September 27, 2007
Filipino-American Youth Unwelcome Arroyo in New York
Progressive Filipino Youth exposes GMA’s corrupt and fascist administration.
Reference: Yancy Mark Gandionco, Community organizer –ANAKBAYAN NY/NJ Phone: 646 306 6942 Email: Anakbayan_ny @yahoo.com
Manhattan, New York- “GMA, you can’t hide! We charge you with genocide!” was one of the many chants that resonated in midtown Manhattan on September 26, as Anakbayan New York, a Filipino youth collective, together with other members organizations of BAYAN-USA and other solidarity organizations staged an “unwelcoming” rally outside the Waldorf Astoria Hotel where President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo is staying in New York for the 62nd general assembly in the United Nations.
“We are here today to show our de facto president that she is not welcome in New York and wherever else, for her complete disregard for human rights in the Philippines, for corruption and for cheating in the previous presidential elections. She needs to listen to loud cry of the youth and resign now!” Christina Hilo, a youth organizer for Anakbayan NY/NJ said.
Wearing statue of liberty headgears with “NYC says OUST GMA” posted on it and mini torches, protesters marched on Park Avenue between 49th and 50th streets heavily escorted by the New York Police Department. Some members of the group were even threatened with arrest as part of the NYPD’s effort to intimidate and disperse the peaceful protest action.
“The youth has long been fed up with the US- Arroyo administration. She has consistently shown no real concern for the Filipino youth, where we are still plagued with commercialized education, constant tuition fee increases, growing unemployment, and an increase in violation of the human rights wherein youth and student are relentlessly harassed, even killed for exercising such rights.” Hilo added.
Other organizations present were Filipinas for Rights and Empowerment (FIRE), New York Committee for Human Rights in the Philippines (NYCHRP), and the National Alliance for Filipino Concerns (NAFCON) joined by representatives from the International Action Center (IAC), Center Against Anti-Asian Violence (CAAAV) and Malcolm X Grassroots Movement all of whom gave statements of solidarity and unity with the struggle of the Filipino people.
Also present were nurses from the Sentosa 27 ++, healthcare professionals from the Philippines trafficked to New York under the collusion of the US and Philippine governments.
With raised fists, the action ended with the heartfelt and agitated singing of “Bayan Ko” (My Country) in front of the Waldorf Astoria and New York Policemen.
Anakbayan is a comprehensive national Filipino youth organization in the Philippines with five chapters in the US. The Youth collective is also a member of BAYAN-USA, an alliance of national democratic organizations in the US.