Before the Middle East, there was the Philippines
Since 9/11, the Bush administration has escalated military presence in the Philippines with more US troops in the field there than at any time since World War II. Come hear how the Filipino people are fighting back (both in the Philippines and in the United States) and how movements in the US can learn from their 100+ years of resistance to US imperialism. Forum on Thursday, September 19, 2002, 7PM at PSU Campus Ministries, 633 SW Broadway. (Broadway and Montgomery)
Forum on the Phillippines:
BEFORE THE MIDDLE EAST, THERE WAS THE PHILIPPINES
Fighting Globalization, Fighting the US Military
7 PM, Thursday, September 19, 2002
PSU Campus Ministries, 633 SW Broadway (@ Montgomery), Portland OR
Since 9/11 the Bush administration has escalated its military presence in the Philippines, with more US troops there than at any time since World War II.
Ten years ago, the Philippine Senate voted to kick out US military bases. In spite of this, the US has refused to give up its foothold in the Philippines. Right now there are thousands of US troops fighting and training in the Philippines. You may not see it covered on CNN or in the Oregonian, but military intervention in the Philippines has been a linchpin of the Bush administration's worldwide war policy since 9/11 and before. This October a new series of "war games" (sic) Balikatan 03 will commence and run for 9 months.
As in the US--where the "War on Terror" is mainly a war on immigrants and civil liberties--in the Philippines it's working people who suffer the consequences. Thursday, September 19, speakers from Out Now and others will testify both how Filipinos are fighting back and how the movements here in the US can learn from their example. The forum will be 7 PM at PSU Campus Ministries, SW Broadway and Montgomery St.
For more than 100 years, the Philippines has been the drawing board for the US government's expansionism and resource-grabbing worldwide. The US has imposed a series of puppet governments, but has never been able to extinguish the desire of the Filipino people for national liberation and self-determination.
The Philippines' location and rich natural resources have long made it critical to the US interests, both military and economic.
Continued US economic exploitation has fettered freedom and economic development in the Philippines. The US has relied on puppet governments to keep the status quo, and protect US interests. These governments have always eroded civil liberties in the Philippines. The declaration of martial law by Philippine President Ferdinand Marcos 30 years ago on September 21 is the most dramatic example.
In the past, the Philippines was a key launching pad for the Vietnam war. In 1991 the Filipino people rejected renewing the treaty that allowed the US to maintain military bases there. Yet the US government, unwilling to give up its strategic toe-hold in Southeast Asia, established an executive agreement that allowed the US to maintain its troop presence, WITHOUT the approval of the Philippine Senate.
The US military's current round of "war-games" is the fruit of that agreement. And although martial law is formally over in the Phillipines, Philippine President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo has declared all-out war on the popular movement there. Human rights violations and killings by the Philippine military have been mounting.
Thirty years ago, martial law was declared in the Philippines. In the US, since 9/11, the Bush administration has created a martial-law atmosphere in the US, especially in immigrant communities. The US government will clamp down on, red-bait and tag as "terrorists" anyone who supports democracy, liberation or peace. The Filipino people, in the Philippines and abroad, have been fighting back and winning victories since 1898. Come and hear how.
CHRISTENE REYES - GABRIELA Network, Seattle chapter.
ACE SATURAY - Filipino Workers Action Center, Seattle.
Ms. Reyes is the coordinator of the Seattle chapter of GABRIELA Network, a U.S.- based solidarity organization working with GABRIELA Philipppines on issues that negatively impact Filipina women worldwide. She has been actively involved in organizing and speaking at events on issues such as globalization, the women's movement in the Philippines, and more recently on the current U.S.-led war of aggression and its impacts on the Filipino diaspora.
This summer Ms. Reyes participated in a tour of social conditions in the Philippines, where she met with people's organizations such as GABRIELA, the National Alliance of Women's Organizations, and the Karapatan, a human rights organization. She also participated in the International Solidarity Mission (ISM) against US Military Intervention in the Philippines, which uncovered the involvement of a US soldier in a Philippine military operation.
Mr. Saturay coordinates the Filipino Workers Action Center, which seeks to empower Filipino workers and develop leadership among them to address social and economic justice issues among Filipinos in the greater Seattle area. He has been actively involved in organizing and speaking at events on issues such as globalization, immigration, and militarization as they affect workers both in the Philippines and in the United States. In 1999, he served as the convenor of the "No to WTO" People's Assembly in Seattle, which, despite being denied a permit, marched from South Seattle's communities of color to downtown Seattle. He was also a delegate to the founding conference of the International League of People's struggle.
This forum is co-sponsored, in part, by the Portland Alliance, OUT Now, Network in Solidarity with the People of the Philippines, Solidarity.
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