Anakbayan New Jersey Calls on Filipino Community to Demand Justice on International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women (IDEVAW)

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For Immediate Release
Press Statement
November 25, 2015

Reference:
Laura Emily E. Austria, Anakbayan New Jersey Women’s Committee
Devyn Mañibo, Anakbayan New Jersey Women’s Committee
(470) 309-2265, anakbayannj@gmail.com

Anakbayan New Jersey Calls on Filipino Community to Demand Justice on International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women (IDEVAW)

The United Nations General Assembly designated November 25th as International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women (IDEVAW) in commemoration of the 1960 assassination of the three Mirabal sisters, who were political activists in the Dominican Republic. The date also marks the start of the “16 Days of Activism” that precedes Human Rights Day on December 10th each year.

Today, on IDEVAW, we join our allies at Action 21, the Jersey City community, and the world at large to stand united for a just society for women, and for all oppressed peoples.

We, Filipino youth from Anakbayan New Jersey, mark this important day by highlighting the conditions that force about 6 million Filipinos to leave the country each day, most of whom are women, in search of economic security abroad. Filipina immigrants often face violence in the countries where they find work. Host governments often turn a blind eye while the Philippine government pursues its Labor Export Policy to maximize profit off of migrant workers’ remittances. These women often cite physical and psychological abuse, discrimination, sexual assault, and other forms of abuse and exploitation such as wage theft, limited access to food and shelter, and not allowed time off from work.

As of 2010, Jersey City’s total population is 7% Filipinos, putting the city at a total of over 18,000 Filipinos, and rising – the second highest number in the state. The Filipino community in Jersey City is comprised heavily of working class and migrant women who face multiple intersecting layers of oppression including, but certainly not limited lack of equal access to employment and living wages, workers rights, immigration and citizenship barriers, and gender-based violence at home and in the workplace. For these reasons, IDEVAW is relevant to the lives of Filipina migrant women who work tirelessly to survive in the name of providing for the needs of their families back home.

According to the U.S. Department of Justice, a woman is beaten every fifteen seconds. Jersey City in particular has faced increased violence as just last Thursday, November 19th, a woman faced an attempted attack by an ex-boyfriend with an ax, injuring two people at Newport Mall. As of November 21st, the crisis has escalated to five fatal shootings in twelve days. We are raising alarm for these regrettable developments in our neighborhoods.

Further, Jersey City women face multiple forms of violence through socioeconomic disenfranchisement, lack of access to jobs and education, and targeting of migrant workers. As a result of a lack of a living wage, increased student debt, and lack of social services, women in Jersey City experience violence in both explicit and insidious ways.

Violence against women does not solely connote the physicalities of abuse, but rather, accounts for all forms of violence, physical, psychological, and even political and economic. Violence occurs and is sustained through the injustices inherited and perpetuated by systems of patriarchy, upheld by imperialism, feudalism, and bureaucrat capitalism. Violence against women is deep set, but can be uprooted.

Since the founding of Anakbayan New York/New Jersey in 2005, and the formal inception of Anakbayan NJ in 2012, Filipino women have played an integral role in serving the most oppressed people and pushing forward the national democratic movement with a socialist perspective. We must continue to strive in upholding the rights of poor and working class women here and across the globe.

With the launch of the Anakbayan New Jersey Women’s Committee, we renew our commitment to studying the concrete experiences of Filipina immigrants for the purpose of uplifting their stories, and actively participating in mass campaigns that respond to their immediate needs and concerns, while exposing the manifestations of an imperialist system that perpetuates hardship and exploitation.

We call on Filipino youth in the U.S. to join Anakbayan in educating, organizing, and mobilizing our community to fight for fair working conditions, support for victims of domestic violence, an end to human trafficking, the removal of US military bases and personnel in the Philippines and other developing countries. Let us advance the legacy of the Mirabal sisters and our own, Lorena Barros, who wholeheartedly took up the cause of national liberation and genuinely serving the people.

 

End violence against women!

Justice for Jennifer Laude! US out of the Philippines!

Justice for Mary Jane Veloso! End the Labor Export Policy!

N30: Anakbayan NJ @ 10

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Dugang Kadasig! Carry on the Revolutionary Legacy of Andres Bonifacio and Kabataang Makabayan! Further engage the masses in the struggle against state repression in the Philippines and the fight against neoliberal education!

SAVE THE DATE: https://www.facebook.com/events/155008531519291/

Anakbayan New Jersey will be celebrating 10 years as a chapter. We will be holding our Executive Committee Elections and summing up the victories and gains of the past year!

We will be holding our 10 year anniversary as Anakbayan NJ in The Barrow Mansion! 

Address: Barrow Mansion 83 Wayne St, Jersey City, NJ 07302

Time: 6:30pm-9:30pm

The Barrow Mansion is right off Grove Street Path Station and located on 83 Wayne Street in between Jersey Ave and Barrow St. Feel free to formally dress up and celebrate with us 10 Years of Anakbayan NJ in Downtown Jersey City! Hope to see you there! We will be fundraising to generate funds for Anakbayan New Jersey to attend Anakbayan-USA’s 2nd National Congress in Seattle, Washington during Martin Luther King Jr. weekend!

Help support us in our endeavor to continue advancing the youth’s role in advancing the national democratic movement of the Philippines here in the Belly of the Beast! As we continue to uphold the revolutionary tradition of Filipino Youth, we are also in the midst of the upsurge in the ranks of Youth and Students. We call on you to attend our general assembly and also join Anakbayan!

Join us in serving the broadest of people, join us in the comprehensive expansion of the Youth and Students to take up the call to action to take an active role in pushing for National Democracy with a Socialist Perspective.

LUMALAKAS, LUMALAWAK, LUMALABAN, ANAKBAYAN!

DUGANG KADASIG!

Please fill the form below to RSPV! Linked here as well. 

 

Anakbayan New Jersey Commemorates International Students’ Day in Condemnation of the Global Neoliberal Offensive on Education and in Solidarity with University of Missouri Activists

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For Immediate Release
Press Statement
November 17th, 2015

Reference:

Daniel A. Santiago, Solidarity Officer, Anakbayan New Jersey
Laura Emily E. Austria, Anakbayan New Jersey
(470) 309-2265, anakbayannj@gmail.com

Anakbayan New Jersey Commemorates International Students’ Day in Condemnation of the Global Neoliberal Offensive on Education and in Solidarity with University of Missouri Activists

On International Students’ Day 2015,  Anakbayan New Jersey (ABNJ) condemns the neoliberal offensive on education plaguing students across the globe and in solidarity with the student activists responding to these heightened contradictions in the belly of the imperialist beast.  Neoliberal agendas have violated students’ right to education for  economic schemes in the name of profit. We call on our fellow student activists on campuses across the U.S. to rightfully identify and isolate the increased aggressions against marginalized students as an effect of systemic oppressions based in the global capitalist system.

Despite the “Education for All”  decade and the Dakar Framework of Action at the World Education Forum, international agencies such as the World Bank commandeered these initiatives and instead implemented neoliberal reforms on schools to better align the next generation with their economic agenda. Rather than breeding a culture of critical thought and resistance, curriculums are driven by the need to supply the skilled-labor, professional, and cultural demands of imperialism. As such, education has become a tool to produce a larger skilled labor force and rank-and-file professionals who deluded into believing they can attain the very class status that is built upon their own oppression.

On November 12th, hundreds of campuses across America held a Day of Action to demand tuition-free higher education, cancellation of all student debt, and $15 minimum wage for all campus workers. Most notably, in the University of Missouri, the student movement succeeded this past month in driving out their president after his failure to respond following a series of racist, anti-Semitic events and threats to Black students. Yet despite these victories, an anonymous Twitter user just sent death threats targeting Black students at Kean University this evening. Government tax dollars being siphoned to military spending overseas rather than education, increased privatization, and operation of schools as businesses results in warped academic priorities and exacerbated social inequalities. Academic institutions are not places of intellectual growth in service of the people, but rather a tool of capitalists to increase competitiveness and profitability.  As students from marginalized communities, we stand united with our fellow student activists, particularly those most targeted, our Black and brown brothers and sisters. The problems students face on U.S. campuses will continue to persist unless the roots of these issues are addressed.

From November 13-19, 2015 the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) is holding the “APEC Voices of the Future” Summit as the key platform for the youth voice in conjunction with their annual meeting of worldwide economic leaders in Manila. We must constantly question what voices these power players are listening to. The victories of the parliamentary struggle will never genuinely address for the needs of the oppressed. While their theme claims, “Building Inclusive Economies, Building a Better World,” the oppressed peoples steps outside the doors of their conference halls and across the globe have been clamoring for anti-imperialist resistance. From the 5th International Assembly of the International League of Peoples’ Struggle (ILPS) to the Lumad camp of Manilakbayan 2015 to the increased mobilizations despite state repression and violation of rights to assemble, the people have decisively taken a stand against neoliberal economic policies that fail to listen to the cries of the oppressed.

From the University of Missouri to the K-12 schools in the Philippines to increased tuition and lack of safety for students on New Jersey campuses, students must rise to defend our human right to education. ABNJ recognizes that the inaccessibility of higher education in the United States for marginalized peoples is rooted in neoliberal economic policies. While the reactionary state attempts to convince us that these are random, isolated acts of violence, we stand to fight against these events’ systemic ties to imperialism. ABNJ calls on all youth and students across the world to unite in an anti-imperialist front to dismantle the economic systems that violate our basic rights to education.

Solidarity with Mizzou!

Junk APEC and neoliberal globalization!

Solution to the crisis: genuine national liberation and democracy!

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HLI @ 11: The fight for genuine agrarian land reform continues

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For Immediate Release
Press Statement

November 9th, 2015

 

Reference:

 

Ian Jerome Conde, Deputy Secretary-General, Anakbayan New Jersey

Laura Emily E. Austria, Anakbayan New Jersey

(470) 309-2265, anakbayannj@gmail.com

 

HLI @ 11: The fight for genuine agrarian land reform continues

 

Today, November 16th, 2015, we mark the 11th anniversary of the Hacienda Luisita massacre. Anakbayan New Jersey members in the past have integrated with the basic masses in HLI in the past. We acknowledge the ongoing plight of the farm workers in Hacienda Luisita, as they represent the frontlines for the fight for genuine agrarian land reform in the Philippines. 11 years later, the farm workers of HLI have not been granted access to their lands. As we continue to wage the National Democratic program, we continue the fight against the monopoly of the comprador big-bourgeoisie and landlord classes of the entire country.

As the U.S.-Aquino administration is channelling their energies towards APEC, it is clear that their priority is in appeasing and serving the interest of the landlord and comprador big-bourgeoisie instead of the interests of the toiling masses. As these world powers gather, the increase fascism in the countryside is ever-worsening. The U.S.-Aquino regime is accelerating the worsening crisis of the Philippines into a downward spiral as the economy is barely standing on its crutches as we continue to lay servitude to the foreign multinational corporations.  

Since the Cojuangco family’s acquisition of Hacienda Luisita, the call for genuine agrarian land reform has remained at the forefront of priorities of the BS Aquino administration. 11 years later there have been no attempts to respond to the call of the farmers in Hacienda Luisita. The culture of impunity has remained intact under the BS Aquino administration.  Sham Land Reform remains under the guise of the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program (CARP).

Under the U.S.-Arroyo regime, farmers’ wages were shrunk to P194.50, and farmers were only allowed to work one day a week. The workers of Hacienda Luisita filed a petition with the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) in order to have the Stock Distribution Option (SDO) Agreement abolished. Two months later, the petition bore at least 5,300 signatures before being filed by union officers at the DAR. After the union attempted to negotiate wages to at least P225 a day, the Luisita management discarded 327 farmers — including union officers.

11 years later, we remember the martyrs of the Hacienda Luisita Massacre. Bayan-USA states “The political repression faced eleven years ago is the same political repression activists and community organizers face today. Peasants, who make up more than 75% of the population in the Philippines, still demand genuine agrarian reform- a redistribution of the land. Many died defending their rights to the land at Hacienda Luisita and today they continue to fight against the bureaucracy of land distribution after the Supreme Court’s decision to award the farmers a certain percentage of the Cojuangco land.”  The culture of impunity is ever-prevalent in relation to the recent killings of Lumad leaders in Mindanao. Oplan Bayanihan, the current manifestation of US-Arroyo’s counterinsurgency plan Oplan Bantay Laya I & II keeps legal mass activists to be preyed upon the state reactionary forces.  

In 2013, the DAR set up a tambiolo raffle that would determine which farmlands would go to the former workers of Hacienda Luisita. This allocation only served to pit the workers against each other. Then, right before Christmas that same year, goons working for Tarlac Development Corporation (TADECO) fenced off and destroyed a 260-hectare area in Balete to forcibly remove farmers. Weeks later, the Luisita farm workers picketed at PNP’s Camp Macabulos in Tarlac City to demand the release of illegally arrested and detained farmers. On B.S. Aquino’s birthday in 2014, crops were destroyed, homes were burned, children were mistreated and detained, and supplies and animals were stolen.

Back in 2013, Land Transportation Office chief Virginia Torres resigned from her position. As a result, B.S. Aquino dubbed her “Aryendo Queen,” revealing her large role in the tambiolo scheme. Contrary to the belief that tambiolo ‘land reform’ would protect the farmers’ rights to own and till the land, the papers given to beneficiaries only functioned as collateral in the raging unlawful leaseback operations called aryendo.

On April 25th, 2014, as a response to her effigy being burned at the CAT sugar mill, Kris Aquino said, “Alam ko na pag sinusunog-sunog ka, humahaba ang buhay mo, kaya okay lang, carry.” Her family sold their shares to Martin Lorenzo shortly after Kris Aquino responded. After Lorenzo established CAT Resource and Asset Holdings, Inc., almost 700 CAT workers were forced to sign “voluntary retirement” papers. As a way to continue to cover up their exploitation of workers, Lorenzo and Fernando Cojuangco are planning to rid of more of CAT and LRC’s land assets.

Pooling money with Florencio Abad, B.S. Aquino was able to use the P237 billion to create the unconstitutional Disbursement Acceleration Program. P50 million was given to each of the senator-judges to secure a guilty verdict in the Corona impeachment. The Department of Agrarian Reform also stated that the P451.7 million compensation to the Aquino-Cojuangco family came from DAP. P3.5 million from DAP was used to erect a small multi-purpose hall in Barangay Central, Hacienda Luisita by Aquino; this was a favor for an alleged broker of the aryendo, Barangay Captain Edgardo Aguas.

In August 2014, survivors and relatives of those who died at the Hacienda Luisita Massacre filed a motion to reopen the case. The motion was thrown out two months later. Instead of the Philippine government prosecuting military officials involved in the massacre, they gave the officials lovely promotions. The soldier who killed the president of Central Azucarera de Tarlac Labor Union, Ricardo Ramos, was acquitted.

Today, Hacienda Luisita is still in the hands of the Cojuangco family. Today, power is still in the hands of the few. Today, the farmers whose livelihoods are tied to the cultivation of Hacienda Luisita are still suffering. Today, we continue to remember and uplift those whose lives were brutally killed in order to retain an immoral socioeconomic hierarchy. As Anakbayan New Jersey, we remember the Hacienda Luisita Massacre and continue to advocate for a better and just Philippines through genuine agrarian reform.

Justice for the Victims of the Hacienda Luisita Massacre!

Redistribute Hacienda Luisita to the Farmers Now!

Stop Lumad Killings!

Genuine Agrarian Reform Now!

Defend Indigenous Rights to Ancestral Land!

#PHFightAPEC

Junk APEC and Imperialist Globalization!

 

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Stand for the Rights and Welfare of Undocumented Immigrants. Unite the Families in the Diaspora.

Statements 11112015.003

Press Statement

November 12, 2015

Reference:

Melissa Harris, Anakbayan New Jersey

(470) 309-2265anakbayannj@gmail.com

Stand for the Rights and Welfare of Undocumented Immigrants. Unite the Families in the Diaspora: Anakbayan NJ joins Saint Peter’s University vigil for un-documented immigrants

Filipino youth group, Anakbayan New Jersey (ABNJ), joins the vigil held at Saint Peter’s University by the Social Justice Club in vigil to demand “immigration reform and justice for undocumented/migrant people”. Members of ABNJ says many Filipino immigrants similar face harsh conditions here and abroad.

“We join the Saint Peter’s University community in solidarity of all migrants and refugees all over the world who are suffering under inhumane and repressive immigration policies. We demand justice and we stand for a world where families are not torn apart by the need to survive,” said Joelle Lingat, chairperson of Anakbayan New Jersey.

The vigil was called for in relation to the refugee crisis sweeping Europe and the ongoing struggles of undocumented immigrants here in the United States. According to the Organization of International Migration, around 700,000 refugees have arrived in Europe by sea. Most refugees are applying for asylum. Meanwhile, there are around 12 million undocumented immigrants in the United States and nearly two million have already been deported under President Obama’s tenure. Most of these immigrants are escaping poverty and wars in their home countries.

Similarly, the Philippines has seen 10 percent of its population migrate. Currently, close to 12 million Filipinos either live or work abroad. According to a New York Times article published last Nov.9, “No country exports more seafarers than the Philippines, which provides roughly a quarter of them globally. More than 400,000 Filipinos sought work last year as officers, deckhands, fishermen, cargo handlers and cruise workers.”

“This speaks to the state of employment in the Philippines. Filipinos are forced away from their families, away from their homeland in order to put a roof over their heads and to put food in their mouths. The fact that so many are left to choose a dangerous and uncertain path underscores the desperation for people to thrive economically, even at the most basic level,” says Melissa Harris, ABNJ member.

According to the young activists, these migration patterns are not coincidental, but rather a direct result of “Imperialism”. “There is no one else to blame for the horrible conditions faced by migrants and refugees around the world other than U.S. Imperialism. It is its wars of aggression waged in the middle east that destabilized the region and forced people to flee for their lives. It is its continued economic domination, in the form of various unequal trade agreements like the North American Free Trade Agreement and the current Trans Pacific Partnership Agreement that continues to impoverish the Third World and creates conditions for forced migration,” says Lingat.

Anakbayan New Jersey says this is more reason for youth and students to advocate for immigrants’ rights. “As seen in the struggle of undocumented students, only through organized struggle can immigrants uphold their rights. We call on immigrant youth and students to educate, organize and mobilize the larger immigrant community to fight for their immediate rights and link this to the global struggle against US imperialism. Only then can we end the system of forced migration,” Lingat concluded.

Raise the Minimum Wage to $15! Fight for the Living Wage!

Statements 11112015.001

For Immediate Release
Press Statement

Reference:

Joelle Eliza Lingat, Chairperson, Anakbayan New Jersey

Ian Jerome Conde, Deputy Secretary-General, Anakbayan New Jersey

(470) 309-2265, anakbayannj@gmail.com

Raise the Minimum Wage to $15! Fight for the Living Wage!

Anakbayan New Jersey sends its deepest support for 15 Now NJ’s nationally coordinated Day of Action calling for the $15 minimum wage and the right to unionize. On November 10, 2015 low-wage workers, unions, community groups, and allies gathered in Jersey City’s City Hall for a rally and the third resolution calling on the State Legislature to raise the minimum wage. After deliberation the resolution Jersey City Council successfully voted unanimously 8-0 in favor of the resolution to raise the Minimum Wage in NJ.

“A fight for 15 dollars minimum wage is not much to ask, when we have people living to recover from the economic depressions that keep hitting our economy even harder and harder,” said Ian Jerome Conde, Deputy Secretary-General of Anakbayan NJ, “While we seek a higher minimum wage, we must also push for the necessity of a living wage for the population. Filipinos are working multiple jobs in order to feed their family and save enough to remit back to the philippines. Increasing the minimum wage is a step in our local government prioritizing the needs of everyday people.”

The Fight for 15 has been waging for three years across the country since its launch in 2012. Multiple cities are proposing laws, and Seattle was even victorious. New York City’s Fast Food Wage Board also recommended a $15 minimum wage for fast food workers. As one of the most diverse cities in the U.S. with one of the largest immigration populations in the state, the conditions are ripe for Jersey City workers to demand a $15 minimum wage.

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In New Jersey, the cost of living is higher than the wages earned. According to the Working Families, the average adult needs to make $19.67 per hour to sustain themselves, without consideration of their families. Further, an adult earning minimum wage must work 100 hours for a one bedroom apartment according to the National Low Income Housing Coalition. With the shift to one-parent households and increased gentrification, a $15 minimum wage is necessary now more than ever.

As youth and students, we would all directly benefit from a $15 minimum wage and the right to unionize. With the increasing education crisis, tuition fees are becoming more expensive and students are getting further in debt. By taking up these struggle for the rights and welfare of low-wage workers, the youth advocate for their families and empower themselves.

We are worth more!
$15 now, living wage next!

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Anakbayan New Jersey, FIWOP: Filipino Immigrant Workers Alliance and 15 Now NJ posing with Council President Rolando Lavarro after City Council votes 8-0 on the resolution for $15 min wage in NJ.

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Jersey City Community Calls to Relief, Rebuild, and Remember on Haiyan 2nd Anniversary

Statements 11112015.002

For Immediate Release
Press Statement

November 8, 2015

Reference:

Daniel Valentin, President, Asian American Student Union at Saint Peter’s University

201.205.6389, dvalentin@mail.saintpeters.edu

Joelle Eliza Lingat, Chairperson, Anakbayan New Jersey

470.309.2265, anakbayannj@gmail.com

Jersey City Community Calls to Relief, Rebuild, and Remember on Haiyan 2nd Anniversary

Various community and student groups held “Typhoon Haiyan Second Anniversary: Relief, Rebuild, Remember,” a special mass and a vigil at St. Aedan’s Parish on November 8, marking the second anniversary of super typhoon Haiyan. Participants called for the continued awareness on the ongoing struggles of typhoon survivors as well as the need for climate justice.

The mass was conducted by Father Rocco Danzi, Director of Campus Ministry, at Saint Aedan’s Church, a vigil at Panepinto Plaza, and a discussion in the Student Center’s Campus Ministry and the vigil was organized by the Asian American Student Union (AASU) of Saint Peter’s University, Anakbayan New Jersey (ABNJ). This commemoration is part of a national week of action called by the national Fil-Am youth and student relief network, Kapit Bisig Kabataan Network (KBKN).

On November 8, 2013, Super Typhoon Haiyan made landfall in central Philippines.For the past two years, the world has stood in witness to the aftermath of one of the strongest and deadliest typhoon ever recorded. Typhoon Haiyan left an estimated 10,000 people, affected 11 million Filipinos and more than one million homeless.

“Jersey City, though half way across the globe, still remembers typhoon Haiyan and continues to stand in solidarity with the survivors. We join the call for justice for the victims of government neglect. We also call on our government leaders to act on the climate crisis,” said Laura Emily E. Austria, ABNJ. Jersey City is home to more than 20,000 Filipinos, one of the largest population of Filipinos in the east coast.

Throughout the mass, Father Rocco commemorated the survivors of Typhoon Haiyan in song and scripture. During his homily, he remarked that unlike CNN and other mass media, the community must be committed to remembering the tragedy and acting in solidarity with the survivors that still struggle. Denise Yzabel Salonga Cateron, a student at Saint Peter’s University and member of the choir, offered a personal prayer in Tagalog at the close of the mass. $250 was raised in through a special second collection to contribute to the National Alliance of Filipino Concern’s Typhoon Lando relief efforts.

The vigil was attended by members of 350.org, Pax Christi, Gabriela New York, Food and Water Watch New Jersey, the New York Committee for Human Rights in the Philippines, Saint Aedan’s Parish, and the larger Jersey City community. In addition to solidarity statements and personal testimonies, participants were invited to respond to a posterboard prompting, “How has ‘natural disasters’ impacted your life?” Responses connected the aftermath of Typhoon Haiyan to the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy along the Jersey shore and persistent flooding in Wayne, NJ. The vigil was closed as Kate Angeles, Saint Peter’s University student, Vice President of Schola, and Jersey City resident offered the song, “Hindi Kita Malilimutan.”

The discussion featured a report back by recent missioners to disaster-stricken areas of the Philippines on the 2015 KBKN relief and rebuild mission. They shared photographs accompanied with stories of survivors’ personal accounts of the gravity of the situation on the ground. Although there is loss of livelihood, threats of demolition, and corporate use of No Dwelling Zones, the missioners also shared messages of hope. Peoples Surge, an organization of Typhoon Haiyan survivors, is leading a concerted effort to protest economic policies that favors profit over the wellbeing of the people and the environment through protest of APEC and the TPPA and appeals to the upcoming COP21 in Paris.

I felt that the Discussion portion of last nights event affected me the most because it was the most informative and most intimate. I was glad we were able to have a short hand experience through the KBKN missioners on what life was like in the Philippines after the Super Typhoon, and how mentally traumatizing the events that occurred are, till this day.” said Daniel Valentin, President of AASU.

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“Reflecting on my journey back to the Philippines, my exposure trip was the single most solidifying experience for me,” said Daniel Santiago, KBKN missioner. Going back allowed me to not only reinforce why I am fighting and struggling towards the liberation of our People, but truly were on the grounds living, experiencing, and hearing directly from the People. No media twisting, no political propaganda from the government, but hearing firsthand what the people are experiencing. From the landlessness and being pushed off of lands their families have worked for over a century, to the lack of governmental response and deficiencies of NGO’s after “natural” disasters, as well as the militarization of indigenous communities. Here we risk our comfort to support our People, back home they risk harassment, threats, and even death to fight for the human rights of our People. To truly see the true conditions that not only the Philippine government propagate, but the United States government has on our homeland. One must take the pilgrimage back home to have a sincere understanding that it is not just “More Fun in the Philippines” as tourism advertises, but that our People are struggling. If we are truly proud to be Filipino, we must take the good and beautiful aspects with the bad and the ugly to fight genuinely towards making sure our People and our land one day can see true independence and freedom.”

Despite the international clamor for support for Typhoon Haiyan survivors in the immediate aftermath, there has not been much progress in the past two years. “Typhoon donations get funneled to the Philippines through government agencies, therefore creating room for pilfering and disparity. What little is left is not distributed fairly to those most affected by disaster. Many are left with minimal monetary support and are forced to live in temporary housing on no-build zones. Often, monetary donations do not correspond to need, leaving many displaced and distressed,” said Devyn Manibo of ABNJ and Typhoon Haiyan commemoration committee member. “Two years has shown that the survivors will be in a perpetual state of disaster unless there is an overhaul of the government ineptitude,” Manibo continued. Most recent reports allege that survivors are dying in the bunkhouses and still lack access to social services as public institutions on health and education are being used for public-private partnership schemes.

“As AASU and ABNJ, we call upon on the Filipino American community to stand firm with the disaster survivors to intensify demands for justice and accountability and an end to the climate crisis. It is important that we, as youth and students, acknowledge Super Typhoon Haiyan as a warning for our world that will forever will go down in history. While they call it a “natural disaster” we will not be lied to by mass media. It is natural for an archipelagic nation to undergo periods of typhoons, but the extent of the most recent waves of typhoons is due to man-made causes. Global warming, carbon pollution, and social exploitation has entered us into the age of Super Typhoons and a climate crisis that will only continue to increase in severity. The warnings and candles are no longer enough, we echo the survivors’ calls for accountability, livelihood and justice now!” Laura Emily Austria of ABNJ concluded.

End the climate crisis!
Peoples’ survival is non-negotiable!

Remember Haiyan!

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Typhoon Haiyan 2nd Anniversary: Relief, Rebuild, Remember – Mass, Vigil, & Discussion

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Good morning everyone!

On November 8, 2013, Typhoon Haiyan (Yolanda) ravaged the central Philippines, the most devastating typhoon to hit the country. Although it has been two years since the tragedy, the communities that have been most impacted by its force are still in need of support. We come together in commemoration and remembrance of those lost and in support of communities still rebuilding.

Please join the Campus Ministry and Asian American Student Union (AASU) of St. Peter’s University, St. Aedan’s Parish,  Anakbayan NJ, and Kapit Bisig Kabataan Network (KBKN) in prayer and reflection on the anniversary of Supertyphoon Haiyan.

Following the mass, led by Father Rocco Danzi, Director of Campus Ministry, and outdoor vigil will be reportback and discussion featuring recent KBKN missioners to disaster-stricken areas of the Philippines . All are welcome and donations will go to Typhoon Lando relief and rehabilitation efforts.

Sunday, November 8, 2015

Mass: 5 PM, St. Aedan’s Parish

800 Bergen Avenue Jersey City, NJ 07306

Vigil: 6 PM (after the Mass), Panepinto Plaza (in front of Mac Mahon Student Center of St. Peter’s University) 47 Glenwood Avenue Jersey City, NJ 07306

Discussion: 6:30 PM (after the Vigil), Mac Mahon Student Center Campus Ministry (first floor) 47 Glenwood Avenue Jersey City, NJ 07306

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Please feel free to share the information with the larger community! If you are unable attend, but still want to support, please feel free to donate to Typhoon Lando relief efforts via the National Alliance of Filipino Concerns by clicking here.

Anakbayan New Jersey Congratulates Cordillera Human Rights Alliance’s 5th General Assembly, “With Feist and Fervor, Fight State Terrorism!”

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For Immediate Release
Press Statement
October 8, 2015

Reference:

Laura Emily Austria, Anakbayan New Jersey
(470) 309-2265, anakbayannj@gmail.com

We Congratulate the Cordillera Human Rights Alliance’s 5th General Assembly, “With Feist and Fervor, Fight State Terrorism!”

Anakbayan New Jersey sends warm and militant congratulations to Cordillera Human Rights Alliance (CHRA) on their 5th General Assembly in Baguio City. On September 20, 2015, CHRA gathered 60 delegates for discussion and education on the human rights work that is currently needed in the region in the midst of the worsening attacks against indigenous peoples all over the country.

As an overseas chapter of Anakbayan Philippines, we uplift the work of human rights organizations in the Philippines and abroad. One particular example is the Justice for Freddie Ligiw campaign. CHRA was one of the first to report on the killing of Ligiw, a member of Anakbayan Abra. They reported that 29 year-old Ligiw was last seen at his home in Sitio Sukaw, Domenglay; Ligiw was supposed to see his father, Licuben, at the pacalso before heading off to the mining site in the community. His remains were found in a shallow grave with that of 49 other people. Without the reporting and support of CHRA, Freddie Ligiw’s story would have never been told.

People from the Cordillera region also attended July 2015’s International Peoples’ Tribunal in Washington, D.C. to testify about the conditions that have been created through the implementation of state repression by the Philippine government. Attorney Maria Catherine Salucon exemplifies the attacks that have been taking place in the Cordillera region. Salucon states that she had received “systematic harassments and threats” from the paramilitary. Later, she was tagged as a Red Lawyer and was placed on the Order of Battle, a hit list for the Philippine military.

In so many areas across the Philippines where indigenous people live, there are attacks and incidents of harassment by the Philippine government. We support Cordillera Human Rights Alliance and their efforts to fight state repression and state terrorism in the Cordillera region.

ACTIVISM IS NOT A CRIME! JUSTICE FOR FREDDIE LIGIW!

END IMPUNITY FROM THE CORDILLERAS TO NEW JERSEY!

FIGHT FOR NATIONAL DEMOCRACY IN THE PHILIPPINES!

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From Ayotzinapa to Mindanao End State Repression of Indigenous Schools! Anakbayan New Jersey Demands Justice for the 43 Students of Ayotzinapa One Year Later

PR Ayotzinapa

For Immediate Release
Press Statement

October 12, 2015

Reference:

Ana Robelo, Anakbayan New Jersey

Laura Emily Austria, Anakbayan New Jersey

(470) 309-2265, anakbayannj@gmail.com

From Ayotzinapa to Mindanao End State Repression of Indigenous Schools! Anakbayan New Jersey Demands Justice for the 43 Students of Ayotzinapa One Year Later

As we pass the one year anniversary of the disappearance of the 43 students of Ayotzinapa on September 26, 2014, Anakbayan New Jersey joins the call for justice and stands with the struggle of the families of the disappeared students. We recognize that this is another manifestation of state repression facilitated by US imperialism.

At the International Tribunal of Conscience for the Movement of Peoples at NYU, our members were fortunate enough to hear the truthful accounts of what happened the night of the disappearances in the words of leading Mexican journalist Anabel Hernandez and her partner Steve Fisher. They continue their investigation despite eminent death threats to counter the government’s cover-up. The Mexican government’s story is filled with contradictions and lies further revealing its role in the violence against schools like Ayotzinapa’s Normalista school, it’s students, and the indigenous peoples of Mexico. We know that the Mexican military, federal police, and Guerrero police forces are responsible under orders of President Peña Nieto’s government and that they monitored and hunted the students because of their commitment to education in Mexico’s rural indigenous communities.

As we listened to the findings from Hernandez and Fisher’s journalism in conjunction with testimonials from human rights defenders who have witnessed massacres, abuse, kidnapping, and torture victims at the hands of Mexican authorities and Mexican migrants forced out of their homeland to survive we hear echoes of the Philippines. While Mexico is in the backyard of the U.S. imperialist superpower, the Philippines is under military occupation and heavily monitored even across oceans. With the same human rights and democracy rhetoric that the U.S.-Mexico Plan Merida uses to fight the war on drugs as Oplan Bayanihan uses to fight second front of the U.S. war on terror in Mindanao – in reality millions of U.S. tax dollars invest in militarizing and terrorizing the Mexican and Filipino people with impunity backed by their respective governments. Military and paramilitary groups can roam freely on rural indigenous land forcibly displacing, harassing, and killing. In the Acteal Massacre of 1997, 45 members of Las Abejas, a Mayan-Tzotzil Christian pacifist group, were murdered, for their public support of the EZLN Zapatista army while praying in a church by members of the PRI. Eighteen years later the then President, Ernesto Zedillo, is pardoned by the U.S. Supreme Court and holds the titles of research center director and professor at Yale University. This January Obama hosted current Mexican President Peña Nieto in the white house and congratulated him on “structural reforms” with the intention of fixing the “immigration problem” and ignoring the violence perpetuated by both governments through policies, like NAFTA and Plan Merida, causing migrants to leave Mexico and Central America. 43 years after the declaration of Martial law, the redtagging of activists and human rights defenders continues through Oplan Bayanihan under Aquino. Just four weeks ago three Lumad leaders Emerito Samarca, Dionel Campos, and Bello Sinzo were murdered in the Lumad school ALCADEV school in Han-ayan, Mindanao by the Philippine army, special forces, and a Lumad paramilitary group. As immigrant youth and youth from immigrant families doing work in the U.S. we know that real change must come with addressing the conditions in our home countries even as we fight imperialism from within belly of the beast. “As an undocumented Mexican-American, I was forced to leave my country and make the United States my new home…Like many say ‘no soy de aqui, ni soy de aya’, ‘I am not from here or from there’, but for me the pain of the 43 students is just as alive and just as frustrating as it is to the people in Mexico…” says Miriam Zamudio of New Jersey Youth for Immigrant Liberation. “As a student I feel the pain of my comrades, I feel a need to fight for justice not only in my country but in a suffering Latin America.”

The Mexican government has tried to frame Normalalista schools — a school to ready high school graduates for the teaching field. Usually two-year programs, normal schools can be traced back to the 16th century. Despite this long history, students of the Escuela Normal of Ayotzinapa are being tagged by the Mexican government as a place where radicals, revolutionaries, and communists study. A similar scenario can be seen in indigenous communities in the Philippines, especially in Mindanao. One case is that of the Manobo children in Talaingod. Attending the Salugpungan Ta ‘Tanu Ingkanugon (Unity to Defend our Ancestral Land) School is hard for these children because they are tagged by the Philippine government as schools of the New People’s Army, the armed wing of the Communist Party of the Philippines. As a result, paramilitary often invade their lands and schools. These indigenous schools do not follow the curriculum followed by other schools in the cities — they are geared towards their agrarian lifestyle and their position as being vulnerable to the paramilitary. This is apparently reason for the Philippine government to attack the Manobo people and other indigenous groups; these people are deemed as communists, members of the NPA, or terrorists. Anakbayan NJ supports the Save our Schools campaign in the Philippines, which asserts that indigenous people should have the right to educate and empower their communities without fear of military attacks and harassment.

Stephanie Bello, a member of Mexican American Progress Movement, rebukes the way both the Mexican and Philippine governments have been framing schools residing in indigenous communities. “As students and youth searching for justice, democracy, and progress for our communities, we stand in solidarity with the Normalistas, the disappeared students, their parents and communities. It is time for Mexico to heal and progress, and it must do so with its youth front and center,” she stated. “We support the parents, families and comrades of the 43 disappeared students, their vision of a critical education that is accessible to the rural poor, and whatever means they propose for achieving justice and accountability. Indigenous people and rural schools (normalistas) are being attacked by government and militaries not only in Mexico but in other places of the world. In the Philippines 3 leaders at an alternative rural school were murdered by paramilitaries on August 18. This attack further emphasizes government’s’ efforts to limit critical and important education of indigenous people,” Bello asserts.

The world, for many of our comrades in other countries, is in a state of constant war.  Ayotzinapa has shown us that in these wars there is no such thing as a non-combatant. The 43 Ayotzinapa students in question were ironically targeted because they were stealing buses in order to attend a demonstration commemorating the Tlatelolco Student Massacre of 1968. The Massacre had taken place on October 2nd — 10 days before the opening of the Summer Olympics in Mexico City. A culmination of political unrest in Mexico, Italy, Japan, the Netherlands, and the rest of the world came about through student movements, and this was exemplified by the Tlatelolco Student Massacre. Students numbering in the thousands gathered at the Three Cultures Square in the Tlatelolco housing complex so that they could know what the next steps of the movement were.  As students we look to the 43 with sorrow, because we see in them our own sorrows, our own struggles, and our own power.  In each of them was a capacity for friendship and love no different from our own, a yearning to do what is right in the face of authority, and an opportunity to know what is just. It is in them that we can come to terms with our own weaknesses, our biases and impotency. “As youth and students we often lack the power that older members of our community wield, and the insight that the most oppressed may offer,” Anakbayan NJ member Jonathan Zirkle remarks. “It is in our afterlife that our flaws disappear, and our legacy reaches farther than we ever could while bound by our flesh. We can no longer meet the 43,[…] shake their hands[,] or laugh with them[…] [However,] their power will fuel us until the revolution is won.” For this reason, ABNJ stands and supports the voices of all students being repressed by state governments as we commemorate the 1st Anniversary of the disappearance of the 43 students of Ayotzinapa.

AYOTZINAPA VIVE! LA LUCHA SIGUE!

DOWN WITH IMPUNITY! END STATE REPRESSION FROM AYOTZINAPA TO MINDANAO!

SAVE OUR SCHOOLS! STOP KILLING LUMAD!

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