Philippines

After the storm, the “shock doctrine”. This is what awaits the Philippines after the devastation wrought by Typhoon Haiyan. The familiar cycle of “disaster capitalism” allows wealthy and politically connected First World corporations to profit obscenely from the suffering of acutely vulnerable disaster-affected communities. Disaster profiteering is a parasitic tendency deeply embedded in the structures of the neoliberal global economy. It will degrade and corrupt the international “relief effort” under way in the Philippines.
The People's Caravan is a grassroots relief effort initiated by the Party of the Labouring Masses, a Filipino party of the marginalised and poor. It has been collecting goods and food and transporting relief directly to areas devastated by Typhoon Haiyan (known as Yolanda in the Philippines) -- while the Filipino government holds up aid and sends in soldiers to target "looters" (desperate people seeking food).
A revealing story about the lawsuit against the United Nations over a cholera outbreak in Haiti was broadcast on the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation’s The World At Six on November 13. The report began: “The United Nations is among those leading the effort to get aid to the Philippines. But even as it helps out with this natural disaster, it is haunted by the ghosts of another.”
Catastrophic climate change due to greenhouse gas emissions from industry is not merely a future threat for humanity. It is happening now. When Super Typhoon Yolanda (known outside the Philippines by its Chinese name, Haiyan) slammed into the islands of Samar and Leyte in the Philippines’ Eastern Visayas region on November 8, and cut a path of destruction through the Visayas, it was the strongest storm ever recorded to hit the cyclone-prone Philippines. According to some scientists, it was strongest storm to ever hit land anywhere on Earth.
“We have two Filipino traits -- Bayanihan, solidarity, community spirit, and Bahala na, daring, grit & luck,” said Sonny Melencio, chairperson of the Party of the Labouring Masses (PLM). “These will guide our People’s Caravan.” The People’s Caravan initiative is organised by the PLM (a national political party of the marginalised), the transport workers' union PMT and the Support Tado campaign (a networkt to support TV personality Tado Jimenez for elections in Marikina).
The statement below was released by the Party of the Labouring Masses, a Filipino party of the marginalised and poor. You can donate to the grassroots relief efforts the PLM is part of organising. * * *
About 1000 people rallied on November 11 in front of the US Embassy in Manila to demand climate justice after the aftermath of Super Typhoon Yolanda (as Typhoon Haiyan is known in the Philippines). The demonstrators care from various sectors of Filipino society. Farmers, urban poor, women, workers, and youth marched from Bonifacio Shrine to the T.M. Kalaw demanding that the US immediately and radically cut its emissions and pay its climate debt -- to assist with the costs of adapting to climate change and for loss and damages caused.
Below is an open letter and petition to governments of the rich industrialised nations, initiated by the Philippines Movement for Climate Justice. The PMCJ is a broad movement consisting of 103 national networks and local groups representing many grassroots communities across the Philippines. Please add your name here. You can also donate to grassroots relief work via http://transform-asia.org/. * * *
The statement below was released by the Party of the Labouring Masses (PLM, a Filipino socialist party) on November 10 in response the huge humanitarian disaster caused by Typhoon Haiyan/Yolanda. Details on how to donate to the PLM's relief efforts at at the bottom. You can also sign a petition initiated by the Philippines Movement for Climate Justice. * * * Let Our People Live! Save Lives, Redistribute Food, Stop the Economic and Environment Plunder! Climate Justice Now!
The Philippines’ Million People March, against the so-called pork barrel system of corruption, is the latest in a series of huge protests worldwide, which exploded with the United States’ Occupy Movement and the Arab Spring of 2011. The Luneta rally was attended by at least 200,000 people (according to government estimates). However, aerial footage of the event showed attendance was almost certainly higher. The Luneta rally was part of nationwide and global protests, involving a further 500,000 people in major cities in the Philippines and by Filipino communities worldwide.
The Party of the Labouring Masses (PLM), a Filipino socialist party, released the statement below on August 12. * * * The PLM joins the campaign to protest against the recent spate of killings of labour leaders, the most recent case being the assassination of transport workers’ leader Antonio “Dodong” Petalcorin on July 2. Petalcorin joins the ranks of assassinated workers’ leaders this year, such as Emilio Rivera and Carlos Cirilo, who were also members of the national labour centre, the Alliance of Progressive Labor in the Philippines.
The statement below was released by the Party of the Labouring Masses (PLM), a Filipino socialist group, on July 1. * * * The PLM condemns any moves to pave the way for the return of US military base facilities in the Philippines. This includes giving the US access to Philippine military bases and facilities at Clark and Subic, as Defense Secretary Voltaire Gazmin has admitted has occured.
In May 13 mid-term elections for both houses of Congress, and provincial and municipal-level local governments, the control of electoral politics in the Philippines by a small number of powerful, nepotistic families became a big issue. It was the left-wing Party of the Labouring Masses (PLM) that put the question of political dynasties onto the agenda. However, not all the PLM’s impact on the election translated into votes and, due to fraud, not all the votes the PLM received in the ballot box translated to votes in the official tally.
On this May 1, a day of international working class solidarity, we in the Philippine labor and progressive movement, stand with the Venezuelan working class and the people of Venezuela in their struggle to elect the government of their choice to pursue their demands and goals for Socialism of the XXI century. We congratulate Nicholas Maduro from the Partido Socialista Unido de Venezuela on his election victory and condemn the destabilisation campaign conducted by the US backed opposition coalition of Capprilles to undermine the election results and the newly elected government.
The Filipino Partido Lakas ng Masa (Party of the Labouring Masses -- PLM) released this statement on December 11 in response to the impact of Typhoon Bopa (Pablo). read more about the PLM's activities here. * * * * A total ban on all logging and mining activities! * Implement massive reforestation and a sustainable development plan! * Climate justice now! We demand full reparation from rich countries and their corporations!
The People’s Coalition Against Regressive Taxation held a 4000-strong blockade of the upmarket Manila Shangri-La Hotel from December 5 to 6. The Bicameral Conference Committee, representing the upper and lower houses of the Philippines parliament, were inside debated the Sin Tax Bill, which will double the prices of cigarettes and alcohol. Workers and farmers were represented in the blockade, whose ranks were drawn predominantly from the urban poor.

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