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Global Call to Action Against Poverty and Stand Up 2008

Written By David D'Angelo on Saturday, October 18, 2008 | 10/18/2008

For our Advocacy Saturday post for October 18, I think it is just fitting to mention and give a warm applause and congratulations to the Global Call to Action Against Poverty for a job well done. They have yet again made visible the underlying problem of our society which is poverty. But there are still more actions needed and more than just press statements, rallies and rap music needed to really make a difference in eradicating poverty. Personally we are encouraging everyone to continuously join this campaign to eradicate extreme poverty and hunger and help support organizations like GCAP. So how did this year's campaign go?

The 50-50 Campaign

The 50-50 campaign was a product of the brainstorming of the GCAP Coordinating committee in July. It took its cue from World Vision’s 50 Little Things, a guide book for children on how to help make a better Philippines.

GCAP complimented the printed sign up forms with an online petition and a Facebook cause invitation.

Meanwhile, on the ground, coalition members continued to gather signatures. By the evening of October 17, Stand Up day, the following were the total gathered signatures (including figures from World Vision and UNYAP:

50-50 sign up forms – 26,462
Facebook - 790
Online Petition - 187

Mobilization

Preparations for the October 17 mobilization started Monday, 13 october, the International Day of Action Aghainst Debt and IFIs when GCAP-Phils partnered with Freedom from Debt Coalition for a round table discussion on Debt and Climate Change.

This was followed by street mobilization on October 16, World Food Day with some 200 people demanding government program for food sovereignty and sustainability. In the afternoon of the 16th, GCAP also took part in a round table discussion organized by ODA Watch.

On Day 1 of Stand Up Day, October 17, some 1,500 fisherfolk and supporters from GCAP marched to and picketed the Department of Agriculture. The picket dramatized the fisherfolk’s demand to scrap the free trade agreements, specifically the recent one with Japan (JPEPA).

Simultaneous with the picket, the youth organized a sign-up campaign in a public high school in Quezon City and gathered 1,871 signatures. Down south, youth volunteers also in Cagayan de Oro also organized their own sign up centers and gathered 2,751 signatures.

In the evening, some 2,000 plus people gathered at the Liwasang Bonifacio for the finals of the Rap Against Poverty competition, back to back with Palag Na! an anti-VAT concert. Prior to the competition, there was a showing of the video Missed Targets, produced earlier by GCAP and Social Watch on the failure of the Arroyo government to meet its promises to the poor.

On Saturday and Sunday, artists involved in the rights and welfare of the indigenous peoples organized an art camp. Some 5,000 attended the two whole day event.

Media

Notice for the rap finals saw print in two tabloids and a major daily. The National Coordinator was interviewed over the ABS-CBN News Channel (ANC) in the morning of October 17 with two rappers (significantly, the two won top prize) and over dzBB, a radio station in the afternoon.

Likewise the signature campaign gained the support of local movie and television celebrities.

The Stand Up Take Action Day also merited solidarity messages from two Senators, Loren Legarda and Mar Roxas. Both are rumored to be eyeing the presidency in 2010.

Projection and Continuity

While Stand Up Day is over and done with, the campaign for the eradication of poverty continues, and will now build up for the December Human Rights Day.

The signature campaign will continue until the target one million signature is reached. The rap music composed by the finalists will be produced in an album (with additional songs, also talking of poverty eradication, by members of the board of judges).

Reference: major details of this article was sourced from the report by Joel Saracho, GCAP National Coordinator


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