For Immediate Release
Reference: Michael Luat, Chairperson, SFCHRP
Reference: Yoko Liriano, Coordinator, NYCHRP
New York and San Francisco Committee for Human Rights in the Philippines Call For Human Rights For the 99%
Advance the Struggle for Human rights in the Philippines, U.S. , and all over the World!
New York and San Francisco Committee for Human Rights in the Philippines commemorated the 63rd annual International Human Rights Day on December 10, 2011. With the skyrocketing statistics of human rights violations in the Philippines, Latin America, and even in the United States, NYCHRP and SFCHRP see the need to take the stand for human rights, not just for the privileged few, but for the 99% who are politically and socially oppressed due to the increase of state repression.
The Occupy movement in the U.S. and around the world sharply articulates the financial inequities and mobilizes across class lines of the 99%. In return these inequities cause oppression and give rise to human rights abuses both in the U.S. and abroad. The rise in state political repression and human rights violations is a result of a global monopoly capitalist corporate system that protects the interests of a 1% financial oligarchy.
In San Francisco, SFCHRP marched along with Occupy activists and organizers and activists from several alliances, such as the National Alliance for Filipino Concerns (NAFCON), the Ecumenical Forum on Filipino Concerns (EFFCON) and their allies the Chinese Progressive Association (CPA) and the Progressive Workers Alliance (PWA) through the busy crowds of holiday shoppers and tourists in San Francisco’s Financial District. SFCHRP members declared their solidarity and pledge to uphold human rights for the people’s resistance movements around the world and the Occupy movement for systemic change.
During the Human Rights for the 99% rally progressive Filipino organizations expressed how activism in the Philippines could cost you your life due to the military listing of names on the order of battle list, targeting those whom lash out at the governments lack of upholding the basic human rights of the people. Michael Luat, from San Francisco Committee for Human Rights in the Philippines said, “In contradiction of the economic crisis, the U.S. sends our taxes dollars of $32 million annually in military aid to the Philippines to fund the “War on Terror”, counter-insurgency programs modeled after the U.S. Counter Intelligence Program (COINTELPRO), and military training for counter-terrorist activities. On the other hand they claim to have no money to fund services for people here. Furthermore, peaceful protests on our school campuses and on our streets are increasingly ending in police initiated brutality and violence blamed on U.S. citizens exercising their constitutional rights.”
In New York City, NYCHRP, along with several other endorsing groups like the International Action Center, BAYAN USA, May 1st Coalition, and others, took to the iconic red stairs in Times Square in New York City for an action to bring attention to the need to organize for human rights. Participants handed out glow sticks to signify “Lights for Rights” and used the people’s mic to address the human rights situation in the US and the Philippines.
Jose Martin, a staunch activist from the Occupy Wall Street Movement said, “the movement is not asking for a laundry list of demands that the government can just check off– it is about creating a new system out of our own creativity! A just society with regards to human rights and general welfare!”
Lights for Rights also highlighted the case of the May 2009 abduction and torture of Fil-Am activist, Melissa Roxas. Yoko Liriano, from the New York Committee for Human Rights in the Philippines said, “since her release in 2009, Melissa Roxas, one of our own!– has yet to find justice for the gruesome atrocities committed against her. We must remember all the victims of human rights violations and keep fighting because the fascist regimes will not stop. We need to organize and build the strongest and broadest people’s movement to combat them!”
Both NYCHRP and SFCHRP condemns the U.S. Senate for passing of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) bill due to the erosion of human rights. Based on suspicion alone the bill will allow U.S. military to imprison any person indefinitely, including U.S. citizens, without charge or trial.
SFCHRP and NYCHRP is urging the 99% to tell Congress to vote NO on this bill entitled the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) containing these provisions that violate constitutional rights of people in America. We strongly encourage communities to take action now by signing the American Civil Liberties Union petition below or at www.tinyURL.com/notoindefinitedetention because the rights and welfare of the 99% is in jeopardy.
The peoples’ movements in the Philippines, US, and all over the world will continue to expose and oppose the imperialist-motivated 1% and their crimes against the people. As key human rights organizations in the struggle for true democracy and human rights in the Philippines we call for the persecution of the human rights violators in the Armed Forces of the Philippines and the Philippine National Police and for justice to all human rights victims and for Melissa Roxas. We stand in solidarity with the Occupy movement and we will continue to fight for comprehensive human rights for the 99%. As long as there is inequality and class oppression, the oppressed majority will fight for and defend our inalienable human rights and fundamental freedoms!