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GABRIELA Network and Allies Across the U.S. Protest War OF Terror in the Philippines

GABRIELA Network, a US-Philippine women's solidarity mass organization est. 1989, leads first nationwide protest against human rights violations and political killings in the Philippines.
GABNet Vigil in Los Angeles
GABNet Vigil in Los Angeles
GABNet VIgil in New York
GABNet VIgil in New York
GABNet Vigil in Portland
GABNet Vigil in Portland
GABNet Vigil in San Francisco
GABNet Vigil in San Francisco
GABRIELA Network's nationwide vigil on Friday, May 20th, 2005, was a solemn reminder of the on-going US intervention in the Philippines and its destructive nature for the Philippine nation and its people. It was also a firm condemnation of Philippine President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo's complicity. Held in six US cities—Chicago, Los Angeles, New York, Portland, San Francisco and Seattle,—the vigil, organized by GABRIELA Network (GABNet), a US-Philippine women's solidarity mass organization, was the first nationally coordinated action in the US to protest the escalating political killings in the Philippines since George W. Bush and company declared the country as the second front in the global "war on terror."

With over two-hundred participants and more than twenty endorsing organizations, the vigil called attention to the intensifying political repression in the Philippines: three-hundred plus political killings and abductions from 2001 to the present; one-hundred cases of human rights violations, affecting 23,252 victims in ninety-one communities from January to March 15, 2005; thirteen journalists killed last year, three in the first quarter of 2005, making the Philippines the most murderous country in the world for the media; murder of eleven women of GABRIELA, a national alliance of more than two-hundred women's organizations in the Philippines, and of its electoral arm GABRIELA Women's Party.

GABNet members and their allies in every participating city memorialized the untimely deaths of their sisters in struggle by carrying eleven makeshift tombstones that bore the names of the eleven women killed and by recounting the circumstances of their deaths, their personal stories and political involvement.

The actions in Chicago, Los Angeles, New York and San Francisco were held in front of Philippine Consular offices. Portland's was held in the city's Federal Plaza. Seattle's was at the Westlake Center and Carlos Bulosan Exhibit Community Room. In Los Angeles, the women gagged themselves with black cloth to symbolize the curtailing of press freedom and the attacks on those who dissent. They approached a Philippine Consulate staff and handed placards that contained narratives about the women killed. Women in San Francisco wore purple veils that represented both the mourning for those who have died and the great trauma that is continuously being inflicted by the US military and the Macapagal Arroyo's government on the people of the Philippines. The program in New York included a chorale reading of the martyred women's names and how they were killed. GABNet members and supporters refused to be intimidated by several calls from local authorities and the presence of federal agents who took names and pictures of the protestors.

"The nationwide vigil was yet another testament to the strength of GABNet and the support we get from women's and progressive groups," said Annalisa Enrile, Chairperson of GABNet. Referring to the process by which the nationally coordinated action was organized, Enrile said, "I am most proud of, and at the same time humbled by, GABNet's consistent practice of what we call 'democratic command'." In late April, the organization's San Francisco/Bay Area Chapter approached and requested GABNet National for a US-wide action against the human rights violations in the Philippines. After Chapters in Los Angeles and New York/New Jersey formally supported the request, the organization's national officers subsequently issued an emergency call to action. "It was 'Equality in Unity; Justice in Strength' at its finest," said GABNet NY/NJ Coordinator Rebecca Libed, echoing the slogan of GABRIELA International Network (GAIN).

Visit GABNet's website,  http://www.gabnet.org, for photos of the event. For more information and to arrange press interviews, contact GABNet Secretary General Dorotea Agustin Mendoza at secgen (at) gabnet.org or (212) 592-3507. ###

A Philippine-US Women's Solidarity Mass Organization
PO Box 403, Times Square Station
New York, New York 10036
Tel: 1212.592.3507
Email: gabnet (at) gabnet.org
Web:  http://www.gabnet.org
It's bad in the Philippines, probably worse than you think 23.May.2005 22:01

Kurt L.

There is also some evidence that the U.S. is likely involved in CREATING terror attacks as a pretext for increasing U.S. military involvement in the Philippines. Consider the case of Michael Meiring, U.S. citizen, who blew his legs off in a Davao City hotel and was subsequently spirited out of the country. Here is what MindaNews has to say:

"Exactly a year ago today, May 30, a fuming Mayor Rodrigo Duterte lashed out at the "arrogant" agents of the US Federal Bureau of Investigation for having spirited out of the hospital an American national who nearly lost his life when explosives he owned went off inside his room in a budget hotel on May 16.

"An affront to Philippine sovereignty," was how Duterte described to the Regional Peace and Order Council (RPOC) what the FBI agents did in getting Michael Terrence Meiring out.

Who was Michael Terence Meiring and why did the FBI get him out? How did he manage to leave the county despite warrants of arrest and hold departure orders? Why hasn't he been returned to this city to face charges of illegal possession of explosives and reckless imprudence despite promises last year by the police and the National Bureau of Investigation? Why doesn't the Special Anti-Terrorist Unit want to say exactly what kind of explosives went off in Meiring's hotel room?"

Read the whole three-part series, and ask yourself whether this War on Terror isn't is a bogus three-dollar bill.