In this sequel to The Empire Files’ report on trafficked Filipina domestic workers, Damayan’s Linda Oalican provides a deeper context to the epidemic of human trafficking by guiding us through the history of colonialism, resistance and US domination of the islands.
Human trafficking is a hidden industry that brings in $150 billion in illegal profits every year. In the United States, tens of thousands are trafficked annually—the biggest clients being major hotel chains and foreign diplomats.
Demonstrations in Hong Kong, China, raising demands on the procedures to be followed in city elections in 2017, have become an international issue and a source of political confusion.
The protests, called Occupy Central, have received enormous and very favorable U.S. media coverage. Every news report describes with great enthusiasm the occupation of central business parts of Hong Kong as “pro-democracy” protests. The demonstrations, which began on Sept. 22, gained momentum after Hong Kong police used tear gas to open roads and government buildings. Continue reading →
We are broadcasting all week from Warsaw, Poland, where the U.N. climate summit, known as COP 19, has just entered its second week. On Saturday, thousands of protesters marched in Warsaw calling for climate justice, culminating in a rally outside the National Stadium where the climate summit is being held. Speakers from all over the world addressed the crowd, urging world leaders to take action on global warming, including climate activists from the Philippine Movement for Climate Justice, the Pan African Climate Justice Alliance, and organizers of a chartered train that brought more than 700 people from Belgium, Britain and France to join the demonstration. Polish activists also spoke, including residents of the village of Zurawlow, where resistance to fracking is growing despite massive shale gas concessions. democracynow.org
On May 30 the two officials most in charge of the U.S.’s formidible global military machine, Defense Secretary Leon Panetta and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff General Martin Dempsey, visited Pacific Command headquarters in Hawaii to launch multi-nation tours of the Asia-Pacific region and formally commence the announced shift of American military concentration and assets to the area.
US foreign policy of our time is clearly interventionist. From the 1950s to today, from Korea, Vietnam to Iraq and Afghanistan and countless smaller wars in between the country has moved away from the sentiment once expressed by George Washington: Beware of foreign entanglements.
“The Golf War” documentary tells the story of Filipino peasants being violently and illegally kicked off their ancestral land to make way for one of Asias largest golf resorts. Filmmakers Jen Schradie and Matt DeVries interviewed developers and politicians, as well as armed guerrillas and peasants fighting the development. They even caught Tiger Woods promoting golf in the Philippines.
I arrived in Manila barely a week after the disaster struck, affecting the lives of more nearly 4 million people, devastating more than 700,000 households, creating a public health disaster, destroying the lives of population groups, which were already living well below the poverty line.
During my visit to Manila, I was hosted by the Ibon foundation and the CDRC, one of the main NGOs involved in relief efforts, in close liason with people’s organizations in the affected areas.
Under the auspices of CDRC and other NGOs involved in relief work, I visited Marinika, one of the main disaster areas in Metro Manila, where an entire urban area was devastated by the floods, with water levels reaching the second floor of people’s homes. There was no government presence, no medical or public health officials on location, no electricity, no drinking water. Toxic waste, garbage, piles of mud have accumulated.