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TAKE ACTION Against Obama’s Visit to Japan, South Korea, the Philippines & Malaysia!

On Friday April 25, 2014

Join BAYAN-USA for an international day of action to protest the U.S. military build-up and simultaneous push for the Trans-Pacific Partnership in the Philippines and throughout the Asia Pacific!

President Obama plans to visit the Philippines, Japan, South Korea, and Malaysia  to secure the use of their sovereign land for U.S. military bases and their cooperation with the U.S.-led free trade agreement, the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP). People’s organizations throughout the Asia Pacific are mobilizing to oppose the U.S.’ rampant militarism in the region and its economic hegemony through the sinister implementation of the TPP, or “NAFTA on steroids.” The expansion of U.S. militarization in the region will lead to increased human rights abuses, violence against women and children, pollution and environmental destruction, while costing US tax-payers millions of dollars.  It also aims to squash anti-imperialist people’s liberation movements–including the national democratic revolution of the Philippines, the longest running national liberation struggle in Asia.

Tell Obama: People of the Pacific don’t want your drones, nukes, bases, troops or multi-national corporate criminals! US OUT now!

CALLS:

  • US Out of the Philippines and all Asia Pacific

  • Stop the Trans Pacific Partnership Agreement

  • Junk the Visiting Forces Agreement and New Military Access Agreements

  • End the Aquino regime’s puppetry to US imperialism

  • Uphold Philippines sovereignty

  • Build international solidarity against US intervention, militarization and aggression

  • Send US troops back home!  Fight Imperialist intervention in the Philippines and Asia. Fight the imperialist war and  plundering!


Take Action:

1.Join local actions in your area, or organize an action in your area!

U.S. Cities:

Los Angeles

@ 6pm

Westwood Federal Building 11000 Wilshire Blvd, LA 90024

New York

@ 6:30

Meet us at the U.S. Armed Forces Recruiting Station in Times Square


Seattle

@ 8pm

Kadasig: Philippine Exposure 2013 Reportback Show

Columbia City

Southside Commons

3518 S Edmunds St, Seattle, WA 98118


San Francisco Bay Area

@ 5:30

San Francisco Federal Building

90 7th St,

San Francisco, CA

bayan.norcal.staff@gmail.com


Additional Locations and Times TBA; check www.bayanusa.org for listings


2. Change your FB wall  & Status updates using any of the attached photos paired with the calls.


3. Tweet: @BarackObama #USoutofASPac   #ASPacNot4Sale  


4. Call President Obama: (202) 456-1111

Use one of these sample scripts:

"Hi. I’m (say your name), I’m from (say where you’re from). Please tell President Obama I don’t want my tax dollars used to send more US troops or warships to the Philippines, and I oppose a new Military Access Agreement with the Philippines.”

Hi, I’m _____ from ______. I’m concerned about President Obama’s visit to the Philippines to promote a Military Access Agreement or to affirm more aid to the Philippine military. I object to the Department of Defense using Typhoon Haiyan as an excuse to send more US military to the Philippines. I do not want my tax dollars supporting a government and military with such an atrocious record of corruption and human rights violations.

Hi, I’m _____ from ______. I’m concerned about President Obama’s visit to the Philippines to discuss a Military Access Agreement with the Philippine government. I do not support increasing US military presence in the Philippines and the Asia Pacific Region, which drains money from American tax payers and results in the oppression of people in the Philippines and throughout the Asia Pacific.

For quick training video:

https://www.facebook.com/video/embed?video_id=10201584226423386For more information:www.bayanusa.org

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March 24, 2014

Dear Senator Boxer,

 We, the members of GABRIELA Los Angeles, are gravely concerned with the rapidly deteriorating human rights situation in the Philippines. Since the beginning of this year, there have been at least eight extrajudicial killings of civilian activists (in March: a father and two sons – Licuben, Freddie and Eddie Ligiw and Romeo Capalla), bombings and military harassment of the indigenous communities of the Salugpongan Ta’ Tanu Igkanugon (Unite to Defend the Ancestral Land) in Talaingod, Davao del Norte, Mindanao, and the illegal arrest and detention of peace consultants of the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (Benito Tiamzon and Wilma Austria). The common themes linking all of these cases are that all of these human rights victims have been involved in fighting for justice for their people and all evidence implicates the Government of the Philippines’ (GPH) Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP).

As a Filipina women’s organization, our GABRIELA LA members have joined in international solidarity missions to many areas in the Philippines. Just last year, I was one of our members who joined 39 international delegates on an interfaith advocacy and medical mission to the indigenous communities of the Salugpongan and surrounding areas which are currently under attack. We bore witness to the impoverished condition of the people along with the longstanding neglect by the government – women and children bearing the brunt. Mothers are fighting to provide their children with education and healthcare amidst their communities’ decades-long struggle to keep multi-national mining and logging companies from seizing their ancestral domains. We are outraged at the indiscriminate attacks by the AFP who are in cahoots with these companies to harass and drive out these innocent civilians from their ancestral land.

As of December 2013, Karapatan, a human rights alliance in the Philippines, has documented 169 victims of extrajudicial killings, 18 of whom are women. This is on top of other forms of human rights violations, including: 179 attempted assassinations of activists, 19 cases of enforced disappearances, 86 cases of torture and 570 cases of illegal arrest and detention. This disturbing trend under President Benigno Aquino III is a continuation of gross human rights abuses from the previous administration of Gloria Macapagal Arroyo, and both administrations have failed to bring a single perpetrator to justice.

The illegal arrest and detention of the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP) peace consultants is a major deterrent to the peace process between the NDFP and the GPH. We call on the US government to pressure the GPH to honor the Joint Agreement on Safety Immunity Guarantees (JASIG), which guarantees safety and immunity from arrest and prosecution of all persons involved in the peace process.

Senator Boxer, we strongly urge you to condemn these human rights violations and call for the immediate withdrawal of U.S. military aid to the Government of the Philippines. We condemn the usage of our U.S. tax dollars to fund these attacks upon the people of the Philippines. In 2009, Senator Boxer, you helped push the US Congress to attach a human rights condition to the military aid to the Philippines and withheld $3 million out of the $35 million for the fiscal year of 2010. We thank you for your efforts back then, and we enjoin you to defend human rights in the Philippines again by advocating that ALL U.S. military aid to the Philippines be attached with a condition that the human rights abuses cease and desist immediately and that all perpetrators be brought to justice.

Sincerely,

Bev Tang

Education Officer

GABRIELA Los Angeles

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GABRIELA USA Condemns the Illegal Arrest of NDFP Consultants Benito Tiamzon and Wilma Austria

GABRIELA USA, a Filipino women’s alliance that consists of member organizations in Washington DC, New York, San Francisco, Seattle and Los Angeles condemns in the strongest terms the illegal arrest of Benito Tiamzon and Wilma Austria by the Aquino regime’s security forces.

Tiamzon and Austria were investigating the conditions of the people in the Visayas region hit by super typhoon Yolanda. Both were arrested on trumped up charges while serving in the communities that are still struggling in rehabilitation. The people continue to suffer from President  Benigno Aquino III regime’s anti-people, corrupt and grossly inefficient response to the calamity. “Wilma Austria has advocated for the rights of women, unlike Noy Noy Aquino who has done nothing to alleviate the suffering of women due to his ineptitude. His administration has collaborated with US Imperialism to enrich itself at the expense and oppression of its own people,”  says Irma Bajar, Vice Chair of International Relations of GABRIELA USA.

Tiamzon and Austria are National Democratice Front of the Philippines (NDFP) Consultants who have fulfilled and are fulfilling highly significant tasks in the peace negotiations between the Government of the Republic of the Philippines and the National Democratic Front of the Philippines.  Both are holders of the NDFP Document of Identification under Joint Agreement on Safety and Immunity Guarantees (JASIG), which protects them from surveillance, harassment and arrest. “The arrests in Cebu on March 22nd of the peace consultants clearly violate the JASIG, signed by the government and the NDFP and threatens the ability of the peace talks to move forward. This shows that Aquino is not genuine in his efforts to uphold JASIG and a true peace process,” says Valerie Francisco, Chairperson of GABRIELA USA.

The arrest of the NDFP consultants is illegal and clearly violates the rights of Tiamzon and Austria. GABRIELA USA strongly demands that Benito Tiamzon and Wilma Austria be immediately released and unconditionally.

Release Wilma Austria And Benito Tiamzon!

Resume the peace talks with the NDFP Now!

Free all Political Prisoners Now!

Long Live The People’s Struggle!

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Return of US Military Bases to the Philippines Violates Sovereignty, Reaps No Benefits for Filipinos


BAYAN-USA condemns the outcomes of the latest round of negotiations on increased US military presence in the Philippines.  The provision allowing the US to build its own military facilities within existing Philippine bases signals a de facto return of US military bases to the country, in direct violation of the Philippine Constitution.  If this new military agreement with the US is enacted, the Philippines will reap absolutely no benefits.  Instead, the Philippines will reap the exact opposite: numerous losses. This agreement will guarantee the loss of human rights, environmental integrity, economic independence, and ultimately the country’s sovereignty.  


Moreover, the agreement does not serve the interests of the American people—except the 1% who will profit from the billions of dollars generated by militarization and war.  Claims of building a leaner and more nimble military force to help propel America’s “Pacific Century” by shifting 60% of its military to the Asia Pacific can not disguise the fact that there is no real shift in US imperialism’s priorities of war over the socio-economic needs of the American people. The US will continue to devote nearly $600 billion to the military this year, dwarfing the miniscule amounts left for spending on much needed social services for the people such as education, health, housing, and energy among others. Adding insult to injury, the Pentagon’s assertion that increased military spending helps build the US economy by growing jobs is essentially a lie.  According to a 2011 study conducted by the University of Massachusetts at Amherst, for every 100 jobs created by military spending, the same investment would create 251 jobs in education, 169 jobs in healthcare, or 147 jobs in clean energy.


BAYAN-USA also condemns the Aquino administration’s attempt to whitewash the agreement as something mutually beneficial by changing of the agreement’s title from Framework Agreement on “Increased Rotational Presence” to “Enhanced Defense Cooperation.”  Comments by Undersecretary of Defense Pio Lorenzo Batino are laughable and not based on reality claiming, “We also believe Enhanced Defense Cooperation captures the essence of the agreement which is to elevate robust cooperation with us to a higher level owing to the shared history between the two militaries and conduct of training activities under the VFA (Visiting forces Agreement) for 15 years.”  What history is he referring to? The reality is only the Philippines’ ruling comprador families, the big American military corporations and the multi-national agribusiness, mining and oil corporations that the military protect experienced robust cooperation and profits, however 99% of the Filipino people only experienced increased repression, a growing number of human rights violations, continued destruction and pollution of natural resources, and increased insecurity.

Further exposing the Aquino regime’s capitulation to US interests, representatives of the negotiating panel celebrated what they considered an American concession to Philippine concerns about access: “As a concept, access is assured, being within Philippine military bases, and also the right of the base commander to have access to specific areas shared with them has already been agreed in principle by both panels,” said Ambassador Eduardo Malaya, a member of the Philippine panel. How can this be considered a victory of any sort when the US should not have military facilities on Philippine territory in the first place? History shows that the US has never and will never allow Philippine access let alone control or decision-making authority in regard to the American facilities on Philippine soil.  A review of the handling of Philippine-US relations from the 1950s to the early 1990s or even as recent as last year’s destruction of the Philippines’ Tubbataha Reef by the US Navy shows that the US will block Philippine efforts to exercise its sovereignty no matter what provisions are stated in treaties between the two countries or stated in international laws.  To feel secure about agreements made “in concept” and “in principle” is naïve at best.


BAYAN-USA will continue our staunch opposition to the US-Philippine access agreement. Following our successful teach-in earlier this month on US military and economic intervention in the Asia Pacific, during which hundreds of attendees declared their commitment to opposing US imperialism’s strategies to dominate the region via the military pivot and the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement, BAYAN-USA pledges to mobilize people throughout the US to expose the mutual harm this agreement will deliver to both the Filipino and American people.  We reiterate our calls for the rejection of any military deal between the U.S. and the Philippines, the expulsion of U.S. troops from the Philippines, compensation for the destruction of 2,000 square meters of the Tubbataha reef by a U.S. warship, and the abrogation of the Visiting Forces Agreement.  We call on the spineless Aquino administration to start standing up for the sovereignty of the country by ending these military negotiations now.  

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Filipino Trafficked Teachers and Supporters Rallied for Justice on Death Anniversary of Flor Contemplacion


“STOP! STOP TRAFFICKING OUR PEOPLE!” echoed across the United States last Monday, on the death anniversary of Flor Contemplacion, a Filipino domestic worker who was unjustly executed in Singapore. GABRIELA USA led actions that launched a national campaign to demand Justice for Filipino Trafficked Teachers. Rally contingents in Washington DC, San Francisco and New York City chanted and spoke out in front of the Philippine Embassies and Consulates. Teachers courageously shared with consulate representatives their traumatic experiences as victims of human trafficking.


Since 2003, an estimated 300 teachers have been illegally recruited and trafficked to the U.S. by Philippines-based recruitment agency owner Isidro Rodriguez. They experienced fraud and abuse in the hands of Rodriguez, and were often abandoned and left to survive on their own, jobless and without proper documentation. Case complaints have been reported to Philippine Embassy officials in the past as well as to the Philippine Overseas Employment Agency (POEA). Even after several cases of human trafficking brought to the attention of the Philippine Consulate over the course of several years, including cases like the Grand Isle Shipyard oil rig workers, Sentosa nurses, the Florida 15 and now Filipino teachers, the response of the Philippine government to the needs of Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs) has consistently been inadequate and unsatisfactory.


The Labor Export Policy and unequal U.S.-imperialist trade policies put people into extreme poverty and force them to separate from their families and migrate instead of investing in the genuine development of the country. “There will be more Isidro Rodriguezes out there unless we address the corrupt practices of the Philippine government, which work hand-in-hand with recruiters and loan sharks to take advantage of people’s desperation,” says Tina Shauf, Campaigns Officer of GABRIELA USA. Addressing the human trafficking issue is not just about prosecuting unscrupulous recruiters, but also holding accountable government institutions that enable for this practice to happen all too often. “On the death anniversary of Flor Contemplacion, we publicly condemned President Noynoy Aquino’s administration’s neglect and lack of responsibility to its people, and we demand a STOP to this abuse and exploitation!” concludes Shauf.


 

 

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We are Women Workers, We are Not Slaves! Stop Forced Migration of Our People! End the Labor Export Policy! Justice for Filipino Teachers and their Families!