From The Critical Filipina and Filipino Studies Collective:
If you wish to sign the petition, please RSVP/send your reply on or by November 9, 2005, Wednesday. In the body of your e-mail, please write your name, institution and affiliation.
Your e-mail address will not be printed in the petition and will not be used for any other purpose other than this petition. After collecting the signatures on Nov. 9, our colleagues in Bayan-Philippines, through Dr. Joi Barrios (Associate Dean at the University of Philippines-Diliman), will submit the petition to representatives of the Philippine Government.
CALL FOR U.S. SUPPORT TO END VIOLENCE AGAINST FILIPINO PEOPLE
As progressive U.S.-based academics, writers, and labor activists, we condemn the growing spate of killings and human rights violations of political activists, peasant farmers’ rights advocates, lawyers, priests and journalists in the Philippines. The Philippine military is targeting and murdering Filipino activists and civilians under the pretense of Gloria Macapagal Arroyo regime’s “War on Terror.” The U.S.-backed Arroyo regime’s campaign of surveillance, abduction, torture, and execution is a campaign of terror against the Filipino people. The recent gang rape of a Filipina by six U.S. marines, stationed in the Philippines to conduct “counterterrorist operations,” is another example of the terror experienced by Filipinos under the U.S.-backed Arroyo regime.
International and Filipino human rights groups have documented that since 2001, more than 49 Filipinos have been killed by the Philippine military or paramilitary. The death toll has risen in just the last week as Filipino union leader Ricardo Ramos of the Central Azucarera de Tarlac Labor Union (CATLU), BAYAN-Pampanga leader Francisco Rivera, BAYAN allies Dr. Angel David, Vonjohn Maniniti, and most recently ANAKPAWIS Leader Federico De Leon were assassinated. Other recent killings include the Sept 22, 2005 assassination of labor leader Diosdado Fortuna, a Nestlé worker and chairperson of a Kilusang Mayo Uno (May First Movement) regional chapter, and the November 16, 2004 massacre of seven striking peasant workers at Hacienda Luisita, a large sugar estate owned by the family of former President Corazon Aquino.
Since then, death squads comprised of Philippine military, police, paid mercenaries and others yet to be identified have either killed or made attempts on the lives of a wide range of progressive activists. Our U.S. troops continue to be deployed in the Philippines to train Philippine military and paramilitary forces to infiltrate and destroy progressive Filipino organizations, particularly those affiliated with the national democratic movement. The on-going investigations regarding the rape of a Filipina by six U.S. marines underscores how a dubious “War against Terror” conducted by the U.S. in the Philippines furthers violence against innocent Filipino civilians.
In deep sympathy and solidarity with organizations such as Bayan Muna, BAYAN, ANAKPAWIS, GABRIELA and Kilusang Mayo Uno/KMU, who continue to be targeted by militarist brutality, we denounce the Arroyo government and the Bush administration’s support of the Arroyo regime. Consequently, we censure the Bush and Arroyo administrations’ false accusations against anti-imperialist activism as “terrorism.” This strategy justifies and condones the brutal suppression of those who collectively organize against injustice and exploitation.
We support the Filipino people and their acts of civil disobedience such as peaceful rallies, marches and protest actions. We stand in solidarity with the Filipino people’s desire to end the illegitimate and tyrannical regime of Mrs. Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo and end U.S. military presence in the Philippines.
We ask our U.S. colleagues and conscientious individuals to:
1) Boycott any and all Nestlé Company products and Nestlé Company subsidiaries
2) Invite Bayan activists to your institution to discuss the human rights atrocities in the Philippines. Contact the Critical Filipina and Filipino Studies Collective at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information or contact Bayan-USA: Bayan-USA chair, Kawal Ulanday at email@example.com or call 800 -874-9794.
3) Sponsor a film screening on a new documentary on human rights violations
in the Philippines, There’s Blood in Your Coffee, a documentary on the continuing 3+year Nestlé workers’ strike in Cabuyao, Laguna, Southern Tagalog, where Filipino Nestlé Union President and Kilusang Mayo Uno (KMU) Labor Leader Diosdado “Ka Fort” Fortuna was brutally murdered. We also recommend Hacienda Luisita, a film documenting the struggles of sugar cane and sugar processing plant workers and the violence against their efforts to organize and to demand for better wage and living conditions. This documentary film honors the lives of the workers who were killed on November 16, 2004.
We hope you will join our global efforts to expose and end the brutality of the Arroyo regime.
Maraming salamat and peace,
CONVENORS OF THE PETITION:
Members of the Critical Filipina and Filipino Studies Collective
1) Benito Vergara Jr.
Asian American Studies Department
San Francisco State University, CA
2) Rowena Tomaneng
De Anza Community College, CA
3) Neferti X. Tadiar
History of Consciousness Department
University of California, Santa Cruz
4) Jeffrey Santa Ana
Dartmouth College, NH
5) Joanne Rondilla
Department of Comparative Ethnic Studies University of California, Berkeley
6) Robyn M. Rodriguez
Department of Sociology
Rutgers University, NJ
7) Dylan Rodriguez
Department of Ethnic Studies
University of California, Riverside
8) Gladys Nubla
Department of English
University of California, Berkeley
9) Vernadette V. Gonzalez
Department of Global Studies
Saint Lawrence University, NY
10) Luis Francia
Journalist, Village Voice and Philippine Inquirer Author and Lecturer, Asian Pacific American Studies Program New York University, NY
11) Sharon Delmendo
Professor of English
St. John Fisher College
12) Peter Chua
Department of Sociology
San Jose State University, CA
13) Lucy Mae San Pablo Burns
Departments of Asian American Studies and World Arts and Cultures University of California, Los Angeles
14) John D. Blanco
Department of Literature
University of California, San Diego
15) Nerissa Balce
Assistant Professor of Comparative Literature Department of Languages, Literatures and Cultures University of Massachusetts, Amherst
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