U.S. Out! A Teach-in Call/Webinar on the U.S. Military Pivot to the Asia Pacific and the Trans Pacific Partnership

Thank you to all 300+ people from six countries and 23 US states who participated in the teach-in! A recording of the webinar portion of the event can be accessed here: http://www.anymeeting.com/BAYANUSA/EF53DD828247. Please forward the link to others who may be interested in the issues of the military pivot and the TPPA.

Saturday, March 1, 2014
3-6 PM Pacific | 5-8 PM Central | 6-9 PM Eastern

Featured speakers:
Renato Reyes Jr., BAYAN Philippines
Hyun Lee, Nodutdol
Masao Suzuki, Freedom Road Socialist Organization
dåko’ta alcantara-camacho,Our Islands Are Sacred & ARKiology

 A live, real-time webinar with international speakers providing critical analysis of the Pivot and the TPPA from the viewpoint of people’s movements resisting the expansion of U.S. militarization and imperialism. Presentations followed by Q&A, brainstorming and planning for local, grassroots actions to oppose the military pivot and the TPPA, as well as ways to support organizing happening in countries in the Asia Pacific region.

To participate:
Online via webinar: Register at http://www.anymeeting.com/PIID=EA52D680884E3E. Participants must register to receive an individual-specific log-in link and password.
In-person: view webinar and participate in discussions at local teach-in sites hosted by BAYAN-USA. Locations:
o Long Beach (Southern California)

Long Beach Coalition Office
920 Atlantic Ave.
Long Beach, CA 90813

New York
Ya-Ya Network
224 West 29th Street
14th floor
New York, NY
closest train: 1 to 28th St or C/E to 23rd St.

o Portland
Buckley Center
205 at University of Portland
5000 N Williamette Blvd
Portland, OR 97203

o Stanford, Palo Alto
Pilipino Youth Leadership Conference
Room 220 @ Old Union Stanford
520 Lasuen Mall
Stanford, CA 94305

o San Francisco
SEIU Local 1021
350 Rhode Island St.
San Francisco, CA 94103

o Seattle
WAPI Community Services
3722 S Hudson St.
Seattle, WA 98118

Sponsored by BAYAN-USA, an alliance of 18 progressive Filipino organizations in the U.S. representing youth, students, women, workers, artists, and human rights advocates. As the oldest and largest overseas chapter of Bagong Alyansang Makabayan (BAYAN-Philippines), BAYAN-USA serves as an information bureau for the national democratic movement of the Philippines and as a center for educating, organizing, and mobilizing anti-imperialist Filipinos in the U.S.

Endorsers (partial list): Civilian-Soldier Alliance, Flush the TPP, International League of Peoples’ Struggle, Iraq Veterans Against War, Katarungan Center for Peace Justice and Human Rights in the Philippines, National Students for Justice in Palestine Steering Committee, Occupy Long Beach, Oregon Fair Trade Campaign, Portland Committee for Human Rights in the Philippines, Portland State University Kaibigan, popularresistance.org, Nodutdol for Korean Community Development, SOA Watch, TradeJustice New York Metro, United National Anti-War Coalition, University of Portland FASA, Women for Genuine Security

If your organization would like to endorse this event, please email vc@bayanusa.org.


BAYAN USA Stands in Solidarity with OWS, Chicago Teachers Strike, & All Efforts to Build People Power!

September 17, 2012

Reference: Bernadette Ellorin
Chairperson, BAYAN USA
Email: chair@bayanusa.org

On the 1st anniversary of the Occupy Wall Street (OWS) movement, Filipino-Americans under the banner of BAYAN USA salute and stand in solidarity with all groups in the United States who are organizing against increasing economic inequality and mobilizing in the streets. This includes the inspiring example set forth by the courageous Chicago Teachers Union (CTU) which recently voted to continue on with their historic strike against Chicago Mayor Rahm Emmanuel’s aggressive neoliberal offensive to privatize the city’s public education system, despite the latter’s threats and attempts to thwart their actions.

At a time when the 2-party electoral system in the US is spending gross amounts of money on political mudslinging and celebrity-glitzed conventions, the worsening global economic crisis brought about by the financial oligarchy– also known as the 1%, whose interest both parties represent in government–is driving working people in the US into greater desperation to survive. Despite the superficial economic growth championed by the Obama administration, the real US economy suffers from an ever-increasing federal defense budget, deepening jobs depression, growing public debt crisis, and wide-scale economic deregulation and privatization of the public sector. More and more Americans are left with no choice but to organize and resist increasing neoliberal offensives within the US that are akin to the neoliberal offensives launched by the US government abroad.

TPPA–Washington’s Secret Neoliberal Offensive

The Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA)–the new free-trade agreement being pushed by the Obama administration since 2008–is one of the most egregious examples of how the current administration is renewing US neoliberalism on a grander scale than of the advent of the North Atlantic Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) back in the 1994. The 14th round of secret negotiations over the drafting of the TPPA, which just recently concluded in Leesburg, Virginia this past weekend, was met with protest rallies organized by multi-sectoral groups, including labor unions, who would be negatively impacted upon the agreement’s implementation. Dubbed “NAFTA on Steroids” by policy analysts, one only need to look at the destructive impact of NAFTA on job industries, labor conditions, rural communities, food and agriculture, the environment, and in social relations within the signatories of the agreement, including within the US, to have a glimpse of what’s in store for the Asia-Pacific region with the TPPA.

US economic intervention and consolidation over the Asia-Pacific region cannot exist without political and military intervention. As such, the Obama administration continues to implement it’s so-called military rebalance to the Asia-Pacific region, beefing up its war economy tied to a super-profitable US military industrial complex, all the while sowing an anti-China scare propaganda campaign to justify its military posturing in the region. With a constant threat of war and economic intervention, this pivot to the Asia-Pacific will wreak havoc in the lives of the people in that region. On the other hand, it also spells a bleak future for working people in the U.S. who will be met with increasing unemployment, layoffs, and limited access to basic social services and civil rights.

2012 US Elections: What Matters is Most is People Power

During this US election period, what matters most is not who to vote for in the November 2012 elections, but rather what is the future of organized peoples resistance against neoliberalism at home and abroad, and sustaining a movement for economic equality in the US? Will the union strikes in Wisconsin, Occupy Wall Street, and the Chicago teachers strike be relegated into isolated spurts of class outrage of the 99% versus the 1%, or will they continue on and coalesce into a broader peoples movement for change, with an alternative vision and platform of concrete reforms to demand from traditional politicians in Washington?

There remains numerous examples in world history of how organized people power, built from the parliament of the streets, have challenged the reactionary and anti-people character of state governments, at times bringing traditional politicians to their knees. More recent examples include the Arab Spring, the continuing workers strikes and anti-austerity actions across Europe, as well as others. BAYAN USA believe the worsening economic crisis worldwide and its growing impact on the American people presents the best framework for continuous organizing in the US and the prospects for building a people power movement, especially when organizing against economic inequality in the US is linked in solidarity with counterpart peoples struggles against neoliberalism in developing countries.

BAYAN-USA is an alliance of 18 progressive Filipino organizations in the U.S. representing youth, students, women, workers, artists, and human rights advocates. As the oldest and largest overseas chapter of Bagong Alyansang Makabayan (BAYAN-Philippines), BAYAN-USA serves as an information bureau for the national democratic movement of the Philippines and as a campaign center for anti-imperialist Filipinos in the U.S. For more information, visit www.bayanusa.org




For Immediate Release

May 23, 2012

Reference: Jessica Antonio, Secretary-General, BAYAN USA, email: secgen@bayanusa.org


CHICAGO, IL– Over 230 Filipinos from across the US and the Philippines joined over 15,000 more last Sunday in downtown Chicago to march in protest against the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) Summit taking place just blocks away in McCormick Place. It was the largest outdoor anti-war demonstration in the US in years.

The Filipino contingent was led by BAYAN USA, a US-wide alliance of 18 Filipino social justice organizations and a founding member of the Coalition Against the NATO & G8 War and Poverty Agenda (CANG8), the main organizer of last Sunday’s demonstration against NATO. Founded in 2005, BAYAN USA is the oldest and largest overseas chapter of BAYAN Philippines.

BAYAN USA joined the ranks of the 500+ marching contingent of the US chapter of the International League of Peoples Struggle (ILPS-US), which included Palestinians and Puerto Ricans projecting the role of national liberation struggles as key in the fight against the US-NATO agenda.

“Filipinos are here today because the US-NATO agenda seeks to intensify militarization in the Asia-Pacific region,” stated Bernadette Ellorin of BAYAN USA at the opening noon rally in Grant Park. “As I speak, the US is sending drones, nuclear warships, nuclear submarines, and more US troops to engage in military exercises in the South China Sea. They say this is to contain the threat of China, but that is a distortion.”

Ellorin spoke of the worsening global economic crisis driving US-NATO powers to secure critical economic investments in the Asia-Pacific region, where the US export position accounts for approximately $1 trillion of the US economy. Therefore, the US-NATO military pivot to Asia is to enforce a new free-trade agreement– the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA)– that would ensure US economic dominance in the region.

BAYAN USA 4th Congress


Sunday’s protest action against NATO was preceded by the 4th congress of BAYAN USA and the founding assembly of ILPS-US. Both were held at the Centro Autonomo, a Mexican Solidarity Center located in the working class, immigrant neighborhood of Albany Park.

Themed “In the Spirit of Ka Bel, Malcolm, Ho, and Yuri: Filipinos in the US Unite to Confront US-NATO Intervention, Build Anti-Imperialist Solidarity and Advance the Movement for Freedom and Democracy in the Philippines”, approximately 250 participated.

Special guest in attendance was Philippine Congresswoman Emmi De Jesus of the Gabriela Women’s Party-list. BAYAN Philippine Secretary-General Renato Reyes Jr. addressed the congress via skype and delivered a presentation on the two years of the Benigno Aquino III administration in the Philippines. Solidarity messages were also delivered by Loubna Qutari of the Palestinian Youth Movement, Kazem Azim of Solidarity Iran, Bill Doares of the International Action Center, Lyn Meza of Chelsea Uniting Against the War, and Lorena Buni on behalf of the Eastern USA Diocese of the Philippine Independent Church.

The events were followed by Road to Resistance, a cultural showcase featuring BAYAN USA artists and guest performers such as Rebel Diaz.

Campaign Against Increasing US Military Presence in the Philippines


Responding to the recent high-level talks in Washington DC between US Secretary Hilary Clinton and Defense Secretary Leon Panetta and Philippine Foreign Affairs Secretary Albert Del Rosario and Defense Secretary Voltaire Gazmin regarding the Philippines strategic role in the US military shift to the Asia-Pacific region, BAYAN USA also participated in a speaking panel on US bases one week prior at the People’s Summit, presenting the social impact of over 114 years of US military presence in the country.

Since its founding in 2005, BAYAN USA has campaigned consistently against continuing US militarization in the Philippines, including cutting US military aid to the country. It has worked in alliance with Philippine and US-based human rights organizations in drawing clear links between increased US military presence and increased human rights abuses in the country.

In 2009, BAYAN USA founding member Melissa Roxas was abducted by elements of the Philippine military while on a medical mission in a rural community in Tarlac, Central Luzon and subjected to 6 days of blindfolded secret detention and torture before surfacing. BAYAN USA spearheaded the Justice for Melissa Roxas campaign and continues to fight for justice. ###

As P-Noy’s US Tour Ends, Melissa Roxas Joins US Tour of Dukot

News Release
September 28, 2010

Reference: Bernadette Ellorin, Chairperson, BAYAN USA, email: chair@bayanusa.org

As P-Noy’s US Tour Ends, Melissa Roxas Joins US Tour of Dukot

As the US tour of new Philippine President Benigno “P-Noy” Aquino concludes, another Filipino, Melissa Roxas will be embarking on her own tour as she travels with the Filipino film ‘Dukot’ across the country. In 2009, Roxas– a poet, writer, and community healthworker from Los Angeles– filed charges against the Philippine military under Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo for her forced abduction and subsequent 6-day captivity wherein she was blindfolded and tortured. At the time of her abduction, Roxas had been volunteering for a medical mission in a rural community in La Paz, Tarlac.

BAYAN USA, the national Filipino-American alliance, is among the sponsors of the US tour of ‘Dukot’, along with GMA Pinoy TV. The film squarely addresses human rights abuses committed by Philippine state security forces. ‘Dukot’ was directed by acclaimed filmmaker Joel Lamangan and penned by esteemed Philippine playwright Bonifacio Ilagan, both of whom are former political prisoners that suffered torture under the Marcos dictatorship. Roxas, a US citizen, is also a member of BAYAN USA.

Roxas is joining the tour to share updates on her campaign for justice. She will also reflect on the state of human rights in the Philippines from her point of view as a survivor of torture.

“I am joining the tour of this powerful film to help raise awareness about what is happening in the Philippines, because the current human rights crisis in the country is being covered up by those who are in power and are responsible for it,” Roxas stated. “I speak not just for myself, but for the thousands of victims and their families who are seeking to have this crisis exposed to the international community because the Philippine government has not sought justice for them.”

DUKOT screening in Glendale, CA

Last week, P-Noy made headlines by signing off on a US foreign aid package worth $434-million through the Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC). Human rights advocates both in the Philippines and the US are concerned that the amount will be used to beef up the country’s counter-insurgency program Oplan Bantay Laya (OBL), which many have identified as the culprit of the systemic human rights abuses in the country.

“Unfortunately, P-Noy’s commitment to resolving the problem of ongoing killings, abduction, and torture of civilians in the country is to extend the very policy that is responsible for it– OBL,” states BAYAN USA Vice-Chairperson Kuusela Hilo.

In addition to the charges filed in the Philippines, Roxas also filed official complaints with the United Nations and US State Department.

After well-attended screenings last week in Los Angeles and San Diego, the US tour of ‘Dukot’ is scheduled to move to the San Francisco/Bay Area next week. It will continue on through October to Seattle, Chicago, New York, Hoboken, and Washington DC.

For more information on the tour, visit www.dukot.com. ###