SANLAKAS ‘trick or treat rally’ at the US Embassy
Just two days before Americans observe Halloween 2014, militant activists marched to the US Embassy in Manila today and held a ‘Trick or Treat Rally’. Close to 100 members of the Left coalition SANLAKAS conducted a Halloween-themed mass action outside the American mission earlier this morning. Wearing ghoulish face-masks and holding up placards while loudly chanting protest slogans, the progressive militant organization made its political resistance against the US Government’s interventionist presence in the Philippines very clear.
Moments after marching from Plaza Salamanca, located at Taft Avenue corner T.M. Kalaw Street in Manila, the SANLAKAS rally contingent was later on blocked by members of the Manila Police District’s (MPD) Civil Disturbance Management Unit nearby the US Embassy. Making sure that their message was clearly delivered, the mass activists held a brief program largely for the benefit of both the passing public and the mass media which covered the event.
One of the speakers during the rally was Rasti Delizo, the Political Affairs Coordinator of SANLAKAS. As one of the protest action’s main leaders, Delizo stated, “The Obama White House is also responsible in the recent killing of Jennifer Laude. And so, her death must not be solely blamed on a single American marine. Because, for as long as US military forces maintain a near-permanent presence in our country, then they will continue to rape, kill and violate Philippine sovereignty with impunity.”
Delizo clarified, “It is US imperialism that imposes its aggressive militarist stance in the Philippines in direct violation of our country’s constitution. And so, as the Commander-in-Chief of America’s military forces, Obama must also be held accountable under the principle of ‘command responsibility’, and not just US Marine Private First Class Joseph Scott Pemberton. Hence, SANLAKAS once again calls for the immediate abrogation of the Visiting Forces Agreement (VFA), the Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement (EDCA), the Mutual Logistics Support Agreement (MLSA), and of course, the ‘Mother War Treaty’ itself, the Mutual Defense Treaty (MDT) of 1951.”
Flora Santos, the SANLAKAS National Treasurer who also spoke at the rally, also explained, “Since we cannot bring Obama to justice on Philippine soil, then we must now equate and link Jenny Laude’s justice with the urgent scrapping of these four war instruments which collectively kills Philippine sovereignty. Thus, any real justice for Jenny Laude today can only mean the instant termination of these four weapons of the US imperialist war camp now! Any real Philippine democracy and freedom can accept nothing less than this.”
Apart from the Halloween motif, the SANLAKAS placards had very clear messages: ‘Justice for Jennifer Laude now!’, ‘US Troops Out of PH now!’, and ‘Scrap VFA-EDCA-MDT now!’.
Before the rally ended, the activists saluted their organization as SANLAKAS also commemorated its 21st Anniversary today as a progressively principled people’s organization which continues to pursue militant mass struggles for genuine systemic change. The mass action concluded with an upbeat mood as the activists executed an organized withdrawal and chanted anti-US imperialist slogans while marching back towards Plaza Salamanca where they dispersed.
SANLAKAS Press Release
29 October 2014
Contact Person: Rasti Delizo (Political Affairs Coordinator, SANLAKAS)
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