October 20, 2016
Reference: Jessica Antonio, Secretary General, firstname.lastname@example.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 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!
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!