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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
Contact: 503-499-1116

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.

SPEAKERS:

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.

Contact: 503-499-1116

phone: phone: 503-499-1116

definitely go to this event 18.Sep.2002 02:12

filipino supporter

Highly recommended event. The struggle in the Philipines has been going on for over a hundred years but the people there are not daunted. Now labor organizers are being called "terrorists" by Colin Powell and the heat is really on. Come find out how you can show solidarity and lend support to the Filipino struggle.

It's about time 18.Sep.2002 12:55

activista

It's about time that we have an event highlighting the Philippines. Maybe the US will finally learn to not fight another land war in Asia.

Philippine struggle is often ignored 18.Sep.2002 20:11

Bob

I'm glad this forum is being held - the Filipino struggle has often been neglected by activists in the US. I would like to learn more about how the Bush adminstration is directing the Philippine government's activities against so-called "terrorists".

Once again....reality is lost... 19.Sep.2002 23:13

MarVet

Having newly returned from that part of the world I would like to tell you that once again, you have not a clue what you are writing about. First, the Phillipines didnt vote to kick out our bases, they had to decide whether or not to renew a land lease to the U.S., the Philipines wanted more money for the land lease, we didn't want to pay more money and we were not too interested in renewing the lease I might add.

Also, we have been training there in the Phillipines for many years so a training op in the Phillipines is nothing new. These are all things you can find out by reading any number of the local news papers or even asking any of the local peoples of any number of Asian countries in the Pacific Rim.

Also another note that will no doubt slip past your attention for obvious ideological reasons, our involvement in the Phillipines, which is not the largest since WWII, (another fact you can find out by checking historical information regarding troop levels at the bases that were there throughout the 80s and early 90s), was at the invitation of the Filipino government.

As for the American servicemen engaging in combat over there and becoming involved, yes, they are doing that, that is what they are there for as advisors, you can not advise someone in a situation and be a competent advisore without being there with them. Come now, I would like to think that you educated people can figure that one out.

Next, do you have any clue what is going on in that country in regards to terrorists there? Are you aware that several American Missionaries, yes people preaching religion (something I know you activists hate), were taken captive, that is they were kidnapped. Now what great crime did these Americans commit to warrant this. Do we not have the right to become involved in retrieving our own citizens? I should think so, as unfortunately my comrades in arms would be sent in just the same to have to deal with terrorists in the even that you and some of your followers were to ever be kidnapped in some foreign land. These people were taken captive by Islamic Militants, and many of the people kidnapped at the time were killed. But I suppose these poor oppressed peoples have the right to do this.

Just do us all a favor, get your facts straight, your site is fun to read, it helps the rest of us out here find even more holes to your overall activist arguments. Thank you.