Filipinos demand to shut down NJ ICE detention center, condemn forced migration and US imperialism

For Immediate Release

January 28, 2018

Contact: Jessamyn Bonafe, Anakbayan NJ Chairperson,

Filipinos demand to shut down NJ ICE detention center, condemn forced migration and US imperialism

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(Photo: Federico Cruz)

Newark, NJ — Youth and student group Anakbayan New Jersey picketed in front of the Essex County Correctional Facility demanding to shut down the ICE detention center, release migrant detainees, and implement legalization for all! Anakbayan NJ joined over 125 participants and 25 progressive organizations of the Resist the Deportation Machine (RDM) network at this mobilization yesterday on January 27, 2018.

“The attacks on immigrant and migrant communities have brought us here today to fight against the imperialist beast. We know and see first hand the result of the criminalization of immigrant and migrant people,” said Jessamyn Bonafe, Anakbayan NJ Chairperson.

This protest comes at the heels of three reported Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) raids of 7-Eleven stores in New Jersey. To date, we know ICE has recently detained at least two Filipinos in the Hudson County Correctional Facility and another Filipino at the Elizabeth Detention Center.

At the Essex County Correctional Facility, the county receives $117 per day per bed that they allow ICE to use, as per a contract that County Executive Joe Divincenzo and freeholders signed with ICE. The contract promises 800 detainees at the center, making clear that the bed contract is nothing but a rotten profit-making scheme at the cost of migrants and their families.

At the Hudson County ICE location, five people have died since June 2017, three of them this month. Two reportedly committed suicide, and one due to medical conditions. News sources and detainees themselves have described to us before that living conditions are unsafe and medical treatment is difficult to attain in this facility—that is, detainees are kept just barely alive to make the profit quotas. Additionally, Hudson County is in a 287(g) agreement with ICE, allowing local correctional officers to arrest undocumented immigrants and perform other functions of immigration agents.

Bonafe added, “To combat this, Anakbayan NJ and fellow Filipino organizations have created a coalition called the Filipino American Organizations for Community, Unity, and Safety, or FOCUS, which has been working with community members to visit immigrant detainees to help and support them.” Anakbayan NJ has led campaigns for the successful release of two Filipinos detained by ICE in the Hudson County ICE detention center in just the past couple years.

Anakbayan NJ recognizes that detention and deportation are part of the bigger problem of forced migration created by US imperialism and imperialist wars of aggression. Every day, over 6,000 Filipinos are forced to leave the Philippines because of poverty and the plunder of the country’s rich resources by the imperialists and local ruling class. Estimates say that there may be one million Filipinos who are undocumented in the United States.

On the other side of the globe, Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte has done nothing to end forced migration. In fact, the number of Filipinos leaving the Philippines each day is only increasing due to his three corrupt and fascist wars on the people: the war on drugs (read: war on the poor), all-out war against progressive and revolutionary forces, and martial law in Mindanao.

With New Jersey’s high population of Filipinos, it is a particularly important place for Filipinos to join and organize with such local grassroots organizations as Anakbayan NJ, GABRIELA NJ, and Migrante NJ. We invite other Filipino organizations to build Filipino American Organizations for Community, Unity, and Safety (FOCUS) with us, and we welcome building alliances with non-Filipino organizations. Instances of this can already be seen through our work with the United Students Against Sweatshops (pictured above) and the RDM network.

“We are not free until every single one of us are free. So we demand genuine immigration reform! We demand the end of criminalization of immigrants and migrants! We demand to reunite all immigrants to their loved ones! We demand the reintegration of the detainees and assist them in finding jobs, obtaining visas or other documents! We demand legalization for all!” concluded Bonafe.








Anakbayan New Jersey Stands in Solidarity with Ramapough Lenape Sovereign Right to Land and Religious Freedom




May 18, 2017

Anakbayan New Jersey Stands in Solidarity with Ramapough Lenape Sovereign Right to Land and Religious Freedom

The youth and students of Anakbayan New Jersey steadfastly stand in solidarity with the Ramapough Lenape Split Rock Sweetwater Prayer Camp and the Ramapough Lenape Nation’s struggle for sovereignty and religious rights on their land. As a National Democratic Filipino youth-and-student mass organization that seeks to agitate, organize, and mobilize our communities both here and in the Philippines, Anakbayan NJ recognizes that the Filipino people’s fight for liberation is intrinsically linked to the Ramapough Lenape struggle bound together by our common enemy of imperialism plaguing our people and land. The Ramapough Lenape built their camp last October to highlight their fight against the extractive oil industry and the Pilgrim Pipeline threatening their land and water in connection with the fight at Standing Rock. They have since received numerous threats, arbitrary legal violations as a ploy to displace them, and continuous harassment by the surrounding community and law enforcement.

Mahwah Township mayor Bill Laforet claims that the Split Rock Sweetwater Prayer Camp is simply just a campground—which means there are grounds to evict the Ramapough Lenape from their prayer camp because campgrounds are not allowed under Mahwah Township law. This assertion is wrong and strips the Ramapough Lenape of their right to self-determination on their own land—land that is not actually owned by Mahwah Township. The Prayer Camp is also an integral part of their spiritual life, culture, and history of resistance against groups and power structures that continue to uproot the Lenape of their way of life.This is why we call for the immediate recognition of the Ramapough Lenape’s sovereign right to their land and spiritual practices and for the removal of extractive oil industries and the state intimidation and harassment that backs them.

It is the same extraction industries from Ramapough to Standing Rock to the Philippines that continue to violently displace indigenous people from their land and destroy our natural resources. Indigenous people in the Philippines, such as the Lumad in the southern most island of Mindanao, have faced destruction of and displacement from their ancestral lands by multinational corporations which operate mining, logging, and oil extraction industries as facilitated by militarization of their communities from elements of the Armed Forces of Philippines and the paramilitary groups that they create, often from other Lumad that they threaten in surrounding towns. Their schools are attacked and red tagged because of how they empower Lumad children to protect their ancestral domain and defend their rights when multinational corporations prey on them.

The Ramapough, the Lumad, and other indigenous people throughout the Philippines share a long history of resistance to exploitation of their resources and displacement from their land. Just last month, two Lumad leaders, Jo Pagalan (KASALO-Caraga) and Dulphing Ogan (KALUMARAN Alliance of Indigenous People’s Organizations) who were here as part of a national tour to gather support for their ongoing struggle traveled to the Split Rock Sweetwater Prayer Camp to learn about and demonstrate solidarity with the resistance of the Ramapough Lenape. While they have been holding a prayer camp since October, the Lenape come from a rich and extensive history of resistance. Much like the Ramapough Lenape, indigenous peoples in the Philippines have a long, complex history of organizing against US imperialism, whether it is state harassment, legal discrimination, and multinational extractive industries.

As Anakbayan New Jersey, we call on individuals and organizations to demonstrate solidarity with the Ramapough Lenape at the Split Rock Sweetwater Prayer Camp in the following ways:

  1. Attend an emergency four day prayer on their ancestral lands this Friday 5/19 to Monday 5/22.
  2. Mobilize your organizations and allies to bi-weekly organizer meetings to support the concrete needs and vision of the Ramapough Lenape.
  3. Donate supplies to the camp such as zero degree sleeping bags, food donations, portable phone chargers, solar panels with batteries, pine stick fire starters, and hardwood burning wood for stoves.
  4. Visit the land, learn about their rich history of resistance to US imperialist exploitation, and take action to advance their struggle.

Email to attend the next organizer meeting, donate supplies, and/or coordinate a visit.



Dugang kadasig,

With ever more determination,

Anakbayan New Jersey


We Invite You to N30: 11 Years of Fighting for Just & Lasting Peace!

Family, friends, solidarity allies, and supporters: Anakbayan New Jersey cordially invites you to our 11th anniversary, N30! Co-sponsored by the Barrow Mansion.

n30flyerdraft6.jpgartwork by Elvie Mae Parian

In commemoration of the birthday of Andres Bonifacio, the founding of Kabataang Makabayan on November 30th, 1964, and the founding of Anakbayan on November 30th, 1998 we have a lot to celebrate! We are reinvigorating our Education Is a Human Right campaign, and recognizing 11 years of fighting for a just and lasting peace in light of the ongoing peace talks between the Government Republic of the Philippines (GRP) and the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP). Join us to learn more about both campaigns along with delicious dishes made by Yancy Gandionco, music, games, and the warmth of our community here in Jersey City.

Featuring cultural performances by the newly formed organizations, Migrante New Jersey and the Filipina Women’s Organizing Committee!

Tickets are $15-30 (tickets for youth 18 years old and under are $10; if you would like to purchase a youth ticket, let us know in the registration form below). Kindly consider generosity as we are a completely grassroots organization without grant funding. No one will be turned away due to lack of funds.


Facebook event:

ACCESSIBILITY NOTES: Barrow Mansion is a wheelchair accessible space with a ramp and a lift located outside. The main doors are 7 steps up and the party space is located down a ~40 foot hallway. Restrooms are located on the lower level. This is not a scent free event, but we encourage you to respect those who have chemical sensitivities and not wear heavy perfumes or fragrances. If you have any access needs we should know about prior to the event, please make note in your registration or email us at

Anakbayan New Jersey Condemns PNP Attacks on National Minorities Protest at US Embassy

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For Immediate Release
Press Statement
October 20th, 2016

Ruthie Arroyo, Chairperson, Anakbayan New Jersey
Ana Robelo, Deputy Secretary-General, Anakbayan New Jersey
(470) 309-2265,

Anakbayan New Jersey strongly condemns the fascist police violent dispersal and attack of indigenous and Moro people who peacefully gathered in front of the US embassy yesterday on October 19th, 2016. SANDUGO — a new national alliance of indigenous, Moro, and national minorities for self-determination — mobilized calling for a sovereign foreign policy and end to US imperialist control of the Philippines. As the program was closing, a police van rammed through the crowd of mostly indigenous people multiple times as ordered by Col. Marcelino Pedrozo. Over 50 have been reported injured and at least 29 were illegally arrested, including media, members of the medical team, and indigenous youth. Protesters were also met with tear gas and chased and beaten by Philippine National Police (PNP) officers.

Anakbayan NJ recognizes that this is not an isolated incident. On October 18th, SANDUGO marched to Camp Aguinaldo the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) headquarters, and staged a peaceful protest calling for the end of militarization in their communities. Members of the AFP blasted the indigenous groups with water cannons to forcibly disperse the rally. In addition, there are countless other violent and often deadly operations on behalf of the AFP and their paramilitary in the home communities of the same national minorities. Just last week Jimmy Saypan, secretary general of the Compostela Valley Farmer’s Association was assassinated. He fought to block the entry of Agusan Petroleum and Minerals Corporation (AgPet) and has confronted the 66th Infantry Battalion which protects AgPet’s interests. It is these same actors who target community leaders to encroach on the land that are behind his murder. Despite the ceasefire declared as part of the Peace Talks negotiations between the Government Republic of the Philippines (GRP) and National Democratic Front (NDF), the AFP has engaged in offensive operations and many farmers and indigenous people have been killed.

This state violence is in line with the AFP and PNP’s true role in serving and protecting the interests of US imperial plunder and rule that so aggressively targets and kills indigenous people to extract an abundance of natural resources from their ancestral domain. In order for this fascist violence to end the Philippines must end its subservience and control under the United States.

Anakbayan NJ also recognizes that state violence is not isolated to the Philippines, but occurs at the hands of state forces in the United States. Police and military forces continue to arrest, harass, and attack activists who have been protesting the construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL) on Lakota ancestral domain since August 2016. The DAPL which would transport natural gas underneath the Missouri River values the growth of corporate profit while threatening the lives of Native Americans who survive off fresh water sources. Black activists and community members who defend black resistance continue to be surveilled and met with violence as police continue to kill with impunity. Yesterday, Deborah Danner, a 66 year old schizophrenic woman, was shot in her apartment in the Bronx after a neighbor called 911 reporting an emotional disturbance. As Anakbayan NJ, we will continue to support all peoples resistance against all forms of oppression. We stand firm in our belief that our liberation is deeply intertwined with the liberation of all people from imperialism.

As we continue to support the demands of SANDUGO and call for justice, we call on President Duterte to:

  1. Immediately prosecute the Manila Police District Col. Marcelino Pedrozo and Police Officer Franklin Kho and to conduct an immediate investigation of the continuous abuses of the PNP;
  2. Follow through on his assertion of an independent foreign policy. If he is indeed serious about his pronouncement of separating from the US, then he must formally put an end to unequal treaties like the Visiting Forces Agreement (VFA) and the Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement (EDCA). He must to remove all US military presence, and programs like Oplan Bayanihan that install the AFP and paramilitary in indigenous territories and terrorize them;
  3. Develop national sovereignty and economic development that benefits the interests of the majority of the Filipino people.

We assert the right to self determination and right to protest in defense of national minorities’ ancestral land and their people. End militarization and state repression! Protect ancestral lands from foreign interests! Fight for just and lasting peace in the Philippines!



Water is Life! Land is Life! Anakbayan New Jersey Supports the Standing Sioux Nation!

For Immediate Release
Press Statement
October 10, 2016

Laura Emily E. Austria, Vice-Chairperson, Anakbayan New Jersey
Daniel Santiago, Solidarity Officer, Anakbayan New Jersey
(470) 309-2265,

Water is Life! Land is Life! Anakbayan New Jersey Supports the Standing Sioux Nation!

Anakbayan New Jersey stands in solidarity with all indigenous people and their fight to defend ancestral land. Join us today, on Indigenous People’s Rights Day, at Water is Life! Jersey City Stands with Standing Rock, a rally and prayer vigil led by the New Jersey Philippine Solidarity Committee. We enjoin in solidarity with the organizers of this event and the indigenous-led resistance against the Dakota Access Pipeline.

As part of a movement that seeks to fight imperialism, feudalism, and bureaucrat capitalism in all of its manifestations, Anakbayan NJ understands the importance of asserting self-determination and being able to preserve the land and the natural resources that are depended on by so many for survival. To respond in anger is just when those with power take away life-sustaining resources, even if it costs lives. We know that the imperialist’s only priority is to how to maximize profit at the expense of others; the United States is built on the massacre of indigenous people and the enslavement of Black people. Imperialism in the form of neoliberalism allows for the government to abandon their responsibility to their people and, instead, passes it along to private companies; the free market that capitalists and governments have created and are thriving off of; and the repression of groups and individuals that choose to speak out against these human rights violations.

The struggle for indigenous sovereignty can not only be seen in Standing Rock but also in the Philippines. This is especially the case in Mindanao, where Lumad people and other indigenous groups continue to resist against bureaucrat capitalists and the military who continue to exploit their resources and their way of life. About one-half of the mines in the Philippines are located in Caraga, and seven foreign large-scale mining companies either have mines in the region or are working with domestic mining companies already present in Caraga. The outcome is degradation and contamination of the land and water that indigenous people in the Philippines rely on for maintaining their livelihood. We also denounce the state repression taking place in North Dakota against the DAPL, which only enables the militarization of sacred land. The extraction of profit-yielding resources outweighs the consideration of human life.

Through our “Stop Lumad Killings! Save Our Schools!” campaign, we fight against the militarization of Lumad communities and their schools as a way to extract minerals from their resource-rich lands and recognize the importance of the Lumad schools. These schools provide their children with a relevant education — something that the American school system is currently lacking. Not only do these students learn mathematics, reading, writing, and farming, but they also learn about their history of resistance and their rights. To this day, the military and paramilitary continue to occupy their communities and harass teachers, community members, and people’s organizations who work alongside them.

Anakbayan NJ recognizes that the situations in both Standing Rock and the Philippines are manifestations of imperialism that exploits our people around the world. Imperialism allows for the extraction of minerals from resource-rich lands in the Global South for the benefit of those here in the Global North, leaving lands taken away from indigenous peoples and areas rendered unlivable. Imperialism also creates the conditions in which working-class people are forced to take on low-wage jobs — not unlike the jobs responsible for the creation and success of the DAPL — in order to survive despite the wages being unlivable. Imperialism allows for the stagnation of minimum wages and the exponential rise of cost of living. Imperialism also gives the seventeen banks who invested in the Dakota Access Pipeline the opportunity to do so — and for them to protect their assets through attack dogs, armed officers, sound-cannon trucks, and crop dusters that spray pesticides over the land.

As Anakbayan NJ, we call for an end to the exploitation of our lands, our people, and our human rights.  We also demand investment into our communities so that our people are able to access a comprehensive and relevant education; important social services; and a living wage that is not struggling to compete with the rising cost of living.



Press Release: Upsurge & Open Mic

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For Immediate Release
Press Release
August 3rd, 2016

Laura Emily E. Austria, Vice-Chairperson, Anakbayan New Jersey
(470) 309-2265,

Jersey City, NJ — Anakbayan New Jersey would like to invite the Jersey City community and the larger tri-state area to our Upsurge Open Mic and Showcase. Often, marginalized voices do not have spaces for them to speak and be heard. It is especially the case here in a city facing the brunt of gentrification, capitalism, racism, homophobia, and transphobia. As members of a Filipino youth-and-student organization based in Jersey City, we tie the struggles growing up in our city with the struggles of the workers and peasants in the Philippines because they all stem from feudalism and US imperialism. Because we also recognize that our struggles are deeply intertwined with that of others, we have hosted this event in the past as a way for folks in the local area to build and connect with each other in a society where marginalized voices are more than undervalued. If you love to sing, dance, act, or organize, we would love to have you perform! If you want to sell your artwork, you can do it at our Upsurge event! Let’s share community space together!

  • When: August 13th, 6:00 PM
  • Where: Art House Productions, 136 Magnolia Avenue, Jersey City, NJ
  • Transportation: Accessible via PATH trains, NJ Transit buses, and charter buses that run throughout Hudson County, Bergen County, and Manhattan; you can get off at the Journal Square Transportation Center, as the venue is adjacent to the JSQ Transportation Center.

Please contact Joelle at (201) 675-8278 or email Anakbayan NJ at for press inquiries or more information about this event.



Bring Her Home: Anakbayan NJ’s Continued Call for Justice for Mary Jane Veloso


For Immediate Release
June 17th, 2016
Press Statement

Daniel Santiago, Solidarity Officer, Anakbayan New Jersey
Devyn Manibo, Finance Officer, Anakbayan New Jersey
Janisha Rodriguez, Anakbayan New Jersey
(470) 309-2265,

Anakbayan New Jersey continues to condemn the government neglect in the case of Filipina Mary Jane Veloso, a domestic worker who remains on Indonesia’s death row. Within the framework of the current Labor Export Policy (LEP) we have seen multiple human rights violations that have gone unmonitored, unchecked, and allowed these abuses to continue. This is just one case of so many where workers, including migrant youth on the search for work has found herself exploited and misguided and left at the hands of a corrupt and unjust government.

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Filipino Youth and Students Celebrate May Day and Workers’ Rights

For Immediate Release
May 1st, 2016
Press Statement

Monica Macaro, Anakbayan New Jersey
Gian-Carlo Toriano Parel, Anakbayan New Jersey
(470) 309-2265,

Filipino Youth and Students Celebrate May Day and Workers’ Rights

Anakbayan New Jersey celebrates the hard-fought victories of the working class on the 130th anniversary of International Workers’ Day alongside the workers of the New York/New Jersey area. Also known as May Day, this day commemorates the struggle of workers and their victories for workers’ rights. 2016 is especially momentous as the 10th anniversary of the May Day coalition that has gathered immigrant and workers organizations every May 1st for the past decade.

International Workers Day has its roots in the fight for an eight hour work day and the right to organize during the early 19th century in the U.S. An average worker’s workday would typically go for 12-14 hours—upwards of 18-20 for some—and would take place in very unsafe and unjust conditions. Workers began to organize and form unions to protest against their capitalist employers for an eight hour work day without a decrease in pay; these demonstrations were then met with violence by police and armed agents hired by factory owners. Eventually, these protests resulted in the legal establishment for an eight-hour work day, and May Day became an internationally recognized holiday celebrating workers around the world and a day to organize and mobilize for worker struggles.

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Uphold National Sovereignty in the Philippines! Junk EDCA! U.S. Out of the Philippines!


For Immediate Release
Press Statement
April 28th, 2016

Laura Emily E. Austria, Vice-Chairperson, Anakbayan New Jersey
Monica Macaro, Anakbayan New Jersey
Brenda Guzman, Anakbayan New Jersey
(470) 309-2265,

Uphold National Sovereignty in the Philippines! Junk EDCA! U.S. Out of the Philippines!

April 28th, 2016 marks the second anniversary of the signing of the Enhanced Defence Cooperation Agreement (EDCA) between the US and the Philippines. EDCA, as a supplement to the controversial Visiting Forces Agreement (VFA), allows the US to rotate troops for extended stays in the Philippines; to build and operate facilities on Philippine bases; and to store and position non-nuclear weapons and other war materials on these bases. This agreement was intended to strengthen the alliance between the Philippines and the US and foster peace and stability in the region. On March 6th, 2016, both countries agreed on five locations of military bases to station US troops.

Anakbayan New Jersey condemns EDCA and stands firm on our position that EDCA is an unconstitutional and one-sided military agreement. We believe that increased U.S presence threatens the sovereignty of the Philippines by allowing the US greater access to Philippine natural, financial, and human resources without the promise of stability or peace. “The militarization of our families’ communities caused by the EDCA is a major concern for Fil-Ams. Abuses of the local populace criminality, and red light districts sprout up wherever US bases are.” stated Jonathan Zirkle, Anakbayan New Jersey’s Educational Officer.

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