Maraming Salamat/ Thanks so much!

 
Hello friends! 
On behalf of Filipinas for Rights and Empowerment and the five exposurists who are headed to the Philippines
 this month, we'd like to say a big THANK YOU!!!  

Thank you all of you who came out to last night's ROCK with YOU Philippine Independence Day After-Party Benefit. 

Thanks to bOb's for donating the space, time and fliers for the event!  

Thanks to the FiRE sisters who helped set up and work the event!   

Thanks to Sistargirl, Dalaga, Burden Clothing, Rough Around the Edges, and chichi & cake for donating your 
awesome products to raffle off and delicious cupcakes to sell!   

Many thanks to our friends and dope DJs Boo and L.E who kept the place jammin all night!   

Thank you to all who have supported us in our endevours to get to the Philippines, by donating funds and medical 
supplies,coming to events, asking for more information about what we're doing, and spending time sending 
us off in a warm way!  

We love you all and can't wait to go and get back to do an awesome report-back of our trip.   

Maraming salamat sa inyong lahat (Thanks everyone!)   

Lovelove,   

FiRE's 2011 Exposurettes:  Krystle C., Hanalei R., Candice S., Lynda T., and Jennine V.   

 
PS: It's not to late to donate to FiRE! Find out how here: http://wp.me/PfyDZ-oD
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ROCK WITH YOU: Philippine Independence Day Parade After-Party Benefit

ROCK WITH YOU
Philippine Independence Day Parade After-Party Benefit

SUNDAY | JUNE 5 | 5-10pm

21 +, $5 to $10 upwards sliding scale*

**Bring medical supplies (band aids, vitamins, anti-fungal/itch creams, neosporin, gauze, thermometers, aspirin, etc.) and get $1 off door**

Filipinas for Rights and Empowerment (FiRE) wants to celebrate Philippine Independence Day with YOU!

After the parade come kick it with us at bOb Bar (235 Eldridge btwn Houston & Stanton; F to 2nd Ave).

*Proceeds will go toward supporting an exposure trip to the Philippines for FiRE women this summer as well as medical and educational supplies for the communities we will be visiting. Want more information on FiRE’s expo program? Can’t make it after the parade but want to donate to the cause? Visit: http://firenyc.org/ for more info!

FEATURING:

|| DJ L.E (http://giantstep.net/artists/1079) ||

|| DJ Boo (http://myspace.com/djboo) ||

|| $1 cupcakes ||

|| Raffle prizes from Sistargirl (http://sistargirl.etsy.com/), Dalaga (http://dalaganyc.com/), Burden Clothing (http://burdenclothing.com/), and more ||

|| Drink specials all night ||

PINAYS TAKE STAND AGAINST POLICE HARASSMENT AT PIDC FAIR

Press Release
June 4, 2008

Reference: Jackelyn Mariano, member of Filipina for Rights and Empowerment (FiRE), email: fire.nyc@gmail.com

PINAYS TAKE STAND AGAINST POLICE HARASSMENT AT PIDC FAIR

Madison Avenue, NYC – During last Sunday’s Philippines Independence Day Celebration (PIDC) parade, Filipinas for Rights and Empowerment (FiRE) and other member organizations of National Alliance for Filipino Concerns (NAFCON) were consistently harassed by the police for unknown reasons. The NYPD persistently tried to silence and cease their political street theatre, which exposed the commercialization of the PIDC and the current rice crisis in the Philippines. The constant harassment reached its limit, when NYPD threatened to arrest, and violently seized two youth members of Kapatirang Pilipino (Kappa Pi fraternity) for just playing drums. In response, women from FiRE made it loud and clear to the NYPD that enough was enough.

“When the NYPD took our friends away for playing drums, it didn’t make any sense. This is New York City, people play drums everywhere–in the parks, in the street, in the subways! Why can’t we play drums during our celebration of independence? It was JUST MUSIC!” responded Jackelyn Mariano, member of FiRE, to this past Sunday’s incident.

Mariano and other women from FiRE, quickly responded to the possible apprehension by leading the chants with fellow bystanders, “JUST MUSIC! WHAT’S WRONG WITH THAT?!?” NYPD quickly responded as well and made a barricade of officers blocking the rally and the drummers. To support the youth who were apprehended, the FiRE women led the chants non-stop for an hour until the police released them. Although, the women’s voices were already drawn out from the chanting during the parade and the overwhelming stress with the thought they might be arrested, FiRE women stayed vigilant and didn’t stop the chanting until the youth were free.

The Kappa Pi brothers were charged with “failure to disperse” have been sentenced to a court summons, however, this is still an injustice considering that they were only playing drums.

Please join FiRE and NAFCON groups in an indignation rally of last Sunday’s events in front of the Philippine Consulate, 556 Fifth Avenue, this Friday, June 6 at 5:30 p.m.

To see the consistent harassment by the NYPD, please click on this link http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a2giPMd1DlE.

For more information, contact firenyc@gmail.com. ###

REPRESSION AT THE PIDC! PARADERS ARRESTED, HARASSED FOR CELEBRATING INDEPENDENCE DAY!

News Release
June 4, 2008

Reference: Rico Foz, National Alliance for Filipino Concerns (NAFCON), email: nafconusa@yahoo.com

REPRESSION AT THE PIDC! PARADERS ARRESTED, HARASSED FOR CELEBRATING INDEPENDENCE DAY!

NEW YORK– Approximately 100 parade marchers from the National Alliance for Filipino Concerns (NAFCON) and BAYAN USA were met with repetitive harassment by the New York Police Department (NYPD) and security forces of the Philippine Independence Day Celebration (PIDC) Committee last Sunday during the annual Philippine Independence Day Parade. The joint contingent was projecting issues of the rice crisis in the Philippines and protesting the local commercialization of the annual Philippine Independence Day parade and fair along Madison Avenue. Constant harassment from the NYPD, in connivance with the PIDC organizing committee and Philippine Consulate, ended with the arrest of two members of the Filipino community fraternity, Kapatirang Pilipino, or Kappa Pi.

Unwarranted Arrest

35 year-old Rusty Fabunan and 18 year-old Wilfred Recaido of Kappa Pi were stopped from playing music in the middle of the crowded fair. The two members were playing makeshift drums out of buckets and entertaining onlookers when they were dragged by NYPD off to a corner and arrested for alleged “failure to disperse”. Onlookers who had been entertained by the street music quickly rallied for the NYPD to let Fabunan and Recaido go. A crowd of youth gathered and confronted the NYPD with loud chants shouting, “Just music… What’s wrong with that?” and “Is this how we celebrate independence?”

Robert Roy, Executive Director of the Philippine Forum, who was also physically harassed by NYPD, recounts,”They were just arbitrarily grabbed in a very violent way. Why? They were only playing music, beating drums, and making the crowd happy. There is no policy in the PIDC guidelines that prohibits playing drums in the fair or convening a crowd while playing music. This was a targeted act against us led by the PIDC committee and the Philippine Consulate. Both been targeting our contingent with harassment for years now. They are threatened by the message we bring to the PIDC and want to censor us.”

Police Escorts

As early as 10am last Sunday, while the NAFCON-BAYAN parade contingent was assembling along 39th Street at 6th Avenue and rehearsing their chants, Roy believes the officers of the PIDC committee were already planning their measures to censor and disrupt the group, including calling on NYPD to escort the contingent throughout its walk down Madison Avenue.

After a well-received march down Madison Avenue chanting “Habang si Gloria ay nasa itaas, masyadong mataas ang presyo ng bigas!” and “How on earth can we be free, with a thousand dollar booth fee? How on earth can we be free, change your ways PIDC!”, NAFCON-BAYAN paraders were obstructed from entering the main fair area by a blockade of NYPD. After holding an impromptu rally calling for an end to the local commercialization of the annual parade and fair, NAFCON-BAYAN marchers were eventually let in and then continually harassed when they carried their placards inside. Finally, after hours of listening to non-patriotic (American) songs from the fair’s main stage, Filipino youth seeking genuinely Filipino cultural performances started playing street music that convened a small crowd of onlookers. It was at this point that the NYPD grabbed the buckets from Fabunan and Recaido and arrested them.

“Sa sarili nating Independence Day Celebration, hindi kami free,” (On our own Independence Day Celebration, we’re not free), stated Recaido.

“We’re not here to make trouble. We just don’t want to listen to loud American music all day on this celebration of Philippine Independence. We’re just calling for positive change, and for that, we are harassed,” Fabunan stated. “It’s ironic that in this celebration of our so-called independence, we are not afforded our democratic right to freedom of speech and expression.”

History Repeats Itself, and Gets Worse

In 2005, the same contingent was stopped from marching the parade route by the NYPD for carrying placards calling for Philippine Consul General Cecilia Rebong to move out of her $10,000 a month condominium in the Trump Towers in Manhattan. In 2006, marchers protested the state of extrajudicial killings and enforced disappearances of activists in the Philippines. In 2007, police stood guard as NAFCON marchers criticized the Philippine Consulate for it’s collusion with SentosaCare LLC, a healthcare management company in New York that has been known to illegally recruit nurses from the Philippines. This year, NAFCON and BAYAN USA marchers joined forces to protest the local commercialization of the PIDC, carrying placards denouncing the $1000+ rental fee for a fair booth. Many believe the local commercialization and high rental fees for booths is another local corruption scheme by the Philippine Consulate to pocket more money out of the Filipino community.

Philippine Consulate Still Behind the PIDC

“It is becoming more and more evident that the PIDC committee, which is led by the Philippine Consulate, is responsible for this. How ironic that on the website of the Philippine Consulate, it states its mission is to protect and serve the rights of overseas Filipinos in the US. But the history of the PIDC shows us that most of the time overseas Filipinos in New York need to protect themselves from the Philippine Consulate, a significant violator of our basic rights to speech and assembly,” Roy added.

“Despite the PIDC’s disapproval of our message, the vast majority of parade and fair goers were in support of us,” states Christina Hilo of Filipinas for Rights and Empowerment (FiRE), also part of the NAFCON-BAYAN contingent. “The PIDC should be a venue for all Filipinos to express themselves truthfully and enjoy their rights, not a day of repression and censorship.”

Release from Arrest, and Continued Indignation

As for Fabunan and Recaido, they were eventually released on the spot due to pressure from street protesters and issued a summons. Fabunan quickly thanked the crowd of supporters. “If not for the united voices of chanters pressuring the police, I would have spent tonight in jail,” Fabunan stated. “Organized community members fighting on the streets is always a powerful force that can shift the situation to the unexpected.”

In an emergency NAFCON-BAYAN last night, an indignation rally will take place in front of the Philippine Consulate this Friday at 5:30pm. The contingent will continue on with its campaign to dismiss the charges against Fabunan and Recaido, as well as pressure the Philippine Consulate to lower the rental fees of fair booths for the PIDC, including a thorough audit of all accumulated PIDC funds from the past celebrations. “These funds should go towards Filipino community projects, not in the large pocket of the Philippine Consulate,” Roy ended.

For more information, contact the BAYANIHAN Filipino Community Center at 718-565-8862. ###

PINAYS TAKE STAND AGAINST POLICE HARASSMENT AT PIDC FAIR

Press Release
June 4, 2008

Reference: Jackelyn Mariano, member of Filipina for Rights and Empowerment (FiRE), email: fire.nyc@gmail.com

PINAYS TAKE STAND AGAINST POLICE HARASSMENT AT PIDC FAIR

Madison Avenue, NYC – During last Sunday’s Philippines Independence Day Celebration (PIDC) parade, Filipinas for Rights and Empowerment (FiRE) and other member organizations of National Alliance for Filipino Concerns (NAFCON) were consistently harassed by the police for unknown reasons. The NYPD persistently tried to silence and cease their political street theatre, which exposed the commercialization of the PIDC and the current rice crisis in the Philippines. The constant harassment reached its limit, when NYPD threatened to arrest, and violently seized two youth members of Kapatirang Pilipino (Kappa Pi fraternity) for just playing drums. In response, women from FiRE made it loud and clear to the NYPD that enough was enough.

“When the NYPD took our friends away for playing drums, it didn’t make any sense. This is New York City, people play drums everywhere–in the parks, in the street, in the subways! Why can’t we play drums during our celebration of independence? It was JUST MUSIC!” responded Jackelyn Mariano, member of FiRE, to this past Sunday’s incident.

Mariano and other women from FiRE, quickly responded to the possible apprehension by leading the chants with fellow bystanders, “JUST MUSIC! WHAT’S WRONG WITH THAT?!?” NYPD quickly responded as well and made a barricade of officers blocking the rally and the drummers. To support the youth who were apprehended, the FiRE women led the chants non-stop for an hour until the police released them. Although, the women’s voices were already drawn out from the chanting during the parade and the overwhelming stress with the thought they might be arrested, FiRE women stayed vigilant and didn’t stop the chanting until the youth were free.

The Kappa Pi brothers were charged with “failure to disperse” have been sentenced to a court summons, however, this is still an injustice considering that they were only playing drums.

Please join FiRE and NAFCON groups in an indignation rally of last Sunday’s events in front of the Philippine Consulate, 556 Fifth Avenue, this Friday, June 6 at 5:30 p.m.

To see the consistent harassment by the NYPD, please click on this link http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a2giPMd1DlE.

For more information, contact firenyc@gmail.com. ###