Wednesday, June 04, 2008

Anakbayan NY/NJ Joins the Music! What's wrong with that? (Criticizes video by guy calling Filipinos "p*ssy" and "stupid")

At the entrance of the fair grounds where NAFCON
& BAYAN USA contingents were held (Photos by Robert Roy)

At the make-shift booth of NAFCON & BAYAN USA with the Kappa Pi
members providing alternative cultural space (Photo by Jonna Baldres)

Philippine Forum Executive Director Robert Roy protecting Kappa Pi's
Pewee Recaido from the NYPD officer (Photo by Jonna Baldres)

NYPD Officer holding down Pewee Recaido's bag (Photo by Jonna Baldres)

NYPD Officer grabbing Kappa Pi's Pewee Recaido
by the neck (Photo still from video by Jackie Mariano)

NYPD Officers searching Rusty Fabunan
and Pewee Recaido for identification (Photo by Jonna Baldres)

NYPD officers barricading the street, separating the
Kappa Pi brothers from the crowd (Photo by Jonna Baldres)

NYPD officers taking the Kappa Pi brothers
farther down the street (Photo by Jonna Baldres)

Rusty Fabunan & Pewee Recaido released by the NYPD officers
(Photo by Jonna Baldres)

Kappa Pi brothers face summons for making music
at the Philippine Independence Day Celebration
(Photo by Jonna Baldres)


04 June 2008

Reference: Yves Nibungco & Yancy Gandionco, Anakbayan New York/New Jersey
Contact Info:, (646)5787390

Anakbayan NY/NJ Joins the Music! What's wrong with that?
Criticizes video by guy calling Filipinos "p*ssy" and "stupid"

Anakbayan NY/NJ condemns New York Police Department (NYPD)-Philippine Consulate-Philippine Independence Day Celebration (PIDC) Committee, Inc. for the recent harassment done towards members of Philippine Forum's Kappa Pi -- a Filipino community-based fraternity and fellow member organization of the National Alliance for Filipino Concerns (NAFCON) -- during the Independence day celebration on June 1st.

The NAFCON and BAYAN-USA contingent converged at 39th and 5th avenue and proceeded to march along Madison Ave. carrying signs about the Rice Crisis in the Philippines, commercialization of the whole PIDC event and ongoing campaign for justice of the Sentosa Nurses. All throughout the day, members of the contingent of NAFCON suffered several harassments from officers of NYPD and PIDC Inc.

"I think we were the only contingent accompanied and harassed by the NYPD as we marched down Madison Ave. They told us that we were not allowed to air our protests during the parade and they (the NYPD officers) constantly heckled us to hurry down Madison Avenue as if they wanted us out of the streets as fast as they can." Babz Manuel, a member of Anakbayan NY/ NJ commented. The whole contingent was even prevented from entering the fair grounds for reasons not yet clear to us.

The harassment did not end there. It escalated when an NYPD officer grabbed two members of the Kapatirang Pilipino Fraternity or Kappa Pi. Rusty Fabunan and Peewee Recaido were taken to the corner, by the Patrol car, after they played music with snare drums and a makeshift drum from paint buckets. Both men were released after a group of young Filipinos gathered around the scene chanting, "Just Music, What's wrong with that?" However, the two Kappa Pi brothers were given summons by the NYPD charging them with "failure to disperse".

"What is there to disperse? This is the celebration of Philippine Independence and we were there only to celebrate our so-called freedom and there they were preventing us from expressing it. We weren't doing anything to harm the public. We were even entertaining them," Pewee Recaido, who is also the Kappa Pi supremo, said.

"In the past, history shows that the PIDC Committee, while working with the Philippine Consulate on this celebration, has been hell-bent on preventing our contingents from voicing out and criticizing the Philippine government by employing all means to belittle our calls, from drowning out our chants by placing us in between contingents playing loud drum beats to the violent dispersal of our organized forces," Dani Galan, president of Anakbayan New York/New Jersey said, "We were even the only contingents escorted by NYPD officers. How's that for INDEPENDENCE?"

The Philippine Consulate and PIDC INC have been consistently criticized by members of NAFCON and BAYAN USA for making the independence day celebration a grand money-making scheme. The celebration was also lambasted by these contingents for promoting a culture of greed and corruption instead of a genuine culture of "bayanihan". This, and the showcasing of not-so Filipino performances, was what had driven our fellow NAFCON members, mostly youth, to come up with the alternative music and cultural space, which, unfortunately resulted in the harassment by the NYPD.

"With the recent happenings in the Philippine Independence Day Celebration, it only shows that even here in the United States, militant Filipinos fighting for their rights and who are critical of the Philippine government's wrongdoings are also being repressed. We are also met with an iron hand, revealing the true fascist nature of Gloria Macapagal Arroyo administration, with the help of, who else, but its office in New York and the local police department," Jonna Baldres, Anakbayan NY/NJ secretary-general said.

Undeniably, this unholy alliance of NYPD and Philippine Consulate-PIDC could not silence the brave voices of the people's indignation as their dirty deed was witnessed and opposed by bystanders and NAFCON and BAYAN USA's member organizations' chanting and inquisition: "IT'S JUST MUSIC! WHAT'S WRONG WITH THAT?!?"

Jason, the guy who posted a video in YouTube

calling Filipinos "p*ssy" and "stupid"

Screen shots of the video in YouTube


Unfortunately though, hours after the stunted arrest, there was one video in YouTube released by a guy named Jason (which was already put down but a copy was saved by a member of one of NAFCON's member organizations), filmed from the high-rise building right beside the corner of 25th street where the NAFCON & BAYAN USA's contingents were stationed, making a mockery of the whole incident calling Filipinos "stupid" and "p*ssy" and accusing the mob of shouting "F*ck you, pigs!" The accompanying video will show that NAFCON and BAYAN USA were chanting otherwise.

This show of racist attack, coupled with the fascist and repressive culture being sown by the PIDC-Philippine Consulate-NYPD within the Filipino community, definitely undermines the struggles of the Filipinos fighting for their rights, and all the more, genuine INDEPENDENCE, which had been fought for by our forefathers.

We, in Anakbayan New York/New Jersey, will not allow this culture of fascism, repression and racism to grow amongst our ranks, more so, within the Filipino community that is supposedly breeding the roots of INDEPENDENCE. In light of these incidents, we join the people on Friday, June 6, in front of the Philippine Consulate at 5:30 pm, in a community action protesting against the NYPD and Philippine Consulate-PIDC's outright display of committing injustice.

An injustice to one (or two Pinoys in that case) is an injustice to all! ###

VIDEO: NAFCON/BAYAN USA Display the Power of Collective Action @ PIDC 2008

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