2014 Year In Review: Lumalakas! Lumalawak! Lumalaban!
Thank you for supporting Anakbayan-USA in another empowering year of serving the people. Let us wrap up the 2014 by going through the highlights of this year.
Early this year, we saw the growing unity among Filipino-American youth and students with the formation of Kapit Bisig Kabataan Network, a national network of Filipino-American youth and students in response to the devastation of typhoon Haiyan.
In March, we were able to launch coordinated actions to condemn the murder of Freddie Ligiw, a member of Anakbayan Abra, and his family by the fascist Armed Forces of the Philippines. Anakbayan chapters across the country scrambled to organize indignation protests. We were able to highlight the ongoing human rights violations and the need to cut US military aid to the Philippines.
In June, we held our first ever national training with the goal of further strengthening our capacity to organize and wage campaigns. This was due to demand from our organizers on the ground and also a necessity as we prepare to contribute in a big way to the advancement of the National Democratic movement. Around 100 Filipino youth and student activists from across the country convened in San Francisco State University on a two-day training and sharing of best strategies and experiences. The workshops ranged from conducting social investigation, solid mass organizing, grassroots fundraising to waging mass campaigns. We also discussed the effects of neo-liberalism on education and the growing problem of student debt.
This summer, our chapters have helped in a big way in the holding of the first youth and student-led relief and rebuilding mission under the banner of Kapit Bisig Kabataan Network. 24 participants joined from Pacific Northwest, Northern California, Southern California, Mid West and East Coast.
In September, our members have participated in the People’s Climate March, biggest climate action held in New York City to demand system change not climate change. We helped unite and mobilize various Filipino organizations to take a stand.
Also in September we have made the headlines by confronting BS Aquino at his speaking engagement at Columbia University. We have exposed the corruption of Typhoon Haiyan donations, the ongoing struggle of farmers in Hacienda Luisita and the continued policy of repression and killing of activists.
In November, we have helped organize a national week of action to commemorate the first year of Typhoon Haiyan with Kapit Bisig Kabataan Network. We also celebrated the 50th anniversary of Kabataang Makabayan. Cultural performances and discussions were held across the country to study and uphold the legacy and revolutionary vision of Kabataang Makabayan.
This year we have seen the strengthening of established chapters and the creation of new ones. We have seen the rise of new leaders in all our chapters but notable are the elections of new Executive Committees of New York, New Jersey and Silicon Valley chapters. We have also established new chapters in the Inland Empire and Long Beach, California.
As an international movement, we also have to mention that this year we were able to convene the leaders of Anakbayan chapters from United States, Canada, the Netherlands, Australia and the Philippines to strengthen coordination and share experiences and best practices.
In recognition of our internationalist duty and the need to build cooperation and unity with other youth and students and people’s organizations, we have advanced our solidarity work. We have sent delegates to United We Dream’s congress in Arizona last February. We have also sent a delegate to the United States Student Association congress in California. We’ve sent delegates to the National Students for Justice in Palestine Conference in Massachusetts and have linked arms with youth and students in various mobilizations on various issues: in defense of refugee migrant children and in solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement. We have also established communications with the National Students for Justice in Palestine, Movimiento Estudiantil Chican@ de Aztlán (MECHA), Students for a Democratic Society (SDS) and many more.
We have also seen the growing militancy of actions in confronting the enemies of our people. We’ve used sit-ins, mud-stenciling and lightning rallies to expose BS Aquino and uplift the voices of our people back home.
There are lots of challenges to overcome, lessons to be learned and work to be done. We are ever more committed to advancing our people’s struggle for liberation and democracy. Onwards to 2015! Onwards to more victories!