Over 45 women’s groups, and human and LGBTQ rights organisations from across the State have come together to organise ‘If We Do Not Rise’ online campaign on September 5 to mark the third anniversary of the assassination of activist/journalist Gauri Lankesh.
It is aimed at raising voices against the sustained, targeted and planned attacks on constitutionally guaranteed rights of the citizens in general and the downtrodden in particular.
The campaign will be spearheaded by the Karnataka chapter of If We Do Not Rise, a nationwide campaign which has over 500 women’s groups, human rights and LGBTQ organisations coming together from 26 States.
Vidya Dinker, State coordinator of the campaign, said they would release factsheets on various issues including violence against women, transgender people, and migrant and sex workers, among others.
The campaign also includes cultural expressions including songs and folk dances and video clips of women, including farmers, weavers, domestic helps, and sex workers, sharing their stories of struggle through Facebook live, apart from videos from the “toiling masses”.
“There will be a release of a State charter of various demands that will be submitted to the Chief Minister and local-level protests and presentation of charter and demands, including local concerns, to authorities,” Vidya Dinker said.
The campaign will also be a protest against amendments to and dilution of existing laws including Right to Information Act, Environment Impact Assessment Notification, 2020, and abrogation of Article 370 among others and the “steady deterioration in the rule of law with alarming cases of police excesses, including custodial deaths.”
“Increasing social and cultural polarisation and the targeted lynching of minority communities who have been constantly at the receiving end of hate and offensive speech has pushed them to live in a constant state of fear,” a statement by If We Do Not Rise (Karnataka Chapter) said.
The statement further added, “Voices of dissent have been systematically silenced and labelled anti-national. Activists, journalists and academics engaged in various movements are languishing in jails, without access to the legal provision of bail. The Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (2019) has been amended and used to implicate, intimidate dissenters and arrest them.”
The Facebook page of If We Do Not Rise (Karnataka Chapter) can be found here: https://m.facebook.com/IfWeDoNotRiseKarnatakaChapter/