[Attachment(s) from International Coalition for Human Rights in the Philippines included below]
Please find below and attached some pictures and statements from all over the globe on the April 1st Kidapawan Massacre (and ensuing violations of the peoples’ rights).
Long live international solidarity!
USA: San Francisco Activists Protest Kidapawan Rice Incident Source: Balitang America
In Spain: Photo contributed by La Solidaridad Hispano-Filipina
BELGIUM: Photo and statement from Samidoun Palestinian Prisoner Solidarity Network
Samidoun calls for justice for Filipino people, accountability for Kidapawan massacre
By Samidoun Palestinian Prisoner Solidarity Network
Samidoun Palestinian Prisoner Solidarity Network stands with the farmers and indigenous people of the Philippines facing killings, mass repression, imprisonment and criminalization. We salute the people’s movement of the Philippines and its relentless struggle for justice in the face of violent repression.
On 1 April, over 5,000 farmers and indigenous Lumad people gathered on the Kidapawan Highway in Mindanao to protest for food distribution, emergency aid and the demilitarization of their communities. Hit hard by climate change – itself strengthened by Philippine government policies that prioritize multinational and US corporations’ exploitation of the land while driving indigenous people and peasants from their lands – and El Nino, farmers called for the release of 15,000 bags of emergency rice aid. Rather than aid, the farmers were confronted by an attack by the Philippines National Police, who fired on the crowd, killing three and injuring 161, violently dispersing thousands of farmers and forcing them to seek refuge in the local area.
Since the violent state attack on their protest, the farmers and indigenous people have been met with ongoing attacks and criminalization. 78 farmers were arrested and jailed, while the United Methodist Church where farmers took refuge has been surrounded by militarized police and army. At least 73 farmers are still imprisoned without charges, including pregnant women and children; they will most likely need to post 6,000-12,000 Philippine Pesos as bond, an extreme hardship or impossibility for peasants and subsistence farmers protesting for food assistance. Among the 43 men and 35 women arrested is Lumiriano Agustin, 47, currently being held in Kidapawan gym. He was an eyewitness to his companion dying after being shot in the head by uniformed men. Anakbayan reports that “Agustin was dragged, arrested, beaten up by the police, hit by rifle butt while he was cuffed.”
The food scarcity suffered by peasant farmers and indigenous people in the Philippines is not a natural disaster, but, as ILPS Canada wrote, “the social disaster that is imperialism, bureaucrat capitalism and feudalism…that continues to plunder the rich resources of the Philippines.” The United States and Canada provide extensive funding and training to the Philippine National Police that carried out this attack, often focused on “counter-terrorism” or the criminalization of popular movements for justice. The “anti-terror” framework is used to justify and legitimize attacks on protesting peasants and indigenous people and create a climate of impunity, while criminalizing people coming together to call for their basic rights, and the vibrant mass national democratic movement of the Philippines.
In Palestine, organizers of agricultural workers, farmers and fishers face organized state terror and violence at the hands of the Israeli occupation forces. Farmers and fishers in Gaza daily risk death as their land is deemed a “no-go zone” and their fishery waters deemed “outside the limits” by occupation forces. Land defenders and organizers of agricultural workers, including members of the Union of Agricultural Work Committees, have been repeatedly targeted for arrest, imprisonment and administrative detention without charge or trial by the Israeli state.
Palestinians have been struggling to hold on to their land against Zionist colonialism, supported by US, Canadian and European imperialism, for the past 100 years. When Leila Khaled, Palestinian resistance icon and present-day political leader, visited the indigenous Lumad encampment, working to defend their land against corporations and the state, she said: “We Palestinians are deprived of our homeland, you are deprived of your land. We have to unite and struggle against the inhuman enemies we are facing. We are all in one trench. If we unite and coordinate our struggle, we will be victorious.” Khaled was joined in this visit by Mohammed Khatib of Samidoun.
From Palestine to the Philippines, from the besieged farmers and fishers of Gaza to the farmers of Mindanao, from the indigenous people of Palestine seeking return and liberation to the indigenous Lumads of the Philippines, from the Palestinian prisoners in Zionist jails to the political prisoners of the Philippines’ peoples movement jailed for their struggle, struggles for liberation, against imperialism and colonialism, and for justice march together.
Samidoun Palestinian Prisoner Solidarity Network extends its support and solidarity and encourages all friends and supporters of Palestine and the Palestinian struggle to join international events and actions calling for justice and accountability for the Kadipawan Massacre and for the people of the Philippines
USA: Photo and statement from: Chicago Alliance Against Racist and Political Repression
Filipino Farmers in Mindanao Appeal for Rice, Are Met with U.S. Bullets
By: Frank Chapman
Statement by the Chicago Alliance Against Racist and Political Repression on the April 1st massacre of farmers and indigenous Lumad people by Philippine National Police.
Last week, a mass protest took place in Kidapawan, Mindanao, in the southern Philippines. 6,000 people gathered to call for emergency relief from the drought that has affected them for more than seven months as a result of El Niño.
Their cries for rice were met by a hail of bullets from the troops, heavily armed with U.S. supplied uniforms, weapons, and bullets.
According to the International Coalition for Human Rights in the Philippines (ICHRP), three protesters died, 116 were wounded, 89 who were abducted by the police are still missing, and more than 5,000 are seeking refuge in the United Methodist Church.
The Philippine National Police displayed the militarization that we have seen in the streets of Ferguson, Baltimore, and Chicago. The U.S. puppet government in Manilla has long used military assaults on unarmed civilians, and just like the militarized police forces here, the results are the same: murders in the streets.
In expressing our unconditional solidarity with the Filipino people we will join with members of the ICHRP in the US on Friday, April 8th, from 11:00 a.m. to 1:00p.m.at the Philippine Consulate in Chicago, 122 S. Michigan Avenue, to extend our solidarity and our deepest sympathy to the victims of this latest U.S. backed atrocity.
For further information, contact:
HONG KONG: Photos and Statement from Hong KongCampaign for the Advancement of Human RIghts and Peace in the Philippines (HKCAHRPP)
Justice for the Victims of the Kidapawan Carnage
Deadly Disaster Management in the Philippines
Statement against the Open Firing by the Military and Police on
Protesting Farmers and Indigenous Peoples in
Kidapawan City, North Cotabato
1 April 2016
The starving and unarmed farmers of Kidapawan cried for rice. They were given bullets.
The Hong Kong Campaign for the Advancement of Human Rights and Peace in the Philippines (HKCAHRPP), a network of individuals and organizations in Hong Kong advocating for respect of human rights in the Philippines, strongly condemns the recent violent and deadly dispersal of more than 5,000 protesting farmers in Kidapawan City, Philippines.
According to the update of Karapatan, a human rights organization in the Philippines, three people have died, 116 were injured, two were tortured and 89 are still missing.
At 10:00 a.m. on April 1, police and military personnel opened fire on the unarmed farmers and Lumads (indigenous peoples) who blockaded the Cotabato-Davao highway as part of an ongoing demand for the local government to provide them with immediate assistance in terms of rice subsidies. This act of desperation was not the first time that the hungry farmers and indigenous people had sought the help of the government, but they had previously been ignored.
The province of North Cotabato, where Kidapawan City is situated, was declared by the Philippine government to be in a state of emergency after being hard hit by the El Niño drought that ravaged the farmlands in the area. A calamity fund worth P238 million (around US$5.17 million) was released by the government, but the local government, according to reports, was not intent in using this aid to help the starving farmers.
This is inhumanity. This is fascism. The ones who have violently dispersed the hungry farmers are without mercy.
Isn’t it the government’s responsibility to look after its ailing nationals, its starving peoples? Isn’t it their role to ensure that everyone is accounted for, that their rights and lives be protected at all times and not be riddled with bullets?
HKCAHRPP was established as a response of peace-loving individuals and organizations in Hong Kong to the Hacienda Luisita massacre in 2004. Seven people were killed and dozens injured when elements of the police and military opened fire at the protesting farmers and farmworkers after the Department of Labor and Employment nullified the farmers’ strike.
We cannot help but be saddened by the fact that farmers in the Philippines continue to starve. We cannot help but be angered by the fact the local government, police and military respond with brute violence like they did against the Hacienda Luisita farmers and farmworkers in 2004. There has been no progress in the way the authorities respond when the poor in the Philippines seek to air their grievances. There has been no progress in the government’s respect for the people’s human rights, for the lives of the poor and their dignity.
We urgently call on the Philippine government to:
a) Ensure immediate protection to all the farmers and their affected families in North Cotabato, especially in Kidapawan City;
b) Provide immediate medical assistance to all people injured by the police;
c) Indemnify the families of those who died from the open firing;
d) Pull out troops from the area and ensure that any militarization exercises in the area cease;
e) Conduct an urgent and impartial investigation of this heinous incident and prosecute all perpetrators; and
f) Immediately release the needed food and agricultural support to drought-stricken communities.
We demand justice for the farmers and indigenous peoples who have been victimized by this brutal attack against the already starving farmers.
1. Hong Kong Campaign for the Advancement of Human Rights and Peace in the Philippines (HKCAHRPP)
2. Abra Tinguian Ilocano Society – Hong Kong (ATIS)
3. Asia Monitor Resource Centre (AHRC)
4. Asia Pacific Mission for Migrants (APMM)
5. Asosiasi Buruh Migran Indonesia di Hong Kong (ATKI-HK)
6. BAYAN Hong Kong & Macau
7. Cordillera Alliance in Hong Kong (CORALL)
8. Filipino Christian Community (FCC-MIC)
9. Filipino Migrant Workers’ Union (FMWU)
10. GABRIELA Hong Kong
11. Hon. Leung Kwok-hung, Legislative Council Member
12. Hong Kong Christian Industrial Committee (HKCIC)
13. Iglesia Filipina Independiente (Hong Kong) Fellowship
14. Indonesian Migrant Workers’ Union (IMWU)
15. Interfaith Cooperation Forum
16. Labour Education and Service Network
17. League of Social Democrats (LSD)
18. MIGRANTE Partylist Hong Kong
19. OpenDoor Hong Kong
20. Promotion of Church People’s Response – Hong Kong (PCPR-HK)
21. United Filipinos in Hong Kong (UNIFIL-MIGRANTE-HK)
22. World Student Christian Federation – Asia Pacific (WSCF-AP)
Hong Kong Campaign for the Advancement of
Human Rights and Peace in the Philippines
c/o ASA, No. 4 Jordan Road, Kowloon, Hong Kong SAR
Tel. (852) 98105070, 97585935 Fax. (852) 27354559