Huge protest march against President Rodrigo Duterte held in New York City

Photo © Malaya Movement

HUNDREDS joined the “March for Human Rights and Democracy in the Philippines” in New York early this month to protest the allegedly “deteriorating human rights situation” in the country, it was learned yesterday.

Organized by Malaya Movement, a United States based coalition of individuals and organizations against extra-judicial killings and the resurgence of dictatorship in Philippines, the June 3 march was attended by at least 400 people.

Before the march, speakers from Malaya, the New York Committee for Human Rights in the Philippines (NYCHRP) and Gabriela-New York spoke about the burning issues in the Philippines.

For instance, lawyer Rodrigo Bacus of NYCHRP talked about the ongoing human rights violations in the Philippines perpetrated by state forces and his experiences at the recently concluded International Solidarity Affairs where the Kilusang Mayo Uno (KMU) exposed the conditions of Hanjin workers in Central Luzon.

Zila Renfro of Gabriela-New York, on the other hand, slammed Duterte’s misogyny and sexism against women, and the on-going state violence which, she claims, is the highest form of violence against women. As a Black and Filipina woman, she also made the connections with the experiences of African American community of state violence in the hands of the police.

Malaya Movement conducts a die-in protest to highlight the human rights violations in the Philippines under what activists call “Duterte’s War on the Poor”. Photo © Malaya Movement

The Malaya Movement contingent, donned in all-black, carried a 21 foot banner that says, “Resist Duterte’s Fascist Dictatorship! Defend Human Rights and Democracy in the Philippines!” in a bid to raise awareness among U.S. residents that the Duterte regime is now a full-blown dictatorship. The contingent also showed a Duterte effigy, with a forked tongue colored in US and Chinese flags, symbolizing Duterte’s puppetry to both countries, dressed in a bloodied barong and a machine gun, symbolizing his brutal rule.

Chants of “No justice, no peace! Stop the killings in the Philippines” and “Makibaka, Huwag Matakot!” reverberated down Madison Avenue as the contingent joined the Independence Day parade earning the cheers of parade viewers.

At the of the Philippine Independence celebration, the marchers staged a rally along 30th Street where another set of speakers took turns in exposing the deteriorating human rights condition in the Philippines.

Members of Malaya Movement, including prominent writer Gina Apostol and professor Luis Francia, criticized Duterte’s selling out of our sovereignty as well as the ongoing human rights violations.

Representative from Kabataan Alliance, Chrissi Fabro, called on the Filipino American youth to join the struggle for human rights and democracy while Eric Lachica of the US Pinoys for Good Governance criticized Duterte’s subservience to China.

Gina Apostol. Photo © Malaya Movement

Anakbayan-USA representative, Joelle Lingat called on the people to work towards Duterte’s ouster while BAYAN-USA chairperson, Berna Ellorin called for unity among various Filipino organizations to for the struggle to hold Duterte accountable for crimes against humanity. The rally ended with a very moving singing of “Bayan Ko”, a song that became popular as a protest song against the Marcos dictatorship.

Meanwhile, the Malaya Movement calls on the Filipino community and allies to hold a nationwide protest in front of Philippine Consulates across the United States this month to counter Duterte’s lies as he delivers his 3rd State of the Nation Address.

In the Northeast, Malaya Movement said, it will stage a protest action on July 23 at 6 pm. in front of the Philippine Consulate General’s office in New York.

One Comment

  1. Cicero Milan says:

    This is exaggerated duterte don’t act like a dictator just follow the law and you are safe, my belief is the yellow spending for this you are in New York no one is bothering you why you complain. No matter what we cannot turn our head for the yellow we support our present government we support our president du30, we condemn you paid puppets of yellow.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.