FRIENDS OF THE FILIPINO PEOPLE IN STRUGGLE
HOLD A WORLDWIDE ACTION IN SUPPORT OF FILIPINOS
Engaging all ways and means, friends of the Filipino people from all over the world have been manifesting their solidarity with the Filipino people’s struggle for human rights, justice and peace.
Led by the Friends of the Filipino People in Struggle (FFPS), the solidarity network has called on its members for a day of action on the 26th of August 2021.
“Today, we are mobilizing all around the world to echo the Cry of the Filipino people in struggle for just and lasting peace in the Philippines and to end Duterte’s terroristic fascist rule. We mobilize in force for an entire day of global actions of international solidarity, opposing and exposing the US-Duterte regime wave upon wave, from timezone to timezone,” said Robert Reid, Chairperson of FFPS.
August 26, 1896 was a turning point in the history of the Philippines when Filipinos rose up against Spanish colonialism, tearing up their residence permits and called for liberation from Spain. The day was later called the “Cry of Pugadlawin”. Today the Filipino people are continuing their struggle for genuine freedom and democracy.
The global protest demonstrations were participated in by thousands who through different actions voiced their solidarity with the Filipino people’s struggle for social justice, national democracy and peace.
Despite the pandemic and lockdown, New Zealand kicked off the day with a video message from Robert Reid, detailing the necessity for international solidarity. As Reid explained, “We are calling for a just and lasting peace in the Philippines, which can only be achieved by heeding to the demands of the Filipino people and as such by genuinely addressing the root causes of the armed conflict.”
A solidarity post on Facebook from Friends in Australia calling for the stopping of military aid to the Philippines, followed the video of New Zealand and only two hours later, several countries in Asia gathered in an online action lead by International League of Peoples Struggle – Hongkong & Macau while friends from South Korea gathered holding banners and calls of FFPS. The International Migrants’ Alliance sent in a video message detailing how the migrants struggle is in line with the Filipino people’s struggle. In Europe, Friends from Germany, the Netherlands and Austria held face to face demonstrations and featured chanting, solidarity messages and cultural numbers all in support of the Filipino people’s struggle for genuine democracy. Finally in the Americas, actions in the U.S. ranged from public speak out in Times Square, New York to postering in Baltimore, Maryland, demonstrations and posting selfies with statements of support by various organizations.
The day was ended by face to face demonstrations in Vancouver and Toronto, accompanied by banner drop actions. All actions were done at 12:00 noon of their local timezones making it a wave of various demonstrations, banner actions, artist contributions, online rallies, and other creative forms of protests during the whole day.
Under the Duterte government, human rights violations have intensified using terrorist- tagging as justification. Victims of extrajudicial killings like massacres, summary executions and assassinations, illegal arrests and detentions and other attacks are tagged as members of the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) – New People’s Army (NPA) – and the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP). The Duterte government has been trying to demonize the whole resistance movement as terrorists.
Recently, the Duterte government through its Anti-terrorism Council listed the National Democratic Front of the Philippines – the patriotic and democratic alliance of various sectors, as a terrorist organization. Prior to the listing, numerous NDFP peace consultants have been killed by state forces like Randy Malayao, Julius Giron, Randy Enchanis and Reynaldo Bocala, among many others, to put more obstacles to the peace negotiations.
“The listing of the NDFP and other progressive forces and individuals as ‘terrorists’ is an attack on the Filipino people and their just struggle for genuine social change and national liberation. It is also a grave distortion of reality, and is part of the US-backed Duterte regime’s scheme to hide the fact that it is the actual terrorist perpetrating vicious human rights violations against the Filipino people,” said Reid.
“It is of our utmost duty as part of the international community to support the Filipino people in their struggle for genuine national democracy and social transformation and to end the US-Duterte state terrorism. We enjoin everyone to call for an end to all forms of human rights violations by the US-Duterte regime and contribute their voices to put pressure on the Duterte government to seriously and genuinely heed the people’s demand for just and lasting peace by laying down the conditions for the resumption of peace talks with the NDFP and address the root causes of the armed conflict” , Reid emphasized.