For Immediate Release
May 16, 2012
Contact: Chel Cendana
Pacific Northwest Regional Coordinator, BAYAN-USA
Pacific Northwest Delegates to Join Thousands for NATO Protest and Historic Gatherings
Seattle, WA – Thirty-two Pacific Northwest activists will be traveling to Chicago this weekend to join thousands in a nationwide protest against the upcoming North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) Summit. Just a few days prior to the national mobilization, these same activists, as well as others from around the nation will be convening a series of historic national gatherings and founding assemblies.
On Friday, May 18, international Filipina women’s progressive organization GABRIELA USA will hold its second National Congress in Chicago. Acclaimed Philippine Congresswoman Emmi de Jesus of the Gabriela Women’s Partylist will be on hand to deliver the keynote address. On that same Friday, Anakbayan USA will be holding its official founding congress. Anakbayan is a progressive youth and student organization established almost 15 years ago in the Philippines. Since then, its reach has stretched all the way to the US. Its first overseas chapter formed in Seattle 10 years ago. Anakbayan chapters can now be found across the US, from California to New York.
Later that same Friday, the US chapter of BAYAN-USA, an alliance of progressive Filipino groups in the US, will hold its fourth congress. Founded in 2005 in San Francisco, BAYAN-USA is an alliance of 15 Filipino community organizations across the US that has actively campaigned on issues of human rights, immigrant reform, workers’ rights, racial and gender discrimination, environmental justice, as well as US economic and military intervention and counter-insurgency in the Philippines. GABRIELA and Anakbayan are both member organizations of BAYAN-USA.
The weekend of landmark events continues. On Saturday May 19, the global activist coalition International League of Peoples Struggle (ILPS) will convene for the founding assembly of its first US chapter. ILPS has over 350 member organizations from over 40 countries, and across six continents. The ILPS is an international alliance that supports grassroots anti-imperialist struggles all over the world. This alliance began as an idea that grew out of the grassroots resistance to the Seattle World Trade Organization meetings in 1999, during the counter summit, known as the People’s Assembly. The ILPS was founded in the Netherlands in 2001 to form global unity against imperialist policies and agendas.
All events will take place at Centro Autonomo located at 3460 West Lawrence Avenue in the Albany Park neighborhood of Chicago. Following the ILPS US Chapter founding ceremony will be cultural show titled Road to Resistance, a celebration of movement building victories in the US and across the globe. Event organizers wanted to hold these historic assemblies in Chicago to mobilize all member organizations and allies to participate in the major protest demonstrations against the NATO Summit set to take place on Sunday, May 20. BAYAN and ILPS members join the NATO Summit protest organizers Coalition Against NATO and G8 War and Poverty Agenda (CANG8) in showing a united action against the global militarism that NATO represents.
“NATO began as a European fighting force against the Soviet Union. A world police pushing US and European interests all over the world is not needed.” Says Pinay sa Seattle Education Chair Donna Denina. “We not only call for an end to such obsolete armies, but also an end to the tensions between China and the Philippines over the disputed borders in the South China Sea, worsened by the US’s involvement.”
The Northwest groups in attendance this weekend have scheduled a community report back on Friday, June 1, 6:30pm at the Peter Claver House, 7101 38th Ave South Seattle, 98118. This is a free event. ###
BAYAN-USA is an alliance of 15 progressive Filipino organizations in the US representing youth, students, women, workers, artists, and human rights advocates. As the oldest and largest overseas chapter of Bagong Alyansang Makabayan (BAYAN-Philippines), BAYAN-USA serves as an information bureau for the national democratic movement of the Philippines and as a campaign center for anti-imperialist Filipinos in the US. For more information, visitwww.bayanusa.org
The Pacific Northwest Regional Council of BAYAN-USA includes Alay ng Kultura, Anakbayan Seattle, Pinay sa Seattle, as well as including the participation of the Philippine US Solidarity Organization. Portland Committee for Human Rights in the Philippines also falls under the Pacific Northwest Region of BAYAN-USA.