U.S. troops out of the Philippines!

Times Square, New York, Feb. 11. SLL photo

Filipinos and their supporters protested the Pentagon’s war buildup in the Philippines on Feb. 11 in New York City. People rallied at the Times Square military recruiting station on a busy Saturday night in the entertainment center.

The rally was called by the International Coalition for Human Rights in the Philippines-U.S.; BAYAN USA; and the Malaya Movement USA.

It’s a very dangerous period in the Philippines. Workers, peasants, students, and activists are being assassinated and arrested.

The current Philippines president is Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr., the son of the late Filipino dictator Ferdinand Marcos. The current vice president is Sara Duterte, a daughter of the former president and wannabe dictator Rodrigo Duterte.

BAYAN USA distributed a statement that read in part:

“BAYAN USA condemns the recent expansion of U.S. military presence in the Philippines as a result of U.S. Secretary of Defense Lloyd A. Austin III’s February 1 visit with Philippine President Bong Bong Marcos (BBM) Jr. The United States’ access to four additional bases under the Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement (EDCA), making a total of nine bases, is an egregious violation of Philippine national sovereignty.

“The week of Lloyd Austin’s visit to the Philippines coincided with the 124th anniversary of the Philippine American War, when the United States led a genocidal conquest in the Philippines that left over one million Filipinos murdered and devastated the country’s land and resources. This colonial relationship continues today in the form of unequal military agreements like EDCA, which have persisted despite the nominal independence of the Philippines in 1946 and the people’s successful shutting down of Subic Naval Base and Clark Air base in 1991.”

Speakers from BAYAN, the International Coalition for Human Rights in the Philippines and the Malaya Movement drew interest from onlookers who stopped and listened.

“A few weeks ago, a U.S. general said the United States would be at war with China by 2025,” said Bill Dores, speaking for the International League of Peoples’ Struggle. “You see all this idiocy about the balloon. Meanwhile, in the name of preparing war with China, they are waging war against the people of the Philippines.”

“They are funding death squads. … murdering peasants and union leaders. …They used the Philippines as an advanced base for their mass murder in Korea and Vietnam and now they want to use it as an advanced base for a war with China,” Dores said.

U.S. out of the Philippines!

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