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


For Immediate Release
Press Statement
November 25, 2015

Laura Emily E. Austria, Anakbayan New Jersey Women’s Committee
Devyn Mañibo, Anakbayan New Jersey Women’s Committee
(470) 309-2265,

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!

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

Statements 11112015.003

Press Statement

November 12, 2015


Melissa Harris, Anakbayan New Jersey


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


Joelle Eliza Lingat, Chairperson, Anakbayan New Jersey

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

(470) 309-2265,

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.


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!


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.


Filipino- American Youth Celebrate Historic Community Victory for New Jersey DREAMers

Filipino- American Youth Celebrate Historic Community Victory for New Jersey DREAMers
Anakbayan Calls to Unite and Strengthen the Movement for Immigrant Rights in the U.S.

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For Immediate Release
Press Statement
December 31, 2013
Bea Sabino, Chairperson, Anakbayan NJ, (201) 779 6886
Nina Macapinlac, Member, Anakbayan NJ, (973) 641 9735
Anakbayan New Jersey commends the passage of the In-State Tuition Bill, which was signed into law by Governor Chris Christie on Friday, December 20. Through the sustained efforts of a youth-led movement, New Jersey now joins 18 other states with similar policies, marking a major milestone for grassroots community organizing in the state.
Effective immediately, undocumented youth who have attended at least 3 years of high school in New Jersey now qualify for in-state tuition rates at institutions of public higher education. Commonly referred to as the NJ DREAM Act, the bill had initially opened tuition assistance programs like Tuition Aid Grants (TAG) to undocumented students.
However, the Governor struck provisions for state financial aid following a compromise reached with Democratic legislators. Christie expressed misplaced concerns that such provisions would turn NJ into a “magnet state,” and that access to these programs was an overreach and harmful to the state economy.
These arguments are untrue because financial aid to undocumented immigrant students would make up less than 1% of state aid, with less than 1000 students per year estimated to qualify after completing the FAFSA application and meeting income standards. Moreover, states with similar laws like New Mexico, California and Texas already offer access to state aid and have not experienced negative economic consequences.
Up From the Grassroots
Though only a partial version of the NJ DREAM Act, the successful campaign for In-State Tuition is a historic victory for Filipino youth and other immigrant communities. It is the culmination of more than a decade of community organizing and lobbying. It is a glimpse of what the future can hold for strong, united and organized communities.
Last year, the NJ DREAM Act Coalition (NJDAC), a product of the initial push for tuition equality from 2009, partnered up with New Jersey United Students (NJUS), Anakbayan NJ (AB-NJ) and Wind of the Spirit (WOTS) to build a coalition to revive the campaign following President Obama’s announcement of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) Program.
By building a grassroots movement of youth, community, faith-based and labor groups, reinforced with engaging with state legislators through lobbying visits, the NJ Tuition Equity for DREAMers (NJTED) campaign demonstrated the power of collective action in challenging unjust and discriminatory policies in the face of legislative bureaucracy and partisan bickering.
Filipino Americans- Cultivating a Culture of Solidarity
Filipinos in NJ had much at stake in this issue. An estimated one in every six Filipinos in the United States is undocumented. With a growing population of 125,000 Filipinos, New Jersey has the fifth largest population of Filipinos in the nation.
Filipino-Americans played a significant role in this year’s fight for the NJ DREAM Act, especially in Jersey City, which is home to the second highest concentration of Filipinos in the state. On February 27, Anakbayan NJ worked closely with then-Councilman-at-Large [now, Council President] Rolando Lavarro Jr. and community allies to bring forth what had been the first municipal resolution endorsing the call for tuition equality in NJ.
Pursuing the legacy of solidarity work from exemplary Filipino-American activists such as Larry Itliong and Philip Vera Cruz, Fil-Am youth leaders helped coordinate and organize local and statewide actions that featured the re-emerging immigrant rights movement in NJ. The “NJ DREAM Act Week of Action” in May and “Share the DREAM Rally” in November brought together groups and individuals from diverse backgrounds, united in the mission to uplift immigrant communities from the injustices caused by racism and discrimination.
The In-State Tuition law is a stepping stone towards further progress. Anakbayan NJ and the rest of NJTED coalition remain dedicated to genuine tuition equality and will continue fighting for a complete NJ DREAM Act, which includes the crucial piece of providing access to state financial aid to already distressed undocumented youth and their families.
The next immediate step is ensuring implementation of the law. In time for the spring semester, public colleges and universities must be guided, and held accountable, in the transitional process of adjusting tuition policies for undocumented students.
Resolution: Organize and Fight to End Modern-Day Segregation
AB-NJ also reaffirms its commitment to the broader cause for genuine comprehensive immigration reform in the United States, which must include an end to deportations, family separation, and institutionalized discrimination against all immigrants, while also addressing the root causes of migration.
This New Year, Anakbayan NJ calls on Filipino youth, especially DREAMers, to resolve to be part of this generation’s continuation of the civil rights movement. History has shown that those who dare to come out of the shadows are the ones who stand a chance at overcoming oppression.
Our identity as Fil-Ams takes root in five centuries worth of immigration history and community activism. Become a member or supporter of Anakbayan today! Email Yves Nibungco, Secretary General of Anakbayan NJ, at with “AB NJ Membership” on the subject line.
Higher Education For All!
No Human Being is Illegal!
Fight for Genuine Comprehensive Immigration Reform!!
Dare to struggle! Dare to win!
Makibaka! Huwag Matakot! (Fight! Do not fear!) ###

True Life: I’m Undocumented. Immigration Forum and Tuition Equity Campaign Info Session

Join us in commemorating International Migrants’ Day in December!

Anakbayan NJ, in cooperation with the Student Government Organization (SGO) at New Jersey City University and the New Jersey Dream Act Coalition (NJDAC), aims to shed light on the struggles of immigrant youth (undocumented or not). This forum will explore young people’s migrant experiences and their fight to gain access to social services, especially their right to education.

Assembly Bill (AB) 1659, or the NJ In-State Tuition Campaign, was

 first introduced ten years ago. If approved, this legislation would allow undocumented students, who can prove residence in NJ for at least 12 months prior to enrollment, to pay the in-state tuition rate instead of the international student rate, which is two to three times the in-state rate. Find out more about the Tuition Equity Campaign and how you can be part of making history by coming to this event. 

RSVP here

WHAT: “True Life: I’m Undocumented”
Immigration Forum and 
Tuition Equity Campaign Info Session

WHEN: Thursday, December 6, 2012; 12-2pm

WHERE: GSUB Room 129, New Jersey City University

FREE Refreshments available! 

For more information, email us at

Quick Community Assessment of Post-Hurricane Sandy in Jersey City

On November 1, 2012, from 12:30-3:00pm, members of Anakbayan New Jersey walked around Jersey City to speak with the community regarding Hurricane Sandy.  We surveyed 37 people, mostly Filipinos, throughout West Side and Mallory Avenues (From Fulton St to Roosevelt Ave).

We identified the following as the community’s major concerns:

  • Lack of electricity
    Phones losing charge
    Limited supply of batteries
    Cash only transactions (ATMs are closed)
    No heating systems
    Loss of income (people can’t get to work; perishable products in small stores)
    Lack of transportation (trains are not running; no access to NY; road closings; limited gas stations; increased gas prices)
  •  Lack of communication
    Limited phone service
    Phones losing charge
    No internet access
    No landline
    Hard to get information other than through the radio   
  • Safety and security
    No street lights at night
    No traffic lights
    Rumors of break-ins and burglary

Beginning yesterday, October 31, Jersey City instituted a strict 7pm-7am lockdown. Pedestrians and vehicles are prohibited from the streets overnight in an effort to control incidences of burglary and store break-ins. Most of those surveyed were not aware of this, while less than ten people heard about it through word-of-mouth or from the radio. Overall, people thought the lockdown is a firm but fair safety measure, especially to avoid motorvehicle accidents and to ensure the community’s security.

There were mixed reviews regarding the response time of government agencies. Most people surveyed observed that the state’s disaster preparedness plan does not seem apparent because fallen trees are yet to be cleared up. In Ege Ave. there are 2 electric posts that are still laying around, 4 days since Monday, posing danger to residents. Country Village and Society Hill weren’t evacuated, and power has not been restored.

According to the PSE&G, their expected time to bring power back is on Monday, November 5. This is already affecting small businesses, schools and people’s livelihood. Majority of the businesses (banks, gas stations, offices, autoshops, etc) remain closed except for deli’s and groceries. These stores are also running low on basic commodities to sell and are only open  until 1pm, 6pm the latest. On the otherhand, folks we’ve talked to are already complaining because of the lost income due to businesses not opening.

Majority of the people surveyed were not receiving updated information, and relied solely on word-of-mouth. The local government is failing to effectively disseminate information on resources available, current state of the city, and other public service announcements.


The aftermath of Hurricane Sandy is affecting the lives of many Jersey City residents. 5 days and counting of no power is harmful to the predominantly working class communities of Jersey City. Many are unable to go to work due to the lack of reliable transportation or workplace being temporarily closed (due to lack of electricity). Therefore, many people are worried on how they are going to pay their bills, and local stores are faced with limited supplies.

Despite the community’s lack of access to power and information, the only government response present is the massive police presence and a citywide lockdown enforced by the JC police. The state’s obligation to keep its citizens informed with access to vital social services is not being fulfilled.