NJ Philippine Solidarity Committee Newsletter, Issue 1

PHILIPPINE SOLIDARITY WEEK 2016

The Philippine Solidarity Week is a week of events that commemorates the Philippine-American War that raises awareness and support for the continuing struggle of the Filipino People for national liberation. The Philippine-American War began on February 4th 1899 and was one of the first imperialist wars waged by the United States where an estimated 1 million Filipinos perished. Many methods of torture were tested and established the Philippines as a geo-political launching pad in the Asia-Pacific that continues today. Phil Sol Week was launched by BAYAN USA to build solidarity between Filipinos and non-Filipinos abroad to support the struggle for national liberation and true independence in the Philippines.

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Lumad youth in Compostela Valley, Mindanao — indigenous dance for a solidarity performance

 

Statements of Solidarity

Pax Christi New Jersey supports Anakbayan NJ during and its efforts during Philippine Solidarity week. It is time that Americans understand the history of US military aggression against the Filipino people that began with the Fil-Am war and our continued opression with the pivot to Asia and the re-establishment of military bases. We believe that achieving a just, peaceful and sustainable world is achieved through disarmament and demilitarization not threat of force.

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Jersey City Peace Movement, (JCPM), a peace, justice and anti-war organization which also does continued outreach and advocacy for the needy and homeless populations in Hudson County, NJ since 2004, supports the peaceful and educational efforts of Anakbayan NJ, BAYAN, and all sincere Filipino activists concerning PHILIPPINE SOLIDARITY WEEK! Solidarity from JCPM!

The Central Jersey Coalition Against Endless War expresses our solidarity with the people of the Philippines and their continued struggle against U.S. imperialism. We oppose the U.S. military and economic wars imposed on our brothers and sisters around the world and we support Philippine Solidarity Week.

The Newark Student Action Collective stands in solidarity with our friends in Anakbayan and the Philippines National Democratic Movement. As students at Rutgers University – Newark we recognize that our education was created at the expense of the Newark community. The University Medical School where our students study for the medical field was created by tearing down the homes of thousands and was a large part of what triggered the economic downturn that Newark has seen ever since. Today Rutgers University – Newark is purchasing more and more property in the area that will inevitably lead to gentrification of the surrounding community. The Newark Student Action Collective seeks to bridge the gaps in student and community organizing and hopes to be a part of the solution to these problems. Similarly as American Imperialism ravages the world it’s the responsibility of the students of the most diverse campus in America to stand with the Filipino people as they fight for independence, democracy and socialism.

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People’s Organization for Progress sends greetings for Philippine Solidarity Week 2016! This week is a commemoration of the freedom fighters in the Philippine-American War, and a continuation of the struggle for freedom and real democracy in the Philippines. This is a shared struggle against slavery, genocide, racism, and colonialism. That this week coincides with the commemorations of U.S. Black Heritage Month shows the need to acknowledge each other’s struggles around the globe. As the labor movement slogan reminds us: “An injury to one is an injury to all.”

The threat of the Trans Pacific Partnership is a threat to those living and working on all sides of the Pacific: poverty wages, unemployment, human trafficking, slavery conditions, militarism, and unequal trade are the dangers we face, and we should face them together. We share in this long fight: the enslavement of Africans, the genocide against Indigenous peoples, the present-day police brutality against both peoples, the ongoing colonialism of Puerto Rico bankrupted by the U.S., and the neo-colonialism against the Philippines.

We salute the Philippine Solidarity Committee – NJ for keeping this legacy! We remain in struggle together! Long Live International Solidarity! Power to the People!

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Last year’s Philippine Solidarity event with Food & Water Watch! This year’s event, “From NJ to the Philippines: Struggle for Climate Justice” will be on Thursday, February 11 in Jersey City.

Film Crafting Collaborative stands in solidarity & empathy with the People of the Philippines. This allegiance, in particular, encompasses and focuses on the emerging Youth Movements that hold the the key (and provide the energy) to change the century-long Philippine colonial debacle. Future prosperity and the breaking-away from foreign interference is in their able hands.

In unison, we denounce Colonialism as a degenerative symptom of Imperialism. These policies, practices and mindset run counter to the pursuit of harmony, goodwill and true development in our world. The present global situation demonstrates clearly that greed and exclusion can only serve to diminish us all. May we coalesce as One toward a Better World. “En la union esta la fuerza!”

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Anakbayan NJ members at the ICE FREE NYC action where activists shut down an intersection outside the Varick Street Immigration Court in Manhattan.

The NJ State Industrial Union stands in solidarity with Anakbayan NJ and supports Philippine Solidarity Week. We strongly support self-determination and the end of US imperialism. US militarism has destroyed so many countries around the globe and has especially harmed the people of the Philippines, not to mention the enormous damage done to the environment of your country. We call for an end to US militarism, and for a more humane foreign (as well as domestic) policy that supports human need, not corporate greed.

 

The Kabataan Magkaisa conference in Seattle!

On MLK weekend in 2016, Anakbayan New Jersey attended the 2nd National Congress of Anakbayan-USA and the Kabataan Magkaisa conference in Seattle, WA.

At the Anakbayan-USA Congress, we elected our new National Executive Committee for 2016-2018 and approved our General Program of Action (GPOA) for the next 3 years. In time for Philippine Solidarity Week, one of Anakbayan-USA’s goals is to develop and strengthen solidarity relationships with other oppressed communities in the U.S. in order to build a broad anti-imperialist youth and student movement. Anakbayan New Jersey hopes to accomplish this goal by strengthening our relationship with the Filipino Immigrant and Workers Organizing Project (FIWOP) and 15 Now NJ.

Anakbayan New Jersey also joined Kabataan Magkaisa! Strengthen the Unity of Filipino Youth to Build a Brighter Future, a national Filipino youth conference that aimed to tackle burning economic and social justice issues affecting the Filipino community in the United States and in the Philippines. We were able to build with over 150 youth from North America, attend/lead workshops, and witness an array of talents at the Open Mic.

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Anakbayan USA joins an anti-gentrification rally in the Central District of Seattle organized by Seattle Black Book Club and other solidarity organizations.

Unite & Fight! NJ Philippine Solidarity Committee Condemns Signing of the TPP

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A Lumad ‘datu’ burns a US flag at a mobilization in the Philippines demanding death to US imperialism and the end to all forcible displacement, from Lumads in evacuation to migrant workers pushed out of their home lands.

To announce its official launch, the New Jersey Philippine Solidarity Committee condemns to the utmost extent today’s signing of the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPP) in New Zealand. As an anti-imperialist coalition of individuals and organizations, the New Jersey Philippine Solidarity Committee opposes the TPP as a one-sided “free trade” agreement that will only benefit the interests of the global elite class at the expense of the poor and working class peoples of the world, especially in underdeveloped countries like the Philippines. Incidentally, the New Jersey Philippine Solidarity Committee also commemorates today as the 117th anniversary of the Philippine American War as part of BAYAN USA’s Philippine Solidarity Week. With the acquisition of the Philippines, Cuba, Puerto Rico, and Guam, the Philippine American War was the birthplace of US imperialism whose legacy lives on today through US economic and political hegemony. Pushed for by the Obama administration, the TPP is a testament to the relevance of the Philippine American War in today’s world and is a living manifestation of the United States’ continued stranglehold on the economies of the Third World. By launching a series of events for Philippine Solidarity Week, the New Jersey Philippine Solidarity Committee demonstrates the strength in unity across movements in the fight for national and social liberation.

Anticipated to be the largest “free trade” agreement in the world, the TPP encompasses 12 nations that make up 40% of the global GDP. These nations, consisting of the United States and 11 Pacific Rim countries (New Zealand, Australia, Brunei Darussalam, Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, Peru, Singapore, and Vietnam), will formally sign the agreement today but each member state will still need to ratify it for the TPP to go into full force. If two years elapse and not all member states have ratified the agreement, the TPP can still go into force if at least six countries have successfully ratified and represent 85 percent of the total GDP of the original member states between them. This means that the TPP is effectively dead if the United States does not sign on, making it more urgent that US-based communities and organizations come together to strategize and organize against the approval of the agreement domestically.

The Trans-Pacific Partnership is an egregious corporate power grab. While it’s being promoted by corporate and political elites under the guise of “free-trade,” in reality, only 5 of the 29 chapters included in the agreement have anything to do with trade. The majority of the agreement seeks to undermine national economic sovereignty through trans-national corporate governance, putting profits before the rights and needs of the 99%. The TPP affirms and expands existing agreements made through international bodies such as the World Trade Organization and the International Monetary Fund that promote the extraction and exploitation of developing economies through forced financial and economic dependency.  One of the most devastating components of the TPP is the Investor State Dispute Settlement. Any law or regulation that stands in the way of a company’s profits such as health safety laws; workers rights; women’s rights; food safety; gay rights; animal rights; minimum wages; unions; civil rights; nuclear power plant regulations; environmental protections; etc., can be “challenged” in this non-democratically elected international court. Corporations and big business will be able to sue entire countries through a corporate tribunal if the TPP is passed.

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International delegates of ILPS 5th International Assembly join the protest against the APEC Summit in November, where the Philippines announced its intent of joining the TPP.

Moreover, the TPP is the economic centerpiece of the so-called “U.S. Pivot to Asia,” a term that refers to a deliberate foreign policy strategy of consolidating and ensuring US hegemony in the Asia Pacific region. The second part of the “pivot” is militarization, which is used to secure US control over trade routes, markets, and territories. Having a very strategic location in the Asia-Pacific with easy access to China and surrounding countries, the Philippines is used to deepen U.S. aggression in the Asia Pacific region through the indefinite basing of U.S. soldiers, many of whom are being deployed to the Philippines from the Middle East. The recent unconstitutional upholding of the Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement (EDCA) by the Philippine Supreme Court will further entrench the U.S. military in the country and pave the road to more bases. The TPP, as well as the shift of military troops to Asia Pacific, is an intensification of an ongoing trend of trade liberalization and imperialism.

The Philippines is already one of the most liberalized economies in Asia and one of the closest allies of the U.S. government in advancing its interests. In recent months, the United States and the Philippines have publicly supported the Philippines’ potential membership in the TPP. Given these developments, the New Jersey Philippine Solidarity recognizes the urgency of intensifying domestic efforts against the TPP to stand in solidarity with the struggling masses in the Philippines and the Asia Pacific region who will be most affected by the agreement.

By commemorating the Philippine American War through the coordination of Philippine Solidarity week, the New Jersey Philippine Solidarity Committee honors the People’s movements that have been raging for centuries against colonial intervention and, up to this day, are still fighting threats to national sovereignty like the TPP. During the Philippine American War, the United States murdered over 1.5 million Filipinos and used the country as a laboratory to develop war tactics, torture methods, occupation, and counterinsurgency operations that would be employed in future wars of aggression in Korea, Vietnam, Iraq and Afghanistan. As the birthplace of US imperialism, commemorating the Philippine American War means not only honoring the resistance of the Philippine people but all ongoing struggles of oppressed peoples around the world.

Fight the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement!

Long live international solidarity!

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Cotabato, Mindanao

 

Events In Support Of Philippine Solidarity Week

Philippine Solidarity Committee

RSVP to the “Philippine Solidarity Week in New Jersey” Facebook event and check out other events being planned throughout the Northeast by BAYAN organizations!

“From New Jersey to the Philippines: State Repression and the War on Terror”
Hosted by: Newark Student Action Collective
Wednesday, Feb 10 @ 2:30 PM
175 University Avene Newark, NJ 07102, Room 351 Conklin Hall

“From New Jersey to the Philippines: Struggle for Climate Justice”
Hosted by: Food & Water Watch
Thursday, Feb 11 @ 6:30-8:30pm
St. Paul’s Church 440 Hoboken Ave. Jersey City, NJ

Upsurge I ❤ Solidarity Open Mic
Hosted by: Anakbayan NJ, People’s Organization for Progress, & Peers Educating Peers
Saturday, February 13 @ 5-8pm
Intrinsic Cafe, Newark (Rutgers campus), 5 Sussex Ave, Newark, NJ 07103
Email anakbayannj@gmail.com if interested in performing!

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Anakbayan NJ, Peers Educating Peers, and People’s Organization for Progress took the streets with many others last summer for the Million People’s March Against Police Brutality, Racial Injustice, and Economic Inequality.

The organizations within the New Jersey Philippine Solidarity Committee that led the planning of the Philippine Solidarity Week are Anakbayan NJ, People’s Organization for Progress, Food & Water Watch, Newark Student Action Collective, and New Jersey United Students. If you are interested in joining the Committee and building with a group of anti-imperialist freedom fighters, please email njphilsolidarity@gmail.com!

Check us out on facebook!

www.facebook.com/NJPhilippineSolidarity

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