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.