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JFAV-Samahang Pilipino Conference March 10-11: A RESOUNDING SUCCESS

by Justice for Filipino American Veterans (JFAV) Tuesday, Mar. 13, 2007 at 11:01 AM
jfav_causa@yahoo.com 213-241-0906 337 Glendale Blvd. Los Angeles,CA 90026

“All Out for Equity and Justice” With this battle cry, over 150 community advocates, students, youth and the remaining Filipino World War II veterans all over Southern California and Los Angeles gathered for a successful Unity Conference on March 10-11, 2007 in UCLA in Los Angeles, CA 90095. The Unity Conference began at 9:00 a.m. of each day at the Moore Hall at the UCLA campus. On Saturday, March 10, 7:00 p.m, over 200 people came to an exhilarating three-hour Cultural Solidarity Night at 100 Moore Hall UCLA Campus Los Angeles, CA 90095. The cultural night featured the showing of the 35-minute documentary, “Broken Promises,” performances by spoken word artists, cultural groups and other surprise numbers and paid glowing tribute to our veteran heroes. Conference organizers awarded a plaque of appreciation to longtime veteran rights’ supporter, Allan Pineda Lindo, a.k.a. Apl de Ap of world famous Grammy-awarded hip hop group, “Black Eyed Peas.”

JFAV-Samahang Pilipino Conference March 10-11: A RESOUNDING SUCCESS

VETERANS’ EQUITY AND JUSTICE NOW!

Los Angeles— “All Out for Equity and Justice”

With this battle cry, over 150 community advocates, students, youth and the remaining Filipino World War II veterans all over Southern California and Los Angeles gathered for a successful Unity Conference on March 10-11, 2007 in UCLA in Los Angeles, CA 90095.

The Unity Conference began at 9:00 a.m. of each day at the Moore Hall at the UCLA campus. On Saturday, March 10, 7:00 p.m, over 200 people came to an exhilarating three-hour Cultural Solidarity Night at 100 Moore Hall UCLA Campus Los Angeles, CA 90095. The cultural night featured the showing of the 35-minute documentary, “Broken Promises,” performances by spoken word artists, cultural groups and other surprise numbers and paid glowing tribute to our veteran heroes.

Conference organizers awarded a plaque of appreciation to longtime veteran rights’ supporter, Allan Pineda Lindo, a.k.a. Apl de Ap of world famous Grammy-awarded hip hop group, “Black Eyed Peas.”

A solidarity message from the Prof. Jose Maria Sison, Chairperson of the International League of Peoples’ Struggle (ILPS), which congratulated the efforts of the Filipino veterans and their community supporters, was also read during the Cultural Solidarity Night to the hearty applause of the crowd. In his message, Prof. Sison expressed appreciation of the fact that JFAV was one of the founding member organizations of ILPS in 2001 and remains staunch in defending the rights and welfare of Filipino veterans and seniors. He also exhorted JFAV not to depend on lobbying alone but to launch “more and bigger militant mass actions” to realize full equity for the Filipino World War II veterans.

Veterans’ leaders who actively took part in the conference were Commander Jack Vergara of the Society of Guerillas and Scouts Inc (SGSI); Commander Franco Arcebal of ACFV; Commander Faustino “Peping” Baclig of JFAV; Commander Joe Samonte of Long Beach and Veterans Federation of the Philippines (VFP); and Commander Eugenio Mondok of the United Filipino American Veterans (UFAV).



Equity Bill To Be Passed By April 9?

House Veterans’ Committee chair Congressman Bob Filner vowed to pass the Filipino Veterans’ equity bill by April 9, the 65th anniversary of the fall of Bataan to the Japanese forces during World War II. Only less than 60,000 veterans are still living out of the more than 250,000 Filipinos who fought under the US Armed Forces in the Far East (USAFFE).

Conference speakers tackled various facets of the issue of Filipino World War II veterans. Dr. Annalisa Enrile, Chairperson of Gabriela-USA spoke on the role of Filipino women during the Second World War and their continuing active participation in today’s struggle. Atty. Arnedo Valera, immigration and human rights lawyer, addressed the legal and political implications of the equity bill and the struggle for immigrant rights.

Preston Woods of Act Now to Stop War and End Racism (ANSWER-LA) spoke on the effects of racism on the plight of all veterans of U.S. wars of aggression abroad, and the necessity for the entire anti-war movement to support the cause of the Filipino WWII veterans. Finally, Commander Franco Arcebal, representing the American Coalition of Filipino Veterans (ACFV) and JFAV, gave his analysis of the campaign from the veterans’ point of view and made an impassioned appeal to redouble efforts to realize veterans’ equity in the soonest possible time.

Action Planning for the Next Two Years

Presentations, discussions and planning were held from the afternoon of March 10 and the morning of March 11. The workshops included: Filipino WWII Veteran Experience; Filipino Women's WWII Experience; Cross-Cultural Solidarity Issues; History of Activism; The Current Situation and Issues; Community Support and Organizing; The Role of the Youth and the Filipino Experience in the U.S. Military.

Fourteen different resolutions were discussed and passed during the closing plenary session of the conference on March 11, 2007. The resolutions will now serve as the basis of the action planning of JFAV for the next two years. The conference achieved a higher level of unity and resolve across California. Delegates expressed confidence that with redoubled efforts the lofty goal of veterans’ equity could be achieved within the next two years.

People’s Community Organization for Reform and Empowerment (People’s CORE) formed JFAV as a campaign committee to gain veterans’ recognition on December 16, 1998. It continued the work of December 7 Movement (D7M) that launched the veterans’ campaign in December 7, 1993. Ever since, People’s CORE has been in the forefront of the struggle for social justice and people’s rights not only for the Filipino veterans but for other marginalized sectors of the society.

For information, please contact Al Garcia of the People’s CORE Immigrant Rights and Social Justice Program at (213) 241-0995 or visit and see: http://www.myspace.com/jfavla.

Appendix

MESSAGE OF SOLIDARITY FROM THE INTERNATIONAL LEAGUE OF PEOPLES’ STRUGGLE (ILPS) TO THE JUSTICE FOR FILIPINO AMERICAN VETERANS (JFAV)

By Prof. Jose Maria Sison

Chairperson, International Coordinating Committee

International League of Peoples’ Struggle

March 11, 2007

On behalf of the International League of Peoples’ Struggle (ILPS), I wish to convey warmest greetings of solidarity to the Justice for Filipino American Veterans (JFAV) on the occasion of its Community Conference at UCLA on March 10-11, 2007.

We congratulate you for all the achievements that you have won since your last big conference in 1996. We highly appreciate the victory of the seniors and veterans in blocking the social security privatization that was pushed by President Bush in 2005. This signal victory was possible with the series of small and large mass actions launched by JFAV and many senior organizations.

We hope that soon you will win victory in obtaining the equity and recognition that you have long deserved. For this purpose, you need to undertake more and bigger militant actions. Lobbying can be useful but you must not be dependent on congressional actions alone. Do not be mollified by mere promises of the establishment politicians.

You must unite and mobilize your own strength in order to demand and get the results that you aim for.

We are always proud of the fact that JFAV is one of the founding organizations of the ILPS. We are firmly committed to supporting the struggle of the seniors and veterans for their rights and welfare. We continue to stand by the resolutions of support that we made in 2001 and 2004. We are happy to conjoin with the Veterans for Peace, ANSWER-LA and Vietnam War veterans like Ron Kovic in supporting you.

We wish you the utmost success in your current conference and in all your endeavors and struggles in the coming years.

MABUHAY ANG MGA SENIORS AT VETERANS!

IPAGPATULOY ANG LABAN!

MABUHAY ANG JUSTICE FOR FILIPINO AMERICAN VETERANS! ?

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