Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Fil-Am Groups Remember Martial Law Anniversary with Outdoor DC Concert

News Release
September 12, 2007

Reference: Berna Ellorin, Secretary-General, BAYAN USA, email: secgen @

Fil-Am Groups Remember Martial Law Anniversary with Outdoor DC Concert

New York/Washington DC-- Filipino-American hip-hop artists Kiwi and Blue Scholars will join others in an outdoor concert outside of the Capitol building in Washington DC on Friday night, Sept. 28th, 8pm-11pm. The concert is organized under the Filipino-American umbrella organization BAYAN USA and falls one week after the 35th anniversary of Martial Law as declared in the Philippines under former US-backed dictator Ferdinand Marcos in 1972.

The concert, titled NEVER AGAIN!, is part of a one-week encampment organized by the Troops Out Now Coalition, a national anti-war coalition of which BAYAN USA is a steering committee member. The encampment starts on Saturday, September 22th and ends with an anti-war march on Saturday, September 29th. The NEVER AGAIN! concert is slated to be on the west side of the Capitol building on 3rd Street between Constitution and Independence, right in front of the reflecting pool.

The month of September marks last minute Congressional committee meetings on US military spending for 2008. The Philippines, as a so-called Second Front to the US War on Terror, receives the largest amount in US military aid in the Asia-Pacific region, and ranks fourth in world recipients.

"We are calling for a withdrawal of US tax dollars to fund Philippine death squads," states Christina Hilo of the Filipino youth group Anakbayan. "Martial law is still a reality for the Filipino people. It is just an undeclared martial law, but just as deadly."

The concert will also call for the release of Prof. Jose Maria Sison, a Filipino political refugee in the Netherlands arrested and detained on false charges since August 28, 2007.

Earlier in 2007, a US Senate Hearing, headed by US Senator Barbara Boxer, investigated the state of extrajudicial killings and abductions in the Philippines. Human rights watchdogs such as Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch, and the United Nations Human Rights Council have all come out with reports criticizing the Philippine human rights crisis under the Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo administration.

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