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Tuesday, Mar. 31, 2009 at 8:19 AM
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Filipino domestic workers, youth, veterans and allies of the Alliance for a Just and Lasting Peace In the Philippines (Alliance Philippines) took part in national mobilizations this past Saturday, March 21, demanding the immediate withdrawal of US troops from Iraq, Afghanistan, Palestine and the Philippines. The marches and rallies, organized by the International ANSWER Coalition, commemorated the sixth-year anniversary of the US occupation of Iraq.
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by AJLPP Saturday,
Mar. 28, 2009 at 2:52 PM
For immediate release
March 29, 2009
Contact: Riya Ortiz, 212-564-6057, email@example.com
Filipinos Join Nationwide Rallies Demanding US Troop Withdrawal on 6th-Year Anniversary of Iraq Occupation
New York—Filipino domestic workers, youth, veterans and allies of the Alliance for a Just and Lasting Peace In the Philippines (Alliance Philippines) took part in national mobilizations this past Saturday, March 21, demanding the immediate withdrawal of US troops from Iraq, Afghanistan, Palestine and the Philippines. The marches and rallies, organized by the International ANSWER Coalition, commemorated the sixth-year anniversary of the US occupation of Iraq.
The nationwide actions were the largest anti-war mobilizations since the Obama administration. Though hopeful that Obama would answer the American people’s call to withdraw troops from Iraq immediately, Alliance Philippines also highlighted that Obama would be sending 30,000 US troops to Afghanistan instead. The military budget, according to Alliance Philippines, continues to be a priority while budgets for public needs like education are slashed.
“We would like to send the message to the newly-elected President that the billion-dollar spending on war contributes to a worse economic crisis that will affect the jobs of thousands of Filipino workers in the US,” said Mona Lunot, domestic worker and Chairperson of DAMAYAN Migrant Workers Association, member organization of Alliance Philippines.
Chevy Evangelista, youth organizer of Ugnayan ng mga Anak ng Bayan (Linking the Children of the Motherland), spoke on the stage at the March on the Pentagon in Washington, DC, which drew about 10,000 people.
“Like Israel,” Evangelista exclaimed in his speech, “the US enables the Philippine government to attack our Moro brothers and sisters in Mindanao by conducting war exercises... The presence of US troops also contributes to the trafficking, prostitution and rape of Filipino women, and is directly connected to the raped Filipino woman Nicole’s withdrawal of allegations against Lance Corporal Daniel Smith.”
The Visiting Forces Agreement, recently approved by US-backed President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, will send 4,000 US troops in the Philippines.
Christine Araquel of Los Angeles of KmB in the rally in Hollywood also lambasted the US war in Mindanao. " More than 600.000 refugees and 2 million people are affected by the US-instigated war against the MILF. And more are being affected by this war."
“I am a mother of Filipino soldiers,” said Zelem Guerrero, DAMAYAN Board member. “I know the hardship the families go through when their families are sent off to the frontlines of war. This war is killing innocent people and though they call them heroes, they are not given adequate benefits and respect for the risk and service they have provided. This is especially true for Filipino WWII veterans like my uncle, who served the American military but has not been given full equity.”
“The President should know that the anti-war movement will not subside until they stop the war that causes innumerable destruction of innocent lives,” Lunot concluded.
For more information, please visit http://www.alliancephilippines.blogspot.com. To view photos from the rally, please visit http://www.flickr.com/ugnayannynj.
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