May Day 2013: Decent Work is Hard Work

Filipino youth group Anakbayan-Toronto (AB-T) and other mass-based organizations under the waving banner of BAYAN-Canada march with workers, local community organizers, and peoples around the globe as part of the International Workers Day on May 1st, 2013.

Since it was formalized as an international holiday in 1891, May 1st is a day of coordinated action for workers rights and struggles, for quality living and working conditions, as well as a just workplace system. Radical agitations are resonated in the midst of capitalist uncertainty and austerity.

In the Philippines, the first movement launched more than 100,000 workers on May 1, 1903 led by the Union Obrera Democratica. Segue to 1988, Southern Tagalog region experienced one of the most violent and bloody demonstrations, where high-caliber guns were indiscriminately fired to protesting workers.

At present, despite its much publicized outperformance of its neighbouring countries in Asia, the Philippines under Benigno Aquino III is not able to provide sufficient jobs and the education system cannot equip its expanding labour force with the skills needed for its own industries. The “rising star” economy has significantly increased the fortunes of a narrow clique of Filipino business tycoons by $13 billion to $47.4 in 2011-2012. The country now has total of 15 billionaires while poverty incidence remain unchanged. Three Filipinos out of ten are living under $1 per day.

In search of decent work, many Filipinos are forced to move from rural to urban areas with a large portion opting to go overseas. The pipeline for more than 5,000 people to leave the Philippines for work has ever expanded.

Meanwhile, immigration minister Jason Kenney keeps on drawing in labour force via temporary foreign workers, who are being used and abused to maintain depressed wages for both Canadians and landed immigrants. Among the 1.3 million unemployed in Canada, nearly six workers are available for every job vacancy.

In Canada as in the Philippines and around the world, the fast-growing young labour force is having a hard time to find the jobs that are commensurate with the skills they are educated. Figures are even worse on young people who are not employed, educated and no training at all. As well, many of the employed young are working informally or intermittently. The youth are so tired of low wages and long hours.

This is where our interests lie: the masses of migrant workers which constitute a chunk of the working class to be stronger than it has ever been. The boiling frog in the melting pot of Toronto should be awakened.

Together, we must stand firmly to acknowledge that the profit-driven system is not working for the people. We must raise our voices to articulate the language of communism beyond the canon of liberal democracy. We must march forward to appeal for a strong movement in the face of antagonisms.

Toronto May Day 2012

As part of the Filipino community, AB-T recognizes the need to eliminate the exploitation of migrant workers. We are so stoked of the fact that normalcy is beginning to lose its hold. But without the upshot of genuinely addressing the problems of underdevelopment and agrarian reform in the Philippines, we cannot fully effect change to our situation. And without the support of our allies, we would never succeed.

Regardless of the ever-shifting socio-political problems created by capitalism, the general spirit of militancy among working peoples continue during this great and historic day.

DARE TO BUILD A SOLIDARITY CITY, DARE TO WIN!
LONG LIVE MAY DAY!
WORKERS AND OPPRESSED PEOPLES AND NATIONS OF THE WORLD, UNITE!

 All are welcome to join the BAYAN contingent on May 1st:
5:30PM: Start of Program Nathan Phillips Square
6:00PM: Rally along Queen Street to Bathurst to Little Norway Park

For more information, please contact:
Ysh Cabana at anakbayan.toronto@gmail.com or (416) 902 2551.

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How to spit FiYah in Bisaya – workshop 2/6

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This is the 2nd of the 6 FREE language classes, coordinated and facilitated by Haniely Pableo, that will teach you how to construct basic sentences and engage in a conversation in Bisaya! In this class, we will focus on: interrogatives, request and command; and basic sentence structure. To enhance your Bisaya vocabulary, you will be learning a new song every class.

… Space is limited, so please contact us immediately to book a spot!

Contact info:
anakbayan.toronto@gmail.com, or Rhea at (647) 281-0652

Where: CSI Regent Park, 3rd Floor, Daniels Spectrum Building, 585 Dundas Street East
When: Saturday, April 27, 2013 at 4:30-7pm

**Poster created by Althea Balmes and Tim Manalo**

Toronto Filipino youth group on PH peace process: “Time for true action rather than empty talks”

Reference: Alex Felipe
anakbayan.toronto@gmail.com

APRIL 24, 2013–This year marks the 40th anniversary of the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP), the largest coalition of various economic, social justice organizations and organs of political power within the national democratic movement.

The process of building up a concrete revolutionary movement has been a gradual and complex process since its inception. This was the same period that the Philippines suffered from a serious downturn after years of experiencing positive outgrowth postured by ex-dictator Ferdinand Marcos. An era for his vision of a “New Society” was supposedly fostered through the installation of Martial Law. The regime’s move however, created extreme poverty levels, rampant graft and corruption and slowdown of economy until “it was grinding to a halt” in the 80s.

In the midst of the disorder caused by the dictatorship, the NDFP was born in 1973 the day after its program was formalized. Its policy was sought under the leadership of the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) to establish unity among patriotic classes, forces and sectors in the Philippines and abroad for genuine national freedom and lasting peace.

It has a profound role in advancing the struggle against the imperialist US government and its peripheral reactionary governments throughout the last four decades. While it continuously pushes for its program, a truly democratic process that serves the needs of the majority of the people remains elusive with the current ruling class still  in power. This naturally gives rise to a yearning for justice, and has pushed the people to wage an armed rebellion.

The Philippine military’s assessment makes clear that the broad mass movement led by the NDFP continues to wield “strong influence” in more than 60 of the country’s 72 provinces. 

According to their own reports, New People’s Army (NPA) units have initiated more than 70 tactical offensives against large-scale mining corporations and agri-business plantations in the first four months of 2013. These activities are coordinated to hold the multinational companies back from exploiting the peoples and the environment. The anti-feudal movement in the countryside continues to heighten its influence up to the regional level, particularly in the southern island of Mindanao.

Despite the incident involving an NPA unit and Gingoog Mayor Ruth Guingona, Senator Teofisto Guingona III agrees to the need to resume formal GPH-NDFP peace talks. On the other hand, the Malacañang palace orders to “dismantle NPA checkpoints” enforcing its will on the Philippines as having only “one government” and under “one President,” Benigno Aquino III. His demand only seeks to circumvent the process and calls for surrender.

This is just one in a line of the many obstacles to a two-state solution. How can the problem be resolved when the Aquino regime keeps its counterinsurgency campaign and even allows US troops to use the country as a base in the Asia-Pacific region? How can negotiations be pursued if NDFP consultants Alan Jazmines, Tirso Alcantara, Eduardo Serrano, Edgardo Friginal, Eduardo Sarmiento, Leopoldo Caloza, Emeterio Antalan, Renante Gamara, Jaime Soledad, Danilo Badayos, Pedro Codaste, Alfredo Mapano and Ramon Patriarca remain in detention? How can we move on to tackle the next substantive issues if the current regime fails to honour previous agreements such as the Hague Joint Declaration, and the Joint Agreement on Safety and Immunity Guarantees (JASIG)? It is safe to say that a solution of the broader framework is needed.

However, this is a situation that peace-minded masses want to see a resolution to: a sincere engagement in reconciliation work for restorative justice and lasting peace process.

Anakbayan-Toronto only hopes for hastening the resumption of the negotiations in the midst of the pitfalls caused by the Aquino regime’s apparent disinterest. We are committed that the root causes of the armed conflict be addressed fundamentally through an overturning of the semi-colonial, semi-feudal conditions in the Philippines. We rightfully express that the Filipino people deserve to benefit in our goal for genuine land reform, national industrialization, true freedom and democracy.

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ABT Statement on Aldaw ti Kordilyera (Cordillera Day) 2013

Can a revolutionary indigenous culture break capitalism’s momentum?

Is it imaginable that our indigenous youth who have been born in Canada or have been hyphenates, claim that they can empower themselves today through their decolonizing psychology, practice and constant self-identity? Can culture alone allow the next generation to come to the fore as active participants in shaping our times?

Sisters, brothers, comrades and kasamas, revolutionary greetings from the youth section of progressive Filipinos in Canada.

The roots of the struggle of the indigenous peoples had resulted in a push by the American regime for direct control over the Cordillera region. The solution to the US Great Depression of the late 1920s was contracted in the mineral-rich mountains the Philippines. This would mean the start of “the real gold rush,” which had been in slack primarily because of the panned resistance to the Spanish conquistadors by the disparate peoples. This would mean that the northern region was the predestined subject of “benevolent assimilation” and cultural disparagement.

American colonial authorities propagated the idea of a pan-Cordillera identity and the meaning of a single “Igorot” inhabiting the highlands to separate them from their lowland counterparts and pacify them. This homogenous regional consciousness was used to constitute America as modern to justify its imperialist occupation. In the turn of the 20th century during the Louisiana Purchase Exposition, descendants of tribal peoples were put as ‘living exhibits’ — especially the Cordillerans whose main draw was their custom of eating dog meat. However, prior to their coming, these peoples were richly diverse, as is still now, in different terms.

Our history has taught us lessons that are very significant to our present identity. The role of instituted policies have demonstrated us how ethnic imaginings are constantly constructed and reconstructed. It is precisely the clash of interests that shape the dynamics of history.

Has the bourgeois government in Manila ever effected a progress without dragging away peoples through dirt and blood, forced disappearances and forcible dispossession from their domains?

Perennial mining disasters and controversial mining impacts including those by Canadian firms operating in the homeland show us clearly: the 1996 Marcopper tragedy in the small island-province of Marinduque, whose main waterway Boac River was declared not usable even after more than 10 years since the mine closed; then 2005 Lafayette mine which caused cyanide spill and fish-kill off the coast of Albay, in which local fisherfolks’ livelihood and health were devastated; and most recently, the Philex tailing pond leak which is probably the largest mining tragedy in the Philippines, causing displacement of thousands of our brothers and sisters from the Cordillera region.

From north to south, indigenous peoples must arise out of the fact that their formal equality only covers up their real inequality.The concentration of economic and political power among a few families should not be an acceptable option to the majority Filipinos. Our people in the diaspora must also stand firmly on the question of sovereign land in the context of impoverishment. Altogether, we must ultimately allow healing the economic wounds inflicted by peripheral capitalism by pushing for true democracy and national industrialization.

Cordillera Day gives us a chance to reflect the sacrifice that have been made by our fallen hero Macli-ing Dulag. This day also should make us act on behalf of our indigenous compatriots who have been disappeared such as James Balao and politically imprisoned like Kennedy Bangibang. Culture of impunity persists after the extrajudicial killings of Romy Sanchez, Albert Terredano, Pepe Manegdeg, Jose Doton, Markus Rafael Bangit and Alice Claver. Against the backdrop of centuries-old culture of resistance of indigenous peoples, justice has not been served to these human rights defenders.

We, together with the people of Cordillera, do not sit idly by as we continue to ward off capitalists who plunder their lands and lives for the benefit of the monied few. We will keep exposing and opposing the complicity of Canadian corporations in this conflict. We reaffirm our fight for land which is life and for life that is the land.

We at Anakbayan-Toronto are in solidarity with the people of Cordillera! Down with imperialism, bureaucrat capitalism, and feudalism!!!

CRIMINALIZATION OF DISSENT Land Defenders, Human Rights and Political Activists are imprisoned!

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The judicial system and the rule of law are being used as instruments of state violence

Peoples around the world who organize and resist the onslaught of colonial land theft, extractive industries, and state repression are arrested and indefinitely being kept in prison as a strategy to silence their voices and crush their struggles to assert their right to self-determination and sovereignty.

On the occasion of Palestine Political Prisoners’ Day

A PANEL DISCUSSION

IN SOLIDARITY WITH POLITICAL PRISONERS AROUND THE GLOBE

Please join us to hear these stories, identify common strategies and discuss effective community responses.

Featuring:
* Issam Alyamani (Executive Director – Palestine House)
* Francine “Flower” Doxtator (Six Nations Land Defender)
* Jaroslava Avila (Women’s Coordinating Committee For a Free Wallmapu [Toronto])
* Krisna Saravanamuttu (Coalition for Tamil Rights)
* Perry Sorio (former Political Prisoner; current Vice-Chairperson – Migrante – Canada)

***Also be a special guest speaker on the issue of Security Certificates in Canada ***

Co-organizers: Coalition Against Israeli Apartheid (CAIA), Coalition for Tamil Rights (CTR), Latin American and Caribbean Solidarity Network (LACSN) and the Philippine Solidarity Network – Toronto (PSNT)

Endorsed By: CUPE Ontario International Solidarity Committee; Greater Toronto Workers Assembly; Bayan – Toronto; Canadian Arab Federation; Centre for Social Justice; Migrante – Canada; National Council of Canadian Tamils (NCCT); No One Is Illegal; Palestine House; Socialist Project; Students Against Israeli Apartheid (SAIA -UofT); Students Against Israeli Apartheid (SAIA – York U); Toronto Bolivia Solidarity; Tow Row Society.

For further information: Logan Sellathurai: justice5@sympatico.ca

***How to Spit FiYAh in Bisaya!!***

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***How to Spit FiYAh in Bisaya!!***

Interested in learning a different language? Want to know more about the Bisaya language? Kamalayan presents “How to Spit FiYAh in Bisaya”!! It is a FREE language class that will teach you how to construct basic sentences and engage in a conversation.

The creator and facilitator of this workshop is Haniely Pableo. Poster created by Althea Balmes and Tim Manalo.

Please contact anakbayan.toronto@gmail.com or call Rhea at 647.281.0652 to confirm your spot!

Space is limited!!!

Where: CSI Regent Park, 3rd Floor, Daniels Spectrum Building, 585 Dundas Street East
When:  Saturday, April 20, 2013 at 4:30-6pm

SINONG TATAY MO?!? A History of Family Dynasties and Corruption

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[FREE History Workshop | Open to All | Space is Limited]
Why is Philippine Politics So Corrupt?
Why do family dynasties persist in a supposedly democratic, and supposedly independent Philippines? And what does history teach us about the potential for real change? … This will be a one hour history talk matched with one hour of discussion.
We will look at how family dynasties came to dominate Philippine politics, economics, and pop culture.  We will also look at the many attempts to overturn this climate of corruption.  Where were there successes and where were there failures, and why?
In discussing corruption we’ll also examine why this corruption is not an unfortunate side effect but a necessary tool to maintain the status quo… and along the way examine some of the dark chapters–like how the CIA was born in the Philippines to crush post WWII attempts at a truly independent country…
You can email us to confirm your spot: anakbayan.toronto@gmail.com Or you can also just drop in! (Space is limited, emailing us confirms your spot.)

“Parahin ang pangyayamot sa mga progresibong partylista!” – Anakbayan Toronto

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Mula sa hanay ng progresibong kabataang Filipino sa Canada, ang Anakbayan Toronto ay taas kamaong sumusuporta sa Kabataan Partylist at sa PISTON partylist para sa nalalapit na halalan ngayong Mayo 13.

Ang pagtatangka ng Commission on Elections (Comelec) na i-diskwalipika ang dalawang progresibong partido dahil lumabag ang mga ito umano sa patakaran sa pagpapaskil ng mga poster ay hindi makatarangunan, kahit na nagwasto na ang mga partidong ito at tinanggal ang mga posters. Ang mga partylista na kaalyado ng pamahalaan ng Pilipinas, tulad ng Akbayan at Anak Mindanao ay may tig-siyam na paglabag sa batas, ay hindi nila ito i-diniskwalipika ng kumisyon!

Ipinapakita ang anti-mamamayang interes ng Comelec at ng sabwatang US-Aquino lamang ang nangingibabaw sa paglalako ng mga partido na kaalyado nito. Kaalinsabay nito ang kanilang paniniil sa mga makamasang progresibong partylist upang panatilihin ang sistema ng pagsasawalambahala sa mga mamamayang Pilipino, nasa Pilipinas man o sa ibayong dagat.

Kung itatala, ang Piston partylist ay tuloy-tuloy na nagsusumikap sa pag-arangkada ng karapatan ng mga tsuper at sektor ng transportasyon. Sila ang pangunahing bumubusina sa laban sa pagtaas ng presyo ng langis sa konteksto ng deregulasyon ng industriya.

Sa kabilang banda, ang Kabataan partylist ay isa sa masugid na nagbitbit ng isyu para sa kapakanan at kalagayan ng mga estudyante at ng kabataang Pilipino. Sa loob lamang ng dalawang taong pagkaluklok sa Kamara, ipinakita ng Kabataan ang kasanayan at representasyon sa paglatag ng mga panukalang batas. Walo mula sa 35 lamang rito ang di kaugnay sa sektor ng kabataan, ayon sa isang pag-aaral. Aktibo rin ang pakikibaka ng mga kasama sa loob at labas ng kongreso, laban sa mga hindi makabayan na patakaran ng rehimeng US-Aquino.

Sa semi-kolonyal na kasaysayan ng Pilipinas, napatunayang minamaniobra ng pamahalaan sa Washington ang bawat proseso ng halalan sa pamamagitan ng pagtulak ng mga lokal na tuta nito upang paigtingin ang impluwensiya nito sa bansa.

Sa ating patuloy na pag ooganisa ng mga kabataang Pilipino sa labas ng bansa ay aktibo tayong nag-aambag sa paglikha ng kasaysayan. Di lamang natin pananatilihing ang muling pagkapanalo, bagkus ay itutulak rin natin ang paglawak ng representasyon ng sektor ng kabataan at masa sa kongreso .

Kami sa Anakbayan-Toronto ay nananawagan kay Commissioner Sixto Brilliantes ng COMELEC at G. Benigno Aquino III na itigil ang political harassment sa mga progresibong partylist. Itigil ang panggigipit sa mga progresibong partylist gaya ng Kabataan Partylist at PISTON! ##

Lagdaan ang petisyon DITO.

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Drop-in orientation sessions available

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Meet your kasamas at ANAKBAYAN-TORONTO, the youth chapter of the Philippine national democratic movement at our DROP-IN orientation sessions. LEARN about the root causes of the problems in the Philippines and how to be part of the CHANGE.

Being politically engaged doesn’t just mean a change in Facebook status or profile picture. It means being active in your community, being involved in social issues and making a BIG difference.

We have two locations

Tuesday, April 23 3-6pm @
CSI Regent Park, 3/F Daniel Spectrum Bldg., 585 Dundas St. E
Toronto, Ontario M5A 2B7

Tuesday, April 23 5-8pm @ Bathurst and Wilson Starbucks Cafe

See you there!