READ: Speech given at SONA ng Bayan TO: Filipinos Resist Imperialism & State Terror this past Sunday, July 26.
Magandang hapon mga kababayan! We are a comprehensive mass organization of youth. We fight for National Democracy with a socialist perspective in the Philippines.
We, Anakbayan, are here today to deliver the people’s true state of the nation address on behalf of the Filipino youth and students around the world. We oppose the US-Duterte’s regime’s authoritarianism and corruption in our homeland.
We hear over and over again that the youth are the hope for the future.
But how is that possible, if in the Philippines the hopes of the youth are being smashed by imperialism, feudalism, and bureaucrat capitalism?
The masses of Filipino youth cannot afford internet and laptops for online education. Students are putting their life and safety on the line just to access internet and to be able to pay for school. A student died in a motorcycle crash while trying to get data connection to submit a school requirement. Students are selling photos of their bodies to pay for school. The youth are calling for an academic freeze–because no student should be left behind!
If our counterparts in the Philippines cannot even access their basic needs, how can we be successful as Filipino youth here in Canada?
Not only are the masses of Filipino youth struggling to survive day-to-day, but they are also being attacked, arrested, and killed in the struggle for life, land, and liberty.
Last September, student activist Alex Pacalda of Gabriela Youth and College Editors Guild of the Philippines was abducted, tortured, and forced to surrender as a member of the CPP-NPA.
Last November, Reina Mae Nasino, a pregnant youth activist, was arrested. She recently gave birth and is being separated from her child.
This June, there was a surge of red-tagging against youth activists. Outspoken youth on social media, including those of us here in Canada, suddenly found fake Facebook accounts stealing their identity. Some accounts sent threats to the real owners.
When protests against the Anti-Terror Bill began, student protesters were arrested at the UP-Cebu campus for peacefully protesting. The #Pride20, LGBTQ+ activists and allies which included minors and #Cabuyao11 were arrested for peacefully protesting.
All of this makes it clear why we are here today.
Imagine a world where our basic needs are met. Imagine a world where we can pursue our dreams and work for the people, instead of being another cog in the capitalist machine!
To get there, we are striving for National Democracy with a socialist perspective.
This means Philippine independence from foreign power. It means technology being used for the benefit of the masses of people, not for profit. It means that the workers wield the means of production. It means culture that doesn’t demean women, LGBTQ+, and indigenous peoples.
To get there, we as youth must dedicate ourselves to the national democratic movement. Abroad, we must expose and oppose the US-Duterte regime. We must build support for the people’s movement in the Philippines. We do this through propaganda, cultural work, and carrying out social investigation among the masses.
Across the world, the youth prove themselves as a great force of progressive and democratic change. The youth here are demonstrating in great numbers among the broad masses of the Filipino people against oppressive neoliberal policies and government corruption which aggravate the people’s social economic conditions. We join overseas youth across Canada, the United States, Europe to echo the calls of our siblings in the Philippines.
Filipino youth in Canada!
Will we be silent?
Will we resist the injustices against the people?
Will we remold ourselves to mold history for the masses?
Will the revolutionary spirit of the youth live on within us?
Sumapi na sa Anakbayan! Join Anakbayan!