FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
January 23, 2009
Jollene Levid, Gabnet Secretary-General
GABNET LOS ANGELES AND PESANTE USA COMMEMORATE MENDIOLA MASSACRE; COMMIT TO CONTINUING STRUGGLE AGAINST HUMAN RIGHTS VIOLATIONS IN THE PHILIPPINES
LOS ANGELES -- Gabnet of the Mariposa Alliance and PESANTE-USA held a commemorative and educational forum on the 22nd anniversary of the Mendiola Massacre. Activists and community members gathered at Historic Filipinotown to hear about the 1987 event and discuss the ongoing struggle for peasant and human rights in the Philippines.
The event was opened by Al Garcia of PESANTE-USA who described the January 22,1987 Mendiola Massacre, where 15,000 peasants peacefully rallying for genuine land reform were ruthlessly fired upon by the police and the Philippine Marines. Thirteen protesters were killed and over 80 were wounded.
The event continued with a film showing and a lively discussion about the ongoing impact of the lack of genuine land reform. "Today, due to the Philippine commitment to the World Trade Organization and the International Monetary Fund, there are over 11.2 million peasants in the Philippines, 8 million of them being women," stated Jollene Levid, Secretary General of Gabnet. The formal program was closed after participants heard a poem by Faith Santilla of Gabnet Los Angeles.
Activists from the Echo Park Community Coalition, ANSWER-LA, PSL, The Pilipino Workers Center, Los Angeles Alliance for a New Economy, The Ecumenical Fellowship for Justice and Peace, UCLA Samahang, Kabataang maka Bayan, SEIU, and other students from Echo Park, Carson, and Eagle Rock participated in the forum.
The forum ended with a call to action and a pitch for donations to political detainees in the Philippines. --###
GABRIELA Network USA
"It seemed faint-hearted meekly to
yield...before the battle started." - Sor Juana Ines de la Cruz (1648/51-1695)