BAYAN-USA PACIFIC NORTHWEST COMMUNITY REPORT BACK


Thirty two delegates from the Pacific Northwest joined thousands of demonstrators from across the globe in one of the largest US mobilizations to confront NATO (North Atlantic Trade Organization) and the G8 last weekend in Chicago. On May 19th, on the birthdate people’s leaders like Malcolm and Ho Chi Minh, the US Chapter of the International League of People’s Struggle (ILPS) held its founding assembly preceding the massive protest, and led a contingent of over 230 people representing national liberation struggles around the world as a key strategy in defeating the US-NATO agenda against imperialism.

Bayan USA, a member organization of the ILPS representing the National Democratic Movement of the Philippines, also held it’s 4th Congress. Gabriela USA, the women’s arm of the National Democratic movement, held its 2nd Congress, and progressive Filipino youth and student organizations across the nation held its founding assembly to establish Anakabayan USA. Please join us in a community reportback to learn about the growing anti-imperialist movement in the US.

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Pacific Northwest Delegates to Join Thousands for NATO Protest and Historic Gatherings

For Immediate Release
May 16, 2012

Contact: Chel Cendana
Pacific Northwest Regional Coordinator, BAYAN-USA
bayanusa.pnw@gmail.com | 360.990.9424

Pacific Northwest Delegates to Join Thousands for NATO Protest and Historic Gatherings

Seattle, WA – Thirty-two Pacific Northwest activists will be traveling to Chicago this weekend to join thousands in a nationwide protest against the upcoming North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) Summit. Just a few days prior to the national mobilization, these same activists, as well as others from around the nation will be convening a series of historic national gatherings and founding assemblies.

On Friday, May 18, international Filipina women’s progressive organization GABRIELA USA will hold its second National Congress in Chicago. Acclaimed Philippine Congresswoman Emmi de Jesus of the Gabriela Women’s Partylist will be on hand to deliver the keynote address. On that same Friday, Anakbayan USA will be holding its official founding congress. Anakbayan is a progressive youth and student organization established almost 15 years ago in the Philippines. Since then, its reach has stretched all the way to the US. Its first overseas chapter formed in Seattle 10 years ago. Anakbayan chapters can now be found across the US, from California to New York.

Later that same Friday, the US chapter of BAYAN-USA, an alliance of progressive Filipino groups in the US, will hold its fourth congress. Founded in 2005 in San Francisco, BAYAN-USA is an alliance of 15 Filipino community organizations across the US that has actively campaigned on issues of human rights, immigrant reform, workers’ rights, racial and gender discrimination, environmental justice, as well as US economic and military intervention and counter-insurgency in the Philippines. GABRIELA and Anakbayan are both member organizations of BAYAN-USA.

The weekend of landmark events continues. On Saturday May 19, the global activist coalition International League of Peoples Struggle (ILPS) will convene for the founding assembly of its first US chapter. ILPS has over 350 member organizations from over 40 countries, and across six continents. The ILPS is an international alliance that supports grassroots anti-imperialist struggles all over the world. This alliance began as an idea that grew out of the grassroots resistance to the Seattle World Trade Organization meetings in 1999, during the counter summit, known as the People’s Assembly. The ILPS was founded in the Netherlands in 2001 to form global unity against imperialist policies and agendas.

All events will take place at Centro Autonomo located at 3460 West Lawrence Avenue in the Albany Park neighborhood of Chicago. Following the ILPS US Chapter founding ceremony will be cultural show titled Road to Resistance, a celebration of movement building victories in the US and across the globe. Event organizers wanted to hold these historic assemblies in Chicago to mobilize all member organizations and allies to participate in the major protest demonstrations against the NATO Summit set to take place on Sunday, May 20. BAYAN and ILPS members join the NATO Summit protest organizers Coalition Against NATO and G8 War and Poverty Agenda (CANG8) in showing a united action against the global militarism that NATO represents.

“NATO began as a European fighting force against the Soviet Union. A world police pushing US and European interests all over the world is not needed.” Says Pinay sa Seattle Education Chair Donna Denina. “We not only call for an end to such obsolete armies, but also an end to the tensions between China and the Philippines over the disputed borders in the South China Sea, worsened by the US’s involvement.”

The Northwest groups in attendance this weekend have scheduled a community report back on Friday, June 1, 6:30pm at the Peter Claver House, 7101 38th Ave South Seattle, 98118. This is a free event. ###

BAYAN-USA is an alliance of 15 progressive Filipino organizations in the US 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 US. For more information, visit http://www.bayanusa.org

The Pacific Northwest Regional Council of BAYAN-USA includes Alay ng Kultura, Anakbayan Seattle, Pinay sa Seattle, as well as including the participation of the Philippine US Solidarity Organization. Portland Committee for Human Rights in the Philippines also falls under the Pacific Northwest Region of BAYAN-USA.

Global Anti-Imperialist Movement Convenes US Chapter in Chicago vs. NATO Summit

News Release
May 11, 2012

References:
Bernadette Ellorin, ILPS-US Chapter Organizing Committee, 347-244-8953
Valerie Francisco, ILPS-US Chapter Organizing Committee, 925-726-5768

Global Anti-Imperialist Movement Convenes US Chapter in Chicago vs. NATO Summit

As thousands are expected to descend upon Chicago this May to protest the upcoming NATO Summit, the global formation known as the International League of Peoples Struggle (ILPS), with over 350 member organizations from over 40 countries, will convene a US Country Chapter in the midst of this protest. The founding assembly of the US Chapter of the ILPS (ILPS-US) will take place on Saturday, May 19th, 1-5:30 pm at Centro Autonomo located at 3460 West Lawrence Avenue in the Albany Park neighborhood of Chicago. The said assembly will be followed by Road to Resistance: Art + Culture + Solidarity vs. NATO, a cultural show (8-11pm) at the same location.

Founded in the Netherlands in 2001, the ILPS is a global alliance of organizations, groups, and individuals from around the world actively engaged in peoples struggles along democratic, progressive, pro-people, and anti-imperialist lines. Since its founding, the ILPS has grown into one of the largest global alliances that actively serve as a campaign coordinating and cooperation center against US imperialist war, aggression, and intervention, with membership spanning across 6 continents.

Bill Doares, a member of the International Coordinating Committee says, “May 19, the birthdate of people’s leaders Malcolm X and Ho Chi Minh, will see their legacy of anti-imperialism continue through the founding assembly of the US Country Chapter of the International League of Peoples Struggle.”

The decision to hold the US Chapter Founding Assembly in Chicago was made in order to mobilize ILPS member organizations in the US to participate in the major protest demonstration against the NATO Summit taking place on Sunday, May 20th. ILPS is a convener of the Coalition Against NATO & G8 War and Poverty Agenda (CANG8). CANG8 is the main organizer of Sunday’s protest action in downtown Chicago.

“We must join hands and raise fists with people all over the world who are fighting against imperialism. Wall Street gets its wealth and power by plundering people all over the world. Our peoples’ power depends on international solidarity, linking and raising our struggles to fight imperialism, the common enemy of the global 99%. That’s why it’s so important we are launching a US Country Chapter of the League at this time,” said Kuusela Hilo of Los Angeles, a member of ILPS’ International Coordinating Committee.

The League is united by 17 concerns, including fighting war, racism, the rights of workers, women, indigenous people, migrants, farmers, LGBT people, youth, housing, education, medical care and the environment. It’s Fourth International Assembly last July in Manila drew 50 delegates and observers from the United States.

The Chairperson of the ILPS is Prof. Jose Maria Sison, 73, a hero of the people’s struggle in the Philippines. Prof. Sison, recognized political refugee in the Netherlands and founding chair of the Communist Party of the Philippines and chief political consultant of the National Democratic Front of the Philippines, was former political prisoner and torture survivor under the US-Marcos dictatorship before his release in 1986.

The founding assembly of the US Chapter of the ILPS (ILPS-US) will take place on Saturday, May 19th, 1-5:30 pm at Centro Autonomo located at 3460 West Lawrence Avenue in the Albany Park neighborhood of Chicago. The said assembly will be followed by a cultural night, 8-11pm at the same location. For more information about the ILPS or the ILPS-US assembly in Chicago on May 19th, please send an email to the chapter organizing committee at ilps.us.icc@gmail.com ###

FILIPINO-AMERICANS TO DESCEND UPON CHICAGO TO PROTEST NATO

News Release
May 11, 2012

Reference: Jack De Jesus, Deputy Secretary-General, BAYAN USA, email: bayandepsec@gmail.com

FILIPINO-AMERICANS TO DESCEND UPON CHICAGO TO PROTEST NATO
US Chapter of BAYAN to Hold 4th Congress in Chicago Days Before NATO Summit

CHICAGO– Filipino-Americans from across the US will gather in Chicago on Sunday, May 20, 2012 to join the nationally-coordinated protest demonstration against the scheduled NATO Summit in downtown Chicago. The protest is scheduled two days after the fourth congress of the US Chapter of Bagong Alyansang Makabayan, also known as BAYAN USA, which will also take Chicago on Friday, May 18th, at Centro Autonomo in Chicago’s Albany Park neighborhood.

Founded in 2005 in San Francisco, BAYAN USA is an alliance of 15 Filipino community organizations across the US who have actively campaigned on issues of human rights, immigrant reform, workers’ rights, racial and gender discrimination, environmental justice, budget cuts as well as US economic and military intervention and counter-insurgency in the Philippines for the past 7 years.

The congress and protest comes at the heels of high-level talks in Washington between representatives from the administration of Philippine president Benigno Aquino III and US Secretary of State Hilary Clinton and US Defense Secretary Leon Panetta last month, confirming the so-called “new” US military pivot to the Asia-Pacific region to contain the so-called “rising threat” of China will rely heavily on an increase of US military troops in the Philippines, where at least 600 US special forces operatives have been deployed in Mindanao under the auspices of post-9/11 counter-terrorism exercises.

Anti-China Scare is a Ruse for Economic Agenda

“The US economy is actually dependent on China as the two are major commercial partners,” states Berna Ellorin, chairperson of BAYAN USA. “This so-called new US military pivot to Asia is nothing new. The US military have been in the Philippines since 1898, the longest-running US military foreign basing in the world. The Obama administration’s real intention for its military agenda lies in pushing a new US-led free trade agreement in the region– the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA). It’s a lot like NAFTA in that it is oriented to ensure the US economically dominates trade in the Asia-Pacific region. But it is also a lot bigger and more aggressive than NAFTA in eradicating the local economies and destroying livelihood for the regional peoples, including that of the Philippines.”

In response to the claim of the US and Aquino governments that China is a major threat to the region, BAYAN USA asserts that the Aquino government’s welcoming of an increased US military presence in the country not only alarmingly exposes the extent of its puppetry to the dictates of the US government, but also poses a greater danger to Philippine territorial integrity and to the Filipino people themselves.”

“Does the Aquino government not care that about the countless, documented cases of abuses suffered directly by Filipino men, women, and children from US military in the Philippines?,” Ellorin continued “What about Suzette ‘Nicole’ Nicolas? What about Buyong-Buyong Isnijal? What about Gregan Cardeno? Has any US military personnel in the Philippines ever been arrested or charged for rape, molestation, harassment, or murder? And yet, the Filipino people are supposed to believe that CHINA’S military is the bigger threat?”

The G8 and NATO Summits

In light of the upcoming G8 and NATO Summit meetings in the US this month, BAYAN USA will raise the issue of the US-led neoliberalism through the TPPA and military agenda through the US military pivot to the Asia-Pacific region, to the protest demonstration in Chicago.

“Unfortunately, there’s a lot of anti-China sentiment going around, but we want to clarify what this push for increased US military in the Philippines and in Asia is really about. It’s not so much about containing China as it is about making sure the global 1% are able to reap and plunder the natural riches of the Asia-Pacific region as well as avail of cheap, exploitable human labor from its peoples without limits through economic agreements like the TPPA,” Ellorin stated. “And this is in line with G8 and NATO agendas.”

BAYAN USA also called on the Aquino administration to assert Philippine national sovereignty through diplomatic, peaceful means when addressing territorial disputes with countries in the region, including China, instead of always turning to the US military. ###

BAYAN-USA is an alliance of 15 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 http://www.bayanusa.org