imc indymedia

Los Angeles Indymedia : Activist News

white themeblack themered themetheme help
About Us Contact Us Calendar Publish RSS
latest news
best of news




A-Infos Radio

Indymedia On Air

Dope-X-Resistance-LA List


IMC Network:

Original Cities africa: ambazonia canarias estrecho / madiaq kenya nigeria south africa canada: hamilton london, ontario maritimes montreal ontario ottawa quebec thunder bay vancouver victoria windsor winnipeg east asia: burma jakarta japan korea manila qc europe: abruzzo alacant andorra antwerpen armenia athens austria barcelona belarus belgium belgrade bristol brussels bulgaria calabria croatia cyprus emilia-romagna estrecho / madiaq euskal herria galiza germany grenoble hungary ireland istanbul italy la plana liege liguria lille linksunten lombardia london madrid malta marseille nantes napoli netherlands nice northern england norway oost-vlaanderen paris/Île-de-france patras piemonte poland portugal roma romania russia saint-petersburg scotland sverige switzerland thessaloniki torun toscana toulouse ukraine united kingdom valencia latin america: argentina bolivia chiapas chile chile sur cmi brasil colombia ecuador mexico peru puerto rico qollasuyu rosario santiago tijuana uruguay valparaiso venezuela venezuela oceania: adelaide aotearoa brisbane burma darwin jakarta manila melbourne perth qc sydney south asia: india mumbai united states: arizona arkansas asheville atlanta austin baltimore big muddy binghamton boston buffalo charlottesville chicago cleveland colorado columbus dc hawaii houston hudson mohawk kansas city la madison maine miami michigan milwaukee minneapolis/st. paul new hampshire new jersey new mexico new orleans north carolina north texas nyc oklahoma philadelphia pittsburgh portland richmond rochester rogue valley saint louis san diego san francisco san francisco bay area santa barbara santa cruz, ca sarasota seattle tampa bay tennessee urbana-champaign vermont western mass worcester west asia: armenia beirut israel palestine process: fbi/legal updates mailing lists process & imc docs tech volunteer projects: print radio satellite tv video regions: oceania united states topics: biotech

Surviving Cities africa: canada: quebec east asia: japan europe: athens barcelona belgium bristol brussels cyprus germany grenoble ireland istanbul lille linksunten nantes netherlands norway portugal united kingdom latin america: argentina cmi brasil rosario oceania: aotearoa united states: austin big muddy binghamton boston chicago columbus la michigan nyc portland rochester saint louis san diego san francisco bay area santa cruz, ca tennessee urbana-champaign worcester west asia: palestine process: fbi/legal updates process & imc docs projects: radio satellite tv
printable version - js reader version - view hidden posts - tags and related articles

Walden Bello: Sanders as US President good for US, Philippines, and Asia

by InterAksyon Wednesday, Mar. 02, 2016 at 6:18 AM

MANILA - “Bernie Sanders would be good not only for the United States but for the Philippines and Asia,” Walden Bello told the US media after he chatted briefly with the candidate for Democratic Party presidential nomination in Waterloo, Iowa on Sunday, 13 December 2015.

Walden Bello: Sander...
2016-bernie-sanders.png, image/png, 450x338

This was according to Bello’s campaign manager Jean Enriquez.

Interviewed at length, Bello said he had driven 292 kilometers “in blinding rain and fog” from Madison, Wisconsin to tell Sanders and his supporters that his election “would hopefully bring about an end to US interventionist policies that have created such chaos and misery in so many parts of the world.”

“His vision of socialism is also one that inspires us. He shows, in fact, an alternative to a system that runs on greed is not only possible, but necessary,” Bello added.

The resigned Akbayan party-list representative chatted briefly with Sanders while giving the Democratic candidate a signed copy of his 2013 book, “Capitalism’s Last Stand?”

According to Enriquez, Sanders immediately recognized and warmly greeted Bello, an old friend whom he had brought over to the United States in 1998 to testify in a hearing to end funding of the International Monetary Fund that he organized while still a member of the US House of Representatives.

When Bello informed the Democratic candidate that he was running for the Philippine Senate on a platform that had many of the same items in his platform, Sanders shook his hand vigorously and said, “Good luck!”

About 100 volunteers, most of them young people, enthusiastically cheered Sanders as he laid out the key points of his platform, which focuses on ending inequality and bringing about “true democracy.” Sanders asserted, “This campaign is not about me. It’s about you. It’s about ending the oligarchy that rules this country.”

“We have the same problems with inequality and oligarchy in the Philippines,” Bello told the media. “That’s why we’re on the same side.

Bello just ended a 3-1/2-month stay as an “Activist-in-Residence” at the A.E Havens Center of the University of Madison at Wisconsin. He is scheduled to arrive in the Philippines December 15 to begin his campaign for the Senate.


Walden Bello: Still crazy just like Bernie Sanders

By Boying Pimentel

Walden Bello and Bernie Sanders are both waging what many see as crazy crusades. One is making a bid for a Philippine Senate seat, the other running for president of the United States.

The coincidence is not surprising. They’re old allies, after all.

In 1998, following the Asian financial crash, Sanders, then the socialist congressman from Vermont, invited Bello, an internationally known expert on global finance, to testify before the U.S. Congress in Washington D.C.

The hearing focused on an institution the two progressive activists have long criticized: the International Monetary Fund, or IMF.

Referring to a recent controversial comment by a former U.S. Trade Representative, Sanders asked Walden: “Now, if you are sitting in Asia and you have suddenly been unemployed or you are now going hungry and you read Mickey Kantor’s statement that this crisis should be seized as golden opportunities for the West to reassert its commercial interests, what does that say?”

“Let me just say, Congressman Sanders, that this view now is widespread, that the Fund is being used by the United States to push through bilateral investment and trade objectives … around what it calls opening up the Asian economies,” Walden answered.

Not exactly a riveting exchange, but it’s a moment the two activist intellectuals clearly relished for it was a chance to turn the spotlight on an issue they’ve always felt passionately about — how big corporations and powerful international financial institutions take advantage of, and even cause, economic crises that wreck lives of ordinary people around the world.

That was 17 years ago when Walden and Sanders were in their 50s.

Sanders who has shaken up the democratic presidential primary with a surprisingly strong and popular challenge to Hillary Clinton is now 74. Walden turns 70 this month.

They’ve been at it since they were young men, waging sometimes quixotic battles against powerful forces.

Sanders has been an activist for workers rights and civil rights having joined such organizations as the Young People’s Socialist League in Chicago and the Congress on Racial Equality. He’s known as a tireless campaigner, speaking out on progressive issues that are often ignored in mainstream media.

“Bernie’s the last person you’d want to be stuck on a desert island with,” a friend quipped in a New Yorker profile on Sanders. “Two weeks of lectures about health care, and you’d look for a shark and dive in.”

Walden is not that grim and determined. I know this for a fact: We shared a house in Oakland in the 1990s before he returned to the Philippines. But like Sanders, he can be intensely passionate about his beliefs.

Before he became well known in the Philippines as a maverick Akbayan party-list congressman, Walden Bello was known as a U.S.-based activist against the Marcos dictatorship.

He’s famous for a somewhat quirky episode in 1977, when he led activists in taking over the Philippine Consulate in San Francisco to protest Marcos’s sentencing to a firing squad exiled Ninoy Aquino, Bernabe Buscayno (Kumander Dante) and Lt. Victor Corpus, declaring, a bit overdramatically, “I hereby claim this building in the name of the Filipino people.”

He’s also known as a staunch critic of American foreign policy and the role of the World Bank and the IMF in perpetuating inequality and underdevelopment in poor, struggling countries like the Philippines.

In fact, long before his appearance before Sanders’ congressional subcommittee, Walden was trying to expose the IMF in more creative ways. He once dressed up as Kermit the Frog during a protest picket outside the IMF headquarters in Washington D.C.

In fact, I’d even say this: Walden is crazier than his ally Bernie Sanders.

Take what he did earlier this year.

In a stunning move, he resigned as Akbayan’s congressman and publicly broke with President Aquino whom he accused of “engaging in a brazen cover-up of his responsibility” in the Mamasapano tragedy.

“This is the latest development in the shrinking of a man I once admired from a credible president to a small-minded bureaucrat trying desperately to erase his fingerprints from a failed project to save his own skin,” he said in a statement. “This man, I must conclude sadly, knows nothing of command responsibility or of honor.”

Now, if you’re a conventional Filipino trapo, focused on gaining more power and prestige, carefully calculating the next steps that would advance your political career, you wouldn’t do what Walden did.

But then again, being a congressman was never about personal power for Walden. It’s a duty, one that usually entails sacrifice and risky gambles.

This became clear six years ago when he criticized Inquirer columnist Randy David for backing out of a plan to challenge Gloria Macapagal Arroyo in the congressional elections of 2010. David’s potential candidacy had excited the Akbayan movement, including Walden, who became so upset with David’s change of heart, he wrote an open letter.

“It is natural for all of us to get cold feet,” Walden told David. “But the mettle of people lies in their overcoming their hesitations, gritting their teeth, and pushing on.”

“Plunging into politics is no picnic,” he said. “It is rough, it involves you in uncertain calculations, in complex grey areas where one has sometimes little guide but one’s instinct in achieving the balance between principle and pragmatism. There are no ifs and buts–once you’ve made the commitment to be engaged, you grit your teeth and plunge into the fray, conscious of the possibility that you may, after so much sacrifice, may be left in the dust.”

I remembered this when I met Walden last week in Berkeley during his brief visit with friends in the Bay Area.

For what he said in the open letter pretty much summarized his own foray into electoral politics in which he found “little guide but one’s instinct in achieving the balance between principle and pragmatism.”

It’s clearly been a tough balancing act. I saw how it’s taken its toll on Walden when we met. His hair is all gray now, and his frustration with the Aquino years was evident in his voice.

He never had any illusions about electoral politics in the Philippines. It’s a game, after all.

But “there’s a principled way of playing the game,” he told me.

I must confess that when Walden helped form Akbayan in 1998 and later became a partylist congressman, I thought: You’re crazy to join that snakepit.

But he proved me and many others wrong.

In a crowd of trapos, many of whom had no idea what legislating was all about, who merely wanted the title and the perks or the position, and who didn’t even bother to attend meetings and hearings, Walden stood out.

He drew attention to issues that would otherwise be ignored, and showed that a former street activist could make a difference in the electoral arena.

Walden shook things up. Even more important, he gave Filipinos, especially the youth, an alternative, more engaging image of a mainstream politician as a progressive activist-intellectual.

I’m guessing he even learned from his old ally, Bernie Sanders, who as a neophyte congressman, did not immediately become a popular figure.

In the New Yorker profile, fellow Democrat Barney Frank recalls how, “Bernie alienates his natural allies. His holier-than-thou attitude—saying, in a very loud voice, he is smarter than everyone else and purer than everyone else—really undercuts his effectiveness.”

Eventually, Sanders learned to be more flexible. And so did Walden.

The Akbayan alliance with Aquino was an example of this, of what Walden called “uncertain calculations” and a “principled way of playing the game.”

PNoy was clearly not the perfect ally for Walden and Akbayan. He was clearly not a progressive when it comes to foreign policy and U.S.-Philippine relations or other issues related to economic equality or social issues.

But Aquino embraced an issue Walden and Akbayan also strongly believed was important: the fight against corruption. “Daang Matuwid” was the reason he and Akbayan joined the Aquino coalition, he told me.

He understood the rules of coalition politics. It meant he could continue to disagree with Aquino on some key issues (like the U.S. military presence in the Philippines), but focus mainly on the issues on which he and Akbayan are united with Aquino.

As Walden recalls in his essay, “The Conscience of a Progressive,” “A strong momentum for reform did mark the first years of the Aquino administration.” Akbayan even got a “pleasant surprise” when Aquino endorsed the Reproductive Health Bill.

But as Walden himself said, “Plunging into politics is no picnic.” And this is true even when you’re part of a ruling coalition.

In some cases, the challenges are trickier when you’re aligned with the party in power. The temptation not to rock the boat, to keep silent in order to maintain that alliance is great.

It could take guts and vision for a longtime progressive activist to take the plunge into electoral politics. It could take even greater courage to say: “I can’t be part of this anymore because it is wrong.”

That’s what Walden did as bumps and detours were exposed on Daang Matuwid and Aquino fumbled his way through a series of scandals, from DAP to Mamasapano.

Meanwhile, Akbayan’s leaders became more uncomfortable with Walden’s maverick positions, including his call for the resignation of key Aquino allies like Butch Abad.

“Spoiled offspring of the ruling class like the Aquinos and Abads will come and go, but Akbayan is a precious child forged in the historic struggles of the Philippine Left and heir to its finest traditions. Will it find the courage to follow the harsh dictates of its progressive conscience and cease being hostage to a coalition that has lost its raison d’etre?”

Akbayan leaders continue to embrace Aquino and his allies “as if the last few years did not take place,” Walden told me.

Again, if you’re just another trapo, you don’t say things like that.

But Walden is not a trapo. He’s not even just another politician. He will speak out against abuse and political dishonesty.

He won’t just shut up.

Not about corruption at the highest levels of government, or human rights abuses within a movement that’s supposed to represent the fight for human rights.

Not even when a friend is being treated unfairly.

I saw this firsthand when we were still housemates. He and I had accompanied another housemate who had to take a driving test in Oakland. It turned into a nasty experience. The man who gave the test, who was white, was openly rude to the point of being racist to our friend. Walden blew up and openly complained about the way she was treated.

A strong sense of justice and fairness also was a key reason for why he broke with yet another political movement to which he devoted much of his life: the underground left.

He had been a CPP activist since the ‘70s through the early ‘80s until he left the party in the early ‘90s.

A major factor was the blood purges within the UG movement when cadres who were either suspected of being enemy infiltrators or who challenged the official party line, were subjected to all sorts of abuse, including torture. Many were executed or made to disappear.

Walden was clearly personally affected by the atrocities, which he explored in a 1992 essay, “The Crisis of the Philippine Progressive Movement.” He called the essay, which was based on interviews with twenty current and former cadres, “my own quest to salvage some meaning for my own activism in the progressive movement over the last two decades.”

Walden continues to reject the violent dogmatism that eventually dominated the UG, telling me, “Whatever class anyone comes from, they have human rights.”

The break with the UG movement led him to others who wanted to build a new, truly democratic, progressive movement. Akbayan was a product of that.

Walden is still a member of the party and says he has enormous respect and admiration for Akbayan’s rank-and-file activists.

But the Akbayan leadership has not endorsed his senate bid. His campaign is supported by a coalition of activist groups, including labor unions and organizations for overseas Filipino workers.

But he is not aligned with any major party or political organizations. Just like Bernie Sanders’ presidential campaign, Walden’s senate run is pretty much an uphill climb.

In other words, it’s yet another crazy battle, one of those that Walden is used to waging.

Report this post as:

Walden Bello

by InterAksyon Wednesday, Mar. 02, 2016 at 6:18 AM

Walden Bello...
2016-walden-bello.jpg, image/jpeg, 480x320

Report this post as:

Local News

Why Should California Choose De Leon Over Feinstein? O10 9:55PM

Change Links September 2018 posted S02 10:22PM

More Scandals Rock Southern California Nuke Plant San Onofre A30 11:09PM

Site Outage Friday A30 3:49PM

Change Links August 2018 A14 1:56AM

Setback for Developer of SC Farm Land A12 11:09PM

More problems at Shutdown San Onofre Nuke J29 10:40PM

Change Links 2018 July posted J09 8:27PM

More Pix: "Families Belong Together," Pasadena J02 7:16PM

"Families Belong Together" March, Pasadena J02 7:08PM

Short Report on the Families Belong Together Protest in Los Angeles J30 11:26PM

Summer 2018 National Immigrant Solidarity Network News Alert! J11 6:58AM

Watch the Debate: Excluded Candidates for Governor of California M31 5:20AM

Change Links June 2018 posted M28 7:41AM

The Montrose Peace Vigil at 12 Years M22 8:01PM

Unity Archive Project M21 9:42AM

Dianne Feinstein's Promotion of War, Secret Animal Abuse, Military Profiteering, Censorshi M17 10:22PM

CA Senate Bill 1303 would require an independent coroner rather than being part of police M10 9:08PM

Three years after OC snitch scandal, no charges filed against sheriffs deputies M10 8:57PM

California police agencies violate Brown Act (open meetings) M02 8:31PM

Insane Company Wants To Send Nuke Plant Waste To New Mexico A29 11:47PM

Change Links May 2018 A27 8:40AM

Worker-Owned Car Wash on Vermont Closed A27 5:37AM

More Local News...

Other/Breaking News

Elder Aliyah to Israel, Like Abraham and Sarah O18 6:35PM

Politoscope plurivalent O17 6:59AM

Paraphysique du microcosme macrocosme O15 6:44AM

September 2018 Honduras coup update O15 3:31AM

The Nation Unites Against Brian Kemp, Most Racist Secretary of State in US O14 7:34AM

The Nation Unites Against Brian Kemp, Most Racist Secretary of State in US O14 7:23AM

Paraphysique de l'ubérisation O13 7:56AM

22 Ways Trump Has Increased US Deficit By 4 to 5 Trillion Dollars O12 10:34PM

Debunking Some Anti-Prop 10 Propaganda O12 6:56AM

Plus d'hôpitaux, à bas les aéros O12 6:38AM

When Banana Ruled (documentary) O11 3:00AM

Outstanding Report By RAMOLA D &Dr.Tomo Shibata O10 9:17PM

Dark Clouds Gather on Horizon for Financial System, Warns International Monetary Fund O10 1:51PM

Fbi pure evil & immorality O10 5:39AM

Reality Check: Palestinian-Israeli Coexistence is a Big Lie O09 7:40PM

Voiceless Animals: 2018 Candidates They Oppose O09 7:01PM

IMF Lowers Global Growth Projections and Raises Concerns of Financial Crisis O09 3:27PM

Canitie, l'inhumanité vieillit O09 7:13AM

L'anarchie en quelques exemples O07 6:50AM

100 Ways GOP Have Stolen Elections Since 1876 O06 12:03AM

Proximospective de l'univocité réifiée O05 6:27AM

“Kava-no!!!” O04 6:42PM

Trump & Palestine vs. Genesis, Rashi & The Land of Israel O03 6:29PM

The Criminality of the Elites O03 11:35AM

Business de l'inhumanitaire O03 7:51AM

Marriage Rape/Date Rape Highest Rapes O02 2:59PM

Women I Know Get Raped - Too Many Times To Count! O02 2:55PM

Women In USA Have Stockholm Syndrom O02 2:50PM

More Breaking News...
© 2000-2018 Los Angeles Independent Media Center. Unless otherwise stated by the author, all content is free for non-commercial reuse, reprint, and rebroadcast, on the net and elsewhere. Opinions are those of the contributors and are not necessarily endorsed by the Los Angeles Independent Media Center. Running sf-active v0.9.4 Disclaimer | Privacy