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

February 1, 2012


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



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


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.



FilAm History Month with FiRE

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


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
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

SUNDAY, October 24, 2010 – 6:30PM
Downtown Community Television (DCTV)
87 Lafayette Street
Chinatown, NY

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.


Mon 9/21: Martial Law Commemoration 2009

Philippines Martial Law Commemoration 2009
Join member organizations of Bayan USA (Filipinas for Rights and Empowerment, AnakBayan NY/NJ, and New York Committee for Human Rights in the Philippines) for a short film and discussion about life during Martial Law in the Philippines. Guest speaker, Bebot Galvan from KABALIKAT Domestic Workers Support Network will be sharing her life stories during Martia lLaw.  The discussion will be followed by a tribute to the late Ninoy and Cory Aquino and all victims of Martial Law in the Philippines.

Please come if you’ve ever been curious about life for Filipinos during this era, and meet other community workers in the local New York City area.

Bluestockings Bookstore
172 Allen St. New York, NY 10002
Monday, September 21, 2009
$5 suggestion donation



For Immediate Release

March 9, 2009

Reference: Valerie Francisco, Chairperson, Filipinas for Rights and Empowerment, fire.nyc@gmail.com

Filipinas March in Remembrance of Rebelyn Pitao and the Continuation of the Legacy of Militant Women’s Struggle

New York, New York- This past Sunday in Union Square Park, more than a hundred women and men gathered to commemorate the 99th anniversary of International Women’s Day with the theme of Bail Out Women and Our Communities to raise awareness of the economic crisis. Over 30 Filipino Americans from Filipinas for Rights and Empowerment (FiRE) and BAYAN USA marched with other groups from New York City including Al-Awda NY (Palestine Right to Return Coalition), Stella D’Oro Workers who are on strike, and the Women’s Fightback Network, among others. Filipinas from FiRE emphasized crucial issues facing Filipina women here and in the Philippines, including the recent death of Rebelyn Pitao, the Visiting Forces Agreement, and the ongoing economic crisis.

“We are marching today because we are feeling the slow choke of the financial crisis whether it be the loss of our mother’s jobs in healthcare or the steep tuition hikes in our schools making education less and less accessible. We want to make sure American people know that our tax dollars go to the deployment of US troops in the Philippines when there is a need right here in our communities,”stated Jackelyn Mariano, External Education Discussion Director of FiRE. The budget cuts running rampant in New York city institutions have been hammering down on the Filipino community here from the closing of hospitals in Queens, lack of employment and increase in education costs. Disproportionately Filipino women are bearing the brunt as breadwinners and their families are suffering the consequences.

In a speech made during the rally program, Christina Hilo, Vice Chair of FiRE voiced the rich history of Filipino women’s struggle, “We celebrate the women who have paved the way for women, and those women who have defended their communities and who have fought for our independence including Gabriela Silang in the 1700s and Lorena Barros who organized during times of Martial Law. Today, we dedicate this International Women’s Day to Rebelyn Pitao who was abducted, raped, and killed by the military because her father was a leader of the New People’s Army. She did not deserve to die, she was a 20-year old substitute elementary school teacher. Her brutal murder will only add more fuel to our fire to continue to organize our communities for genuine democracy.” Hilo, along with the group of Filipino women from FiRE, marched in solidarity with the thousands of women who marched in the Philippines just the day commemorating the life of Pitao.

After a program in Union Square, the crowd marched to the symbolic Triangle Shirtwaist Factory where 146 garment workers, mostly women, died in 1911. FiRE members chanted and rallied with placards and huge banners that said “JUNK VFA!” and “END MILITARIZED VIOLENCE AGAINST WOMEN”. Filipino women in the US have renewed their vigor in speaking out against US military troops in the Philippines since the debates over the detention of Lance Corporal Daniel Smith, convicted of raping a Filipina in 2006, emerged.

Although there are no “formal” bases in the Philippines, the Visiting Forces Agreement (VFA) allows the US military various privileges like coming to the Philippines without visas, unlike Filipino migrants to the US, and immunity from particular crimes. The increase of U.S. troops leads to an increase in danger and harm to Filipino women and children who are rendered as “collateral damage” or “rest and recreation” objects. Currently, the VFA is the protective sheet that keeps Lcpl. Smith under the protection of the U.S. Embassy. The VFA is a looming example of the unequal character of the US-RP relations and threatens not only Philippine national sovereignty but the welfare of women and children.

FiRE is a Filipino women’s grassroots organization located in New York City that upholds the rights of women, and connects the Filipina diaspora to the ongoing women’s movement in the Philippines with GABRIELA. FiRE, a member of GABRIELA USA, is a chapter under GABRIELA Philippines.