What is PCHRP?
The Portland Committee for Human Rights in the Philippines (PCHRP) is an organizing committee of immigrant youth, students, professionals, workers and allies working together in solidarity to advance in the national democratic movement in the Philippines, in the United States through education, leadership development and political action.
In Portland, PCHRP serves as an outlet for local, national, and international action alerts, media updates, and general information related to human rights violations against Filipinos in the Philippines and U.S. PCHRP organizers lead political education discussions, films, guest speakers, panels, and vigils in response to bring attention to the worsening conditions of Filipinos in Portland, the U.S. and in the Philippines.
Filipinos have been resisting the occupation of their country for hundreds of years. The most recent and organized resistance began nearly 40 years ago and emerged as the National Democratic Movement. The government response to this resistance has cost Filipinos their lives and resulted in human rights violations: over 900 extrajudicial political murders, over 250 abduction, force disappearance, and acts of torture.
Individuals working with student groups and other organizations, concerned about the human rights situation in the Philippines had been meeting regularly since 2003. Our members have a combined history of 40 years of activism around Philippine issues. This interest crystallized in September 2005, when PCHRP was formed upon the return of one of the individuals from the fact-finding International Solidarity Mission to Hacienda Luisita, Tarlac, Philippines where 14 sugarcane farm workers were killed during a violent disbursement by the Armed Forces of the Philippines. The Hacienda Luisita farm workers organized a strike in response to the failed attempts of labor negotiations between the unions and the sugar cane factory owners.
“Participating with the Pacific NW delegation at the International Solidarity Mission 2005 gave me first hand experience about the human rights violations and injustices of workers and other sectors in the Philippines. I joined a fact finding mission to Hacienda Luisita. We interviewed family members of victims of the HL Massacre from November 2004. These interviews supported an International Tribunal condemning the Philippine President and government for the massacre of 14 people, and other HR violations. This experience confirmed the urgency to form a group back in Portland to address HRVs and the root causes of poverty in the Philippines specifically imperialism, capitalism, and feudalism. In September 2005, we gave a report back about the HL situation. And, Patrick, Rosselle, Leslie, and I launched the formation of an organizing committee called Portland CHRP with guidance and support from Freedom Allah Siyam of Seattle BAYAN USA."
-Dr. Claire Oliveros