“People Power is Road to Recovery for Sendong Survivors” Said Youth Group

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Queens, NY- Progressive Filipino youth group, Anakbayan New York, held “R2R: Road to Recovery” last Saturday at St. Patrick’s Roman Catholic Church as community celebrates the 26th anniversary of the EDSA People Power uprising. They called on the community anew to launch people power to protect and save the environment in the Philippines.

The benefit concert, a fundraising as part of the National Alliance for Filipino Concerns’ (NAFCON) Bayanihan for Typhoon Disaster Relief Campaign, featured a wide array of talents. Among the list is the Philippine Chambers Rondalla of New Jersey which performed wonderful authentic Filipino music. It was then followed by Kinding Sindaw, which featured cultural performances from Mindanao, the region most affected by the typhoon Sendong last December.

Bayanihan Kultural Kolektib also performed songs depicting the current situation in the Philippines and the hardships of migrants and how they cope through collective action while away from their loved ones during these types of calamities. Another performer, Melanie Dulfo of Philippine Forum, said, “I wanted my poem to transform people’s sadness, anger and sympathy into action against the ungoverned greed of multinational logging and mining companies, for change.”

Youth and students also offered their talents for the cause. Mike Acoba and Francis Maling of Anakbayan New York both did spoken word pieces that depict the resilience of our people to overcome calamities, both natural and man-made. Rachel Hangad of Pilipinos of Hunter ended the night with a Saxophone performance prompting the young Filipino crowd and members of their families who came to see the performances to a line dance.

People Power and the road to recovery

Just like the uprising in EDSA People Power, R2R: Road to Recovery was a product of different Filipino youth and student organizations in New York coming together for the cause of our kababayans.

According to the organizers, this is their way of upholding the spirit of People Power. “The Filipino youth coming together shows that we are aware and are able to make a difference. It shows that we are proactive,” said Jobeth Arceo, President of the Philippine-American Organization, a Filipino student club at the City College of New York.

Also, “The speakers were able to engage the audience and empowered them in becoming more involved to continue the movement for improving Filipino society,” Ms. Arceo added.
Speakers included Anne Beryl Corotan, current chairperson of Sandiwa, the National Alliance of Filipino-American Youth, and Yves Nibungco, current chairperson of Anakbayan New Jersey.

Youth unite to protect environment

The benefit concert did not only aim to raise funds but also awareness on the environmental situation in the Philippines.

“Large-scale mining, quarrying and logging operations combined with the Aquino government’s neglect are the main culprits for the high death toll in the wake of typhoon Sendong,” said Matthew Cheirs, one of the lead organizers for Anakbayan New York.

Anakbayan announced the start of a petition campaign addressed to Pres. Noynoy Aquino and other Philippine government officials to protect the Philippine environment. The petition is calling on the Philippine government to impose moratorium on multi-national companies that are causing environmental degradation. It also called on a stop to monoculture, cash-crop plantations and to increase the budget on disaster preparedness and management.

“That is why we call on the community to come together and take action to hold Pres. Noynoy, the DENR, and the respective local government units accountable on their failure to protect the welfare of our kababayans. It is only through our collective action can we affect change”, Chiers added.

*Photos by Don Gutierrez

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RSCC: STOP EDUCATIONAL GENOCIDE AGAINST BLACK & BROWN YOUTH! Liberate the schools! Close the prisons!

RSCC: STOP EDUCATIONAL GENOCIDE AGAINST BLACK & BROWN YOUTH! Liberate the schools! Close the prisons!.

The Revolutionary Student Coordinating Committee (RSCC), NYC calls on progressive youth and students to join a Contingent Against Educational Genocide for the March 1 National Day of Action for Education.

Convene at 1:45 PM, Thursday, March 1 at the intersection of Duane Street and Elk Street in Manhattan near the African Burial Ground. Look for the banner that says, “STOP EDUCATIONAL GENOCIDE AGAINST BLACK & BROWN YOUTH”. We will then march to 52 Chambers Street for the start of the citywide action. Take the 4, 5, 6, J, Z trains to Chambers Street / Brooklyn Bridge-City Hall, or the R train to City Hall.

We charge genocide …

Because NYC schools fail to prepare 87% of Black and Latino students for college, according to official stats.

Because the NYPD arrests an average of five students everyday in school, 90% of them Black and Latino, and school policies increasingly put our youth on a pipeline into prison.

Because CUNY ended open admissions, abolished remedial programs at its four-year colleges and uses standardized tests and tuition hikes to exclude poor, working-class and oppressed-nationality people.

Because the NYPD murdered 18-year-old Ramarley Graham inside his own apartment in the Bronx and then detained his grandmother for five hours at the precinct.

Because the NYPD conducted a record-high of more than 680,000 stop-and-frisks last year, 87% of them targeting Black and Latino people.

Because the US criminal injustice system keeps about 2.5 million people behind bars and another 5 million under supervision. More Black men today are in prison, on probation, or on parole than were enslaved in 1850.

We charge genocide, because the system is killing our communities with its schools, its police and its prisons. Schools are closing. Tuition is rising. Everyday, our people are disrespected in the classrooms by Eurocentric teachers and in the streets by rampaging cops. The same system that oppresses us in the hood oppresses our homelands – Puerto Rico, the Dominican Republic, Mexico, Latin America as a whole, the Philippines and many other places that suffer from US imperialism.

These conditions must be put to an end. We must organize the youth and students to fight for the most dispossessed, exploited and oppressed sections of our communities. We must unite our communities to fight for survival against genocide. We must struggle for fundamental transformation led by those with nothing to lose and a world to win.

Join us in a Contingent Against Educational Genocide on the March 1 National Day of Action for Education to demand an end to the killing of our communities by the schools, the police and the prisons.

Upsurge 4: Through the Storm

Poster by: Yves Nibungco

A fundraiser for survivors of Typhoon Sendong and other natural disasters in the Philippines. Proceeds will go towards Bayanihan Alay sa Sambayanan or BALSA-Mindanao, a grassroots relief effort organized by different people’s organizations, institutions and churches in Mindanao.

This benefit will be a showcase of a wide range of local talent including dance, spoken word, hiphop, singing, etc. There will also be a 50/50 raffle, silent art auction, and more fun activities.

B-BOYS AND B-GIRLS WANTED! There will be a dance off starting at 9pm.

WHEN: Friday, February 24, 6pm – 10 pm
WHERE: NBK Studio
108 Bright St (corner Varick St)
Jersey City, NJ
ADMISSION: $5 until 8pm
$10 and BYOB 8pm onwards

Thank you and spread the word! We hope to see you all there!

For more information, email us at anakbayan.nynj@gmail.com or call Bea Sabino (201) 779- 6886.

NY Filipino Youth Paves Way for Sendong Victims’ “Road to Recovery”

Poster by: Dominique Liwanag

R2R: Road to Recovery Facebook Event Page

Queens, NY- Progressive youth group, Anakbayan New York, organizes “R2R: Road to Recovery” benefit concert for Typhoon Sendong survivors on Februrary 25 at St. Patrick’s Church at Long Island City.  The youth group aims to raise relief funds and awareness regarding the environmental issues that affect our kababayans.

R2R: Road to Recovery benefit concert is part of a national effort led by the National Alliance for Filipino Concerns’ Bayanihan Disaster Relief and Rehabilitation Program.  It aims to raise funds for the typhoon survivors and, at the same time, raise critical issues around the environmental degradation that caused so much devastation and lives.  All the proceeds will go towards Bulig Alang sa Mindanao or BALSA-Mindanao, a grassroots relief effort organized by different people’s organizations, institutions and churches in Mindanao.

The said benefit show aims to put together a family-friendly event for the entire community to enjoy. The concert will showcase a wide range of talents from the local Filipino community. Performances include live musical performances, spoken word, and Filipino cultural dances.

“As a Filipino-American, I believe it is important to stay in tune with your heritage through keeping up with current events, incorporating Filipino values and traditions in your lifestyle, and especially helping out your kababayans through community events. So I invite everyone to come to this wonderful benefit show and help out,” said Goeffrey Laurel of Anakbayan New York.

R2R: Road to Recovery starts at 6pm on Feb.25, Saturday at the St. Patrick’s Parish located at 39-38 29th Street Long Island City, NY. $5 pre-sale, $10 at the door. For donations, you can make the check payable to “Philippine Forum”.

For more information about R2R: Road to Recovery, email Anakbayan NY  at anakbayan.nynj@gmail.com, visit their website at www.anakbayannynj.wordpress.com. For information about BALSA-Mindano, visit www.balsamindanao.net

Wednesday, February 8: Anakbayan NJ General Meeting

You are invited to Anakbayan NJ’s second General Meeting of the year! Just a few steps from the PATH Station. Learn more about who we are, what we do, and why we do what we do in organizing the Filipino youth community in NJ. Participate in launching the STOP Campaign, organizing fundraisers, and preparing for the historic Anakbayan USA launch in May 2012. Let’s keep this movement going!

You can RSVP here: http://www.facebook.com/events/342981615723575/

Please bring the following:

1. Notebook/ Laptop

2. Schedule/ Availability

3. Bright Ideas

For inquiries, email anakbayan.nynj@gmail.com or contact Yves Nibungco (201) 253- 5662.

US OUT OF THE PHILIPPINES! US OUT OF ASIA-PACIFIC!– BAYAN USA

News Statement

February 1, 2012

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

Aquino Aligns with US Military Build-Up in Asia-Pacific, a Threat to Peace in the Region

Filipino-Americans across the US, under the banner of BAYAN USA, express condemnation and disgust over the efforts of Philippine President Benigno Simeon “Noy-Noy” Aquino III to accommodate the “new” US defense strategy that entails a so-called “rebalance to Asia”, including an increase in US military presence in the Philippines. BAYAN USA also denounces the US government’s Cold War-style media offensive against economic rival China as a pretext to justify its gross expansion of US military powers in the Asia-Pacific in order to increase US economic, political, and military investments in the region.

Economically-Motivated

Under neoliberalism, the US economy is largely dependent on the Pacific Rim, particularly because of its export position. In 2010, the 21 economies that make up the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) forum accounted for 61% of US exports ($775 billion) and 37% of private services exports ($205 billion). The US economy’s export position in the region accounts for nearly 5 million US jobs. But for countries such as the Philippines, the US investment and export position is at the heart of deepening crisis and poverty due to lack of sovereign claim to natural resources and territory. In line with their national interests, countries like the Philippines must wage fierce struggles against US interventionism in order to assert their right to chart their own economic and political paths.

 

With China’s economic growth threatening US dominion over the region, and with Obama’s push for a Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) agreement that would outline a US-dominated free trade zone in the region, the US government has announced it will shift its military focus away from Iraq and Afghanistan and renew its commitment to assert it’s position in Asia-Pacific. It has found a reliable stooge in the Aquino government. Recent negotiations framed as a Strategic Dialogue between top Washington security and defense officials and the Aquino administration have laid the ground work for the consolidation of the Philippines as a key US military base location, serving as a permanent staging ground for US military offensives, storage space for surveillance drones, resupply and refueling station for US warships and aircrafts, as well as rest and recreational facility for US servicemen.

 

In addition to violating Philippine national sovereignty, Aquino’s compliance in accommodating US saber-rattling seeks to undo the 1991 landmark decision of the Philippine Senate to reject the US bases treaty that essentially shutdown permanent US military bases Subic Naval and Clark Air Field, by once again opening these ports for indefinite and “rotational” basing of US troops and throughout the archipelago.

Aquino Positions the Philippines in the Crossfire

Not only does Aquino government reach an all-time high in the barometer of US puppetry with these negotiations, it is aligning the Philippines with a military scheme that will threaten peace in the entire Asia-Pacific region. The US government, driven by its war-dependent economy, is expanding its military presence in Asia-Pacific region under rhetoric of security in the South China Sea and in particular the territorial dispute over the Spratly Islands, when in fact it seeks an excuse to provoke military aggression and create a war-like situation against China that will boost up it military-industrial complex at the expense of the surrounding countries. Such compliance on the Aquino government’s part will surely position the Filipino people in the middle of the crossfire.

 

Starting with the Philippine-American War of 1899, which marked the advent of US imperialism onto the global stage at the turn of the 20th century, 113 years US geopolitical strategy in region has left the Philippines with a tragic history and ongoing reality of US military infestation whose social costs have burdened its people with untold pain and misery. From hosting the largest US permanent foreign military bases to succumbing to the onerous US-RP Mutual Defense Treaty (MDT)– the mother of all unequal military treaties and agreements– to the virtually permanent Visiting Forces Agreement (VFA), over one century of US military presence in the country has been directly linked to the indiscriminate killings, rape and other sexual offenses, massive displacement of rural communities, waste, disease, and other forms of human rights abuses.

Call for Resistance & Solidarity

As Filipinos in the US, BAYAN USA sees concretely how both the Aquino and Obama governments– guardians of financial oligarchy– are acting in betrayal of the broad interest of the Filipino and American peoples. Just as the poor grow poorer in the Philippines under Aquino’s failed economic policies, so are working people in the US forced to carry the heavy burden of paying for a debt crisis they did not create. As peoples resistance to the intolerable 1% escalates amidst the crisis, BAYAN USA joins the call for greater solidarity between people in the US struggling against the US military-industrial complex and for economic equality and the Filipino people’s ongoing struggle for genuine national independence and democracy. This must translate to greater efforts to expose and oppose the US geopolitical strategy in the Asia-Pacific region as a scheme of the purveyors of crisis and war to maintain tight control over the region’s wealth. Peoples resistance and firm solidarity are key in our efforts to frustrate US interventionism in the region!

US OUT OF THE PHILIPPINES! 

US OUT OF ASIA!

JUNK THE US-RP MUTUAL DEFENSE TREATY!

JUNK THE US-RP VISITING FORCES AGREEMENT!

UPHOLD PHILIPPINE NATIONAL SOVEREIGNTY!

LONG LIVE INTERNATIONAL SOLIDARITY!