Communique: Anakbayan Canada Makes History

The historic launch of the Canada-wide youth organization of Anakbayan took off successfully on the November 18-20 weekend in Toronto, Ontario, with some 150 participants in attendance. It is the second overseas country-wide Anakbayan organization, the first being Anakbayan USA.

Youth and their advocates flocked to the University of Toronto’s New College from the provinces of British Columbia and Alberta; the cities of Montreal, Ottawa, Peterborough, Hamilton and Toronto; and, as well, international guests from Anakbayan USA, Anakbayan Europe and Anakbayan Philippines.

Anakbayan Montreal’s Renzo Grospe said of the newly-established organization : “Anakbayan Canada will help a lot in the organizing of Filipino youth in Canada to contribute to the struggle for national democracy in the Philippines. What I have learned from this conference is that the struggles of Filipinos in the Philippines and of Filipinos in Canada are linked. Through Bayan Canada, we can coordinate with other national democratic organizations to fulfill our task of educating, organizing and mobilizing the youth in Canada around the issues of higher tuition fees, of precariousness of work, drop out rates in schools, and systematic discrimination.”

Lyla Luciano from Migrante Youth Alberta: “We need to educate, organize and mobilize everyone and know that the struggle is real! Sulong, kabataan!”

Sarah Salise of Anakbayan Toronto: “Anakbayan Canada’s founding is very significant because it shows that Filipino youth are ready to serve our communities here in Canada and the Philippines to fight for genuine change and lasting peace for our people.”

Upon being elected, Co-chair Rhea Gamana said: “Patuloy ang pagsulong ng kabataang Pilipino dito sa Canada upang itaguyod ang Pambansang demokratikong rebolusyon. Mabuhay ang sambayanang lumalaban! Mabuhay ang Anakbayan Canada!”

Special guest Einstein Recedes, Anakbayan Philippines Secretary General, congratulated the officers, saying: “Makasaysayan ang araw na ito, dahil ngayong araw ipinagtibay natin ang pagkakaisa ng kabataan para sa pagsusulong ng interes ng kabataan at kababayan natin sa Canada at ng sambayanang Pilipino. Saan mang sulok ng mundo ay may kabataang makabayan– may Anakbayan na handang mag-alay ng buhay at talento para sa tunay na kalayaan at demokrasya. Mabuhay ang Anakbayan Canada! Isulong ang Pambansa Demokratikong Rebolusyon! Mabuhay ang sambayanang Pilipino!”

(From left to right)The officers elected to a term of three years are: Finance Officer: Zharmaine Ante, Co-chair: Rhea Gamana, Co-chair: Rhea Gamana, Secretary General: Sarah Salise. There will also be a National Council under this National Executive Committee, composed of representatives from the five regions of Canada.