are desperate measures. These are desperate times. We need this bill to be passed and we need it now. We are going to stand by here until it does," Dr. Junice Melgar, executive director of Likhaan and Coordinator of the Steering Committee of the Occupy for RH Movement.
Other activities at the Occupy for RH Camp include teaching sessions. Upcoming activities include a Historical Walk of the RH Bill by Carlos Celdran and a talk on sexuality by Dr. Margie Holmes.
For information and daily schedule on Occupy for RH Activities may be found on www.rhbill.org/occupy.
Photos by Ana Santos