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New York City: Progressive forces demand ‘No to U.S. warmongering! Hands off the Philippines!’

By staff

NYC protest demands end to U.S. intervention in Philippines.

New York, NY – Crowds gathered the evening of April 10 as progressive organizations denounced recent United States warmongering in the Asia-Pacific and demanded an end to U.S. military presence in the Philippines. Today marked the beginning of the largest-ever joint military exercises (“Balikatan”) between the U.S. military and the Armed Forces of the Philippines; war games that are a part of war preparations against China.

The Filipino organizations hosting the Monday explained that in February of this year, the government announced that it was adding four additional military bases to the list of facilities accessible and usable by the U.S. military. In return, the U.S. announced a $3.3 million grant to the Philippine National Police, which will fund the ongoing human rights abuses committed by the current Marcos-Duterte government.

As the organizers declared, “War games will not bring more stability to the region, nor will it help the Filipino people in defending our sovereignty, the invitation of U.S. imperialism into the country is a direct affront to sovereignty. And as history has proven, greater U.S. military presence will surely lead to more violence against women and children. As the economic crisis continues to impact working class and poor communities across the U.S. – including Filipinos – BAYAN USA demands that U.S. taxpayer dollars be directed towards serving the people’s needs rather than funding war and counterinsurgency abroad.”

Briny Smith, of the International League of Peoples Struggle (ILPS), which is an alliance of organizations around the world united in the fight against imperialism stated, “Under Biden as under Trump, the U.S. pursues a foreign policy of ever-increasing aggression and repression of people’s struggles across the world. Busy saber rattling at China with no regard for the consequences, the U.S. pleads Israel’s ‘inherent right to self-defense,’ as Israeli forces brutally attack Palestinians praying in al-Aqsa during Ramadan. And closer to home, the U.S. maintains its on grip on Puerto Rico through FBI repression and economic stranglehold, denying Puerto Ricans their right to independence and self-determination, just like it denies that right to the people of Palestine, the Philippines, and oppressed nations across the world.”

Some of the other speakers focused on topics including the U.S. military’s horrible environmental footprint, the abuses of Filipino women by U.S. soldiers, and the false labelling of democratic activists as “terrorists.” BAYAN USA concluded with another call to action: “We call on the people to support the Philippine Human Rights Act, a bill to cut U.S. security assistance to the Philippine military and police for their role in human rights violations. Most importantly, we call on all Filipinos and supporters to build the mass movement to junk all unequal U.S.-PH military agreements, stop military aid and war games, and end U.S. imperialism in the Philippines.”

Hosting organizations included BAYAN USA Northeast, Anakbayan Manhattan, Anakbayan North Jersey, Anakbayan Philadelphia, Anakbayan Queens NY, Gabriela New York, Gabriela New Jersey, Migrante New York, and Migrante New Jersey.

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