19 October 2016
‘Bloody Wednesday’ at US embassy condemned as national minorities protesting militarization, plunder violently dispersed
Environmental activist group Kalikasan People’s Network for the Environment (Kalikasan PNE) strongly condemned the violent dispersal of thousands of national minorities and their supporters protesting US-designed and instigated militarization and plunder policies at the United States Embassy, where they were met with tear gas and water cannons, and run over with police mobiles.
“We deplore the police's cold-blooded dispersal of national minorities protesting the US-instigated militarization and plunder in their ancestral lands. The fascist police pigs responsible for this ‘bloody Wednesday’ must immediately be suspended, prosecuted, and incarcerated. This disgusting display of police brutality in defense of US interests is a serious indictment of the decades of US-subservient policies and governance,” said Clemente Bautista, national coordinator of Kalikasan PNE.
Scores of protesters were wounded, a number of which were run over by police mobiles, and at least 21 were illegally detained by the police. The mobilization’s medical team and a member of the media covering the action were part of the arrested individuals.
US foreign direct investments and official development assistance have been dangled to influence Philippine economy and trade policies, such as their push for the full implementation of the Mining Act of 1995 and the proposed removal of nationalist provisions of the Constitution.
They have increased efforts to push programs that aim to intervene in these policies such as the US Partnership for Growth and The Arangkada Philippines Project.
Meanwhile, the ongoing implementation of the Oplan Bayanihan counter-insurgency program, which heightened military operations targeting indigenous communities resisting various destructive projects, was master-minded by the US State Department through its Counter-Insurgency Guide.
“The Duterte administration should hold accountable the ‘Amboys’ in the police and military who have cracked down on the recent protests of indigenous land and environmental defenders. Strategically, Duterte must concretely dismantle US military and economic interventionism by repealing Oplan Bayanihan,” asserted Bautista.
The group also challenged the Duterte administration to take decisive action against the Visiting Forces Agreement (VFA) and the Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement (EDCA) between the US and the Philippines.
“The VFA and the EDCA are promoting massive and permanent US military presence and operations that has historically displaced communities and polluted the environment. Indigenous communities situated near or within the ‘agreed locations’ for US basing through EDCA will be removed from their ancestral lands. The threat of nuclear weapons will return to areas close to these de facto bases,” explained Bautista.
“Now more than ever do we need to listen to the cries of national minorities against US-instigated militarization and plunder. We hope this ‘bloody Wednesday’ will shake up our country’s leaders and push them to take decisive action against neoliberal globalization policies and the US-designed counter-insurgency program used to secure the destructive big businesses these policies promote,” ended Bautista.#