“Drop the charges against the Le Jardin 4!” says Fil-Am Youth Group

 

“Drop the charges against the Le Jardin 4!” says Fil-Am Youth Group

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USA – Anakbayan-USA condemns the violent demolition at Le Jardin and the illegal arrest and detention of the “Le Jardin 4”. The youth group demands that the Philippine National Police (PNP) of Talomo District and the City Prosecutor’s Office of Davao immediately drop the charges against the Le Jardin 4.

“The Le Jardin 4 were acting on their inalienable rights to defend their communities against the provocations of the members of PNP who used excessive force against the protesters. Also, this is clearly a land grabbing effort by the Carlos Villa Abrille & Sons Incorporated and Filinvest Lands against the residents of the Bariquit compound. It is only right that the youth and the residents resist against these injustices” said Yves Nibungco, National Chairperson of Anakbayan-USA. “Therefore, we demand that charges against the Le Jardin 4 be immediately and unconditionally dropped,” Nibungco added.

The “Le Jardin 4” is coined to refer to the four youth and student activists who were arrested at the Le Jardin, Bariquit Compound, Davao City. Last August 25, 20 members of the PNP Talomo District under the direction of Superintendent Dionisio C. Abude came to Bariquit compound fully armed, in order to implement the Villa Abrille’s fence permit. Residents and members of progressive groups resisted the attempted destruction of the passage used to enter and exit the compound. During the commotion, the police used excessive force at the youth and residents.

The “Le Jardin 4” are Joselito Lagon, Jr. 23, regional spokesperson of Kabataang Artista para sa Tunay na Kalayaan (KARATULA); Wyrlo Enero, 19, member of the League of Filipino Students (LFS); Johnny Boy Urbina, 24, and John Michael Lim, both members of Anakbayan-Davao. They were beaten and electrocuted before being loaded in the police mobile. The Le Jardin 4 has been released after posting bail and after mounting pressure from a series of international protests launched by supporters online and in the community.

Fighting the Villa Abrilles since the 1970s

Le Jardin, also known as Bariquit compound, has been a disputed area since 1973.  The powerful Villa Abrilles family, who is trying to grab the land, sued Marcela Camomot for allegedly living in the lot illegally.  However, Camomot was able to prove in court that her family had been tilling the land since 1962.

Currently, the residents are fighting against the joint landgrabbing efforts by Carlos Villa Abrilles & Sons Inc. and prominent realty firm Filinvest Lands. The Ville Abrille’s have been more aggressive in evicting families from Le Jardin in order to continue a join venture with Filinvest Lands to build a high-end residential subdivision.  Reports of shootings by the security hired by the Ville Abrilles occur almost every day. It is employed as an intimidation tactic to force the remaining 13 families from Le Jardin.  

Many of their crops and fruit trees have also been destroyed, causing youth activists to work with the community in a gardening project to make up for lost crops.  Last month, the community’s electricity and water were officially cut off, making living conditions more difficult.  Earlier this year, there were 60 families living in Le Jardin, but soon vacated after being paid off by the Villa Abrilles.  

Migration and Displacement

Recently, members of Anakbayan-USA’s Los Angeles and San Diego chapters joined a medical mission in Mindanao. They had the opportunity to visit Bariquit compound and talk to its residents in order to understand their struggle against the common practice of gentrification or “land grabbing” by the landed elite in the Philippines.

“I have integrated with urban and rural communities (Davao City, Diwalwal, Pantukan and Talaingod) in Mindanao for the last two months and all have expressed that the major reasons why they are being displaced is because of foreign and national investments destroying local businesses and a lack of genuine land reform where families are able to find a sense of livelihood. Members of the Philippine military and police have committed human rights violations against its people to enforce these interests,” said Eugene Gambol, member of Anakbayan San Diego. 

These, according the young activists, are the same reasons why thousands of Filipino leave the country in search for greener pastures.

“As a Filipino-American, whose parents migrated due to dire economic conditions, I clearly identify with the plight of the residents of Le Jardin,” said Rose Dominguez, also participant to the medical mission and a member of Anakbayan Los Angeles.  “Though we’re thousands of miles away, we must realize that we are integral to the struggle of our people for social justice and dignity. ” said Dominguez.

Eugene, Rose and other young Filipino-Americans like them said they will continue their activism highlighting the case of the Le Jardin 4 and the residents of Bariquit Compound when they come back in the United States.  They urge the Filipino American community to support the Le Jardin 4 in their struggle against displacement and land grabbing. 

 

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Take a Photo. Take a Stand.

Take a photo. Take a stand. 


On August 30, the International Day of the Disappeared, the New York Committee for Human Rights in the Philippines (NYCHRP) will bring attention to the thousands of Filipinos who are victims of enforced disappearances in the Philippines. The International Day of the Disappeared on August 30 is a day created to draw attention to the fate of individuals imprisoned at places and under poor conditions unknown to their relatives and/or legal representatives, or victims of enforced di

sappearances. Imprisonment under secret or uncertain circumstances is a grave violation of some conceptions of human rights as well as, in the case of an armed conflict, of International Humanitarian Law.Under the current President of the Philippines, Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino III, there have been 11 cases of Enforced Disappearances in the Philippines.Since the Arroyo Regime (2001-2010), 205 are still missing. The families seek justice, the Philippine government must be pressured to SURFACE THE DISAPPEARED and END IMPUNITY NOW!We demand that these victims are surfaced and their perpetrators are brought to justice.

Join to take a photo and stand in solidarity with the thousands of families still looking for their loved ones. Your photo will be viewable at www.nychrp.info

This event is endorsed by BAYAN USA, Anakbayan-NJ, Anakbayan-NY, Filipinas for Rights and Empowerment, Action 21 and ILPS US NE.

To rsvp click here
For more info on the human rights situation in the Philippines check out KARAPATAN (an alliance of human rights organizations in the Philippines) here
For articles on victims of enforced disappearances in the Philippines click here

Deferred Action Application Drive in New Jersey

 

WHAT: National Deferred Action Application Drive

WHERE:  Paul Robeson Campus Center, 350 Mlk. Blvd., 07102 Newark, NJ 

WHEN: August 25 | Saturday | 8am-6pm  

For more information please click here

____________________________

Immigrant youth that meet certain requirements are eligible to apply for Deferred Action from deportation as well as for work authorization permits beginning August 15, 2012. United We Dream, a national organization committed to lobbying for the DREAM Act and supporting undocumented students, has called for a National Deferred Action Application Day on August 25th. The NJ Dream Act Coalition (NJ DAC), an affiliate of United We Dream, is organizing and training volunteers to assist youth 

in completing said application at no cost. Sadly, a few attorneys and notary publics are taking advantage of the great need for relief among this population and charging exuberant rates. Please answer this call for volunteers and forward it to fellow organization members.

Supervising attorneys from the Center for Social Justice of Seton Hall Law, law students from the Women’s Law Forum of Seton Hall Law, as well as students from the LGBTQ Resource and Diversity Center at Rutgers, have committed to co-sponsor this event with NJ DAC. The event will be held on Saturday August 25, 2012 in rooms 255-7 of the Paul Robeson Cultural Center of Rutgers-Newark, 350 Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Blvd, Newark, NJ. Volunteers will receive training from 8:00am – 10:00am to assist applicants with the Deferred Action application from 11:00am to 5:00pm. Volunteers may provide assistance in shifts or for the full day.

An estimated 40,000 youth may be eligible for Deferred Action in New Jersey alone. The NJ DAC has announced this event on the NJ DAC website, Facebook, Univision and posted flyers throughout NJ; so a large number of hopeful applicants are expected. We need your help to ensure that every eligible immigrant receives competent assistance without falling victim to scams. Volunteering for the Deferred Action Application Day is another way you can contribute to the work of promoting social justice and to ensure that eligible applicants can contribute fully to our society. Our diversity and acceptance of fellow human beings is part of what makes our country great.

To register as a volunteer please visit here: http://www.njdac.org/volunteer.php

PLEASE help get the word out! Share this event and information with your community, friends, and family! Even if not to volunteer PLEASE come to receive FREE legal help to fill out the application!

For more information or for any questions please contact me at 201-214-9571 or GiancarloT@NJDAC.org

In Solidarity,

Giancarlo Tello

FAHSI LYFE Open Mic for BAYANIHAN Relief

 

WHAT: Join FAHSI LYFE for it’s second annual open mic! Come with songs/poems/dances/anything and show off your talent on our stage. We’ll also be collecting stuff to send to the flood victims in the Philippines through Bayanihan Relief. Please bring whatever you can spare that could be of use: money, clothes, cannned food, first aid supplies, batteries, flashlight, tooth burhses, tooth paste, soap etc… 

WHERE: Philippine American Center, 185-14 Hillside Avenue, Jamaica, New York 11432

WHEN:  August 19 | Saturday | 3pm-9pm

For more info and to rsvp, please click here 

Schedule:
Doors open at 3p
Open mic begins at 4p
Food and Karaoke at 6p
Doors close at 9p

Community Groups Hold Forum on Deferred Action in Jersey City

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 Photos by Noel Pangilinan

Jersey City, NJ -Filipino youth activist group, Anakbayan New Jersey, joined forces with immigrant and lawyers organizations last August 12 for a “Community Forum on Immigration Reform: Deferred Action” held at the Pope Lecture Hall, Saint Peter’s College in Jersey City.  The said forum provided vital information regarding the Deferred Action of Childhood Arrivals (DACA) or most commonly known as “Deferred Action.”  It also aimed to empower the Jersey City immigrant community to continue the struggle for comprehensive immigration reform. 

The immigrant community turned out in large numbers to learn about the said new immigration policy.  Anna Brown, head of the Social Justice Program of Saint Peter’s College, gave a warm welcome to the attendees of the forum.  Councilman at-large, Rolando Lavarro, also gave welcoming remarks, commenting on his own experience.  The speakers include DREAM Act activists, Giancarlo Tello and Brenda Aguilar of the New Jersey DREAM Act Coalition (NJDAC), and Filipino lawyer and immigrant rights advocate, Attorney Cristina Godinez. They provided  an overview regarding the said new policy.  The forum also provided free legal consultations to the community headed by lawyers from the Asian American Legal Defense and Education Fund (AALDEF).

“Deferred Action is simply a stop-gap measure, a band-aid for the overall immigration issue that America faces and is not to be confused with the Dream Act. While the Dream Act is definitely a goal, we should not and will not forget our parents, aunts, and uncles and will continue to push towards ultimately Comprehensive Immigration Reform,” said Giancarlo, core member of the New Jersey DREAM Act Coalition or NJDAC. .

Meanwhile leaders in the Filipino community talked about the need to build a strong immigrant movement. Jonna Baldres, Deputy Secretary General of the National Alliance for Filipino Concerns (NAFCON) gave a comprehensive presentation on the socio-economic factors that lead to forced migration.  “We only want to provide for our families but our governments are forcing us to migrate to look for livelihood elsewhere, separating us from our loved ones.  We must come together, stand up and fight against the 1% that exploits us.  It is only just for us to demand respect, dignity, wages, benefits and rights that are rightfully ours and due to us,  until we achieve full legalization for all,” said Ms. Baldres.

According to statistics, an estimated 2 million individuals nationwide and 40,000 in New Jersey can be eligible for deferred action.  “It is important to note, however, that Deferred Action is not so much an achievement of the Obama administration, as it is the product of thousands of Dream Activists and allied organized forces, who continue to put pressure on US lawmakers in order to assert their rights as undocumented youth,” Bea Sabino, Chairperson of AnakBayan New Jersy, added. Community leaders urge the immigrant community to stay informed, be vigilant and organize support for comprehensive immigration reform.

Anakbayan New Jersey called on the Filipino youth to take part in fighting for immigrant rights. “Filipinos are the second largest immigrant community in the United States.  We come from five centuries worth of migration history, which includes notable personalities like Philip Vera Cruz and Carlos Bulosan, who dedicated their lives to fighting for the civil rights of immigrant workers.  Our identity as young Filipinos in America is deeply rooted in that history; hence, we must step up in continuing the struggle against racism, exploitation, illegalization and criminalization of immigrants. At this juncture in US immigration policy, we must always keep in mind that, undocumented or not, every human being has rights to education, fair and just wages, healthcare and the due process of law,” concluded Ms. Sabino.

The Community Forum on Immigration Reform: Deferred Action was organized by Anakbayan New Jersey and was endorsed and co-sponsored by the National Alliance for Filipino Concerns (NAFCON), Philippine Forum-New Jersey, Filipinas for Rights and Empowerment (FiRE), New Jersey DREAM Act Coalition (NJDAC), Asian-American Legal Defense and Education Fund (AALDEF), Action 21, and the Saint Peter’s College Social Justice Program.

On August 25, the New Jersey DREAM Act Coalition will be holding a free Deferred Action application drive from 11am to 5pm at the Paul Robeson Campus Center located at 350 Martin Luther King Blvd. Newark, NJ 07102.  For more information please contact NJDAC at info@njdac.org

In the Spirit of Bayanihan

Dear friends of BAYAN USA,

 Your bayanihan and giving spirit is needed as the Philippines has been hit once again with the worst flooding since 2009.  For the past week,  rains due to the southwest monsoon (Habagat) after typhoon Gener (international name, Saola) left the country have caused massive flooding in different parts of Luzon, especially in Metro Manila where half of the city is submerged. 

Source: Ted Aljibe/Agence France-Presse – Getty Images

At present, as the rains continue to pour, many have been stranded in their homes, while thousands are being relocated to various evacuation centers in their cities and municipalities. According to news reports, the rains have affected some 199,485 families (or about one million individuals based on an average of 5 per family) across 11 regions of the country. A total of 60 individuals have been reportedly killed due to the non-stop rains, flooding, and landslides. PAG-ASA, a local weather station is forecasting more rains in the next few days. This and the fact that the dams around Metro-Manila are spilling out water will worsen the flooding in days to come.

Source: Aaron Favila – Associated Press

We in BAYAN USA appeal to all concerned citizens to donate $5, $10 or any other amount within your capacity to help with relief efforts. Your donation is urgently needed and appreciated.  Your donation will reach those areas not normally covered by media & reach the far barrios to provide food (more than one kilo of rice, dried fish, mongo, cooking oil, and more) and other basic needs.  The grassroots organizing efforts of BAYAN and BALSA with the communities in the Philippines will ensure that all donations given are directly contributed to the areas that need immediate assistance. 

The thousands of displaced families and communities in the Philippines need your support at this time, anything truly helps. Many thanks for your consideration!

With Gratitude & Appreciation,

BAYAN USA

See this video of BALSA at work during Typhoon Sendong Relief efforts just earlier this year. 

 Donate today to BALSA, the relief organization of BAYAN for more than a decade: http://tinyurl.com/BALSAbayanihanrelief

NEWS COVERAGE:

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/08/08/world/asia/flooding-in-philippines-grows-worse-as-thousands-flee-manila-and-desperate-residents-are-trapped-on-roofs.html

http://newsinfo.inquirer.net/244365/heavy-rains-paralyzeluzon-metro-manila

http://www.sfgate.com/news/article/Heavy-rains-submerge-Philippine-capital-killing-9-3766863.php

SUNDAY, AUGUST 12: Community Forum on Immigration Reform

 

What is Deferred Action? What is Prosecutorial Discretion? Legalization for All?

Learn about the most recent development in the U.S. Immigration policy, particularly President Obama’s Deferred Action and Prosecutorial Discretion. Also learn about the ongoing movement to genuinely reform the immigration system into one that truly serves the people.

What: Community Forum on Immigration Reform: Deferred Action and Prosecutorial Discretion.

When: August 12, 2012 Sunday | 6:00pm-8:00pm

Where: Pope Lecture hall, Saint Peter’s College | 115 Glenwood Ave. Jersey City, NJ 07306

Why: Currently, 4,700 Filipinos leave the Philippines every day to look for jobs abroad. The U.S. remains to be the primary destination of migrant Filipinos. There is an estimated 5 million Filipinos in the US, where 1 million are undocumented. An alarming number of labor trafficking cases have emerged within the past year, and undocumented youth have yet to come out of the shadows. This phenomenon is testament to the urgency of addressing the issue of immigration reform in our communities.

It is essential that we learn about the recent developments in the nation’s immigration policies, particularly the most recent “Deferred Action” and last year’s “Prosecutorial Discretion” in order to empower ourselves and to uphold our rights as im/migrants in the United States.

FREE LEGAL CLINIC WILL BE FACILITATED BY ASIAN AMERICAN LEGAL DEFENSE AND EDUCATION FUND (AALDEF) THROUGHOUT THE PROGRAM.

Speakers:
New Jersey Dream Act Coalition (NJDAC)
Atty. Cris Godinez
National Alliance for Filipino Concerns (NAFCON)

Organized by:
Anakbayan New Jersey

Co-sponsored by:
Social Justice Department of Saint Peter’s College
New Jersey Dream Act Coalition (NJDAC)
Asian American Legal Defense and Education Fund (AALDEF)
National Alliance for Filipino Concerns (NAFCON)
Filipinas for Rights and Empowerment (FiRE)
Philippine Forum

For more information, please email us at anakbayan.nynj@gmail.com or call Bea at 201 779 6886.

Spread the word!

Tune-in to Anakbayan-USA Radio!

Lumalakas, lumalawak nationwide! lumalaban! Anakbayan Radio show! let’s go! 

When: Friday, August 3, 11pm EST 

Where: http://ustream.tv/channel/ab-usa

Why: Check out the only national Filipino youth online radio show that broadcasts the voice of the Philippine struggle for national liberation, genuine people’s democracy and social change!

Hear updates on the ground from different chapters in the US, progressive culture, and learn more about the growing Filipino youth movement in the Philippines, US and all over the world!