For Immediate Release
November 30, 2015
Jonathan Zirkle, Educational Development Officer, Anakbayan New Jersey
Ian Jerome Conde, Anakbayan New Jersey
(470) 309-2265, firstname.lastname@example.org
Dugang Kadasig! 10 Years of Arousing, Organizing, & Mobilizing the Youth and Students in New Jersey. Continue the Legacy of Andres Bonifacio and Kabataang Makabayan! Advance the Comprehensive Expansion of the Youth and Students!
What is N30?
Anakbayan NJ celebrates ten years of struggle and community involvement in the Northeast on November 30th. It is on this day that we also celebrate the birth of Andres Bonifacio, Supremo of the Katipunan, the first underground revolutionary organization to fight the colonial rule of the Spanish; the founding of the Kabataang Makabayan in 1964, our predecessors as the first National Democratic organization whose comprehensive nature was the catalyst for the burgeoning upsurge of the youth and students to call for the National Democracy with a Socialist Perspective. Their model is why Anakbayan is comprehensive today in orientation founded in 1999 in midst of EDSA 2 when the U.S.-Estrada regime was ousted by the mass movement.
Andres Bonifacio is the historical figure that youth pull inspiration from. Andres Bonifacio founded and led the revolutionary organization of the Katipunan at 28 years old, and thwarted the Spanish out of our beloved homeland, the Philippines. It is in the objective analysis of our forebears that provides us with the organizational discipline and perspective to continue to serve the people. Andres Bonifacio rose from the ranks of the lower working class, armed with a love and passion for freedom.
Kabataang Makabayan (KM), or Patriotic Youth, was the precursor to the founding of the Marxist-Leninist-Maoist party of the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP). Kabataang Makabayan’s comprehensive orientation is what drew the broadest of people to the KM.
Today, Anakbayan serves the broadest and continues the mission of serving the people from the oppressed classes, whereas previous youth and student formations have had limitations. Anakbayan today is the torchbearer of Andres Bonifacio and Kabataang Makabayan. Anakbayan currently has eleven chapters in the United States and the ongoing growth of Anakbayan chapters illustrates that we still have room to grow and more room to expand the militant youth and student movement for National Democracy with a socialist perspective.
Chronology and Legacy of Anakbayan in New Jersey
The roots of Anakbayan NJ can be traced back to the founding of MAKABAYAN in New York, which was a non-profit youth and student mass organization that provided services to the Filipino and greater immigrant populations in the city. They were composed primarily of young Filipino factory workers, and their membership would expand to New Jersey as an independent organization known as the Jersey Youth Collective, operating in Jersey City. The group would become affiliated with Anakbayan National (Philippines) in 2001; and Bagong Alyansang Makabayan (BAYAN), an alliance of National Democratic Filipino organizations, in 2003. The Jersey Youth Collective would eventually adopt the new title “Anakbayan New York/New Jersey,” and become an official overseas chapter of Anakbayan.
Operating as an overseas chapter, this new mass organization was involved in community actions such as protests against police brutality after one of their members was assaulted by police. They were also involved in the “Stop the Killings,” campaign which called attention to human rights violations perpetrated by the Gloria Arroyo regime. Through aggressive recruitment, ABNY/NJ would be able to split into several organizing committees for different area, and from Jersey City, Anakbayan New Jersey would become its own chapter in 2012.
Where are we now?
A tumultuous period of ten years of growing and learning has built the foundation for one of our most active years yet. In 2015, Anakbayan NJ has been involved in campaigns such as “Education is a Human Right,” an exploration of Filipino youth’s experience in the US educational system. Calls to action like the protests to stall the execution of trafficked domestic worker Mary Jane Veloso, the rapidly organized demonstrations in front of the Philippine consulate bringing attention to Indigenous leaders murdered by paramilitary in the Philippine countryside, and the vigil held for Jennifer Laude, a Filipina Transwoman murdered by a US Marine, have been symbolic of the dedication and newfound vigor the organization has taken on.
Learning from the lessons of our forerunners, this past summer has seen a rapid expansion in membership and alliance networking. Political education, as well as an overarching organizational goal of consolidation, has led to a membership that is not only robust in numbers, but also grim and determined. Collaborations with Saint Peter’s Asian American Student Union (AASU), the newly formed Filipino Immigrant Workers Organizing Project (FIWOP), and Rutgers New Brunswick’s Speak Out, show the organization’s strong presence in the community, as well as our extensive reach. Our continued involvement with organizations such as New Jersey City University’s Peers Educating Peers, New Jersey United Students, and Food & Water Watch are examples of our international solidarity work.
Upsurge and the Road to Seattle
Anakbayan New Jersey has grown in the previous year and one of our main thrusts is to send as many people to Seattle for Anakbayan USA’s 2nd National Congress. We will also be holding our “Kabataan Magkaisa” National Conference as well and opening the invitation to the Filipino American youth who seek to learn more about the growing mass movement of progressive Filipinos, along with Anakbayan, in the belly of the beast.
On November 26, 2015, we held our 10 year Anniversary Gala to invite our members, family, solidarity allies, supporters, and the community at the historic Barrow Mansion in downtown Jersey City. We had over seventy attendees and presented our newly elected Executive Committee and Year-In-Review for 2015. In addition to the celebratory nature of the night, we highlighted the current situation of the Lumad people of Mindanao and the call to “Adopt a Community” and “Save Our Schools” that are under attack by Oplan Bayanihan. Exposurists reported back on their most recent trip from the Philippines to capture the feel of the movement back home in the Philippines. Members also facilitated a participatory theatre piece for our ongoing Education is a Human Right campaign. The evening closed in song as Anakbayan NJ members led the attendees in, “Awit Ng Kalayaan.”
Education is a Human Right!
Junk APEC! Junk LEP! Junk EDCA!
Continue the Unfinished Revolution of 1896!
Mabuhay Kabataang Makabayan!
LUMALAKAS LUMALAWAK LUMALABAN ANAKBAYAN!