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BAYAN USA & ICHRP US Call to Action Aug 6-8: 1 Year after the Attempted Assassination of Brandon Lee

BAYAN USA & International Coalition for Human Rights in the Philippines- US  (ICHRP US) are calling for Days of Action starting on the 1 year anniversary of the attempted assassination of U.S. citizen Brandon Lee on August 6th, 2020. 

JOIN THESE DAYS OF ACTION:

AUG 6th: Justice for Brandon Lee Press Conference on the 1 Year Anniversary 

Details: 5pm- 6pm Pacific 

RSVP: tinyurl.com/j4blpresscon

 

AUG 7th: National Day of Action

Details: Host offline or online creative actions in regions — such as rallies, banner drops, or forums! (List of actions TBR)

 

AUG 8th: Online Actions & Fundraising

Details: Host Fundraising events online or offline selling the artwork or donating here; Promote Brandon’s story and peoples’ struggle in the Cordilleras online 

 

More Ways to Take Action:

 

Background

On August 6th, 2019, Brandon Lee, a San Francisco native who moved to the Philippines to work full-time as an environmental defender with the Cordillera Human Rights Alliance, was shot outside of his home, sustained life-threatening injuries and survived with permanent damage to his spine. This attack against Brandon came after years of harassment, surveillance, intimidation, and death threats by the Philippine military and police in an attempt to squash the movement of peasant farmers and indigenous peoples resisting environmental plunder and fighting for their rights to land and self-determination. Brandon’s story is not an anomaly, but rather the calculated result of Duterte’s counterinsurgency program Oplan Kapanatagan and the Executive Order 70 “whole of nation approach” that militarizes the civilian bureaucracy, targets unarmed activists as terrorists, and silences legitimate dissent.

 

As the Philippines was just named the most dangerous country for environmental defenders for the second year in a row and Duterte’s Anti-Terror Law has effectively legalized state terrorism, now more than ever we must honor Brandon’s work by seeking justice for all victims of Duterte’s fascist attacks against human rights and environmental defenders, condemning the Anti-Terror Law as Duterte’s continued push to enact nationwide de facto marital law, and demanding the US government pass the Philippine Human Rights Act and end to US support of the Duterte regime!

 

WE DEMAND:

  • Accountability from the Philippine government and expose culpability of Philippine military and Duterte regime
  • Accountability from U.S. government by suspending all aid to the Philippine military and police and pushing for independent investigation into Brandon Lee’s attempted assasination
  • For U.S. legislators to support the introduction and passing of the Philippine Human Rights Act (PHRA)
  • For U.S. Congress to hold a hearing investigating the Anti-Terrorism Act’s extraterritorial implications on people in the U.S.
  • UNHRC member states to adopt recommendations of UN OHCHR

 

CALLS:

  • Justice for Brandon Lee & all victims of state terrorism
  • Justice for the victims of human rights violations!
  • Junk the Anti-Terrorism Law! 
  • Defend human rights defenders! 
  • Pass the Philippine Human Rights Act!
  • Fight Duterte’s fascist dictatorship!
  • Fight for freedom and democracy!

 

Use these Hashtags in all posts:   #Justice4BrandonLee #JunkTerrorLaw





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Makibaka! Huwag Matakot! Defeat Duterte’s Fascism & Oust Duterte Now!

On July 27, Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte delivered his annual State of the Nation Address (SONA). He filled his speech with lies about the government’s successful response to COVID-19, empty promises for overseas Filipino workers, praise for his deadly military and police force, and excuses for not addressing the people’s long-standing aspirations for genuine sovereignty and the right to land. The real state of Duterte’s regime continues to be one of rising fascism and neoliberal “solutions” to the pandemic and poverty. BAYAN USA mobilized across the United States to take action against the rotten Duterte regime, from New York, New Jersey, Philadelphia, and Washington D.C. to Chicago, Texas, Seattle, Portland, San Franscisco-Bay Area, Los Angeles and Hawai’i. 

New York

New Jersey

Washington D.C.

DuterTyranny

In his address, Duterte spoke of a supposedly untarnished human rights situation in the Philippines. In reality, the masses know that the Duterte regime and its military and police are the number one perpetrator of human rights violations in the country, responsible for the most heinous acts of criminality, corruption, and state terrorism. For over two years Mindanao was placed under formal martial law, there were over 800,000 rights abuses recorded, including over 90 killings and almost 1,500 detentions. These figures do not include the de facto martial law imposed on Negros, Bicol, and Samar through Duterte’s Memorandom Order 32, which resulted in over 100 extrajudicial killings

Behind these state-sanctioned killings and abuses were the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) and Philippine National Police (PNP), which have amassed even more power since Duterte’s passing of Executive Order 70, which has militarized the entire civilian bureaucracy.

San Diego CA

Los Angeles CA

San Francisco-Bay Area

The Anti-Terrorism Act (ATA) signed into law by Duterte is the latest puzzle piece in Duterte’s plan to enact a de facto martial law nation wide. Despite Duterte’s failure to even address the ATA during his SONA, the actions of the police made it clear to the people the intent of the law to brand activism as terrorism. Almost 150 people across the country were arrested on their way to, during, or after protest actions. Dozens more were detained or held up at check points. Even in the United States, activists were met with state surveillance. 

COVID-19 and the Duterte Epidemic

Duterte’s failed response to the COVID-19 pandemic was all but covered up during SONA. Duterte failed to provide a comprehensive roadmap to fighting the pandemic, despite recorded cases rising above 82,000 and recorded deaths totaling almost 2,000. Instead, he again turned to his fascist military and police to impose lockdown policies, and more recently Tokhang-style house-to-house tactics to identify possible cases. Free mass testing is still not available to the majority of Filipinos. 

Portland OR

Seattle WA

Unemployment and underemployment stand at an all time high, with almost 19 million Filipinos economically displaced due to the pandemic and Duterte’s lockdown policies. The government’s economic aid to alleviate this worsening economic crisis has been slow and riddled with corruption. Malacañang itself reported that as of June 29, 300,000 families had yet to receive government aid, not including the 3.5 million families waitlisted for the first round. And when people like the San Roque 21 took matters to their own hands demanding financial relief, the government jailed them instead.  Duterte’s militarized response to COVID-19 has drawn the ire of the people, with calls for mass testing instead of mass arrests, and aid instead of detention (“tulong, hindi kulong”) resounding throughout the country.

State Abandonment and Exaction

Overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) are not exempt from the masses of people suffering from Duterte’s botched COVID-19 plan. There are over 10 million Filipinos who have left the country to find work abroad. More than 9,000 OFWs have contracted COVID-19, while hundreds of thousands more are unemployed due to the economic impacts of the pandemic on top of an already-failing economy. Filipino seafarers have made international headlines in cases like the Diamond Princess and Grand Princess cruise ships, where workers were trapped on COVID-19 stricken vessels. In Saudi Arabia, some OFWs have been forced to scavenge for food in dumpsters because of the little to no support received from the Philippine government. In the United States, Filipino J-1 Visa holders in the hospitality industry faced mass lay-offs and state neglect as despite working service jobs overseas, they are not even considered OFWs formally and are considered ineligible for state economic relief. Hundreds of OFWs who were repatriated were left stranded at Ninoy Aquino International Airport despite being promised VIP treatment. And tragically, both on land and on sea, OFWs have taken their own lives due to hopelessness amid the pandemic. 

On top of Duterte’s criminal abandonment of OFWs, the Philippine government has continued to treat migrants as milking cows for profit. Duterte has not backed down from imposing mandatory PhilHealth insurance membership on Filipino nationals overseas, despite there being no PhilHealth facilities outside of the Philippines. This mandatory membership includes a premium fee of three percent of monthly income, a huge burden for migrant workers who must already pay for excess fees, such as for the Overseas Employment Certificate. 

Chicago IL

Hawai’i

Build the People’s Political Power to Oust Duterte

Duterte cannot continue to fool the Filipino masses. The real change that he pretends his regime has accomplished cannot be realized under Duterte’s fascist dictatorship, nor can it be realized under a Philippines still plagued by foreign rule and an economic system that breaks the backs of the peasant farmer and worker majority of the population. 

A week prior to Duterte’s SONA, BAYAN-USA released a Declaration of People’s Demands alongside the Malaya Movement, which has now been signed by 35 additional organizations and almost 300 individuals. The demands include: Scrap the Anti-Terror Law; Ensure free mass testing, healthcare, and livelihood in the face of the pandemic; Ensure the rights, welfare, and protection of migrant workers; Pass the Philippine Human Rights Act in the US; and Expel the Philippine National Police (PNP) from the US. 

Beyond the points outlined in the Declaration of People’s Demands, BAYAN USA recognizes that to enact lasting systemic change, we must struggle against imperialism, feudalism, and bureaucrat capitalism. Duterte’s 5th SONA proved that he is not on the side of the people in this struggle. In addition to the crimes listed above, he also refused to confront Chinese aggression while saying nothing about his arms deal with the US that would cost $2 billion and continued to push for the neoliberal National Land Use Act rather than genuine agrarian reform. 

Let us not wait another year for Duterte to come back to the people with more fairytales. BAYAN USA calls on Filipinos across the US to build the people’s political power to bring down Duterte’s fascist rule, struggle for genuine independence and democracy for the masses of people, and construct a socialist alternative that will prioritize people over profit. Only through the national democratic struggle with a socialist perspective—the struggle of the toiling masses of the Filipino people—can we defeat state fascism, fight COVID-19, and ensure the rights of Filipinos across our homeland in and every corner of the globe. 

Texas

Philadelphia PA

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BAYAN USA’s Tribute to Fidel Agcaoili- Rest in Power

BAYAN USA’s Tribute to Fidel Agcaoili- Rest in Power

Revolutionary

NDFP consultant & chief negotiator

Former Political Prisoner

Organizer

Comrade/Kasama

Husband, Father, Grandfather

 

Fidel Agcaoili would have turned 76 years old on August 8th, which he would have celebrated surrounded by family, friends and comrades.  We send our heartfelt condolences to his family and loved ones. Today, we remember a true revolutionary who for decades continued to serve the oppressed and exploited classes, whether from inside prison (known as one of the longest held political prisoners during Marcos’ dictatorship), from the underground revolutionary movement, or from overseas, living in exile in the Netherlands as the chairperson of the Negotiating Panel of the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP) until his very last breath.  

As the chief negotiator for the NDFP, Fidel continued to strategize ways to push for the resumption of the peace talks with the Government Republic of the Philippines even after President Duterte cancelled the talks, labelling the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) as terrorists. Ultimately, Fidel knew that the peace negotiations were one way of pushing forward the comprehensive program for social and economic reforms and that the primary way to achieve genuine systemic change in the Philippines was through continuing the Philippine revolution led by the CPP. 

 

CONTINUING TO BUILD PEOPLE POWER, REST IN POWER FIDEL

After the People Power movement forcibly removed the Marcos dictatorship, and after Fidel was finally released from prison, he continued his work as one of the founding members of the Partido ng Bayan in August 1986, a legal left political party during Cory Aquino’s presidency. Its platform included: land redistribution, national control of industries, and an end to the presence of American bases. BAYAN’s 8 point program still includes building a self-reliant and progressive economy by carrying out genuine agrarian reform and national industrialization, as well as upholding national sovereignty and opposing U.S. imperialist domination. As BAYAN USA, we commit to continue the legacy started by Fidel and other Filipino revolutionaries to struggle for national democracy in the Philippines, and to grow the national democratic movement as a formidable force united against a common enemy.  It is our duty to strengthen the mass movement and contribute to building people power in order to topple Duterte’s dictatorship! It is our duty to struggle for national democracy with a socialist perspective to build a Philippines that is self-reliant, truly free, and that will benefit the majority of the Filipino people!

 

Mahubay Ka Fidel!

Hanggang sa Tagumpay!

Original image pulled from Liberation.ndfp.org

BAYAN USA Joins International Days of Protest to #JunkTerrorLaw & #OustDuterte July 17 & 27

Join BAYAN USA for international days of protest on July 17 and July 27 to demand the junking of the Anti-Terror Law, and the ousting of the fascist US-Duterte regime!

 


Duterte’s Anti-Terror Law will come into effect on July 18 in the Philippines (July 17th in the U.S.), essentially giving free rein to Duterte and his militarized government to label any organization or individual a terrorist for speaking out against the regime.

On July 27, Duterte will give his annual State of the Nation Address, where he will be sure to spew lies about the successes of his presidency.

The Filipino people will hold counter-protests coinciding with these dates to challenge the ATL online and on the streets, and to deliver a People’s State of the Nation highlighting the socio-economic crisis plaguing the Filipino masses, who are facing a dual epidemic of COVID-19 and state terror.

Stay Tuned for more information on actions and activities near you!

Follow BAYAN USA on Facebook, Instagram & Twitter for updates!

People’s State of the Nation Action & Events:

 

 

July 16 @6pm Central Chicago, IL: Activism is Not Terrorism! Junk Terror Law! https://facebook.com/events/s/activism-is-not-terrorism-junk/782515695618515/?ti=cl

July 16 @5pm Pacific San Jose, CA: Junk Duterte’s Anti-Terror Law! Legislative Writing Session webinar bit.ly/ATBletters

July 17 @1:30pm Rally @ 2pm Pacific San Francisco, CA: End Trump-Duterte Reign of Terror: Anti-Terror Law + PNP Out of SF!  Philippine Consulate, 447 Sutter St., San Francisco  (RSVP for auto/bike meet up location: bit.ly/July17OustDuterteSF)

July 17th @7pm Texas: Central Connecting Struggles Between Filipino, Palestinian, and Black Liberation webinar RSVP: Tinyurl.com/TXSOLIDARITY

July 17 @7pm Pacific Los Angeles, CA: Film screening: Portraits of Mosquito Press – a film about Press Repression (RSVP for zoom link at bit.ly/PortraitsofMosquitoPress)

July 17th IG Live Series Pacific Los Angeles, CA: @9am watch @AngryFeministWorkouts convo with Ashley & Malaya @12noon watch @Well.WithV talks about ancestral healing @7pm watch @MinervaVier Gabriela LA solidarity against the ATL & actions.