Part 1 of 3: Mamasapano, Maguindanao

In commemoration of the upcoming Philippine Solidarity Week, the BAYAN Peace Mission Northeast delegates have decided to collaborate and publish a 3-part photo blog reflecting on their recent exposure trip. Part 1 is in honor of the one anniversary of the botched “Operation Wolverine” in Mamasapano, Maguindanao.

The following are reflections and photos taken by some of the BAYAN Peace Mission Northeast delegates. We invite you to join us at the Long Live International Solidarity: ILPS 5th International Assembly and the BAYAN USA Peace Mission Report Back on Tuesday, February 16th where we will discuss how to strengthen anti-imperialist alliances and solidarity between different struggles in the US and around the world.

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For 2 years in a row, BAYAN USA has sent a delegation to the Moro territories in Mindanao to learn more about and stand in solidarity with the Moro peoples. This past year, we were able to visit Mamasapano in Maguindanao, where a US-directed Philippine police operation led to over 60 deaths. We spoke with the widows of the freedom-fighters of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) who were killed in the encounter, and they confirmed eyewitness accounts of US military personnel and drones on site when the fatal encounter took place.

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Anakbayan NJ Advances the Movement for National Democracy in the Philippines, Upholds the Legacy of the First Quarter Storm

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For Immediate Release
Press Statement
January 25, 2016

Reference:

Jonathan Zirkle, Educational Development Officer, Anakbayan New Jersey
Gian-Carlo Toriano Parel, Anakbayan New Jersey
(470) 309-2265, anakbayannj@gmail.com

Anakbayan NJ Advances the Movement for National Democracy in the Philippines, Upholds the Legacy of the First Quarter Storm

Anakbayan New Jersey celebrates the 46th anniversary of the First Quarter Storm (FQS) alongside our work to continue that revolutionary tradition in fighting for national democracy in the Philippines! From January to March 1970, a protracted series of demonstrations against the oppressive U.S.-Marcos Dictatorship in the Philippines reached a breaking point, with about 100,000 Filipinos storming Malacañang palace as well as the U.S. embassy. While the FQS was foundational to the 1986 People Power movement that ousted Marcos and his cronies out of the country, Anakbayan NJ recognizes the ongoing—and worsening—corruption and tyranny since Marcos, and we are committed to advancing the struggle for national liberation and democracy in the Philippines.

The FQS was a period when youth and students practiced comprehensive work, aligning themselves with workers, peasants, women, church people, and even those who were at first neutral about the dictatorship. This movement demonstrated that students must move out of the classrooms and link up with the basic masses, and we in Anakbayan NJ are working toward strengthening this correct practice in our organizing.

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Stand up for Philippine Sovereignty: Junk EDCA! Say No to US Pivot to Asia!

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For Immediate Release
Press Statement
January 23, 2016

Reference:

Christiaan Pfeifer, Anakbayan New Jersey
Gian-Carlo Toriano Parel, Anakbayan New Jersey
(470) 309-2265, anakbayannj@gmail.com

Stand up for Philippine Sovereignty: Junk EDCA! Say No to US Pivot to Asia!

On January 16, 2016, the Philippine Supreme Court voted to uphold the legality of the Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement (EDCA) between the Philippine and United States governments. Anakbayan New Jersey condemns EDCA because it violates Philippine sovereignty and territorial integrity, serving the interests of United States imperial incursions and military violence. EDCA, signed hours before Obama’s 2014 visit to the Philippines, allows the United States to station military troops, weapons and war materials in bases throughout the country. We stand firm on the position that EDCA is unconstitutional and reverses the 1991 decision to remove American military bases from Philippine territory through the Visiting Forces Agreement (VFA).

This Supreme Court ruling allows  the continued presence of U.S. bases and military operations on Philippine soil. This ruling will lead to further violations of our human rights and degradation of our environment. We condemn the Aquino regime’s betrayal of our national interests by rushing to approve and implement the EDCA. We believe Aquino is sacrificing Philippine sovereignty in favor of U.S. interests to position the Philippines as a pawn in the Asia-Pacific Pivot and Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA). Facilities currently being constructed in Ulugan and Oyster Bays in the territorially disputed South China Sea endanger the sovereignty and self-determination of Filipino peoples by positioning the Philippines in the crossfire of surmounting tensions between U.S. and Chinese militaries.

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29 Years of Injustice for Mendiola Massacre Victims

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For Immediate Release
Press Statement
January 22, 2016

Reference:

Joelle Eliza Lingat, Secretary General, Anakbayan New Jersey
Mia Khalil, Anakbayan New Jersey
(470) 309-2265,
anakbayannj@gmail.com

29 Years of Injustice for Mendiola Massacre Victims

Anakbayan New Jersey commemorates the 29th anniversary of the Mendiola Massacre, the violent dispersal of peasant farmers peacefully mobilizing for rights to equal land distribution and just wages on January 22, 1987. Although it has been almost three decades since the massacre, the people continue to not only call for justice for the victims but also to demand genuine agrarian reform and national industrialization – the only remedy to the root of the issues of semi-feudalism, and bureaucrat capitalism within the countryside.   

On January 22nd after six days of peaceful protest, the Mendiola Massacre erupted as a result of  Corazon Cojuanco Aquino’s promise for land reform as she came to power. Emboldened by this promise, 20,000 farmers and their allies marched to the Mendiola Bridge calling for genuine free and equal distribution of the land only to be met with severe militarization and state violence killing 13 farmers and wounding 39 others. In 1988, the same year the Manila regional Trial Court dismissed the class suit of the families of the victims and survivors against the government and involved officials, the Aquino regime created the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program (CARP).  But as Sonny Africa from IBON International details there has been a downward trend of land ownership before and during CARP. In 1971, the amount of farms fully owned by a family fell from 58% to 47.5% in 2002. Furthermore land area of these family farms has decreased from 62.9%  to 50.6% in the same period.

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Call for Solidarity

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Friends and allies, the NJ Philippine Solidarity Committee will be commemorating the Philippine-American War of 1899 beginning on February 4.

In the wake of the approval of increasing US military aid to the Philippines up to $79M and the Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement (EDCA), let us remember the beginnings of US Imperialism, and honor the Filipino people’s struggle for National Democracy. The Phil-Am War provided the blueprint for many other wars of aggression against resisting peoples, such as in Vietnam, Iraq, and other developing nations. 
We say no more US tax dollars towards human rights violations committed by the military in the Philippines! Uphold the just demands of the Filipino people for sovereignty, jobs, land, education, and social services!

We are asking you to:

  1. Organize an event in your school, community, and/or church,
  2. Write a message of solidarity to the Filipino people’s movement for genuine liberation and democracy and send it to njphilsolidarity@gmail.com,
  3. Take a selfie/ group photo with a sign saying, “I support the struggle of the Filipino people because _________”, and/or
  4. Come out to our upcoming events (details TBA soon).

Thank you for your continued support!

ICE out of New Jersey! Down with Deportations, Down with U.S. Imperialism!

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For Immediate Release
Press Statement
January 6, 2016

Reference:

Ana Robelo, Deputy Secretary General, Anakbayan New Jersey
Nina Mariella Macapinlac, Anakbayan New Jersey
Dan Santiago, Solidarity Officer, Anakbayan New Jersey
(470) 309-2265, anakbayannj@gmail.com

ICE out of New Jersey! Down with Deportations, Down with U.S. Imperialism!

Less than a week into the new year, more than one hundred asylum seekers across the country have been arrested by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) as part of a massive deportation effort by the American government. In New Jersey, there have already been many instances of ICE raiding communities to arrest and deport immigrants, especially families who entered the country within the last two years. As I have said repeatedly, our borders are not open to illegal migration,” Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary Jeh Johnson said in a telling statement, revealing that the raids are a fear tactic in response to the increase of refugees from Central America. Anakbayan NJ demands the immediate end to deportations and condemns the recent spate of ICE raids as a form of state terror against migrant communities that have already suffered extensively from imperialist violence.

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‘Whole Damn System is Guilty as Hell:’ Non-Indictment of Killer Cops in Tamir Rice Case Caps a Year of Police Terror

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For Immediate Release
Press Statement
January 4th, 2016

Reference:

Ana Robelo,  Deputy Secretary General, Anakbayan New Jersey
Nina Mariella Macapinlac, Anakbayan New Jersey
(470) 309-2265, anakbayannj@gmail.com

‘Whole Damn System is Guilty as Hell:’ Non-Indictment of Killer Cops in Tamir Rice Case Caps a Year of Police Terror

In the last week of December, a local grand jury failed to convict the two Cleveland police officers who shot and killed 12-year-old Tamir Rice in Cleveland, Ohio. This non-indictment comes at the end of a year in which nearly 1000 people were killed by the police alone. The decision joins a growing list of preceding non-indictments like in the cases of Michael Brown; Eric Garner; and most recently, Sandra Bland. Anakbayan NJ condemns this slate of police brutality as state terror, and calls for an immediate end to impunity through the arrest of all police officers responsible for extrajudicial murder.

In November 2014, Tamir Rice was in Cudell Park, a recreation center where he was playing with a toy gun. Officers Timothy Loehmann and Frank Garmback drove up in their police car in response to a 911-caller who had informed the dispatcher that Rice was “probably a juvenile” with a fake gun.  With fewer than two seconds of reaching the boy, Officer Timothy Loehmann opened fire and killed Rice. Neither officer administered first aid to the dying boy, who lay on the snow-covered grass for four minutes as Loehmann took cover behind the trunk and Garmback situated himself across from his partner.

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What Does “Youth Unite” Mean to You?

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We are thrilled to announce the winner of Anakbayan New Jersey’s Kabataan Magkaisa (Youth Unite) Art Contest, Karl Orozco! Karl will not only be joining us in Seattle, but we will have his design created into a limited edition t-shirt available exclusively at the Kabataan Magkaisa: Strengthen the Unity of Filipino Youth to Build a Brighter Future Conference January 17th-18th in Seattle, Washington.

This whimsical design “draws inspiration from a series of Mao era pictorials. Originally depicting the founding of the People’s Republic of China, this one’s all about the #cuterev,” Orozco describes.

Congratulations to Karl! We’re so excited to build with you in Seattle!

Karl Orozco is an artist and illustrator based in New Jersey. His favorite thing to doodle are sunny-side up eggs, but in real life he prefers them over easy. Read his graphic novel at http://matter.pink.

For your New Year’s resolution, we hope you will consider supporting youth and students by purchasing one of these shirts and helping to sustain our activist endeavors.

Click the image below to get redirected to our pre-order form.

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Click here to pre-order your very #CuteRev shirts today!

Kabataan Magkaisa is convened by Anakbayan-USA (AB-USA), Kapit Bisig Kabataan Network (KBKN), and National Alliance for Filipino Concerns (NAFCON) to bring together progressive Filipino youth. This conference is a concerted effort from our organizations to bring various Filipino youth groups together and lay down the foundations to rebuild Sandiwa, a national alliance of Filipino youth and students, to serve as platform for Filipino youth across the country to work together on various issues. Specifically, the conference aims to:

1. Tackle various burning economic and social justice issues affecting the Filipino community both here in the United States and back home in the Philippines;

2. Stand in solidarity with other marginalized communities. In particular, express our solidarity with our African-American brothers and sisters by joining the MLK day march;

3. Unite on campaigns and projects to work on in the coming years to advance the rights and welfare of our communities;

4. Provide a space for Filipino youth to build and get to know each other through mixer and cultural night.

For details about the conference and to register, please visit the website at http://kabataanmagkaisa.org.