Solidarity for Gaza in Auckland

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Several thousand Aucklanders marched in solidarity with the people of Gaza on Saturday.  In recent weeks over 350 Palestinians have been killed by Israeli bombing and tank assaults, including a group of children playing on a beach and residents at a home for the disabled.  Auckland Philippines Solidarity was proud to be one of the endorsers of the Auckland march.

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Auckland Philippines Solidarity endorses Palestine Solidarity Rally

Moro protest for Palestine

Members of Suara Bangsamoro, a Moro people’s organisation in Mindanao, hold a picket to support Palestine in Cotabato City.

 

Auckland Philippines Solidarity will be joining the protest in Auckland this Saturday against the Israeli Defence Force’s (IDF) attack on Gaza, which has cost the lives of at least 192 Palestinians, many of whom were civilians.  The IDF has bombed civilian buildings, including a home for the disabled.

The US government provides US $3.1 billion aid annually to the Israeli government, despite the Israeli government’s ongoing violence against the Palestinian people.  This has similarities to the huge military assistance provided by the US to the Philippines, despite the Armed Forces of the Philippines’ (AFP) abysmal human rights record.

Progressive organisations in the Philippines, including the leading human rights organisation Karapatan, have condemned the Israeli government’s bombing of Gaza.  Karapatan released a statement supporting the Palestinian people and condemning the assault on Gaza:

We are one with the calls of human rights organizations on the international community to immediately act to stop the Israeli offensive and protect Palestinian civilians.  We also call for the prosecution of those who are accountable for their war crimes against Palestinian civilians.

 

We salute the work of the rally organisers, Kia Ora Gaza, Palestine Human Rights Campaigns, Global Peace and Justice Auckland and Students for Justice in Palestine.  These groups have provided practical support to the Palestinian people and work tirelessly to keep the Palestinian struggle on the political agenda in New Zealand.

Details for rallies around New Zealand this weekend

WELLINGTON:
WHEN: Friday 18th July, 12.30pm – 1.30pm
WHERE: Embassy of Israel – Baileys Building, 36 Brandon Street (off Lambton Quay), Wellington

DUNEDIN:
Rally: 2pm Saturday 19 July at the Octagen.

AUCKLAND:
Rally: 2pm Saturday 19 July, Aotea Square, Queen St. Bring your own placards, banners & olive tree branches. Rally will hear brief speeches then march via TVNZ & Herald to the US consulate.

CHRISTCHURCH:
Rally: Saturday 19th July, 2.00pm Cathedral Square, Colombo Street, Christchurch Central

 

 

 

New Zealand Philippine Solidarity Groups Call for Justice for Andrea Rosal and Baby Diona

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May 22, 2014

Press Release – Auckland Philippines Solidarity

New Zealand Philippine Solidarity groups are distressed by the death of baby Diona Rosal, the daughter of political prisoner Andrea Rosal. Baby Diona died aged two days old on May 18th due to hypoxemia, a deficiency of oxygen in the blood.21 May 2014.  Rosal was arrested in March, while 7 months pregnant.  Human rights organisations in the Philippines argue that the inhumane prison conditions faced by Rosal contributed to the death of her daughter.  They also contend the charges of murder and kidnapping faced by Rosal are fabricated and based on no real evidence.

NZ Groups Call for Unconditional Release of Andrea Rosal and all Political Prisoners, Prison and Military Authorities must be held accountable for Baby Diona’s Death

New Zealand Philippine Solidarity groups are distressed by the death of baby Diona Rosal, the daughter of political prisoner Andrea Rosal. Baby Diona died aged two days old on May 18th due to hypoxemia, a deficiency of oxygen in the blood.

“The inhumane conditions of Andrea’s detention are likely to have contributed to this tragedy. At the time of her arrest, Andrea was due for a pre-natal check but was not granted adequate medical or pre-natal care while in custody. This is in direct conflict with the UN Standard Minimum Rules for the Treatment of Prisoners which states for pregnant prisoners ‘there shall be special accommodation for all necessary pre-natal and post-natal care and treatment,’” Cameron Walker, Spokesperson of Auckland Philippines Solidarity (APS) lamented.

“Rosal was held in a 5×10 metre cell with 31 other inmates at the Philippine National Police’s Camp Bagong Diwa in Manila, hardly suitable conditions for an expectant mother,” Walker continued.

TRAVESTY OF JUSTICE: Death of Baby and Continuing Detention of Andrea

“Two months ago Andrea lost her freedom and now she lost her baby. It would be a travesty of justice to keep Andrea in illegal detention on trumped-up charges.”

“We call on Pres. Benigno Simeon Aquino III to heed the appeal for immediate release of Andrea Rosal and over 400 political prisoners unjustly detained on trumped-up criminal charges.” Auckland Philippines Solidarity (APS) and Wellington Kiwi Pinoy (WKP) declared in a joint statement.

“The deplorable conditions under which Rosal was detained and the tragic death of baby Diona strengthen our resolve to support the international campaign for an unconditional amnesty for political prisoners in the Philippines,” Walker concluded.

Typhoon Haiyan Fundraiser update: New venue for garage sale

Typhoon Haiyan Fundraiser update: New venue for garage sale

Kindly share with friends, new venue for our 23rd November garage sale: St Joseph Parish Hall, 10 Taharoto Rd, Takapuna, North Shore. Donate, volunteer, let’s ensure the relief goods reach the victims through Sagip Migrante!

Auckland Fundraiser for Typhoon Haiyan victims : Garage sale, yummy food and live music

Fundraiser: Garage sale, yummy food and live music for Typhoon Haiyan victims

Auckland’s Philippine community are having a garage sale on November 23 from 8am-1pm to raise money for the Typhoon Haiyan relief effort. There will also be yummy Filipino food for sale and live music on the day. If you have any old stuff that you want to get rid of (but is still in good enough condition someone might want to buy it) any donations for the garage sale will be gratefully received at any of the collection points mentioned on the poster.

From New Zealand – Paper Cranes for Continuing Appeals to Aquino: SURFACE DESAPARECIDOS, FREE POLITICAL PRISONERS

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Ninoy Aquino Day will again be observed on August 21, commemorating
the anniversary of the 1983 assassination of former Senator Benigno
“Ninoy” Aquino Jr.

On this occasion, the Philippines solidarity network together with
faith-based justice and peace advocates in New Zealand reiterate
appeal for Pres. Benigno Simeon Aquino III to grant presidential
amnesty to all political prisoners.

“Since Aquino came to power in 2010, we have joined the international
community in challenging him to honour his father by heeding the
appeals to stop the extra-judicial killings, free political prisoners
and surface victims of involuntary disappearances,” Murray Horton,
Secretary of Philippines Solidarity Network of Aotearoa (PSNA) stated.

Last July, NZ-based Korean Pastor Kyoung Gyun Han represented the
Presbyterian Church of Aotearoa New Zealand at the International
Conference for Human Rights and Peace in the Philippines (ICHRPP).

“It was a big conference of over 200 people from around the globe. It
is such an honour to be part of a global network including churches
actively supporting the Filipino people’s quest for justice and peace.
Coming back to New Zealand, I am committed to watch out Philippine
situation, engage in solidarity action and strengthen migrants’
ministry particularly in Auckland,” Rev. Han, who is the PCANZ Asian
Ministries Coordinator, noted.

The ICHRPP deplored the fact that far from his 2010 election promise
to deliver justice for human rights victims of past regimes, Aquino’s
3-year administration now holds a record of 142 extra-judicial
killings, 540 illegal arrests, 76 cases of torture, 30, 678 forced
evacuations, 31,417 cases of threats/harassment/intimidation, and
27,029 cases of use of schools, medical, religious and other public
places, on top the thousands more victims of past regimes
who have yet to see justice for themselves and their families.

This week, Rev. Han met with members of Auckland Philippines
Solidarity (APS) and representatives of the Presbyterian Church of
Aotearoa New Zealand and The Methodist Church about action plans to
support justice and peace quest in the Philippines. In solidarity with
victims’ families, they made paper cranes (Japanese origami) in
support of the campaign to Surface James Balao and all victims of
enforced disappearances.

Based on the ancient Japanese legend that anyone who folds a thousand
origami cranes will be granted a wish by a crane, APS started making
paper cranes to express support for all the families awaiting the
return of their loved ones who have been abducted by state agents.

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Dole Bananas and military harassment of unions in the Philippines

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 Photo: a member of the Anakpawis Partylist, the electoral wing of the KMU trade union, protests against Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) acting like the private army of big companies.  

In late May Oxfam New Zealand released a well researched report about labour conditions in the banana plantations of Mindanao, southern Philippines, that supply the huge multinational fruit importer Dole. It received a large amount of media attention and even prompted Dole to drop their ‘Ethical Choice’ label from bananas.  

The report documented a number of serious abuses of workers’ rights in the plantations that supply the large fruit importing company Dole, including the use of child labour, workers being paid below the local minimum wage and planes spraying noxious pesticides overhead as workers toiled in the fields.

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The Oxfam report provides alarming details of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) intimidating workers who wanted to join a union. 

One worker described being held at gunpoint by soldiers and told to leave the Kilusang Mayo Uno (May 1st Movement) union. 

Others reported that during an industrial dispute soldiers visited the homes of union members and threatened their families that the workers should leave the union and accept the company’s contract that offered poorer pay and working conditions than the one the union could negotiate.

Auckland Philippines Solidarity has long been a supporter of the Kilusang Mayo Uno union and its campaigns for decent wages and against harassment by the Armed Forces of the Philippines.  We welcome Oxfam report and its recommendations for an end to abuses against workers in the banana plantations of Mindanao.  

The Oxfam report ‘The Labour and Environmental Situation in Philippine Banana Plantations Exporting to New Zealand’ can be read in its entirety on the Oxfam website.   

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