BAYAN (New Patriotic Alliance) is one with people’s movements worldwide in advancing a grounded, pro-people, anti-war, and anti-imperialist struggle for climate justice.
The Philippines is one of the many oppressed countries that have suffered the most severe natural disasters in the last three decades, including volcanic eruptions, earthquakes, storm surges, extended drought and severe flooding. These disasters have been compounded by continuing environmental degradation due to corporate greed, criminal state neglect as well as bureaucratic corruption, resulting in the devastation of communities and human lives.
Yet the environmental crisis we are facing is by no means simply an “act of nature.” Filipino farmers, workers and indigenous peoples are well aware of the destruction of soil, air, water, flora and fauna as a function of an accelerated phase of production that prioritizes profits over human needs. The most exploited and oppressed in society such as contractual workers, landless farmers and the massively displaced indigenous population — have been up in arms to combat imperialist plunder.
Ancestral lands are targeted and occupied by mining and logging corporations. Land use conversion in the interest of multinational corporations take the form of agri-business ventures. Relentless foreign extraction has kept Filipino farmers landless and struggling for land. Our soil has been poisoned by harmful chemicals to sustain agri-business mono-cropping; our forests, devastated; our rivers and seas, polluted. Our very own government leaders have colluded with foreign and domestic big business to rob the Filipino people of the basic right to food sovereignty and food security.
With our subordination to capitalist monopolies through market liberalization peddled by the World Trade Organization since the 1990s, we have lost any sort of protection of our domestic market and economy as a whole. This makes us most vulnerable to the ruthless exploitation and degradation of the water, soil and clean air of this environmentally fragile part of the globe. Monopoly capitalist production happens through imperialist plunder of our economy and natural resources. The Filipino experience proves that global capitalism can only sustain itself through the crisis-laden destruction of the environment.
The Philippines is not immune to the United States-backed never ending wars. With a foreign policy that continues to be dependent on US imperialist interests and US-designed counter-insurgency program, Duterte can only respond to the struggle of farmers and environmental defenders for the right to land and life with utmost brutality, exceeding even the dark years of Martial Law under the Marcos. Two hundred twenty eight farmers who struggle for their right to the land they till have been murdered.
Meanwhile, China’s military build in the West Philippine Sea has resulted in environmentally-destructive reclamation activities. Their incursions in our exclusive economic zone have destroyed coral reefs and denied Filipino fisherfolk of the benefits of the EEZ.
Those who choose to stand with the poor and oppressed by forging a people’s movement that connects environmental destruction and disasters worsened by climate change with the struggle for just peace and the defense of human rights have been vilified and killed. Our fight for land, livelihood and life against the unbridled exploitation of nature and ecological destruction has been met with relentless fascist attacks.
This is why our climate justice campaign emphasizes the direct connections between global capitalist production, rising fascism and the global environmental crisis. Our struggle for national liberation is a fight against the brutal imperialist plunder of raw material reserves and exploitable labor, and the lucrative infrastructure of war that enables planetary destruction. BAYAN is one with all the struggling peoples of the world in challenging a system of mass production for profit and promoting a system of planned satisfaction of the needs of the working people.
Resist Imperialist Plunder!
Climate Justice Now!
*Photo from Global Climate Strike Diliman