Contact: Berna Ellorin
Secretary-General, BAYAN USA
The US Chapter of Bagong Alyansang Makabayan, or BAYAN USA, an alliance of 12 Filipino organizations in the United States, vehemently condemns the political harrassment, illegal arrest, and torture of US activist and our good ally David Pugh. Pugh, along with two local anti-displacement activists in Orissa, Ms. Promita Das and Mr. Pradeep, were arrested and detained by Orissa police while traveling to Bhubaneswar last week. They were taken to Badchan Police station near Chandikol. Pugh was detained for five hours, where he was also mentally tortured. He was eventually released and asked to come in for another interrogation session on August 13th in the afternoon. As of the writing of this statement, Pugh has been released and will be returning to the US soon.
Pugh, an activist with Collision Course Video in the San Francisco/Bay Area, has been a longtime friend to BAYAN USA and the Filipino people’s cause for national liberation and democracy for many years. Completely in his character, Pugh was in India this month attending a People’s Tribunal on Displacement, SEZ, and Corporate Violence in Orissa organized by Bhubaneswar by Visthapan Virodhi Jan Vikas Andolan, an anti-displacement front of movements from various parts of India including that of Orissa.
In lieu of Pugh’s release, we call for the immediate release of Das and Pradeep. We also condemn the illegal nature of the arrest and interrogation as there was no legal process involved or recognition of basic rights. Pugh, Das, and Pradeep were engaged in mission to understand the conditions in Kaliganagar and Sukinda to see the effects of industrialization on the local people and the local people’s movement against industrialization and mining, issues and concerns the majority of the impoverished in the Philippines share. Their concerns and actions are just, principled, and admirable. To be met with such political repression is a manifestation of neoliberalism’s intended state violence against the poor peoples of the world as well as principled resistance.
JUSTICE FOR DAVE PUGH!
RELEASE PRATIMA DAS AND PRADEEP NOW!
NO TO POLITICAL REPRESSION IN ORISSA!
NO TO STATE VIOLENCE!
LONG LIVE INTERNATIONAL SOLIDARITY!