New York, NY – Over 60 people gathered on July 26, in Woodside, Queens, for the People’s State of the Nation Address. This action is organized every year in response to the US-backed Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte’s State of the Nation Address. The event is a protest of his government, which has committed human rights abuses and wages war the people. It was organized by the Malaya Movement, Sige, Kabataan Alliance, and BAYAN USA Northeast.
The action started at Woodside Plaza, where speakers addressed various topics about the Philippines, from migrant workers to women’s rights to the recent Anti-Terror Law, which has outlawed resistance to the Duterte government by expanding the definition of “terrorism.”
The crowd then marched to Little Manila, a predominantly Filipino section of Woodside. The rally continued there with more speeches from Filipino organizations and supporters, who talked about how different local and international issues connect to what is happening in the Philippines. A common theme amongst the speakers was how the U.S. and its puppet governments around the world suppress opposition to its oppressive rule.
Along with the organizations that sponsored the rally, there were speakers from Gabriela NJ, Migrante NY, New York Community Action Project, Anakbayan Manhattan, Anakbayan Queens, Association of Filipino Scientists in America, New York Boricua Resistance, Struggle-La Lucha, Within Our Lifetime-United for Palestine, and others.
A few of the speakers highlighted the recent passing of Fidel Agcaoili, chairperson of the National Democratic Front of the Philippines negotiating panel. The crowd honored his legacy by promising continued struggle in order to win against the Duterte government and U.S. imperialism. The crowd joined together for a few more chants before ending for the evening.
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