NYCHRP Solidarity Statement on the Occasion of the Cordillera Human Rights Alliance 5th General Assembly
To our comrades in the Cordillera Human Rights Alliance-Karapatan:
Warmest greetings of solidarity on the occasion of your 5th General Assembly! Despite the vast distance between us, as overseas supporters of Karapatan and defenders of human rights, we stand firmly with you in advancing the theme of the Assembly “With Feist and Fervor, Fight Against State Terrorism!” We are submerged in the disheartening news that human rights violations against indigenous people, peasant farmers, and other oppressed sectors are heightening throughout the archipelago. We recognize and support the timeliness of CHRA-Karapatan’s Assembly to unite the Cordillera region on the urgent human rights work that must be launched to combat violent state-sanctioned repression fueled by President Aquino’s United States-backed counterinsurgency program Oplan Bayanihan. As neoliberal globalization proliferates – threatening Philippine sovereignty through sham free-trade agreements like the Trans Pacific Partnership Agreement, deregulating legal protections that allow foreign large-scale mining companies and agribusinesses to destroy the natural ecology, and keeping the Filipino people slaves to a feudal economy that exploits labor and ancestral lands – we affirm that it is your just duty to fiercely resist these systems by any means necessary, because you are on the frontlines of this struggle.
The New York Committee for Human Rights in the Philippines was founded on International Human Rights Day, December 10, 2004 during a speaking tour by then-Secretary General of Karapatan, Marie Hilao Enriquez. Since then, NYCHRP has committed ourselves to educate the international community on the human rights crisis in the Philippines by conducting public educational discussions and disseminating information through other creative means; waging campaigns and political advocacy that help progress the human rights movement; and contributing to the strength of the movement by regularly participating in solidarity and fact-finding missions in the Philippines.
NYCHRP’s membership is made up of Filipino Americans and other allies who understand that our role in New York City is to maximize our proximity to the United Nations headquarters to advance the people’s movement for human rights in the Cordillera region and across the Philippines. For almost a decade, we have hosted comrades from CHRA-Karapatan who visit New York City to report at the UN’s Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues and challenge policies that perpetuate Cordillera people’s oppressive conditions. We look forward to your arrival annually and appreciate the rare opportunities to share spaces and learn how CHRA-Karapatan is continually fighting for indigenous peoples’ and the Filipino people’s liberation.
NYCHRP commits to continue serving as your allies. We hope that in turn, you will welcome our visits to the Cordillera region for solidarity and fact-finding missions there. Please continue to keep us abreast of the developments of the human rights movement and let us know how we can best support your campaigns and bring international attention to your region. From within the United States, the belly of the imperialist beast, we vow to wage campaigns to end U.S. military aid to the Armed Forces of the Philippines, which we know is one of the root causes of the violent offensives that the Philippine government commits. We admire your revolutionary fervor and seek to emulate it in our solidarity work from abroad!
RESIST STATE TERRORISM! FIGHT FOR LIBERATION!
KARAPATAN NG MAMAMAYAN, IPAGLABAN!
New York Committee for Human Rights in the Philippines (NYCHRP) is a local education and advocacy group based in New York City that works to promote social, economic, and political alternatives that foster democracy and peace based on justice in the Philippines and for Filipinos in the diaspora today.
NYCHRP shares the vision of human rights advanced by the National Democratic movement of the Philippines. NYCHRP educates, organizes, and mobilizes people and communities in NYC to take progressive action in upholding and supporting human rights in the Philippines and throughout the world.