Jul 6, 2022
In this episode we interview two organizers to discuss the struggle for National Democracy in the Philippines and solidarity with that struggle.
Jen Benitez has been a community organizer with the Philippine-US Solidarity Organization since 2019. Her family is indigenous Zapotec migrants from Oaxaca, Mexico. Her desire to support the Filipino people’s struggle for justice stems from a shared history of colonialism, forced migration and anti-imperialist solidarity between Mexico, the U.S., and the Philippines.
Jaz Tabar is a cultural worker and community organizer with Anakbayan Long Beach as well as a regional leader for BAYAN Southern California. Since they started organizing in 2017, they have been able to study and apply the revolutionary history and lessons of Filipino resistance to their own experiences as a diasporic Filipino organizing to build a mass movement for the achievement of National Democracy in the Philippines!
Both Jaz and Jen get into more detail on their organizations in the episode.
In conversation they talk about what drew them both to organizing in solidarity with the masses in the Philippines. And talk about the struggle for National Democracy in the Philippines against what they describe as the three basic problems, feudalism, bureaucrat capitalism, and imperialism.
They discuss their political education programs, which include a study of Philippine Society and Revolution (which can be found in this collection) and why they understand the Philippines as a semi-feudal, semi-colonial society.
They also talk about the campaign to pass the Philippine Human Rights Act and end US military aid or so called “security assistance” to the Philippines.
They discuss why their organizations have a history of calling for the ousting of dictators in the Philippines, a call that they continue with the new heads of state Bongbong Marcos & Sara Duterte.
Jaz & Jennifer also explain the context of red-tagging and anti-terrorism laws in the Philippines and the way these efforts provide a blanket pretext for the silencing of dissent and other forms of violent, carceral and even deadly repression both in the Philippines and among the international solidarity movements.
We also have a discussion of the importance of land reform for the Philippine masses, as a society that is made up of 75% peasants.
We will include some more ways people can get involved below.
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PUSO IG: @puso.socal
Philippine Human Rights Act: humanrightsph.org
Anakbayan IG: @anakbayanusa
BAYAN IG: @bayan_usa
Anakbayan LB: @anakbayanlb