For Immediate Release
May 1, 2012
MAKIBAKA! HUWAG MATAKOT!
Unite and Strengthen the Filipino Youth Movement in the U.S.
To Advance the Struggle for National Democracy in the Philippines!
“Only through militant struggle can the best in the youth emerge.” - Jose Maria Sison
Today, as the people and working class all over the world militantly march for International Workers’ Day, we announce the upcoming Founding Congress of Anakbayan-USA on May 18, 2012 in Chicago. As the first overseas national chapter of Anakbayan, we will continue to build the first nationwide Filipino youth movement that clearly recognizes the integral role of US-born and migrant Filipino youth in the struggle for national liberation and genuine democracy in the Philippines.
Anakbayan was founded on November 30, 1998, one hundred and thirty-five years after the birth of Andres Bonifacio, the working class revolutionary leader who founded the Katipunan and fought for national liberation against Spain. It was formed to take up the historic task of arousing, organizing and mobilizing a powerful key force in Philippine society, the Filipino youth. In 2001, only three years after its establishment, Anakbayan emerged as one of the leading forces in mobilizing hundreds of thousands of youth in the massive people’s uprising now known as “People Power II,” which ousted President Joseph Estrada. Since then, Anakbayan has consistently been at the forefront of the Filipino youth movement in advancing the struggles of oppressed and exploited communities nationwide for genuine independence and democracy in the Philippines.
As soon as Anakbayan was founded in the Philippines, migrant and US-born Filipino youth heeded its call to continue the Katipunan’s unfinished revolution of 1896. Progressive Filipino youth and student organizations across the US immediately affiliated with Anakbayan and in 2002, finally established the first overseas chapter in Seattle. Since then, Anakbayan has spread across the country to major cities with large concentrations of Filipino youth, including Los Angeles, East Bay, New York, New Jersey, San Diego and Silicon Valley.
Anakbayan chapters in the US have been at the forefront of protecting the rights and welfare of our kababayans by linking and raising social justice issues here in the US to the struggles of the oppressed and exploited back home in the Philippines. Anakbayan has fought against education budget cuts, struggled to defend immigrant rights, linked arms with workers to recover stolen wages and sought justice for trafficked workers.
We are now confronted with a protracted global economic crisis and rising fascism. According to the US Department of Labor, 1 in every 2 youth is jobless while thousands continue to lose their jobs from mass layoffs. Meanwhile, higher public education remains inaccessible to most students as tuition fees continue to increase at an annual average rate of 8% nationwide, with some public universities raising tuition by as much as 31%. As private detention centers rake in profits, the Obama administration continues to systematically carry out record-breaking deportations, which have displaced 1.2 million immigrants since he was elected into office. Undocumented youth continue to live in a nightmare as the DREAM Act mutates into a selective military draft for immigrant youth to be used as frontliners in countless wars of imperialist aggression in our home countries.
In anticipation of a surge in people’s resistance, we see the rise of a fascist police state in the US through the enactment of the National Defense Authorization Act of 2012 (NDAA) and other repressive laws like Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act (CISPA) and HR 347 “Anti-Protest Law”. While the civil and political rights of all Americans are being attacked, the US continues to impose its violence against people across the world in pursuit of increasing profits.
In the Philippines, the struggle continues to intensify as the crisis of the semi-feudal and semi-colonial society worsens and US military intervention increases to protect the economic interests of multinational corporations. True to his class, the landlord President Noynoy Aquino continues to faithfully serve imperialist, big business and big landlord interests by ensuring the increased exploitation of workers and even allowing US drones to drop bombs on our people. Clearly, the Filipino youth have no bright future within the current system. There is no other way for the youth but to fight back.
Through Anakbayan-USA, Filipino youth across the US are unifying and strengthening their community organizing efforts in order to carry forward the historic torch of courageous and daring youth that paved the way before us. From the legacy of the anti-colonial resistance of the Katipunan and the Kabataang Makabayan that defied the iron fist of the Marcos dictatorship, we will continue to advance the struggle for national democracy in the Philippines until its eventual victory. We play a crucial role here in organizing Filipino youth of all backgrounds and building international solidarity with all oppressed communities and countries.
We call on the Filipino youth to defiantly declare “Makibaka! Huwag Matakot!” Join the struggle and don’t be afraid! Let this call resound throughout the campus halls, workplaces, and in the streets. Let us unite and build this movement. Let us fulfill our revolutionary role as Filipino youth and serve the people!
MAKIBAKA! HUWAG MATAKOT! (Join the struggle! Don’t be afraid!)
IMPERYALISMO, PYUDALISMO, BURUKRATA-KAPITALISMO, IBAGSAK! (Down with Imperialism, Feudalism and Bureaucrat-Capitalism!)
SERVE THE PEOPLE! STRUGGLE FOR NATIONAL DEMOCRACY!