Friday, October 16, 2009

"Stand Up, Take Action" begins today

"Stand Up, Take Action, End Poverty Now!" begins today. Over 100 million people will stand up and be counted as supporting the Millennium Development Goals and will call on world leaders to help meet them.

From this press release that we found at the Millenium Campaign website, is this round up the "Stand Up" events taking place this weekend.

In Nairobi, Kenya, an anti- hunger concert dubbed Free the Hungry Billion, Stand Up and Take Action, will bring together development-conscious musicians from across the African continent, including Oliver Mutukudzi (Zimbabwe), Susan Owiyo (Kenya), Professor Jay (Tanzania), Didier Awadi (Senegal), Ntsiki Mazwai (South Africa), Carlou D (Senegal), Nameless (Kenya) and Wahu (Kenya). Food donations will be collected from attendees.

Also in Kenya, thousands of people are expected to attend the Western Kenya Utamaduni Festival to celebrate the region’s culture through music, drama and bull-fighting performances and advocate for pro-poor development, focused on food security. The event will be hosted by a Member of Parliament who is Chairman of the Public Accounts Committee.

In Nigeria, thousands of people are expected to attend various concerts over the three-day mobilization by performers including Sarah Mitaru and Femi Kuti, who will honor the life and work of renowned African musician/AIDS activist Fela Kuti. The performers will explore the MDGs and the issues of social injustice, exclusion and poverty through song and dance. They will also sign a petition demanding accountability and transparency in their governments in order to achieve the MDGs.

In Zimbabwe, residents from Harare’s high density suburbs are expected to participate in a sports gala organized by Transparency International, where 20 teams will compete in soccer, volleyball and netball games. The activity will provide the residents of the suburbs with a platform to hold their leaders accountable for their promises to end poverty.

In the Philippines, the Millennium Campaign will launch an “I Vote for the MDGs” campaign during “Stand Up” by surveying citizens about the issues they want their leaders to prioritize, in preparation for the May 2010 national and local elections. Results of the survey will be presented to the country’s presidential candidates during a forum on October 20.

In India, citizens will gather at India Gate on October 16 to light a lamp to symbolize the dispersal of the darkness of poverty and illiteracy, against the backdrop of the festival of lights that begins on October 17th across the country. At the event, organized by the National Confederation of Dalit Organizations, intellectuals, Members of Parliament, civil society and youth groups will demand implementation of the Urban Employment Guarantee Act to provide livelihood opportunities to millions of people living in poverty in urban slums across the country.

Also in India, from October 16-18 campaigners from Wada Na Todo Abhiyan will launch the second phase of the “9 is Mine” campaign across more than 100 Parliamentary constituencies, demanding functional health centers and schools in every village, town and city of the country. Across bus stands, schools, hospitals, railway stations, bazaars, parks and places of worship, the public will be asked to assess the functionality of their health centers and schools.

In Bangladesh, tens of thousands of people are expected to attend a massive rally at Bangabandhu National Stadium in Dhaka on October 17, inaugurated by Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina. The rally will encourage the government to make fighting poverty a major goal of Vision 2021, the long-term plan being developed in advance of the country’s 2021 Golden Jubilee. The event will be telecast on 10 screens in other public places throughout Dhaka.

In Nepal, the President will read a Stand Up Pledge with members of the Constituent assembly at an event organized by the National Planning Commission and UN in Nepal at the President’s Official residence, broadcast live on national television. This will be followed by a concert hosted by the Millennium Campaign and Art of Living, where thousands of people are expected to gather in a large open-air theatre in the heart of Kathmandu on October 16 to Stand Up for peace and the reduction of poverty in Nepal. The concert will feature folk songs, religious songs set to the tune of rock music and performances by some of Nepal’s top singers.

A report will be launched on MDG progress at a poverty hearing in Peru on October 17, bringing together rural citizens to call on their government to combat maternal and child mortality and assure healthcare for women. An “alternative budget” with a concrete plan for how the government can achieve the MDGs will be presented to Parliament.

Across Europe, on October 17 from 7:00-9:00 PM(GMT + 1 hour), radio stations will simultaneously play Bob Marley’s song “Get Up, Stand Up.” The song will also be played often throughout the three-day mobilization in Europe, reminding audiences of the mobilization happening across the globe.

On October 16-17, the cities of Barcelona, Munich, Paris and Milan will be awarded with the “MDG Committed City Seal” for their role in promoting the Millennium Development Goals in their cities. Through a partnership between United Cities and Local Governments (UCLG) and the Millennium Campaign, UCLG members across the world will show their commitments to the MDGs by displaying large white banners on City Halls and other government buildings.

In New York City, citizens will Stand Up and Dance on October 16 at a Friday evening party organized by Mercy Corps and the ONE Campaign to pressure the United States Congress to pass the Roadmap to End Global Hunger plan.

At McGill University in Canada, the entire football stadium will be asked to Stand Up against poverty at the university’s homecoming game on October 17.

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