[PRESS STATEMENT]
1 MAY 2015

Reference: Bernadette Ellorin, Chairperson, BAYAN USA, chair@bayanusa.org

MAY DAY 2015: Build the Migrant Workers Movement
Filipinos in the US Resist Trafficking, State-Sanctioned Violence, Neoliberalism; Demand Dignity and Genuine Sustainable Development

Filipinos across the US, under the banner of BAYAN USA, join millions worldwide in marking May 1 by celebrating the victory of the masses in achieving a reprieve for trafficking victim and migrant worker Mary Jane Veloso. The power of the movement of migrants and workers stopped the execution of Mary Jane, a victim of a trafficking scam which landed her on death row for five years in Indonesia for a crime she did not commit. Philippine President B.S. Aquino virtually abandoned Mary Jane the entire time she languished in jail, and his regime’s bankrupt economic policies, including the Labor Export Policy, have worsened the extreme poverty of the country which drives 6,000 people like Mary Jane to leave the Philippines every day in search of work in the first place. 

It was only due to the unwavering actions led by Mary Jane, her family, migrants and workers united with people from all walks of life that this victory was won. This courageous organizing provides the key lesson for the oppressed masses today: that the people united in collective action have the power to enact genuine change.

In the face of imperialist war and occupation abroad, militarized attacks on Black people in Baltimore and all across the US, and neoliberal economic assaults via schemes like the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP), BAYAN-USA pledges to continue building the anti-imperialist movement including migrant workers to challenge the structures that drive forced migration and reactionary violence, and more importantly, to win our peoples’ struggles for self-determination and genuine sustainable development.

Build the Movement of Migrants & Workers!
End Forced Migration & the Labor Export Policy in the Philippines!
Stop Reactionary Attacks Against Immigrants!
Block the TPPA! Resist Neoliberalism!
Long Live International Solidarity!

BAYAN-USA is an alliance of 18 progressive Filipino organizations in the U.S. representing youth, students, women, workers, artists, and human rights advocates. As the oldest and largest overseas chapter of Bagong Alyansang Makabayan (BAYAN-Philippines), BAYAN-USA serves as an information bureau for the national democratic movement of thePhilippines and as a center for educating, organizing, and mobilizing anti-imperialist Filipinos in the U.S. For more information, visit www.bayanusa.org

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