NY/NJ Filipinos Launch Philippine Solidarity Week, Protests Plans of U.S. Military Build-Up in the Philippines

February 1, 2012

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Reference: Yves Nibungco, Regional Coordinator, BAYAN-USA
Contact: bayanusa.ne

NY/NJ Filipinos Launch Philippine Solidarity Week,

Protests Plans of U.S. Military Build-Up in the Philippines

New York, NY- BAYAN-USA launches Philippine Solidarity Week, a week-long series of events that raises awareness and solidarity for the continuing struggle for Filipinos to gain national liberation. As a result of the experiences during the Philippine-American War, the US government and military developed war tactics, torture, killing, occupation, and counter-insurgency operations they have used in many other countries such as in Korea, Vietnam, Iraq, and Afghanistan. This year, Philippine Solidarity Week begins on February 4th, the 113th anniversary of the 1899 Philippine-American War with a rally in front of the Philippine Consulate in New York to protest the proposed U.S. military build-up in the Philippines.

Protest against militarization in the Philippines

Government officials from the U.S. and the Philippines recently confirmed reports by Washington Post regarding ongoing talks of increasing U.S. military operations and stationing in the Philippines. According to an unnamed Philippine military general, the talks allegedly aim to increase drills to test military readiness to protect offshore oil and natural gas platforms in the South China Sea.

This, according to Filipino activists, is a renewed assault on Philippine sovereignty and is more of a threat to Philippine national security. “This is clearly part of the U.S. government’s attempt to maintain its domination over the region’s economic sphere and contain its biggest economic rival, China”, stated BAYAN-USA Chairperson, Bernadette Ellorin. Following the demonstration outside of the Philippine Consulate, BAYAN-USA will be marching to Times Square to join the larger No War on Iran rally, a nationally coordinated event via the United National Antiwar Coalition (UNAC).

Building Solidarity for the Philippines

Philippine Solidarity Week is organized by BAYAN-USA to raise awareness regarding the struggle of Filipino people back home and to build support for it here in the U.S. It is a whole week of events starting from February 4 onwards, to signify the beginning of the Philippine American war of 1899.

Saturday, Feb. 4, 2012

Stand Against U.S. Imperialist Aggression on Iran & Military Build-up in the Philippines

Description: This Feb. 4, exactly 113 years since the Philippine-American war of 1899, BAYAN-USA calls on the community to come and join us in front of the Philippine Consulate in New York to protest President Benigno Aquino III’s continued puppetry to American governments’ hegemonic schemes. We will be holding a picket in to register our opposition against Aquino’s puppetry, against the planned military build up in the Philippines and the throughout the Asia-Pacific region. We will then be marching to merge with the bigger anti-war on Iran at Times Square.

Venue Information: Feb. 4, 12:00pm-12:30pm, Philippine Consulate General, 556 Fifth Avenue, New York, NY 10036

No War On Iran: National Day of Action

Description: BUILD FEB. 4 EMERGENCY DEMONSTRATION TO STOP U.S. WAR AGAINST IRAN

NO WAR! NO SANCTIONS! NO INTERVENTION! NO ASSASSINATIONS

A broad spectrum of U.S.-based anti-imperialist and anti-war organizations, including the IAC, agreed on a Jan. 17 conference call to hold coordinated protests across the country on Saturday, Feb. 4. The demands will be: “No war, no sanctions, no intervention, no assassinations against Iran.”

Sunday, Feb. 5, 2012

International Migrants Alliance: 1 Million Signatures Campaign Launch

Description: The International Migrants Alliance (IMA) invites community organizations representing immigrants from different countries to an assembly to coordinate the campaign for the collection of 1 million signatures for a just and humanitarian immigration reform promoting the integration of the undocumented into society, permitting a dignified life, access to education, healthcare, and work without being victims of exploitation, abuse and violence. The petitions will be delivered to the White House and the US Congress.

Venue Information: Feb 5, Sunday, 2:00pm at the Bayanihan Community Center, 40-21 69th St, Woodside, NY 11377; Take 69 St (7), Jackson Hts – Roosevelt Av (E, F, M, R), 74 St – Broadway (7)

Saturday, Feb. 11, 2012

Philippine Social Realities Exposure Trip 2012 Info Session (Sponsored by NYCHRP)

Description: This summer NYCHRP is going on a Philippine Social Realities Exposure Trip and we want YOU! Join us for a special information session to find out about the awesome summer that is to come!

Venue Information: SATURDAY FEBRUARY 11th, 7:00pm; doors open at 6:30pm; at the International Action Center, 55 W. 17th Street / 5th Floor, NYC

Sunday, Feb. 12, 2012

NEIGHBORHOOD WORD: “LOVE & SOLIDARITY IN QUEENS”

Pinoy Poets and Writers Celebrate Love Stories, Philippine Independence, and the Filipino-American Community in Queens

Description: FREE AND OPEN TO THE PUBLIC. Please join us for a fun-filled literary and community reading celebrating love stories and love of country. A gathering of acclaimed Pinoy poets and writers come together with Filipino community members in Queens to share fiction, poetry, hip-hop, and more. Join us for a rollicking afternoon of storytelling, camaraderie, and mouth-watering Filipino food!

Venue: Feb 12, Sunday @ 3:00pm at the Bayanihan Community Center, 40-21 69th St, Woodside, NY 11377; Take 69 St (7), Jackson Hts – Roosevelt Av (E, F, M, R), 74 St – Broadway (7)

Monday, Feb. 13, 2012

Portrait of a Freedom Fighter: A Book Launching of the Selected Writings of Jose Maria Sison Vols. 1-4

Description: The Selected Writings of Jose Maria Sison, Volumes 1-4 is a comprehensive compilation of Sison’s writings on socialism, imperialism, war and plunder, peace, terrorism, and peoples resistance spanning over 40 years, a period of time in which Sison served as fiery young leader in the Philippine revolution.

Venue Information: Monday, February 13, 7-9pm at Bluestockings Bookstore, 172 Allen Street (between Stanton and Rivington), New York, New York 10002. Trains: F/M to 2nd Avenue or J/M/Z to Essex/Delancey Sts.

Wednesday, Feb. 15, 2012

Why Occupy? Teach in @ St. Peter’s College (Social Justice Dept)

Description: St. Peter’s College Social Justice Program and Occupy Jersey City is bringing “WHY OCCUPY: Inspire, Organize, Mobilize For a Brighter Future” to Jersey City! An all-day event on the origins of the Occupy Wall Street Movement and other social movements. Discussions, exhibits, arts, culture, connections and making history. FREE and OPEN TO THE PUBLIC! Light refreshments will be provided.

Venue Information: Wednesday, February 15, 2012; 8:30am to 1:00pm; McIntyre Lounge, St. Peter’s College, 2641 John F. Kennedy Blvd, Jersey City, NJ

For more information and a full listing of events during Philippine Solidarity Week, visit http://www.philippinesolidarity.wordpress.com.

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FilAm History Month with FiRE

Come spend FilAm History Month with FiRE at our events!
October 14: Thursday – Don’t Worry, Be Happy 2!


6:30-10:30
Bob’s
bOb 

235 Eldridge St.
New York, NY 

Take the F train to 2nd Ave on Thursday, October 14th and start closing off the week with Filipinas for Rights and Empowerment (FiRE), New York Committee for Human Rights in the Philippines (NYCHRP) and unbeatable happy hour specials!

October 15: “Unpacking Violence” Exhibit
In collaboration with Nodutdol & Malcom X Grassroots Movement presents…Unpacking Violence
Gallery Exhibit Reception 

Friday, October 15, 2010
5pm-9pm
This is a FREE event/ All ages

Gallery 1199
310 W. 43rd St. (betwn. Eighth & Ninth Aves.)

sponsored by the Bread and Roses Cultural Project

Sunday, October 17: Proud to Be Pinay Brunch
Pinay brunch is a social space for any and all Filipino-identified folks to come through, eat and chat! Our theme this brunch is “Proud to Pin@y”!
Sunday October 17
1230pm to 430pm
Email Cris for the location at cshilo@gmail.com!
Wear something that reflects Filipino heritage (malong, tubaw, kapis, filipiniana) or wear an arrangement of the Philippine flag colors white, blue, yellow, or red.

October 22-24: Dukot (Disappeared) Film Screening
FRIDAY, October 22, 2010 – 6:30PM
CUNY Baruch College
55 Lexington Ave.
New York, NY 10010
http://www.brownpapertickets.com/event/132113SATURDAY, October 23, 2010 – 6:30PM
Stevens Institute of Technology
Buchard 118
1 Castle Point on Hudson
Hoboken, NJ 07030
http://www.brownpapertickets.com/event/132117 

SUNDAY, October 24, 2010 – 6:30PM
Downtown Community Television (DCTV)
87 Lafayette Street
Chinatown, NY
http://www.brownpapertickets.com/event/132119

Watch the Trailer and Buy your TICKETS today | $10/EACH | LIMITED SEATS AVAILABLE!Tickets available to purchase online at brownpapertickets.com
To purchase tickets in person for the Baruch College or DCTV shows, email: nychrp@gmail.com
To purchase tickets in person for the Stevens Institute of Technology show in Hoboken, email: anakbayan.nynj@gmail.com or yvesnibungco@gmail.com 

October 30: FiRE Symposium

Saturday, October 30 at Hunter College, HW 1736
930am – Registration
10am-12nn – Morning session
12nn-1pm – Lunch
1pm-3pm – Afternoon session
FiRE’s gettin’ our learn on! We’ll have a morning and afternoon session of political education about various topics!
Interested? Email Valerie at fire.nyc@gmail.com

Fil-Ams Look Back at Martial Law by Remembering Today’s Struggle Against Tyranny

Martial Law Anniv 2009 - BAYAN USA GABRIELA USAFor Immediate Release
September 22, 2009

Reference: Valerie Francisco, Chair, Filipinas for Rights and Empowerment (FiRE-GABRIELA USA), fire.nyc@gmail.com

Fil-Ams Look Back at Martial Law by Remembering Today’s Struggle Against Tyranny

New York, NY–September 21, 2009, marked the 37th Anniversary of the Declaration of Martial Law in the Philippines. Members of BAYAN-USA, Anakbayan New York/New Jersey, New York Committee for Human Rights and Filipinas for Rights and Empowerment (FiRE), commemorated this event by holding an educational forum at Bluestockings Bookstore in New York City. The well-attended forum featured speakers who were activists in the Philippines during the Martial Law era. Ramon Mappala and Ramon Castaneda each shared their experiences as youth in the Philippines during this time. Both men were detained by Philippine military and intelligence forces that sought to quell their organizing efforts as members of opposition groups against the Marcos regime.

Members of FiRE performed an interpretive dance as a tribute to victims of human rights violations. “We want to honor the Filipino people’s resistance against state oppression that continues to this day. We especially want to pay tribute to Melissa Roxas, a Fil-Am activist like ourselves, who was recently abducted and tortured by the Philippine military,” claimed Jackelyn Mariano, a FiRE member. “Despite the Philippine government’s attempt to silence Melissa, she resisted and is today a strong voice of truth.”

BAYAN-USA sought to educate the new generation of Fil-Am youth about the conditions of the Philippines and paint a clear picture of what their parents may have experienced and encountered during their own youth. Valerie Francisco, chairperson of FiRE, stressed the importance of connecting the past to the present. “Filipino people today must recognize the similarities between the conditions of the Marcos Regime during Martial Law and the conditions of the current regime under President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo. Human rights violations are at an all-time high. Violence against women is increasing as militarization of Philippine communities increases,” Francisco said. “Freedom of speech is in as much danger today as it was during Martial Law.”

The forum concluded with a candlelight vigil, as Taospuso sang original songs, to also pay tribute to the late Benigno “Ninoy” Aquino and President Corazon “Cory” Aquino.

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State of the Nation Address (SONA) 2009

This July 27, 2009 marks the ninth State of the Nation Address by President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo. On this day, she will address the Philippines about the economic, social, political, and military conditions. Please join FiRE along with BAYAN USA, Anakbayan NY/NJ, NYCHRP (New York Committee for Human Rights in the Philippines), NAFCON (National Alliance for Filipino Concerns), and Philippine Forum for a community forum to discuss the issues that affect all Filipinos (stateside and world-wide).
SONA FLYER

FILIPINO-AMERICANS IN NY SAY “10 YEARS IS ENOUGH! JUNK VFA!”

News Release
29 May 2009

Reference: Jonna Baldres, BAYAN USA North East Co-Coordinator, jonnabebeh@gmail.com

FILIPINO-AMERICANS IN NY SAY “10 YEARS IS ENOUGH! JUNK VFA!”

NEW YORK – BAYAN USA, with its member organizations and allies in the New York/New Jersey area, gathered on May 27 in front of the Philippine Consulate in 5th Avenue to call for an end to the 10-year-long Visiting Forces Agreement (VFA), a treaty between the Philippine and the United States governments believed by the said alliance to have been detrimental to the Filipino people.

“May 27 marks 10 years of institutionalized atrocities against our people. But in fact, it’s not only 10 years, but more than a hundred years, that we have been suffering in the hands of the US imperialist. The Philippine-American war of 1899 had been the blueprint of the US war of aggression, and the human rights violations inflicted upon our people are much worse than ever to this day,” Gary Labao of the New York Committee for Human Rights in the Philippines (NYCHRP) said.

BAYAN USA also lambasted the Philippine government and demanded its accountability for the abduction of Melissa Roxas, a Filipino-American activist and a member of Habi Arts, a cultural organization and a member organization of BAYAN USA in Los Angeles. Melissa came back to the Philippines in 2007 to work as a full-time health worker and was abducted by who were suspected to be military elements last May 19 in Tarlac with two other companions. Days later, Melissa and her companions were surfaced, but BAYAN USA remains firm in its stand to demand justice for the abducted.

“I personally know Melissa, and I know very well that she does not deserve these acts of monstrosity carried upon her by the Philippine government. This abduction of Melissa and her companions is part of the Philippine government’s anti-insurgency program, Oplan Bantay Laya II, to serve its own economic and political interests. And as binded by the VFA, the US also takes part in this crime by funding the military activities and exercises of the Philippine government through the US tax dollars! And the US, now under the leadership of Obama, had just put one of its citizens in danger by letting Melissa get in the hands of these bloody perpetrators!” Bernadette Ellorin, BAYAN USA Chairperson, exclaimed in outrage.

Aside from the abduction of Melissa and countless other activists and civilians, the VFA has also resulted to the rape of Filipino women by US military elements. “Vanessa”, a 22-year-old Filipina, was victimized by “John Jones,” a US Marine and a member of the Joint US Military Assistance Group (JUSMAG) operating in the Philippines under the guise of the Balikatan (translated as “shoulder-to-shoulder”) exercises.

“The VFA paved the way for the US to exploit the bodies and the dignity of our fellow Filipinas. After Nicole, another rape victim, Vanessa, has come out but decided not to file a case because she was scared that the Philippine government would only favor the US, just like what happened in the case of Daniel Smith, who was acquitted from charges of raping Nicole. This is a clear indicator that the Filipino people has totally lost its trust in the Philippine government, as it only serves the whims of its master, the US imperialist,” said Melanie Dulfo of the New York-based Filipinas for Rights and Empowerment (FiRE).

Valerie Francisco, Vice Chair of GABRIELA-USA, also added that aside from women, children are also directly being victimized by the VFA, “On February 19, Rafaela Polborido, a 16-month old girl was killed in a province in Bicol, after government soldiers bombed her home with grenades in preparation for the Balikatan exercises. These acts of terrorism against the people, especially children, must be condemned and should not be allowed to continue and prosper!”

Representatives of indigenous organizations who attended the United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues (UNPFII) in New York City from May 18-29 also joined the protest action. Windel Bolinget of Cordillera People’s Alliance (CPA) and Dulphing Ogan of KALUMARAN, also shared stories of cruelty that they have experienced under the Visiting Forces Agreement. From North to South, militarization has been rampant in their communities and their self-determination as indigenous peoples has been disrespected in many circumstances.

Yves Nibungco, Deputy Secretary General of Anakbayan New York/New Jersey, also criticized the Philippine government for spending too much on militarization and the Balikatan exercises instead of providing the Filipino youth with the much-needed books and classrooms.

Allies from International Action Center (IAC), Fight Imperialism Stand Together (FIST) and May 1st Coalition were also present and delivered solidarity messages.

After the action at the Philippine Consulate, the Filipino contingent marched towards the US Armed Forces Recruitment Station in 42nd Street in Times Square while chanting anti-VFA slogans. The whole BAYAN USA and GABRIELA USA contingents staged a die-in right in the middle of the famous New York tourist spot to deliver the message that the Filipino people want the US troops out of the Philippines and that they want the VFA scrapped.

Protest actions led by BAYAN USA were also held in Los Angeles and San Francisco, and teach-ins on the VFA were held in Seattle & San Diego.

For more information: http://www.bayanusa.org

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