Montreal action says “No to Tyranny in the Philippines”

Excerpts from the speeches and photos from the “No to Tyranny in the Philippines” picket held in downtown Montreal, Quebec in front of the statue honouring Norman Bethune on a cold, wet Friday, February 23, 2018. The action was organized by Anakbayan Montreal, Kasama McGill, the Centre d’appui aux Philippines-Centre for Philippine Concerns (CAP-CPC) and allied groups including BAYAN Canada and the International League of Peoples’ Struggle (ILPS).
 

“Now is the time that we organize our communities to step forward and stand with the indigenous people, workers, peasant, student and women activists, and human rights defenders who are in the front lines in the fight against state repression in the Philippines. We must continue to give our solidarity to the Filipino people in their struggle for national and social liberation and a just and lasting peace. Let us firmly stand and collectively declare: Stop the killings! End Impunity in the Philippines.” Sheryl Anne Montano, Anakbayan Montreal Health Committee coordinator.
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International Women’s Alliance/Alliance internationale des femmes (IWA)

STAND AGAINST DUTERTE FASCISM- STOP THE KILLINGS NOW!

No more impunity! Never Again to Martial Law! People Power rises again!

The International women’s Alliance is here today in solidarity with justice-loving people of the Filipino community and beyond to protest the tyranny of the Duterte government. We are joining similar protests on this day in other regions of the world. This harkens us back to the days of Martial Law in the Philippines in the 1980’s when a strong people’s resistance movement inspired millions of solidarity supporters. Some of us elders were among them.

We feel compelled to protest today, because our friends and allies, our sisters in the Philippines are facing increasing harassment, imprisonment and death, in a situation where total impunity reigns. They are in a situation

where the government has declared that people’s organizations we have linked with for decades – from the KMU, to the Karapatan, to GABRIELA Philippines are considered fronts for the New People’s Army and the Communist Party of the Philippines. The President of the Philippines himself called on the military to ¨shoot women rebels in the vagina!¨

This encouragement for violence against women only further exposes this president as a misogynistic fascist, a continuous violator of human rights with no respect for the rights and welfare of women.

We echo the call of Gabriela USA: We RISE against fascism, RESIST militarization, and UNITE for self-determination and oppose Duterte’s fascist tyranny!”

Imagine if you are an activist, a woman, and accused of being a rebel – what this means if you are arrested. What treatment you can expect from law enforcement? Rape and abuse and other violations of your basic human rights. This is what is happening in the Philippines today. Every day, people are being arrested on trumped-up charges, and at the mercy of a legal system that is out to crush the insurgency- and everyone who protests can be called an insurgent!

Who are the people being targeted today? They are activists who have devoted their lives and energy to serve the people, the women, the workers, the urban poor. We know many of them from our own visits to the Philippines, or from when some of them have been able to visit Canada in Solidarity tours.

It was thanks to Gabriela Philippines that the International Women’s Alliance was first formed in Montreal in 2010! These friends are in danger for defending the people’s rights and for daring to protest the growing tyranny and military rule in their country. This is the face of fascism.!

Just this week, an international solidarity mission (organized by the International Coalition for Human Rights in the Philippines) travelled to southern island of Mindanao to assess the impact of the Duterte government’s Martial Law declaration on the island. This is where thousands of indigenous people have been displaced and massacres of community leaders have taken place.

Several delegates were stopped and arbitrarily detained by the military – including foreign church workers and three members of Gabriela New York who were held at the Immigration office in General Santos city and threatened with deportation. They were accused of being members of ISIS. This is an example of the trumped-up charges and flimsy reasoning that illustrates the rise of fascism in the Philippines.

But it is February 23 , and we are also here to commemorate the People Power uprising that took place in the Philippines in 1986- starting on February 22 and culminating on Feb. 25 of that year, the Marcos dictatorship- that had controlled the entire country for decades was toppled by a millions-strong movement known as People Power! The dictator who had ruled the Philippines was ousted!

The Philippine people’s and revolutionary movement is one of the most powerful and inspiring in the world. We are proud that thousands of women are organized and active in the fight for justice and people’s rights. They are organizing against tyranny today. They are risking their lives today. We must stand with them and support their struggle. Long live the people’s democratic movement! Long live the women of the Philippines!

Never Again to Martial Law!
No to Fascism in the Philippines!
Down with Tyranny! Long live international solidarity!

 

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Centre d’appui aux Philippines-Centre for Philippine Concerns (CAP-CPC) / International League of Peoples’ Struggle

The Centre d’appui aux Philippines – Centre for Philippine Concerns, or CAP-CPC, as a member organization of the International League of Peoples’ Struggle, or ILPS, supports the Movement of the Philippine people against fascism and Tyranny.

The Centre for Philippine Concerns was founded in 1983 as the first People Power movement was gaining strength. This was a powerful grass roots movement that eventually overthrew and chased from the Philippines in a US aircraft the hated dictator of that epoch, Ferdinand Marcos. I remember well that amazing day when we received news the dictator Marcos had fled to Hawaii.

30 years later the Philippine people, supported by freedom-loving people here in Quebec and around the globe, are once again rising up against the new dictatorial regime of Rodrigo Duterte.

The Duterte regime, backed by Trump in Washington, and Trudeau in Canada — Trudeau, who wanted to sell the Philippine dictator helicopters – so he could better bomb Philippine civilians and indigenous peoples demanding their land and basic rights – the new would-be dictator is even trying to outdo the Marcos regime.

After putting an end to peace talks between the National Democratic Front of the Philippines and the Philippine Government, talks that were advancing well, Duterte has said he will go after the so-called “legal fronts” of the Communist Party of the Philippines and its armed wing, the New People’s Army, or NPA. This guerilla force, estimated to be about 25,000 strong, is active in almost all areas of the Philippines

Not willing to deal with the roots of the armed uprising – the grinding poverty, lack of land and subservience to foreign, primarily US, interests – and unable to defeat the New People’s Army – the Duterte regime has now vowed to kill members of sectoral, community, and indigenous organizations fighting for their basic rights and interests. It is the same old, tired and useless policy of trying to drain the sea where the guerrillas swim.

Such counter-insurgency policies under different names have failed for 45 years, and will continue to fail to put an end to the armed revolution, but such policies will kill and maim too many. It must be opposed fully. Instead, we must call for a resumption of the peace talks to bring about peace with total justice in the Philippines.

Also we must oppose the bloody war against the poor under the disguise of Duterte’s “war against drugs”, another futile attempt that has failed everywhere it has been implemented, but only makes the drug lords, including members of the police and Philippine army, richer and more powerful.

We see the Duterte regime desperately trying to consolidate power by doing away with the 1986 Constitution in a Charter Change, or Cha Cha, and moving to a Federal system that will increase power in the hands of the executive, in other words, in the hands of Duterte and his big business and big landowning friends and their imperialist buddies.

Duterte has already imposed martial law on the island of Mindanao, and is now threatening to impose it across the Philippines, just as the dictator Marcos did.

The Centre for Philippine Concerns and the International League of Peoples’ Struggle call on all peace-loving and freedom-loving Quebecers and Canadians to join the Filipino people in their new People Power movement to toss on the rubbish pile of history the aspiring dictator Duterte and his gang of fascists. It will not be easy but we have no choice and in the end the people will win… once again!

Never again to Martial Law in the Philippines!
Long live the movement against tyranny in the Philippines!
Down with the US-Duterte fascist regime!
Long live international solidarity!

 

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