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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NDAA WILL NOT QUELL THE RIGHTEOUSNESS OF DISSENT AS GLOBAL CRISIS ENSUES– BAYAN USA

News Statement

January 2, 2012

Reference: Bernadette Ellorin, Chairperson, BAYAN USA, email: chair@bayanusa.org

NDAA WILL NOT QUELL THE RIGHTEOUSNESS OF DISSENT AS GLOBAL CRISIS ENSUES– BAYAN USA

Filipino-Americans across the US, under the banner of BAYAN USA, and their supporters condemn the last minute moves by President Barack Obama to railroad the signing of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) on New Year’s Eve 2011. In one fell swoop, the White House has not only played a key role in the intensification of political repression in the United States and worldwide, it has ruthlessly exposed its true character of being first and foremost a loyal representative of the ruling 1%.

Threatened by the upswing of class rage and social unrest over intolerable structural economic and political inequities, as recently exemplified by the resilience of the Occupy Movement, the ruling 1% believes that the authorization of the US military to conduct warrantless arrests and indefinitely detain anyone—including US citizens–on US soil or anywhere in the world under the guise of national security will somehow quell growing dissent in the US and internationally by invoking fear. However, history has continuously proven that oppressed peoples readily shed their fear, even in the midst of the state’s repressive apparatus, to fight for the basic right to livelihood and dignity amidst a crisis created by monopoly capitalism, or the over-concentration of the world’s wealth in the hands of a minority elite determined to maintain its hegemonic control.

The worsening of the protracted global economic malaise continues as monopoly capitalism’s crisis of overproduction has spawned the crisis of public debt through its scheme of neoliberalism. While neoliberalism, under the guise of “free market capitalism”, has long-forced semi-colonies such as the Philippines and other parts of Asia, Africa, and Latin America into chronic debt and abject poverty, it has now erupted mercilessly against working people in advanced capitalist countries such as the US, Canada, and the members of the European Union. Neoliberalism’s financialization of capital has produced an acute debt crisis in the US that has ushered in record-breaking unemployment, under-employment, housing foreclosures, lack of access to food, health care, education, and other social services for working people in order to pay off a debt not of their own making.

Amidst human suffering, the ruling financial oligarchy continues to tow the lie that it can recover from the crisis by siphoning trillions in public funds to bail out big banks and financial firms to stimulate economic growth, thereby justifying back-breaking budget cuts and austerity measures on working families. In order to seize control of overseas markets and cheap raw materials, the ruling 1% must act through its lackeys in Washington to beef up its military industrial complex by throwing in more public funds to wage endless overt wars of aggression, proxy wars, covert counter-insurgency operations, militarization, and other forms of intervention abroad. In fact, the NDAA was signed as part of a defense spending bill that would allocate over $600 billion more in US tax dollars towards the country’s war machine, now granting it unlimited powers to act domestically. This includes targeting US activists who express solidarity for national liberation struggles abroad against US intervention, as well as support for governments asserting national sovereignty.

The Filipino people got a taste of abusive expansion of military powers, warrantless arrests, and indefinite detentions during the period of martial law under the former dictatorship of US puppet Ferdinand Marcos. But not even martial law, including the illegal detention and torture of thousands of dissidents throughout the Philippines, could stop a growing and fearless peoples movement for democracy and human rights that was decisive in ousting the Marcos dictatorship, reviving civil liberties, and opening democratic space in the country. It was through the people’s fight against US-directed fascist dictatorship in the Philippines that BAYAN Philippines was born in 1985.

It is expected that the minority of monopoly capitalists, in order to survive the very crisis it created and prolong its inevitable demise, will consolidate itself to concoct schemes of political repression to subdue peoples resistance. But this tiny and fragmented front of monopoly capitalists is no match for the broadening united front of oppressed peoples around the world engaged in class struggle for a better alternative. The NDAA and all other forms of repressive legislation will not succeed in quelling the righteousness of dissent for as the long as the global crisis continues. BAYAN USA proudly links arms with working people in the US to build a movement through education, organization, and mobilization that will defeat the NDAA and all other assaults on democracy, human rights, and civil liberties. ###

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BAYAN-USA is an alliance of 15 progressive Filipino organizations in the U.S. representing youth, students, women, workers, artists, and human rights advocates. As the oldest and largest overseas chapter of Bagong Alyansang Makabayan (BAYAN-Philippines), BAYAN-USA serves as an information bureau for the national democratic movement of the Philippines and as a campaign center for anti-imperialist Filipinos in the U.S. For more information, visit www.bayanusa.org

BUILD A BRIGHT FUTURE: A Reportback on the 4th ILPS

An invitation to a delegate report back from the
International League of People’s Struggles (ILPS)
4th International Assembly & International Festival for People’s Rights & Struggles

BUILD A BRIGHT FUTURE: A Reportback on the 4th ILPS
Saturday, Oct 29th, 2p to 5p
$5-$10 Donations accepted
at the Solidarity Center
55 W. 17th Street, 5th Fl

Between 5th and 6th Aves. (trains to 14th St.)
Light refreshments will be served
http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=268585559840516

As Occupy Wall St. has taken the country by storm, why are developing countries around the world, such as the Philippines, expressing international solidarity for the American’s people’s rage over the effects of capitalism and corporate greed? What are the roots of the global economic crisis and how does this relate to Occupy Wall St. and people struggling around the world? Is there a need for greater cooperation and coordination amongst peoples struggling against the effects of finance capital, which Wall St. represents?

Join us as delegates from New York and New Jersey who traveled to Manila, Philippines in July 2011 speak on their experiences and impressions of the International League of People’s Struggle (ILPS), a global alliance of peoples organizations around the world, and report back on their time spent with Filipino peoples organizations waging a struggle for social liberation.

ILPS member organizations in the Tri-State area include the International Action Center, Al-Awda NY, NY May 1st Coalition for Worker and Immigrant Rights, and BAYAN USA.

sponsored by BAYAN USA and the International Action Center

One Year Later, Filipinos Still in Crisis Under Aquino– BAYAN-USA

Press Statement
July 25, 2011

Reference: Bernadette Ellorin, Chairperson, BAYAN-USA, email: chair@bayanusa.org

One Year Later, Filipinos Still in Crisis Under Aquino– BAYAN-USA

Filipino-Americans, under the banner of BAYAN-USA, are taking part in actions across the US and in Manila during the scheduled State of the Nation Address (SONA) in the Philippines to register strong condemnation and disappointment over the failure of the administration of Philippine President Benigno Simeon “P-Noy” Aquino III to facilitate significant changes to improve the lives of the burdened Filipino people after one year in office.

Citing continuing subservience to foreign dictates and a worsened economic situation as measures of the Aquino’s failure to deliver upon promises made during the election and during last year’s SONA, BAYAN-USA and its allies in the US remain adamantly unconvinced that the administration is genuinely for change.

Shameless US Puppetry

At the heart of Aquino’s failure is unrelenting loyalty and puppetry to US foreign policy.

Within his first year, Aquino has willingly allowed the US to use the Philippines as its puppet state to take advantage of the regional territorial dispute over the Spratly Islands and provoke profit-making military aggression in Asia, and particularly against China.

As war and arms production has become the most profitable industry for the US ruling elite, the US government has in turn been able to rely strongly on the compliant Aquino administration to continue with a sugar-coated version of Arroyo’s deadly Operation Plan Bantay Laya by implementing Operation Plan Bayanihan, per the US State Department’s Counter-Insurgency Guide (US COIN). The objective of this counterinsurgency program is the same as it was for Arroyo’s administration and as utilized by repressive regimes worldwide: to suppress dissent and eliminate opposition using a combination of deceptive and increasingly violent tactics. The end result is the protection of imperialist economic and political interests at the expense of human lives.

The Poor Get Poorer Under Aquino

Under the thumb of US foreign dictates, Aquino has further pushed a neoliberal economic framework that has made life more miserable for the majority of the Filipino people. Landlord families, such as Aquino’s, remain in control of the country’s natural resources and push for privatization. Liberalization continues to hike up the prices of basic commodities such as food, gas, and water out of the reach of Filipino families. Contractualization hurts workers by decreasing wages, sowing job insecurity, and busting unions. Under Aquino, there are over 11 million unemployed Filipinos in the country with virtually zero job growth.

Privatization schemes such as the so-called Public-Private Partnership (PPP) not only serve to bulk up the pockets of wealthy and powerful multi-national corporate investors at the expense of ordinary Filipino citizens and workers. They also widen the gap between the few Filipino families that control the majority of the country’s wealth and political power and the burdened majority who must pay from their own pockets for the risks of private investors. It is the impoverished majority who suffer the most from the Philippine state’s abandonment of its public responsibilities.

Filipinos are left with no choice but to seek opportunities abroad, like in the United States. But in these desperate economic times, many Filipino workers fall prey to human trafficking schemes to the US.

Philippine Government: #1 Human Trafficker

The cases of the Sentosa 27 healthworkers, the Florida 15 hotel workers, and hundreds more similar cases of Filipinos duped into coming to the US under the auspices that they would have contract work waiting for them only to have their money taken, passports confiscated, and be left by their recruiters to fend for themselves as undocumented migrants are another clear measure of the Philippine government’s failure to address the country’s economic woes.

In addition, the Aquino government continues Arroyo’s non-accountability to overseas Filipino workers in distress by not providing adequate social services and protection from abuse, maltreatment, and exploitation abroad.

Last Names Do Not a Great Leader Make

Though he was able to capitalize on his last name and the dirty record of his predecessor to win the election, it is clear that none of these things actually translated into making Aquino a great leader or any improvement to the state of the Philippine nation.

Like Obama, Aquino has proven that he is not much different than his predecessor, particularly with his human rights record. In one year of the Aquino presidency, 45 activists have been slain in politically-motivated killings, 5 have been victims of forced disappearance and over 300 political prisoners remain behind bars. The perpetrators of the 1,206 extra-judicial killings, more than 300 forced disappearances, and over 1,000 cases of torture committed under the previous administration of President Gloria Arroyo remain at-large, including those guilty of abducting and torturing renowned Filipina American poet, artist, and BAYAN USA member Melissa Roxas.

As Aquino delivers his formal State of the Nation Address (SONA) to the Philippine Congress today, Filipino-Americans will be amongst those who refused to be deceived and who understand that real change can only come from ordinary people in collective struggle, not from individual politicians with famous last names. ###

BAYAN-USA is an alliance of 14 progressive Filipino organizations in the U.S. representing youth, students, women, workers, artists, and human rights advocates. As the oldest and largest overseas chapter of Bagong Alyansang Makabayan (BAYAN-Philippines), BAYAN-USA serves as an information bureau for the national democratic movement of the Philippines and as a campaign center for anti-imperialist Filipinos in the U.S. For more information, visit www.bayanusa.org

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