#PhilSolidarity 2015 – Begins 2/1!

Philippine Solidarity Week is a week of activities beginning on February 4 to commemorate the Philippine-American War and to raise awareness and support for the continuing struggle of the Filipino people for national liberation. It is led by Bagong Alyansang Makabayan-USA or BAYAN-USA.

Since 1899, U.S. troops have maintained their presence in the Philippines through permanent military and naval bases and through military agreements and treaties that undermines Philippine sovereignty. These military bases have served as launching pads for U.S. Imperialist aggression in Asia. With the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPPA) and the Joint Force 2020 ventures, U.S. troops will continue imperialist aggression in the Asia-Pacific region, particularly in the Philippines.

There are a number of ways individuals and organizations can participate:

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 for genuine independence.

As an organization against militarism, war, and imperialism we ask you to join us in solidarity. Being an endorser can be any of the following:

* Solidarity Statement/Video
* Take a photo with the picture below or write your own message
* Co-Host or Host an event with a BAYAN org

Collected statements, pictures, and videos can be sent to bayanusa.ne.

Social Media 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 bayanusa.ne and upload between Feb 1 – 10

Attend Events

Sunday, February 1st 12:00 PM – 3:00 PM
Educational Discussion: Youth on the March
Hosted by Anakbayan New Jersey and New Jersey Youth for Immigrant Liberation
Location – Social Justice House, 125 Glenwood Avenue, Jersey City, NJ
https://www.facebook.com/events/407730799393591/

Wednesday, February 4th 7:00 PM
Potluck and Film Screening/Discussion of Sa Ngalan Ng Tubo and Mindanao: The Land of Promise?
Hosted by Food and Water Watch and Slow Food Rutgers
Location – George Street Co-Op (89 Morris Street, New Brunswick, NJ)
https://www.facebook.com/events/877761138963858/

Friday, February 6th 6:00 PM
Film Screening and Discussion of "Modern Heroes Modern Slaves"
Hosted by Anakbayan New Jersey and AFSC immigrant Rights Program
Location – 89 Market Street, 4th Floor Newark, NJ
https://www.facebook.com/events/775311359203509/

Sunday, February 8th 2:00 PM
Pinay HERstories: Migration to Liberation
Hosted by GABRIELA New York
Location – YaYa Network 224 West 29th Street, 14th Floor, New York, NY
https://www.facebook.com/events/1521295378136323/

Wednesday, February 11th 7:00 PM – 9:00 PM
Educational Discussion: From Fagen to Ferguson: International Solidarity Against Torture & Extrajudicial Killings
Hosted by New York Community for Human Rights in the Philippines
Location – Amnesty International, 5 Penn Plaza, 16th Floor, New York, NY

Petition Campaign
Justice for Jennifer Laude Online Petition
http://www.ipetitions.com/petition/justice-for-filipina-trans-woman-jennifer-laude

On behalf of the ND Movement organizers, thank you for your continued support!

In solidarity,
BAYAN USA Northeast Council

TOMORROW: Join us for Philippine Solidarity Week in 2014!

www.philippinesolidarity.wordpress.com

https://www.facebook.com/events/252570648238682/

Philippine Solidarity Week is a week of activities beginning on February 4 to commemorate the Philippine-American War and to raise awareness and support for the continuing struggle of the Filipino people for national liberation. It is led by Bagong Alyansang Makabayan-USA or BAYAN-USA.

Since 1899, U.S. troops have maintained their presence in the Philippines through permanent military and naval bases and through military agreements and treaties that undermines Philippine sovereignty. These military bases have served as launching pads for U.S. Imperialist aggression in Asia. With the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPPA) and the Joint Force 2020 ventures, U.S. troops will continue imperialist aggression in the Asia-Pacific region, particularly in the Philippines.

There are a number of ways individuals and organizations can participate:

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 for genuine independence.

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 bayanusa.ne [ at] gmail [dot] com

Philippine Solidarity Week begins on the anniversary of the Philippine-American War on February 4th, where various activities to build solidarity for the Filipino struggle for national liberation and genuine democracy are held. It is led by Bagong Alyansang Makabayan-USA ,or BAYAN-USA.

2014 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 bayanusa.ne [ at] gmail [dot] com and upload between Feb 1 – 10

Attend Events
All of the activities during this week can be found on the link below. Feel free to attend and share the events with your respective network. Check back often as our calendar will be constantly updated!

[http://philippinesolidarity.wordpress.com/events/]

On behalf of the ND Movement organizers, thank you for your continued support!

In solidarity,
BAYAN USA Northeast Council

PhilippineSolidarityWeekSIGNS (1).pdf

The Choice: David Fagen, the Philippine-US war, & Black Internationalism By Bill Fletcher

http://www.zcommunications.org/the-choice-david-fagen-the-philippine-us-war-and-black-internationalism-by-bill-fletcher

The Choice: David Fagen, the Philippine-US war, & Black Internationalism


 

Monday, February 04, 2013

Bill Fletcher’s ZSpace Page

“We all wanted to kill ‘niggers’…beats rabbit hunting…”

–White US soldier commenting on the Philippine-US War[1]

 

One of the least known conflicts in US history was the Philippine-US war. The length of the war is, itself, a subject of some debate, having ended according to many historians in 1901, but actually lasting closer to 1913. An outgrowth of the Spanish-American War (1898), it represented, in effect, an extension of the expansionism of the USA that had included the destruction and absorption of Native American lands, the seizure of northern Mexico, and the capturing of Hawaii. Though the USA is considered a country that downplayed establishing its own colonies, this is historically inaccurate. Through the Spanish-American War, the USA gained several, including the Philippines, Puerto Rico, and Guam, and a semi-colony: Cuba.

In the case of the Philippines, the US forces that arrived under Admiral Dewey were not necessary in order to defeat the Spanish. Philippine rebels, well organized and led, had defeated the Spanish except in Manila. Rather than surrender to the Filipinos, the Spanish chose to cut a deal with the USA and surrender to them instead. The US forces took advantage of this and soon had sufficient troops on the ground in order to begin the process of occupying the archipelago.

The Philippine revolutionaries had accepted the US forces as genuine allies and were, therefore, completely unprepared for the treachery that ensued. The war launched by the USA was bloody, racist and actually genocidal. While more than 4000 US troops were killed and another 3000 wounded, somewhere between 250,000 – 1.4 million Filipinos were killed.[2] The strikingly racist nature of the war is what has been written out of most histories. The Filipinos were identified by white Americans as, for all intents and purposes, being black. The usage of the term ‘nigger’ to describe the Filipinos, then, was not seen as analogical by the racists, but rather as an appropriate characterization. The combination of the deep-seated racism plus the frustration faced by the US in fighting a guerrilla war with a well-organized resistance made this one of the bloodiest engagements the USA ever undertook, and one for which the USA has never made amends.

African American troops were deployed to the Philippines to fight the resistance. This took place at a peculiar moment in African American history. Jim Crow segregation and political disenfranchisement were the growing trends in the South. The gains won during the period of Reconstruction had been lost. There were different responses towards this catastrophe within the leadership of Black America, with the most famous being the great debates between Booker T. Washington and W.E.B. Dubois. The Washington/Dubois debates were largely over the domestic struggle, but there were also struggles regarding how African Americans should approach the question of US foreign policy, and more generally, US imperialism. One school of thought held that African Americans needed to prove themselves worthy and patriotic citizens and, therefore, support US adventures overseas. The other school of thought was consistent with a significant anti-imperialist movement of the time (with which the noted author Mark Twain was associated) that condemned US aggression, particularly with regard to the invasion of the Philippines.

Into this situation entered one David Fagen, an African American soldier originally from Florida, who enlisted in the Army and eventually found himself in the Philippines. Rather than entering into a war against Spanish colonialism, Fagen and other Black troops were now engaged in a very unpopular war of aggression against a brown-skinned and black-skinned people who wanted national independence. The war was unpopular enough among the troops that there were desertions and, in fact, defections to the Philippine Army.

Fagen was one of small group of deserters who defected to the Philippine Army and fought with valor, rising in the ranks of the guerrilla army. His reputation became such that the US military went all out to find, capture and kill Fagen. By 1901 the Philippine resistance weakened and key leaders were either captured or surrendered. The US military was unwilling to pardon Fagen and, despite efforts by the US military to convince them otherwise, Fagen’s Filipino comrades refused to turn him over. As a result Fagen disappeared. In a strange incident, however, an individual brought in the head of a man he alleged to have been Fagen, thereby seeking a reward from the US military. The circumstances were so odd that it was largely assumed that it was some sort of trick and that Fagen was, actually, still alive. In subsequent years there were reports of sightings of Fagen but nothing confirmed. To the best of anyone’s knowledge, Fagen lived out the rest of his life among the Filipino population.

Fagen’s existence, and specifically his actions in defecting to the Philippine Army raised at the time, and continue to raise, important questions about conscience and patriotism. From the standpoint of the US military, Fagen was a deserter and traitor, but from the standpoint of the Filipino resistance, and for much of the national democratic movement in the Philippines subsequently, Fagen was a hero who stood with them during their darkest hour.

Fagen took a stand against an illegal and genocidal war. It was not simply a verbal stand but a refusal to be complicit in such criminality. It was this actual stand that made him such a dangerous person, at least from the standpoint of US authorities. There was another side to Fagen’s stance which must be understood: the example that he set at a moment of intense racial/national oppression against African Americans. At a point when African Americans were losing virtually every right to which they were supposed to be eligible, Fagen’s actions were, in effect, challenging the very notion that there was any obligation on the part of African Americans to respect the authority of the United States. Such an example simply could not have been tolerated by the ruling elite. It was not just that Fagen chose not to return to the Jim Crow USA, but that Fagen was quite prepared to take up arms.

Fagen’s actions force a discussion about the stance that should be taken in the face of illegal and immoral actions by one’s government. This is a matter far deeper than the issue of taking up arms. In the conditions of war, Fagen made a choice, but he was not the only person who had to make the broader choice. A mass movement existed at the time in the USA, as earlier noted, that protested US aggression. Yet there were African Americans then, as there are now, who suggested that Black America must constantly prove itself to be worthy citizens by being complicit in actions of aggression. Whether, in our time, it was events such as Colin Powell misinforming the United Nations about the alleged weapons of mass destruction, or the current wave of drone assaults being carried out by the USA with large numbers of civilian casualties, or, for matter the continued US involvement in the Philippines, African Americans are encouraged to either silence our criticisms or to actively support such actions. Dr. Martin Luther King certainly did not take up arms against US imperial might, but his profound condemnation of US aggression in Indochina (and other parts of the world) made him as disreputable a character as was David Fagen, at least as far as the perpetrators of imperial arrogance were and are concerned.

It is to this matter of the current US involvement in the Philippines that the story of David Fagen brings us. Since the 1946 nominal independence of the Philippines, the US has continued its interference in the internal affairs of the country, turning the Philippines into a neo-colony. Whether in their support of dictators, such as Ferdinand Marcos, or their support for other ‘democratically challenged’ governments that have conducted or turned a blind eye to human rights abuses, the USA has been on the wrong side of history. The Philippines has been engaged in a civil war since the early 1970s pitting a radical alliance known as the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (led by the Communist Party of the Philippines) against various governments of the Philippines. The USA has done nothing to assist with a peaceful settlement between the NDFP and the government and, if anything, has encouraged a further militarization of that conflict. The USA has also been of little help in the conflict on the southern island of Mindanao (with the largely Muslim Moro people fighting for autonomy), which the USA treated as largely a matter of alleged Islamic terrorism.

US media has generally ignored developments in the Philippines unless there is some sort of alleged Al Qaeda connection, and it pays no attention to nor expresses any concern regarding US military machinations or the efforts to sabotage peace talks with the NDFP. In that context the apparition of David Fagen hangs over Black America asking us, once again, to choose, that is, to ask ourselves to what extent do we wish to either be complicit in the imperial adventures of our government or, in the alternative, to side with democracy and justice?

The choice is ours, and ours alone to make.

[NOTE:  This essay is written in recognition of “Philippine Solidarity Week,” which commemorates the opening of the Philippine-US War in February 1899. There are a number of interesting pieces written on the matter of David Fagen. I refer the reader to a very interesting piece by my colleague E. San Juan, Jr. cited earlier in this essay. I also would suggest: Michael C. Robinson and Fran N. Schubert, “David Fagen:  An Afro-American Rebel in the Philippines, 1899-1901,” Pacific Historical Review, Vol. 44, No. 1, (February 1975), pp.69-83.]


[1] E. San Juan, Jr, “An African American Solider in the Philippine Revolution:  An Homage to David Fagen,” Cultural Logic, 2009, p.14.

[2] Ibid., p.3.

2013 Philippine Solidarity Week NY/NJ – Begins February 2!

Philippine Solidarity Week is a series of events building solidarity for national liberation and genuine democracy in the Philippines, led by Bagong Alyansang Makabayan-USA (BAYAN-USA). The Week’s events surround the anniversary of the Philippine-American War on February 4th.

This year, organizations in New York and New Jersey are hosting the following public events for 2013 Philippine Solidarity Week:

Saturday, February 2, 7:30 pm
Lunar New Year Rising: Typhoon Pablo Fundraising Party

Join FiRE as we celebrate Lunar New Year and introduce GABRIELA’s participation in the worldwide One Billion Rising campaign that demands an end to violence against women and children. In addition, we are fundraising to support relief efforts in the Philippines in the wake of the devastation from Typhoon Pablo. Please contact Irma Bajar at irmabajar to RSVP and directions.
HOSTED BY: Filipinas for Rights and Empowerment www.firenyc.org

Tuesday, February 5, 6:30 pm
COIN: US/Philippine Counter-Insurgency Program

Brecht Forum: 451 West St. (between Bank and Bethune)An educational on the counter-insurgency program in the Philippines, and the current human rights situation faced by Filipinos.
Suggested donation $5, no one will be turned away
HOSTED BY: New York Committee for Human Rights in the Philippines www.nychrp.info

Saturday, February 9, 3:00 pm – 5:00 pm
“Bloody Blundering Business” Film Screening & Panel

at Pope Lecture Hall, St. Peter’s University, 115 Glenwood Ave. (btw JFK Blvd & West Side Ave), Jersey City, NJ 07306 / $10 suggested donation, no one will be turned away due to lack of funds
This Bloody Blundering Business examines the history of American intervention in the Philippines following the Spanish American War. Learn more about the Philippine-American War of 1899, Continued US Military Presence in the Philippines, and the Enduring People’s Movement for Genuine Independence with special guest speakers. Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/events/406700649413684
HOSTED BY: ANAKBAYAN NJ http://anakbayannynj.wordpress.com/ and St. Peter’s University Social Justice Program

Monday, February 11, 7:00 pm – 9:00 pm
Exposure: The Philippines

Activists flew to the Philippines in Summer 2012 to be truly exposed to the concrete conditions of the country. Most importantly, they learned how the Philippine mass movement for genuine freedom and democracy is agitating, organizing, and mobilizing communities to face social, economic, & political issues. An info session about how you can join next summer’s exposure trip will follow.

Venue: TBD
HOSTED BY: BAYAN-USA Northeast

Join us on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/events/521944761169306

Solidarity with Philippine Solidarity Week:

Statement by the Arturo Schomburg Branch of New York, People’s Organization
for Progress

People’s Organization for Progress (POP) supports the struggles of people
at home and abroad against oppression and exploitation.  To that end, the
POP – Arturo Schomburg Branch of New York, in the work of building unity
with other organizations and individuals whose goals are similar to our
own, sends solidarity greetings for Philippine Solidarity Week (February
4-11), called by Bagong Alyansang Makabayan-USA (BAYAN-USA).

Philippine Solidarity Week is the commemoration of the self-defense of the
Filipino people against US imperialism in the Philippine-American War.  As
the week coincides with Black History Month, we know that just as the
school textbooks are designed to erase the valiant history of struggle led
by Nat Turner, Gabriel & Nan Prosser, Harriet Tubman, John Brown, Crazy
Horse, Goyathlay, Sitting Bull, Pedro Albizu Campos, Lolita Lebrón, and
many, many others, the struggle continues to remember this great moment in
the Filipino struggle for freedom.

Philippine Solidarity Week is dedicated to stopping US militarization in
the Philippines.  We know that any US military base in Philippines – as is
the case of military bases in Guam, Puerto Rico, Guantánamo, and elsewhere
– will be populated by recruiting Black, Latina/o, Indigneous and poor
youth from our communities. Young people are denied an education at home
and given only the option of the poverty draft of enlistment. Our young
people are being militarized and miseducated. They enter the ranks to fight
for US imperialism after being in schools where they cannot find the
Philippines, Guam, Puerto Rico, Cuba, Iraq, Libya, or Iran on a map. They
suffer racism, sexism, violence, xenophobia, and police brutality, yet they
are being told to defend a system that denies them decent schools, jobs at
living wages, and safe and healthy communities. They are taught to kill
people struggling to survive just as they struggle in their communities.

In conclusion, POP-New York salutes the fighting history commemorated by
Philippine Solidarity Week. NO TO RACISM AND MILITARISM AT HOME AND ABROAD!
YES TO IMMIGRANT AND HUMAN RIGHTS! POWER TO THE PEOPLE!

http://njpop.org/wordpress

Solidarity Statement from the FLA! Collective

Solidarity Statement from the FLA! Collective

The FLA! Collective expresses its solidarity with the participants and organizers of Philippine Solidarity Week 2012. It is our duty as oppressed Asian nationalities in the US to stand with all people who are in struggle for liberation from US imperialism and all forms of reaction. The Philippines has been a colony and semi-colony of US imperialism for more than a century. Maintained and enforced by US imperialism, the present condition of Philippine society forces millions abroad in search of a basic livelihood. Given these realities, we know that the most recent US military intervention in the Philippines has nothing to do with protecting the people of the world and everything to do with further subjugating the Filipino people and threatening the people of the Asia-Pacific region. Every US troop of Asian descent, or any other descent that makes one a target of racism and national oppression in the US, must ask themselves what they are doing stationed in the Philippines. Remember Danny Chen.

At a time when the struggles of Asian nationalities in the US are largely trapped within the confines of identifying with the dominant culture, reformism and NGOism where they exist at all, the national-democratic movement in the Philippines and everywhere in the Filipino diaspora, including in the US, continues to raise the uncompromising demands for national and social liberation. All progressives of Asian nationalities in the US, the remains of the Asian American Movement and the people’s movements in our homelands can learn from the accumulated experience and tremendous resilience of the Filipino national-democratic movement. It is a resilience strengthened by the vision, sacrifices and unending work of generations of organizers, laboring so that their nation may someday be free.

Long live the people’s struggles in the Philippines! All US forces out now!

http://thefuckingloudestazns.tumblr.com/

Statement from NJ Youth United Against War and Imperialism

In solidarity with Filipino youth and in hopes of developing an organizational sisterhood with Anakbayan youth organization, NJ Youth United Against War and Imperialism condemns recent US decisions to increase the number of US troops in the Philippines. We demand the immediate withdrawal of US troops and an end to the interference of imperialism in the internal affairs of the Philippines.

The history of US imperialism in the Philippines is shameful. The struggle of Filipinos to free from the shackles of imperialism is an example to all who look to forge a better future for ourselves, our nations and for the world.

In NJ, Anakbayan has been at the forefront of many struggles, including opposition to war and imperialism, support for public education, workers rights, immigrant rights and struggles opposing tuition hikes and other austerity measures. These are all concerns of our organization and we hope that as our struggles develop, our efforts can better be merged into a unified movement.

We look forward to opportunities to work with Anakbayan around educational events specifically about the Philippines and about more general topics of imperialism and in the organizing of actions to unify youth and working people for changes to a system that depends of these forms of super exploitation.

Robert Colby-Witanek, co-founder NJ Youth United Against War and Imperialism

http://njyouthunited.org/

Solidarity Statement from Occupy Jersey City

STATEMENT OF SOLIDARITY WITH THE PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES

The members of Occupy Jersey City, jointly and severally, stand in solidarity with the Filipino People against the proposed United States military build-up in The Philippines under the guise of protecting natural resources in the South China Sea. It is the natural right of any nation to administer its internal and external affairs without the intrusion of a foreign power. Additionally, the members of Occupy Jersey City, as a group and individually, support the anti-colonial struggles that have lasted for over a century in The Philippines.

The Filipino People have an inherent right to manage their own affairs without the unwanted intervention and interference of the United States. Finally, Occupy Jersey City, in unison, firmly opposes the use of United States taxpayer monies for the unwarranted funding of the military escalation in the Pacific Rim via this new threat aimed toward The Philippines by the United States military-industrial complex. Occupy Jersey City favors disarmament and thus peace.

NO MORE UNITED STATES ARMS BUILD-UP IN THE PACIFIC RIM!
SOVEREIGNTY & PEACE FOR THE PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES!

approved by the OJC General Assembly on 020912

http://occupyjc.blogspot.com/