TOPIC: Launch of ICHRP-Canada’s Defend Negros Island campaign
DATE: Friday, November 6th, 2020
TIME: 6pm PST / 9pm EST / 10am PHT (Nov 7)
LENGTH: 1.5 hours
REGISTRATION LINK: https://us02web.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZMof-quqTgvH9S-L5XtuFxzSciGoHP-LvAa
FACEBOOK EVENT: https://www.facebook.com/events/2701605186721028/
– Clarizza Singson, Secretary General of Karapatan Negros Island
– Julie Ann Balora, Spokesperson of ANAKBAYAN-Negros
– Butch Lozande, Secretary General of National Federation of Sugar Workers
– Martha Roberts of Alliance for People’s Health
International Coalition for Human Rights in the Philippines – Canada (ICHRP-Canada) is excited to announce the launch of our campaign to Defend Negros Island!
Negros, Philippines is home to millions of workers and peasants, many of whom struggle to survive in the primarily feudal economy of the island. Vast tracts of agricultural land, known as “haciendas”, are owned by an elite class of big landlords and corporations. Although the Philippine economy relies heavily on the agricultural production of Negros, workers and peasants are subject to exploitative conditions such as high land rent, piece-rate wages, and loans at extremely high interest rates. The people of Negros are collectively fighting back against this semi-feudal system through “bungkalan”, the occupation and utilization of land for local production.
The people of Negros are also subject to the constant terror of the Philippine state. Under Memorandum Order 32, Executive Order 70, and the new Anti-Terror Law, Negros has become highly militarized and is now under a state of de facto martial law. Dozens of peasants, activists, and human rights defenders have been the victims of extra-judicial killings since 2017, and hundreds of people have been illegally arrested. As recently as August 2020, human rights activist Zara Alvarez was killed in Bacolod City, Negros Occidental, to international outrage.
ICHRP-Canada’s campaign to Defend Negros Island is an international solidarity campaign to defend people under attack on Negros Island, and support the struggle for land, life, and liberation. We plan to conduct education on the current situation in Negros; provide practical support to the people of Negros; generate international political pressure on the Philippine government to end state terrorism and implement genuine agrarian reform; and facilitate people-to-people solidarity by connecting the people of Negros with Canadians. This launch event will kick off the campaign by highlighting some of the key issues related to youth, agricultural workers, and health workers in Negros.
If you’re interested in getting involved with the campaign, please feel free to contact ICHRP-Canada through its Facebook page or email address: firstname.lastname@example.org.