Contact: Berna Ellorin
Secretary-General, BAYAN USA
Statement of Solidarity from BAYAN USA on the Occasion of the Founding of BAYAN Canada
The US Chapter of Bagong Alyansang Makabayan, or BAYAN USA, wishes to convey its most heartfelt and militant solidarity and congratulations to our compatriots up north on the historic founding of BAYAN Canada. BAYAN USA has been anxiously anticipating the formation of BAYAN Canada because it is a significant show of force from all Filipinos in North America united in cause of genuine nationalism and democracy in our beloved Philippines. We are also pleased that our compatriots up north have chosen September 21st, the anniversary of the declaration of Marcosian Martial Law, to launch BAYAN Canada.
Uniting Filipino compatriots for a common cause is never an easy task. As with the formation of the BAYAN USA in 2005, we understand that the formation of BAYAN Canada had its share of struggles before breaking through and moving forward. We commend the long history of all Filipinos in Canada who have painstakingly worked and built organizations that have promoted the national democratic movement in the Philippines for decades, as well as struggled to protect the rights and welfare of Filipino immigrants in Canada. But the formation of BAYAN Canada by far signifies a higher level of commitment to advance the national democratic line in the Philippines on a widespread level. By carrying the BAYAN name, BAYAN Canada and BAYAN USA in turn are proudly branded with the history, heroism, and martyrdom of over 23 years of BAYAN Philippines, the main political center of the national democratic movement in the Philippines.
As a mighty force, BAYAN Philippines has played a significant role in the ouster of two corrupt Filipino presidents as well as the ouster of what were once the two largest US bases overseas. It continues to mobilize the broadest ranks of Filipinos in the Philippines against US domination, backward landlordism, and government corruption. It also continues to unite the broadest ranks of progressive forces in the Philippines to uphold the interest of the most basic sectors, namely the peasants and workers, which dominate the population in the Philippines today. Because of this, it also continues to bear the brunt of intensified state repression and crackdown on dissent beginning with the US- backed Marcos dictatorship all the way to the US-Arroyo regime of today.
We look forward to working in closer coordination with BAYAN Canada in various campaigns, as they advance the ongoing campaign to pressure the Canadian Parliament to withdraw all support to the treacherous regime of Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo. This includes pressuring the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA) to withdraw the millions of Canadian dollars it gives the Philippine government for aid, development, and military training. This also includes pressuring Canadian mining corporations such as Placer Dome and Toronto Ventures Inc. to desist from their environmentally-destructive mining schemes that continue to not only plunder Philippine natural resources, but devastate nearby indigenous and local communities into displacement.
With the examples great BAYAN leaders that have passed such as Lorenzo Tanada, Lean Alejandro, and Crispin “Ka Bel” Beltran in our history, we are confident BAYAN’s name will surge forward beyond Philippine borders. For as long as the Philippine nation seeps into the diaspora, there are more compatriots to organize under the banner of BAYAN overseas chapters. For as long as there is imperialism, feudalism, and bureaucrat capitalism in the Philippines, there is a need for BAYAN. It is in this spirit that we look up to the leaders of BAYAN Canada and wish for its fruitful expansion.
BAYAN USA vows to cultivate a meaningful relationship with BAYAN Canada in advancing our common cause, most especially in delivering a solid North American-wide blow against the corrupt, tyrannical, and morally-bankrupt regime of Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo!
MABUHAY ANG BAYAN CANADA! (Long Live BAYAN Canada!)
PATALSIKIN SI GLORIA! (Oust Gloria)
IMPERIALISMO IBAGSAK! (Down with Imperialism!)