Category: BAYAN USA

From the Philippines to Standing Rock: Water is Life, Land is Life, Fight for Self-Determination

For Immediate Release
Contact: Lean Deleon, (510) 586-8799, leanbdeleon@gmail.com
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BAYAN USA, a progressive anti-imperialist alliance made up of over 20 Filipino mass organizations from all over the US, are being represented today by two organizations–one from the youth and student sector, Anakbayan East Bay in Ohlone lands (also known as San Francisco Bay Area), California, and the other from the New York Committee for Human Rights in the Philippines (NYCHRP) in Lenape lands also known as NYC, to stand in solidarity with the deepest indignation with Standing Rock, and the Sioux Dakota and Lakota indigenous peoples in their fight against the Dakota Access Pipeline. We are here to carry messages of love, hope, solidarity, and resistance from our homeland, the Philippines, which is comprised of dozens of distinct ethnolinguistic tribes and national minorities. We stand with you—the water and land protectors of North Dakota, as the U.S. government continues to prioritize corporate interests over your autonomy, self-determination and ancestral relationship to the land and water. We stand with you in resistance against the U.S. military state and its violent dispersal of your people, trumped-up charges, and human rights abuses, which have not been covered by mainstream, corporate media. We stand in solidarity, as police deploy military-grade equipment, including armored vehicles, surveillance helicopters, planes, drones, and attack dogs—knowing that this state repression is endemic to U.S. imperialism and the suppression of resistance all over the world. We saw this global complex come full circle at Urban Shield held in the Bay Area—a regional, national and global weapons expo and SWAT training that brought together law enforcement agencies and first responders in order for them to learn how to better repress, criminalize, and militarize black and brown communities. We can see these tactics here on Dakota land and in our homeland, the Philippines. Similar to the 280 indigenous tribes that have united here at Standing Rock, SANDUGO, an alliance of national minority groups in the Philippines held a protest at the U.S. Embassy in Manila, the capital of the Philippines, against U.S. imperialist plunder and militarization and are fighting to defend their ancestral lands and right to self-determination. Just yesterday, they were violently dispersed with water cannons, teargas, and over 50 people were injured when a police van was used as a weapon to run over people repeatedly. The brute force from the Philippine military and police to protect the U.S. embassy is in line with maintaining US imperialism over the rights and welfare of the Filipino people. From our homeland in the Philippines to the militarization of communities by Urban Shield, to the killing of Berta Caceres in Honduras, and to defending indigenous rights in Standing Rock, we denounce the criminalization of resistance and stand with the protectors of land, water, and human dignity all over the world. Next we’d like to read a message from our indigenous comrades from the International Indigenous People’s Movement for Self-Determination & Liberation in the Philippines.
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Protect Our Waters and Territories, No to Dakota Access Pipeline!

The International Indigenous Peoples Movement for Self Determination and Liberation (IPMSDL) stands in unity with the Standing Rock Sioux Dakota and Lakota Indigenous Peoples in asserting their right to protect the waters of their ancestral lands. Chairman Dave Archambault II of the Standing Rock Sioux reminds the world that Indigenous Peoples suffer from poverty and environmental sabotage because we are forced to subsidize for-profit corporations through schemes such as Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL). The United States of America under President Barack Obama in 2010 endorsed the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. The US, however, has yet to substantially implement the provisions of this declaration. The case of the Dakota Access Pipeline is a case in point. The US government started the construction of the DAPL without the Free, Prior and Informed Consent (FPIC) of the Standing Rock Sioux Dakota and Lakota Peoples.

Lumads (indigenous people of Mindanao) stand with standing rock! Stop the Dakota Access Pipeline! #NoDAPL #InternationalSolidarity #StopDakotaAccessPipeline #LandisLife
The US is a model for human rights violators worldwide as they demonstrate that human rights, and particularly Indigenous Peoples rights, are optional. With this, the US encourages other colonial powers to follow its example, ignore treaties and human rights obligations, and take by force whatever they want despite the cost to human life. By forcing this destructive, inhumane, climate-changing development on Standing Rock Sioux and other Indigenous Peoples, the US threatens the security of both Indigenous and non-Indigenous Peoples. The IPMSDL strongly urges the US government to respect the rights of the Indigenous Peoples within and outside its territories. IPMSDL also calls on the US government to immediately halt the construction of the destructive Dakota Access Pipeline and honor the obligations and treaties it has signed and endorsed with respect to Indigenous Peoples and human rights. The IPMSDL also calls on the Standing Rock Sioux Dakota and Lakota Indigenous Peoples to continue asserting their rights as Indigenous Peoples and for other Indigenous Peoples Rights organizations and groups to support the Standing Rock Sioux Dakota and Lakota Indigenous Peoples in their continuing fight for their right to self determination.
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BAYAN-USA Commemorates Black Panther Party’s 50th Anniversary

Press Release
October 20, 2016
Reference: Jessica Antonio, Secretary General, secgen@bayanusa.org

BAYAN USA Commemorates Black Panther Party’s 50th Anniversary!

Freedom and self-determination, full employment, restitution for slavery, decent housing and education, free health care, an end to police brutality, an end to all wars of aggression, liberation from jails and the rotten justice system, the people’s community control of their own livelihood—the Ten-Point Program of the Black Panther Party resonates as strongly today as it did 50 years ago, when the BPP was founded. On the 50th anniversary of the founding of the Black Panther Party for Self Defense, BAYAN USA honors the courageous people who established the BPP, fought to make its program a reality, and defended the black community against severe state repression. We also honor those BPP members who are still being persecuted by the state as political prisoners for the “crime” of serving the people.

BAYAN USA commemorates the founding by continuing to be in solidarity with the Black liberation struggle. From the struggle to end African slavery to the development of the Black Panther Party, the Black resistance movement in this country is centuries old and has long provided visionary and groundbreaking leadership for many oppressed communities demanding freedom in the U.S. and abroad. The self-determination and national liberation of Black people is not only crucial to the movement for freedom and democracy in the US, but for the whole world as we advance the worldwide anti-imperialist movement. We recognize the suffering and exploitation plaguing our communities as rooted in the history of slavery and anti-black racism. It was on the backs of enslaved Africans that the wealth and power of the United States was accumulated, enabling the genocide of Native Americans and the colonization of countries throughout the world the years after.

The urgency of the fight to end anti-Black oppression remains, as evident in the murder of 1 Black person every 28 hours and the state’s policy of impunity for police officers responsible for the extrajudicial killings of unarmed Black men, women, children and gender nonconforming people. The need to address oppressed communities’ issues around land, housing, education, and self-determination, as outlined in the BPP’s Ten-Point Program, remain critical today as evident in the existence of some of the groundbreaking social and economic programs the BPP initiated, some of which still exist, such as the Women, Infant and Children Program (WIC).

BAYAN USA is proud to be a part of continuing the rich history of peoples’ movements and international solidarity in the U.S. inspired by the legacy of Black resistance, organizing, and leadership of the BPP. Our member organizations across the U.S. continue to take collective action to denounce state repression and police murders of Black people, to demand an end to Urban Shield, and march with Black Trans and Gender non-conforming people fighting for access to housing and healthcare alongside the communities most impacted by state repression –Black, Muslim, Migrant, Gender nonconforming, and poor and working class people.

BAYAN USA salutes the many achievements and legacy of the Black Panther Party celebrating its 50th Anniversary! We stand in firm solidarity with #BlackLivesMatter and the Black Liberation struggle demanding genuine social, economic, and political change in the United States. BAYAN USA and its member organizations are gathering in Chicago this Saturday, October 22 for the U.S. conference of the International League of Peoples Struggle (ILPS), culminating in the streets to demand Justice for Laquan McDonald on his 2nd year murder anniversary. We invite all organizations to join us in contributing to the anti-imperialist movement by building the United States chapter of ILPS!
END STATE REPRESSION & ADVANCE BLACK LIBERATION STRUGGLES!
BUILD THE ANTI-IMPERIALIST MOVEMENT!
LONG LIVE INTERNATIONAL SOLIDARITY!

BAYAN-USA Condemns Violent Crackdown on Protesters at US Embassy

sandugo-us-emba-oct-19-pol-blkde-by-kathyBAYAN-USA condemns the violent dispersal of Moro and indigenous protestors of Kilusan ng Moro at Mamamayang Katutubo para sa Sariling Pagpapasya (Sandugo) in front of the US Embassy in Manila on October 19. This vicious attack exposes the incessant power of the US in controlling the internal affairs of the Philippines to defend US imperialism’s interests, even to the point of ordering the Manila Police District (MPD) to defend the US embassy by attacking its own people, who were exercising their right to protest.

We stand in solidarity with Sandugo in calling for an end to militarization, state repression, and the plunder of ancestral land for profit and power of foreign interests. We call on Philippine state forces to stop defending US imperialist interests and instead stand on the side of the Filipino people.

We demand accountability from the MPD Police Senior Supt. Marcelino Pedrozo Jr., who ordered the violent dispersal of protesters. We call on President Duterte to end the continuing repression being waged by Philippine military and police forces. This includes an end to the counterinsurgency program Oplan Bayanihan, which is one of the driving factors behind the violent harassment, displacement, and murders of Moro and indigenous people in their ancestral communities that Sandugo was protesting in the first place.

We also demand an end to US intervention in the Philippines, which incites these acts of repression. This includes the withdrawal of all US intelligence and military facilities, bases, troops and advisors. This includes the Big mining, oil and energy, and agribusiness corporations which run private armies and dictate local Philippine military and paramilitary forces to attack the indigenous communities whose land they are stealing and destroying for profit. This includes the termination of the Visiting Forces Agreement (VFA) and Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement (EDCA) which flagrantly violate Philippine sovereignty. The movement for land, food, justice, sovereignty and democracy will not rest until all traces of US imperialism are banished from the Philippines.

End militarization and state repression!
End Oplan Bayanihan!
End U.S. intervention in the Philippines!
Protect ancestral land from foreign interests!

Advance the GRP-NDFP Peace Talks! Address the Roots of the Armed Conflict! Struggle for a Just & Lasting Peace!

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Bayan USA calls on all Filipinos and concerned friends worldwide to support the formal peace negotiations between the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP) and the Government of the Republic of the Philippines (GRP), which is set to begin its second round today, Thursday, October 6 in Oslo, Norway. Though Western media likes to shine a spotlight on President Duterte, it purposely does not cover the advancement of the peace negotiations, a major move towards resolving the root issues of the longest-running revolutionary armed conflict in Asia.

After 18 years of stalling and attempts to sabotage the peace process by the US-backed regimes of Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo and Benigno Aquino III, President Rodrigo Duterte formally resumed the peace negotiations last August. As Mayor of Davao City, he had already recognized the belligerency of the Peoples Democratic Government established by the revolutionary forces of the Communist Party of the Philippines, the New People’s Army, and National Democratic Front of the Philippines (CPP-NPA-NDFP), and now as President is continuing these relations through the peace talks.

The second round of the GRP-NDFP peace negotiations will tackle social and economic reforms, getting to the root causes of the 47-year old armed conflict in the country— poverty, landlessness, and joblessness. First introducing its proposals for substantive reforms in 1998, the NDFP has already produced its updated draft of the Comprehensive Agreement on Social and Economic Reforms (CASER), which offers concrete proposals for policies and mechanisms to carry out sustainable land reform and national industrialization. Such fundamental reforms are the keys to ensuring a Philippine economy that is able to provide jobs and livelihood for the Filipino people, the vast majority of whom are landless tillers and farmers mired in abject poverty and hardship in a country known for its vast forests and marine, agricultural and mineral wealth. Gathering lessons from the peace accord between the government of Colombia and the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) which was recently rejected by a national referendum, the proposals contained in the CASER were crafted in consultation with the masses of workers, peasants, indigenous people, and other marginalized sectors of Philippine society.

The Need for Genuine Sovereignty

Despite all the natural wealth, the Philippine economy remains backwards, pre-industrial and stunted from upward development due to its subservience to foreign economic and political dictates, corporate investments and lack of genuine sovereignty. In order for genuine land reform and national industrialization to be possible, the Philippine government must assert national sovereignty and the right of the Filipino people to chart our own direction in economic, political, and military matters. It is in this respect that BAYAN USA stands with President Duterte’s pronouncements of sovereignty and pursuing an independent foreign policy. If realized, genuine sovereignty and an independent foreign policy will lay the foundation for the development of the country, and alleviation of the Filipino people’s suffering from chronic crisis. It could reverse the anguish of the over 6,000 Filipinos forced to leave the country daily to work abroad as the only means to survive and provide for their families.

Stay Vigilant Against Destabilization and Derailment

US imperialism’s geopolitical interests in the Philippines and the Asia-Pacific region require continuing the status quo of traditional Philippine politics that forego sovereignty and uphold US corporate dictates. At present, the US government is intent on discrediting and unseating the Duterte administration, even using the backing of human rights watchdogs and the Western media to build a popular narrative against Duterte, as the latter continues to stand up vocally against US domination over the Philippines.

While we also condemn the alarming number of drug-related extra-judicial killings of alleged drug pushers under Duterte’s drug war, the human rights situation as the sole focus of the Western media and its non-coverage of the GRP-NDFP peace talks indicate media bias as a tool for destabilization and derailment of the peace process.

As the Obama and next US administration grapples with how to get rid of Duterte, it must also come to terms with US imperialism’s inability to crush the Filipino people’s revolutionary movement for national liberation, as represented by the NDFP during these peace talks.

In these crucial times, let us turn our attention to what the media is not covering about the Philippines– the 47 year old revolutionary movement for national liberation. To stand for a just and lasting peace in the Philippines is to stand for the advancement of the peace process, and more importantly with the continuing Filipino people’s struggle for revolutionary change. In the end it is the Filipino people, united in collective action and struggle, who will usher in peace and development, regardless of who is president.

UPHOLD PHILIPPINE SOVEREIGNTY!
LAND REFORM NOW!
NATIONAL INDUSTRIALIZATION NOW!
ADVANCE THE PEACE PROCESS!

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