Youth Empowerment Project

What is the NJ Youth Empowerment Project?

The New Jersey Youth Empowerment Project is a two-day training conference for youth activists, organizers, and leaders in New Jersey. This conference seeks to train 100-150 students & youth to organize their communities and campuses, around issues that we, the youth of New Jersey, care about.

This conference is being held by New Jersey United Students (NJUS), a statewide network of college students organizing around education rights and building student and youth power. NJUS seeks to build a united youth movement working on a multiplicity of issues, so that our generation can get a say in the world we live in. This conference is the first step.

The Youth Empowerment Project seeks to give students the skills to organize their communities. For that reason, we will be offering two types of trainings. On Saturday, August 4, we will be doing an Electoral Action Training (EAT), which teaches students how to run a concerted voter registration effort. Voter registration is a great and simple way to talk to youth about the issues that affect them. On Sunday, August 5, we will be doing a GrassRoots Organizing Weekend (GROW) training. GROW teaches you how to run non-electoral campaigns: how to build your organization, figure out goals, targets, and what you need to do to run a campaign.

The Youth Empowerment Project will also launch our NJ Students Vote! 2012 campaign. NJUS is seeking to register 20,000 NJ students to vote in the November 2012 elections. We at NJUS believe that an effective way to build youth power is by showing our strength at the ballot box—although by all means, we don’t think it’s the only way.  This campaign is a step towards building a bigger movement! Will you join us?

Logistics

The conference will be August 4-5, starting at 11 AM, at the Labor Education Center at Rutgers University in New Brunswick, NJ. We want students to be able to come to this conference, so the cost of attendance is $10. This goes toward the costs of supplies and food for both days.

For housing, we will be getting price quotes from local hotels, but for a low-cost option, we will be setting up housing at the Second Reformed Church on College Ave, New Brunswick. For more information on housing, select the options you are interested in on the Registration Form.

To Register: Fill out a Registration form available here, to check the facebook event, click here

For more information:

Contact Rachel Storch at (201) 563-0353 or by e-mail at Rachel.Storch93@Gmail.com

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“Stop the killings in the Philippines!” Say Jersey City Activists

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Jersey City, NJ- Jersey city activists called on Philippine President Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino III to “stop the killings” of activists and community leaders in the Philippines.  They also called on the US government to “cut the US military aid to the Philippines.  This action was in response to the current state of extra-judicial killings in the Philippines.As part of Jersey City Peace Movement’s (JCPM) “Stop the War-Sundays”, a monthly anti-war action and food and clothing drive for the homeless community of Jersey City, Anakbayan New Jersey, a Filipino activist youth organization, collaborated to raise awareness about the killing of Willem Geertman and other  cases of human rights violations in the Philippines.  They posted pictures of victims of extra-judicial killings and enforced disappearances around the 9/11 memorial fountain at Journal Square Plaza with signs that said, “Justice for Willem Geertman!” and “Cut US military aid to the Philippines.” Members of Anakbayan NJ also handed out flyers regarding the “State of Human Rights in the Philippines” to passers by.

“The memorial at Journal Square was meant to raise awareness about the poor state of human rights in the Philippines. State sponsored killings and abductions of activists and community leaders continue under President Aquino.  Anakbayan NJ, together with JCPM, addressed an important issue that he [Pres. Aquino] failed to mention in his third state of the nation address,” said Bea Sabino, Chairperson of Anakbayan New Jersey.  “As US taxpayers, we demand an end to US military aid to the Philippines. $30 million in tax dollars go to the Armed Forces of the Philippines, which is notorious for gross violations to human rights.  We also demand justice for Willem Geertman.  We call on the Aquino administration to take decisive steps on investigating these cases and also to prosecute former President Arroyo and former  AFP general Jovito Palparan as perpetrators of human rights violations in the Philippines,” Ms. Sabino concluded.

Currently, there are 100 recorded victims of extra-judicial killings under the 2 year-old administration of President Aquino.  Willem Geertman, a community development worker is one of the most recent victims.  He was killed last July 3rd, colleagues and family claim, for his advocacy in land, indigenous people and environmental issues.  He is the Executive Director of a disaster relief NGO Alay Bayan Inc and has resided in the Philippines for the past 46 years. He spoke fluent Filipino and has worked among poor farmers in rural communities.  He is a known anti-mining advocate.  Geertman is the second European NGO/community worker killed under the Aquino regime, after the death of Fr. Pops Tentorio in Mindanao on October 2011.  Geertman’s death came a month after the Philippine government appeared before the United Nations Universal Periodic Review in Geneva, where it was scrutinized for its inaction towards the elimination of extrajudicial killings, torture and enforced disappearances in the Philippines.

Activists linked the issues of human rights violations in the Philippines with the US-military aid and involvement in the internal affairs of the Philippines.  Since 2001, The U.S. government has spent $507 million since 2001 in military aid for the Philippines.  $30 million is scheduled to be released again this year.  According to activists, this could have been used to fund social services here in communities like Jersey City.

“Our stolen tax-dollars must be re-channeled from endless wars and bank-bailouts, back to the people, including the working-class, the elderly, the sick, the homeless and the youth,” said Erik Anders-Nilsson, Director of Jersey City Peace Movement.  “The corrupt powers of Imperialist America vying for global hegemony must be challenged and struggled with.  Jersey City Peace Movement calls for the end to all U.S wars abroad, an end to all U.S. military bases in the Philippines , and the liberation of all oppressed peoples, from Palestine to Jersey City, to Manila,”  Mr. Nilsson concluded.

Activists say they will continue to raise awareness, and lobby to uphold human rights in the Philippines until the US government cuts military funding to the Philippines.

Repression is the State of the Nation Under PNoy

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Repression is the State of the Nation Under PNoy
Anakbayan-USA condemns the violent dispersal yesterday at the State of the Nation Address demonstration near Batasang Pambansa, where President Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino III delivered his speech.  This recent case of impunity from the Philippine National Police has left 95 people injured and 21 hospitalized, mostly youth and students. We demand that the responsible officials of the PNP, namely the ground commander, Superintendent Marcelino Pedrozo and human rights monitor, Chief Superintendent Mario Dela Vega, Superintendent Nicanor Salamera, and Herbert Bautista, mayor of Quezon City be held accountable for this blatant abuse of power and violation of our people’s basic human rights.
The violations started early on as the local government of Quezon City under Mayor Bautista failed to act on the request of Bagong Alyansang Makabayan (BAYAN) for a permit to rally.  Under the Batas Pambansa 880 (BP 880) also known as the Public Assembly Act of 1985, Section 6 (b) states, “The mayor or any official acting in his behalf shall act on the application within two (2) working days from the date the application was filed, failing which, the permit shall be deemed granted.”  Mayor Bautista failed to respond and therefore the application was deemed granted and the people had all the right to peacefully assemble and march in front of Batasang Pambansa to protest air their grievances.
The government’s violations continue to pile up as the PNP conducted an illegal blockade and showed clear lack of restraint by provoking and brutalizing the peaceful demonstration.  Cops attacked, pushed and assaulted everyone in their sight.  Some demonstrators were hit as many as 23 times with truncheons and shields.  A garbage truck was also commanded by the PNP to disperse the crowd, attempting to run over and endanger the people.  In addition, an overkill force of 6,000 police officers and 400 soldiers was deployed around Batasang Pambansa, militarizing the communities.  
This is a clear snapshot of the real state of the nation in the Philippines. There is a state of repression under Noynoy Aquino administration that uses deceit and violence to silence the truth.Noynoy should know that repression only breeds more resistance and struggle.  No truncheons nor shields can deter the people in exposing the real state of the nation.
We are sure that the people’s movement will only grow bigger and the struggle stronger. We call on the Filipino youth here in the US to organize, take action and expose the Aquino administration, as a violator of human rights in disguise. Let us intensify our struggle to defend human rights and towards a society that upholds the universal and inalienable rights of the people. 

Struggle for National Democracy as the Only Path for Change

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Struggle for National Democracy as the Only Path for Change

Anakbayan-USA joins Filipinos across the US on July 23rd to expose the outright lies and deception of the US-puppet regime of Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino III as he delivers his third State of the Nation Address.  We call on the Filipino youth to fulfill its revolutionary role as the hope of the nation by fully participating in our people’s struggle for genuine change which can only be realized through achieving National Democracy.

Success and Progress For Whom?

Aquino’s mythology of taking a “Righteous Path” only serves the interests of the ruling class and US imperialism.  He hypes the 6.4% gross domestic product growth rate as a sign of success, but this so-called “growth” only benefits the top 1% of Filipinos – the big landlords and big corporations.  Despite the global economic crisis, the top 40 richest Filipinos doubled their wealth from $23 billion in 2009 to a total $47.4 billion in 2011.  Meanwhile, working families are experiencing deepening poverty and economic hardship.  This is made possible through Aquino’s economic centerpiece, the Public-Private Partnership program, which increases the privatization and commercialization of vital services such as health and education.  Approximately 26 public hospitals are to be turned over to private corporations and 1.4 million urban poor families are in danger of being displaced in order to make way for business projects of private corporations.

By deregulating the costs of tuition and repeatedly cutting the budget for public schools, Aquino has made education inaccessible to the majority of Filipino youth.  There is a rising number of college dropouts due to the fact that public schools are now as expensive as private schools.  Currently, 50% of children age 11-15 are out-of-school.  Aquino’s conversion to a K-12 educational system only serves the demands of the foreign labor market by producing more semi-skilled workers to be exploited in low-paying jobs overseas.  It does not create genuine economic development for the Philippines.  Meanwhile, the great majority of youth continue to be unemployed or underemployed under short-term contractual jobs.

Aquino maintains and imposes this unjust order through Oplan Bayanihan, the US-dictated counter insurgency program that unleashes violence on the civilian population and continues the previous Arroyo regime’s blatant disregard for human rights.  At least one community leader or activist is killed every week, amounting to a total of 100 victims of extrajudicial killings.  This brutal counter insurgency program is funded by $30 million in military aid from our US tax dollars.

Selling-Out the Philippines’ Sovereignty

Aquino is pushing to further entrench the Philippines as a vassal state of US imperialism.  He pretends to be ultra-patriotic against China’s muscle flexing in the disputed territories of Scarborough Shoal and Spratly Islands, while openly allowing the intrusion of US military forces in the Philippines.  Currently, there are 4,500 US troops in the Philippines.  Predator drones are deployed for surveillance and bombing operations, particularly in Mindanao. Nuclear-capable warships and submarines dock for service in the Philippine shores.  What’s worse, Aquino has illegally given permission for the reopening of former US military bases in the Philippines.  All of these treasonous acts are in complete disregard and violation of the provisions in the Philippine Constitution of 1987 that prohibit foreign troops.

National Democracy vs. Aquino’s “Righteous Path”

The current state of the Philippine nation clearly tells us that Aquino’s “Righteous Path” is leading us towards greater poverty, hunger and exploitation.  It also clearly tells us that the only true solution is to continue and intensify our struggle for national liberation and genuine people’s democracy.

The struggle for National Democracy is the movement to achieve genuine independence by liberating the country from foreign control and establishing a truly democratic people’s government that is run by the working people themselves.  It is the fulfillment of the concrete needs and interests of the majority in the Philippines, particularly the peasants and workers which comprise 90% of the population.

Through implementing a genuine agrarian reform, land monopolies of the major landlords like the Cojuangco-Aquinos will be dismantled and distributed to the landless peasants, liberating 75% of the population from a backward and exploitative condition.  This land reform serve as the foundation for national industrialization that will enable us to tap the rich natural resources of the Philippines for benefit of our people.  It is only through national industrialization that we can create full employment for the Filipino people and put an end to the systematic export of migrant labor as a means of survival.

Under this new system, free quality health care and education will be available for all.  The guarantee of political and civil rights will ensure the full development and participation of the people towards true social progress.

Youth as the Hope of the Nation

It is apparent that there is no bright future for the Filipino youth and people under the current political, economic, and social system in the Philippines.  Now more than ever, it is urgent that Filipino youth combine with all the sectors of Philippine society to replace the current system with one that truly serves their interests.

As chapters of Anakbayan are now being established across the US, Canada, and Australia, we have an important role in spreading awareness to the international community of our people’s struggle for freedom.  As Filipino youth overseas, we must arouse, organize and mobilize the people to address the needs of our community abroad and strengthen international support for the struggle for National Democracy, the only genuine solution to the problems in the Philippines.

It is only by fully participating and contributing to the struggle for national democracy can we concretely fulfill our role as the true hope of the nation.

Reject the Lies of the US-Aquino Regime!

US Troops Out of the Philippines!

Increase the Budget for Education and Social Services!

Advance the Struggle for National Democracy in the Philippines!

 

Stop the Killings: A Tribute to Willem Geertman and All Victims of Human Rights Violations in the Philippines

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What: We will hold a tribute to Willem Gertman and remember all the victims of human rights violations in the Philippines. 

Anakbayan will be joining Jersey City Peace Movement and the community as we voice our concerns about human rights violations.

Why: Since Philippine President Noynoy Aquino came into office there have been over 76 political killings of lawyers, journalists, union organizers, church leaders and other human rights workers. On July 3, 2012, Willem Geertman a Dutch NGO aid worker and environmental activist was also assassinated. The U.S. sends over $30 million in aid to the Philippine military who are often the perpetrators of these human rights violations. As Filipinos in the United States we need to stand up for justice and stop military aid.

Where: 9/11 Memorial Fountain, Journal Square, Jersey City 07306

When: 7/29 | Sunday | 12pm-2pm 

We invite everyone in the Filipino community including friends and allies to come with us to Remember the Victims and their families!

For more information email us at anakbayan.nynj@gmail.com

*Jersey City Peace Movement holds a free clothing and food drive every last sunday of the month for the homeless community of Jersey City.

People’s State of the Nation Address

BAYAN USA invites you to join the People’s SONA Action to further expose the true nature of the puppet Aquino regime in the Philippines which upholds corruption, human rights violations and bows down to U.S. imperialist demands! Under Aquino’s administration there have been a recorded 76+ extrajudicial killings, a rising cost of electricity and basic living needs, and lack of jobs, resulting in an increase in poverty and hunger across the nation.

We call upon Filipinos and friends in across the nation who believe in Human Rights & National Sovereignty to unite for Real Change needed in the Philippines to benefit the 99% of the people! This means fighting for National Democracy, National Industrialization, and Genuine Agrarian Reform!

US Troops out of the Philippines! Junk the Visiting Forces Agreement!

No to the the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement & Increased Militarization in the Asia Pacific!

Justice for the Many Victims of Human Rights Violations! Justice for Melissa Roxas!

Join us at these events held across the nation:

SAN FRANCISCO, CA:
Friday July 20th @ 7PM
Community Discussion on the State of the Philippines
& Commemoration for Ka Arman
SOMCAN Office
1070 Howard Street
San Francisco, CA 94103

Monday July 23rd, 2012
People’s State of the Nation Address
Action at Union Square & March to Philippine Consulate
Gather @ 5:30PM
Guerilla Theatre & Program @ 6PM
San Francisco – CA

LOS ANGELES, CA:
Monday, July 23rd
Delegation Visit of Church Workers and Medical Mission Participants to Philippine Consulate @ 3PM
and Vigil for Victims of Human Rights in the Philippines @ 4:30PM
Philippine Consulate
3600 Wilshire Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90010

SEATTLE, WA:
Monday, July 23rd @ 6:30PM
Community Forum on the Real State of the Nation
Filipino Community Center
5740 Martin Luther King Jr. Way
Seattle, WA 98118

Sunday, July 29th
Community Action at Pista sa Nayon
Seward Park Amphitheater
Seattle, WA 98118

NEW YORK CITY:
Friday July 20th @ 7PM
Community Forum on the State of the Philippines
at the BAYANIHAN Filipino Community Center
40-21 69th St. Woodside, NY 11377
(take the local 7 to 69th St.)

Monday July 23rd @ 5:30PM
People’s State of the Nation Address for the Philippines
at the Philippine Consulate
556 5th Avenue New York, NY 10036
(bet. 45th St. & 46th St., take the B/D/F/M to 42nd St.- Bryant Park)

NEW JERSEY
Sunday July 29th @ 12pm-2pm
STOP THE KILLINGS: Tribute to Willem Geertman and All Victims of Human Rights Violations in the Philippines
at Journal Square, Jersey City NJ 07306
(take PATH train to Journal Square)

For more information please contact:

Jessica Antonio, BAYAN USA Secretary General:SecGen@bayanusa.org

Arman Arbarillo will live on in the hearts of the people

Statement and tribute of the Bagong Alyansang Makabayan on the death of its former BAYAN ST Secretary General

July 6, 2012
The Bagong Alyansang Makabayan (Bayan) renders its most militant salute to Arman Albarillo, former secretary general of Bayan Southern Tagalog who died a Red fighter of the New People’s Army last June 30, 20012 in the province of Quezon. Bayan takes pride in having known and worked with Arman during the difficult years of the fascist Macapagal-Arroyo regime. The Filipino people are forever grateful for the sacrifices and contributions made by Arman for the cause of national and social liberation. He died an outstanding revolutionary worthy of emulation by future generations.

Arman was not an overnight New People’s Army (NPA) leader and revolutionary. He was gradually led to the path of armed struggle, ironically, by the counter –insurgency program Oplan Bantay Laya itself. He was the son of Expedito Albarillo, a Bayan Muna (BM) municipal coordinator and a barangay councillor in San Teodoro, Oriental Mindoro and Manuela Albarillo, a Gabriela member. On April 8, 2002, Arman’s parents were killed by suspected elements of the 204th brigade of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) under then Col. Jovito Palparan Jr. Before this, Expedito was placed under the military’s order of battle in 1998, was jailed from 2000 to November 2001 based on a trumped-up charge of murder. They were among the first victims of extrajudicial killings under the OBL and the notorious “Butcher” Palparan. The OBL eventually resulted in the deaths of hundreds of unarmed activists and civilians.

After the brutal murder of his parents, Arman and his family were under constant harassment by the military. This forced Arman, his seven younger siblings and their relatives to become internal refugees who had to flee San Teodoro. He became a coordinator of Bayan Muna in 2004 and spokesperson and eventually secretary general of Bayan-ST in 2006. At the height of the movement to oust Arroyo, Arman led marches, caravans and Lakbayans from Southern Tagalog to Metro Manila. He was a frequent fixture of street protests and was well known by the regional and national media. In 2007, he was a delegate to the Third International Assembly of the International League of Peoples Struggle (ILPS). In 2008, he was one of the signatories in the last impeachment complaint filed in Congress against Gloria Arroyo.

Throughout this period of state repression, Arman kept a positive disposition. His smile would be present even under difficult circumstances. He was known to be a fiery speaker on stage, but soft-spoken in person. Fierce and determined in the face of adversity, but remained good-natured and funny.

State repression continued to target Arman even when he was already a prominent Bayan leader. In 2008, it was discovered that like his father before him, he was listed in the military’s order of battle in Southern Tagalog, a virtual hit list under the OBL. In October 2008, Arman along with 71 other mass leaders and activists in the region faced arrest following the filing of trumped-up charges of murder and multiple murder in a local court in Mindoro. The move was orchestrated by Arroyo’s Inter-Agency Legal Action Group (IALAG). This forced Arman and others to work underground, even as he continued to pursue his defense through the legal system and gather popular support here and abroad against repression by the regime. Unable to find justice in the ruling system, Arman would eventually continue his struggle as a member of the New People’s Army.

We have not seen Arman in a long time, and this sad news of his death will be a bitter reunion as we pay tribute to a courageous and dedicated Bayan leader. It pains us to know that Arman died without seeing justice for his slain parents, without seeing the “butcher” Palparan finally made accountable. This in itself  is an indictment of the rotten judicial system in our country.

With the death of a revolutionary, the reactionaries and ruling classes will always proclaim the end of the revolution. They will gloat over the supposed setbacks and defeats of the people. They fail to grasp the laws of motion of history and society. They fail to understand that so long as class oppression and exploitation remains, so long as injustice remains , and so long as the country is not truly free; many more will follow the path taken by Arman and others before him.

The reactionaries are mistaken. Their hubris and empty rhetoric will not serve them any better than the bombs and bullets they use to suppress resistance. This is what all previous regimes and the current US-Aquino regime fail to comprehend. None of them have ever been interested in addressing the root causes of armed conflict. They are only interested in escalating the suppression of the revolutionary movement and people, creating the basis for the emergence of even more revolutionaries. Indeed, the reactionaries do not grasp the laws of motion of society and the lessons of history.

Arman will be missed but his memory, like the many martyrs before him, will be forever etched in the long and rich history of the militant and revolutionary struggle of the Filipino people. Arman’s life and struggle will continue to inspire our people to carry on the fight against the oppressors. We honor Arman’s memory by resolutely advancing the struggle for national and social liberation.

Long live the memory of Ka Arman Arbarillo!

Long live the struggle for national democracy!