Livable Wages for All! Justice for the North Cotabato Farmers!

2

For Immediate Release
April 3rd, 2016
Press Statement

Reference:

Laura Emily E. Austria, Vice-Chairperson, Anakbayan New Jersey, NAFCON NE Regional Representative
Daniel Santiago, Solidarity Officer, Anakbayan New Jersey
(470) 309-2265, anakbayannj@gmail.com

Livable Wages for All! Justice for the North Cotabato Farmers!

On April 1st, 2016, farmers in North Cotabato stood up for their rights as they appealed for better working conditions and wages. Similarly in the United States, coalitions uniting together for a livable wage – $15/hour specifically – have organized and mobilized the working class because of their similar realities, manifesting in rallies such the 15 Now NJ April 3rd rally that many members of Anakbayan NJ have attended.

As of April 3rd, 3 people have died at the hands of the Philippine National Police while they tried to get rid of farmers and lumad that had been barricading the Cotabato-Davao highway in Kidapawan City. More than 116 people have been injured, and at least 18 have been hospitalized. In addition, there are still at least 88 people missing – including children that have incurred minor wounds and are stuck at the United Methodist Church compound in Kidapawan City.

Continue reading

Advertisements

Bigas Hindi Bala! Rice Not Bullets! Hold Aquino Accountable!

2

For Immediate Release
Press Statement
April 3, 2016

Reference:

Ruthie Arroyo, Chairperson, Anakbayan New Jersey
Ana Robelo, Deputy Secretary General, Anakbayan New Jersey
(470) 309-2265, anakbayannj@gmail.com

Bigas Hindi Bala! Rice Not Bullets! Hold Aquino Accountable!

Anakbayan New Jersey vehemently condemns the violent and bloody dispersal of farmers in Kidapawan City by the Philippine National Police (PNP) and the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP). On April 1st, government troops opened fire on 6,000 unarmed farmers and Lumad who barricaded the Cotabato-Davao national highway to demand the release of 15,000 sacks of rice and immediate government assistance for the drought following El Niño. Pedro Arnado, chairman of the Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas Cotabato chapter, stated they barricaded the region because they wanted drought relief; the Cotabato region has been in drought conditions for the last seven months.

We stand with the farmers and the Lumad in asserting their right to protest and to expose the negligence of the Philippine government — specifically the failure of Governor of Cotabato Lala Mendoza who in the face of environmental disaster withheld relief and did not prepare or respond to meet the needs of her constituents. The protesting farmers were only asking for the government to fulfill its duties to help the people during a calamity.

Continue reading

15 Now Rally in Jersey City: Why We Need a Livable Wage for All People

2

For Immediate Release
Press Statement
April 1st, 2016

Reference:
Laura Emily E. Austria, Vice-Chairperson, Anakbayan New Jersey
(470) 309-2265, anakbayannj@gmail.com

15 Now Rally in Jersey City: Why We Need a Livable Wage for All People

Jersey City, NJ – Anakbayan NJ approves an executive order issued by Jersey City mayor, Steven Fulop, to raise the minimum wage of approximately 500 city workers to $15 an hour. In a November rally organized by labor groups in City Hall, Fulop said that “[i]t is important to make sure every single person in Jersey City has a living wage.” We agree with this as well, especially when considering the situation of youth and students here in the United States and the Philippines when it comes to the accessibility of relevant higher education and the inability to survive on an unlivable wage.

College tuition costs and the cost of living are rising sharply, yet the current minimum wage nationally does not reflect these costs at all. In New Jersey, the minimum wage only rises by a few cents each year whereas New Jersey College students are projected to leave school with around $23,000 in debt. Students are struggling to obtain a college degree because they cannot afford it — and often have to take out loans with exorbitant interest. They often work multiple jobs while attending classes, and this makes it even harder for students to graduate on time. The inability for youth and students to obtain a college degree means opportunities are cut drastically. In addition, if they are lucky enough to graduate relatively on time, college graduates are often stuck paying back their college loans for years. Students in the Philippines face the same struggles as students in the United States; because tuition costs are too exorbitant, they see no other choice but to take their own lives.

Continue reading

Defending Migrants’ and Workers’ Rights on International Working Women’s Day

2

For Immediate Release
Press Statement
March 8th, 2016

Reference:
Laura Emily E. Austria, Vice-Chairperson, Women’s Committee, Anakbayan New Jersey
Bea Sabino, Women’s Committee, Anakbayan New Jersey
Mia Medrano, Women’s Committee, Anakbayan New Jersey
(470) 309-2265, anakbayannj@gmail.com

Defending Migrants’ and Workers’ Rights on International Working Women’s Day

On March 8th, 2016, Anakbayan New Jersey observes International Working Women’s Day. Its roots go back to 1909 when the Socialist Party of America organized a march in Manhattan to observe a women’s garment strike that had taken place earlier. This particular strike called for better wages and working conditions and the right to vote. More than a century later, this day is especially important for us as young Filipino women in the U.S. advocating for the rights and welfare of Filipino women at home and abroad.

Today, we connect International Working Women’s Day to the conditions of female OFWs (Overseas Filipino Workers) — especially that of Flor Contemplacion and Mary Jane Veloso — and the conditions that lead to the death of Jennifer Laude. Of the estimated 2.3 million OFWs who worked abroad from April 2013 to September 2013, 49.7% of those were women. 53.8%  of the 49.7% belong to the 25-34 age bracket. As recent as 2007, Migrante International, a migrant rights group, has been handling more than 1,000 cases of abuse against OFWs, according to 2007 statistics. Migrante’s Rights and Welfare Assistance Program has handled at least 50 cases of violence against women (VAW) from January 2015 to February 2015.

Continue reading

Support Anakbayan New Jersey & Philippine Solidarity Week

Screen Shot 2016-02-03 at 12.26.34 PM

Dear Friend,

Warm greetings from Anakbayan New Jersey! As we settle back into our East Coast pace after a successful and activating Anakbayan-USA 2nd National Congress and Kabataan Magkaisa Conference in Seattle, we would like to take a moment to thank our comrades and communities for sustaining our work towards National Democracy by helping us get there. The congress and conference were great examples of how our work brings progressive youth, students, and allies alike together to engage in achieving genuine justice and change at home and abroad.

As Philippine Solidarity Week approaches, we are reaching out to you our friends and allies in the struggle to continue to help us foster and strengthen our solidarity work. This week of action is a yearly event convened by BAYAN-USA, which commemorates the Philippine-American War and the ongoing struggle of Filipino people for liberation from the forces of bureaucrat capitalism, imperialism, and feudalism. The event serves as a grounds for Anakbayan NJ to collaborate and connect beyond our general membership, extending our reach to allies throughout the northeast region.

As a grassroots and comprehensive Filipino youth-and-student organization, we aim to expand our work and our reach by strengthening our work here in New Jersey as well as effectively propagating our national campaigns; it is our goal to broaden our solidarity networks and collaborate with initiatives and organizations who hold similar ideals in order to achieve our collective goals of liberation for our communities. However, we cannot do it without your help.

Leading up to and during Philippine Solidarity Week, we hope you will consider making a personal one-time donation or a long-term investment by becoming a monthly sustainer by visiting Anakbayannj.com/support-us.

Additionally, we hope to see you at our open mic and fundraiser event, Upsurge, hosted by Anakbayan NJ; People’s Organizing for Progress; and Peers Educating Peers Program on Saturday, February 13th from 5-8 PM at Intrinsic Cafe located at 5 Sussex Avenue in Newark, NJ. For more information, please visit Facebook.com/NJPhilippineSolidarity.

Sulong sa daluyong!

 

In solidarity,

12400196_10153794437477486_544093082_o                                               12398783_10153794437067486_1183033756_o       

Ruthie Arroyo                                                Devyn Mañibo
Chairperson,                                                   Finance Officer,  
Anakbayan New Jersey                             Anakbayan New Jersey

Download letter: Support Philippine Solidarity Week

Calendar of events for Philippine Solidarity Week:

12640530_1743747592523921_5871047983137885130_o

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.

Copy of IMG_2241

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.

Continue reading

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

PR Graphic Template

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.

Continue reading

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

PR Graphic Template (2)

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.

Continue reading

29 Years of Injustice for Mendiola Massacre Victims

Screen Shot 2016-01-20 at 11.33.48 AM.png

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.

Continue reading

Call for Solidarity

12472239_10153297626367483_4902341796968385247_n

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!