As a network of civilians who support veterans and service members organizing against U.S. militarism, Civilian-Soldier Alliance members believe in the power of resistance to war and occupation led by those who’ve experienced it. We stand in solidarity with the people’s struggle in the Philippines, a movement for self-determination and liberation that has been on the frontlines against U.S. imperialism since 1899. In commemoration of the Philippine-American War, we honor the legacy of David Fagen, a Black soldier who defected from U.S. troops to join those fighting for the freedom of the Philippines, and recognize all the ways in which those organizing from within and outside empire work to undermine it together. We are inspired by the more just and beautiful world that those in the Philippines fight for, build, and remind us of every day.
As published on the NYC SJP site! Thank you, comrades!
On the occasion of Philippines Solidarity Week, New York City Students for Justice in Palestine extends our firmest solidarity to the Filipino people in their struggle for genuine democracy and national liberation. As youth and students in solidarity with Palestine, we are proud to call the revolutionary youth of Anakbayan USA our comrades in the struggle against U.S. imperialist domination and exploitation. The solidarity week is commemorated every February 4th, the anniversary of the Philippine-American War, the first U.S. imperialist war of aggression in Asia. This war marked the early stages of the period of global imperialism, which we have yet to shake off, and remains a crucial point of origin in the genealogy of anti-imperialist resistance in oppressed nations all over the world.The anti-imperialist struggle for national democracy in the Philippines is a struggle that demands the unwavering support of revolutionary and progressive organizations in the U.S and abroad. The Filipino people have been waging an uninterrupted battle against U.S. imperialism and its puppets for well over a hundred years, and have ousted several U.S.-backed regimes since the artificial granting of “independence” from the U.S. in 1946. Today, the U.S. has 6,000 troops stationed in the Philippines, more than double the amount it has left in Iraq, despite the 1991 decision by the Philippine Senate to reject the renewal of a treaty allowing US military bases on Philippine soil. Facilitated by the ongoing presence of the U.S. military, American soldiers continue to commit violence against and exploit the Filipino people with impunity, evidenced by innumerable cases of murder and rape. It is clear that the U.S. will go to great lengths to protect and maintain its political and economic interests in the Philippines and Southeast Asia, and even clearer is the necessity of international solidarity with those struggling against it. The revolution in the Philippines represents one of the most advanced and developed revolutions against reaction and imperialism in the world today, and is one that demands our unwavering support.
In January of 2016, members of New York City Students for Justice in Palestine travelled to the Philippines with Anakbayan-NY, a revolutionary filipino youth and students organization. The trip provided SJP members with the opportunity to witness firsthand the concrete conditions of the National Democratic movement, and to highlight the importance of international solidarity, from New York to Palestine to the Philippines. NYC SJP received a warm welcome from revolutionary workers, students, professors, indigenous activists and people in general who reiterated their undying commitment to the liberation of Palestine and oppressed peoples within the United States. In addition to us learning from the experiences of the movement there, the Philippines-Palestine Friendship Association (PPFA), formed during the International League of Peoples Struggle conference in November 2015, extended their solidarity to us by meeting to coordinate campaigns and actions in support of the Palestinian struggle in the Philippines.
Often, surplus military equipment that the Israeli Defense Forces do not need is sold off to the Armed Forces of the Philippines to be turned on the Filipino, Moro, and indigenous people of the Philippine Islands. Although the geography changes, when these weapons are transferred, the basic nature remains the same: a U.S. funded weapon stays trained on an oppressed nation.Since these two nations are bound together by the yoke of U.S. imperialism, internationalism is not only our duty as revolutionaries, it is a necessity to strain and weaken the ability of the empire to exert its hegemony over the oppressed nations.
We salute the fellow revolutionary youth of Anakbayan-USA in their continued struggle for genuine democracy in the Philippines, and wish them unprecedented success in their current upsurge movement. On Philippines Solidarity Week and beyond we hope to build an ever growing relationship of concrete camaraderie in the struggle.
LONG LIVE INTERNATIONAL SOLIDARITY!
For Immediate Release
February 4, 2016
(973) 641-9735, email@example.com
Unite & Fight! New Jersey Philippine Solidarity Committee Condemns Signing of the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement, Launches Philippine Solidarity Week
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.
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.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org!
“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 email@example.com if interested in performing!
Fight the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement!
Long live international solidarity!
The Philippine American War began February 4, 1899 and continues to this day despite U.S. granted nominal independence on July 4, 1946. The United States killed more than 1 million Filipinos, and U.S. troops remain an everyday presence in the Philippines. As a way to advance our US Out of the Philippines campaign, propagate the National Democratic movement, and build anti-imperialist solidarity between activist organizations, BAYAN USA will take collective action between February 4th–11th.
During this time, several organizations under BAYAN USA will be holding events and activities with our allies. There are a number of ways individuals and organizations can participate:
1) Call for Endorsement
We are calling on all progressive organizations, peace and anti-war activists to launch solidarity actions in support of the continuing struggle of the Filipino people and all oppressed peoples for genuine independence from US imperialism.
As organizations against militarism, war, and imperialism we ask that you join us in solidarity, and we kindly request a brief solidarity statement on behalf of your organization endorsing Philippine Solidarity Week. These collected statements will then be published on our website, and should be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org
2) 2016 Photo Campaign
Take a photo and post on facebook/instagram/twitter/etc. with one of the attached signs saying:
Advance the National Democratic Movement of the Philippines!
I stand in solidarity with the National Democratic Movement of the Philippines
OR CREATE YOUR OWN MESSAGE WITH A BLANK SIGN!
Tag with #PhilSolidarity or email to email@example.com and upload between Feb 1 – 11
3) Attend Events
All of the activities during this week can be found below. Feel free to attend and share the events with your respective network. Check back often as our calendar will be constantly updated!
Hosted by: Anakbayan NY with Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP)
When: Tuesday, February 9th 6 PM
Where: Hunters College
When: Wednesday, February 10th 2:30-3:50 PM
Where: 175 University Ave Newark, NJ Conklin Hall Room 351
When: Thursday, February 11th 6:30-8:30 PM
Where: Saint Paul’s Church, 440 Hoboken Avenue, Jersey City, NJ
When: Friday, February 12th 6:00-9:00 PM
Where: Families for Freedom – 35 W 31st Street New York, NY #702
When: Saturday, February 13th 1:00-4:00 PM
Where: International Action Center 147 W 24th Street
When: Saturday, February 13th 5:00-8:00 PM
Where: Intrinsic Cafe, Newark (Rutgers Campus), 5 Sussex Avenue, Newark NJ
Email firstname.lastname@example.org if interested in performing!
When: Tuesday, February 16, 2016 7PM
Where: Migrant Center San Damiano Hall 127 W 31st St. New York, NY