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Date:2008-05-02 16:35

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Date:2008-03-28 21:25
Mood:Rising Up to Fight Back!

Pete C., Mar. 28, 2008

Peasants grow rice,
feeding all.

Food processers,
manual laborers,
and vendors
give it value.

Markets double its price to profit,
starving peasants and workers.
The elite consume,
priceless rice.

And the market's gravediggers
of its shadows.


Rice Shortages Creating Fears of Asia Unrest

The price of rice, a staple in the diets of nearly half the world’s population, has almost doubled on international markets in the last three months.

Jump in rice price fuels fears of unrest
By Javier Blas in London and Daniel Ten Kate in Bangkok
Friday Mar 28 2008 04:15
Rice prices jumped 30 per cent to an all-time high on Thursday, raising fears of fresh outbreaks of social unrest across Asia where the grain is a staple food for more than 2.5bn people.

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Date:2008-03-07 21:20
Subject:U.S. Filipinas Face Economic and Political Challenges, Develop New Organizations for Empowerment

By Rowena Tomaneng
March 8, 2008

Column published in U.S. Filipino news magazine

March 8 is International Women’s Day, which is celebrated worldwide, and serves as an apt annual occasion to reflect on the current conditions of 2.2 million Filipinas living and working in the United States. About two thirds of U.S. Filipinas were born in the Philippines and about a quarter remain undocumented.

This International celebration of solidarity with women’s struggles also presents the opportunity to rally for more potent actions that empower Filipinas worldwide and to acknowledge Filipinas who join the hundreds of organizations that campaign for social justice and economic improvement for their families and communities.

There are many issues confronting U.S. Filipinas presently. One of the issues involves pay and economic stability. U.S. Filipina earnings would give us one indicator of their economic situation. I turned to the researchers of the National Bulosan Center for the most up-to-date information available on U.S. Filipinas. The Center provides analysis and resources to grassroots U.S. Filipino organizations.

Earnings of Filipinas in the U.S. have grown at a slower rate—11 percent— than White women since 1999, according to a study by the Center to be published later this year. The Center compared women’s earnings based on data from the last U.S. Decennial Census and its comparable 2006 American Community Survey. This finding is surprising because we would at least expect U.S. Filipinas to improve economically close at the same rate as White women, during the national economic boom since 2002. Nonetheless, U.S. Filipinas confront growing racial and gender problems in the arena of paid work.

These problems are amplified in particular local labor markets. In Hawaii, the earnings growth rate for Filipinas is 50 percent less than White women. In areas such as Seattle, Washington and San Francisco-Oakland-San Jose, California, the earnings growth rates for Filipinas were closer to White women, about five percent. While a five percent in the earning growth rate gap seems like an advance, the actual earnings gap between Filipinas and White women remain 15 percent. In northern California, this earning gap is about $9,700 annually.

In cities such as New York where there are highly skilled nurses and medical professionals working long hours, we would expect Filipinas to be doing well. The study reveals otherwise. In 1999, U.S. Filipinas living in New York City earned, on average, two thousand more than White women. In stark contrast in 2005, U.S. Filipinas in the city earned two thousand less than White women. As a result, the earning growth rate is 50 percent more for U.S. Filipinas in the city relative to White women.

Beyond earning disparities, Filipinas continue to face hardship in other areas of employment and social life in the U.S. Take for example the women healthcare workers—many of them working as nurses—who are currently involved in the legal battle against the Sentosa owners in the New York state court. These contract migrant workers were illegally recruited, are unwittingly trafficked from the Philippines to work in the U.S., and then accused by the New York State that the workers endangered their patients as they attempted to free themselves from forced servitude.

Then there is a single mother and her sons who were unwarrantedly tasered in an excessive manner and physically assaulted at a local park for seemingly no wrongdoing by the San Jose, California police in 2007. More than a year later, the Custodio family members are still in court to defend their innocence while ironically the police officers remain in duty.

And, there are thousands of invisible Filipinas in the U.S. experiencing intimate and interpersonal violence and emotional abuse at home and in their relationships. There are also U.S. Filipina lesbians who face public and familial violence and social and institutional exclusion due to their sexual identity and practices. For these Filipinas, there are relatively few safe spaces to share their experiences.

There are thousands more unique stories of U.S. Filipinas to uncover.

Thankfully, Filipinas U.S. and worldwide have been creating mutual support groups and political organizations to improve their conditions and to struggle for social justice. For instance, Pinay sa Seattle provides education and events on women’s issues and human rights in Seattle with the goal to build a more vibrant nurturing community. In New York City, Filipinas for Rights and Empowerment (FIRE) conducts workshops, organizing, and mobilizations regarding Filipina livelihood issues, for the future of their children and their families, and for their right against violence, especially state violence. There is also babae in San Francisco, California, which addresses the rights and welfare of Filipinas in the Bay Area. babae’s work focuses on a campaign against domestic violence and broader violence against women. In San Jose, the MALAYA Women’s Project of Filipino Community Support, Silicon Valley (FOCUS, SV) has been offering leadership development and grassroots organizing to a multi-generation of Filipinas.

In the Philippines, grassroots women’s organizations have been also working to mobilize against the deteriorating economic and politically corrupt conditions, against political repression and state violence, and for genuine empowerment of every Filipino and the preservation of human rights.

We are at a historic juncture to see how far U.S. Filipinas, particularly those who are immigrants, can advance, as women’s organizations forge an agenda that address their immediate concerns and forge political power into the twenty-first century.

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Date:2007-08-20 13:57
Subject:Recent Good Eats in Manhattan/Midtown

* 99 Cents Fresh Pizza, 569 9th Ave
* Kwik Meal, 45th and 6th, Lamb pita
* Juniors, 1515 broadway, 44 and 45 St, Carrot Cake
* Empanada Mama, 763 9th Ave
* Wondee Siam, 792 9th Avenue
* Daily Soup, 241 W 54th St

Want to try:
* Margon Restaurant, 136 W 46th St
* 53rd and 6th Halal Cart
* Piece of Chicken, 362 W 45th St
* Bayan Cafe, 212 E 45th St
* Daisy May's BBQ Cart, 50th b/w 6th and 7th
* Orchid Caribbean, 675 9th Ave

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Date:2007-08-20 13:43
Subject:Aug 30: Intl Day of the Disappeared

On August 30 this year, we will be commemorating the International Day of the Disappeared to draw attention to the fate of individuals abducted or imprisoned at places unknown to their relatives and/or legal representatives.

The observance of the date was started by the Federation of Association of Relatives of the Detained and Disappeared (Federación Latinoamericana de Asociaciones de Familiares de Detenidos-Desaparecidos, or FEDEFAM) based in Costa Rica in 1982. The tradition has been adopted by many human rights advocates worldwide.

"Enforced disappearance" is defined in Article 2 of the United Nations’ International Covention for the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearance as:

the arrest, detention, abduction or any other form of deprivation of liberty by agents of the State or by persons or groups of persons acting with the authorization, support or acquiescence of the State, followed by a refusal to acknowledge the deprivation of liberty or by concealment of the fate or whereabouts of the disappeared person, which place such a person outside the protection of the law.

Article 1 of the Convention further states that:

"No exceptional circumstances whatsoever, whether a state of war or a threat of war, internal political instability or any other public emergency, may be invoked as a justification for enforced disappearance."

According to human rights group Desaparecidos, the number of those abducted and disappeared under the Arroyo administration has reached almost 200. This includes the cases of rural activist Jonas Burgos, University of the Philippines students Karen Empeno and Sherlyn Cadapan, former political prisoner Luisa Dominado and Bayan-Panay chair Nilo Arado.

The systematic and widespread attack against any civilian population is further defined as a “crime against humanity” by the Rome Statue of International Criminal Court and Article 6 of the UN Convention.

Gloria Macapagal Arroyo’s continuing inaction despite condemnation from several international human rights groups raises doubts and concerns about her political will to stop the mounting extrajudicial killings and enforced disappearances in the Philippines.

In the guise of fighting insurgency and “terrorism”, the government enacted the Human Security Act on March 2007. Many people fear that this repressive piece of law will further legalize the mechanisms of the government’s dirty war against its oppositions.

On August 30, once again, let us make the voices of the disappeared heard and press the government to take the necessary actions to surface the missing. We shall also ask the Congress to enact laws that penalize involuntary or enforced disappearances, including the ratification of the International Covention for the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearance.

We shall gather to remember and demand justice for all the victims.

Let us unite in the struggle to end enforced disappearances and all forms of political persecution and repression.

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Date:2007-08-01 10:43
Subject:Images from summer 2007

SONA, July 23, 2007

Monthly gathering of relatives and friends of victims of killings and enforced disappearances, Bantayog ng mga Bayani [Monument of Heroes], July 21, 2007

Video conference on the recent ruling of the European Court of First Instance discussion, july 18, 2007

Silent protest at the Supreme Court summit on the killings and abductions, July 16, 2007

Rally against the Human Security Act (Philippines), along España towards Quiapo and surrounding communities, July 13, 2007

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Date:2007-07-26 09:58
Subject:Star Sighting at 2007 Sona

1. Atom Araullo
2. Mara M. with Joseph and Rojo
3. Tambisan sa Sining
4. "Actress" Sara R.
5. Mga Orgmates
6. Mga Kabataan
7. New friends from CNS such as theorist Bugsy and poet Jomar
8. Mga Hoy-Hoying Belgiums
9. Mga masa at supporters
10. Mga Relatives in Justicia at Desaparecidos

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Date:2007-05-27 08:10
Subject:say NO to SAN JOSE POLICE BRUTALITY, support the Custodio family

Hello friends and families,

I wanted to draw your attention to this important petition that I recently signed:


I really think this is an important cause to help the Filipino community and other communities of color locally in Silicon Valley, and I'd like to encourage you to add your signature, too. It's free and takes less than a minute of your time.

please sign before June 1, 2007 if you can and support the Custodio family of San Jose, CA  ... you can also sign after the June 1st... thank you!

Peter C

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Date:2007-05-15 07:58
Subject:PH Election Surprises?

I'm not sure why the so-called "trusted source of news and information" from the U.S. claims "unexpected opposition gains."  For months, voter surveys (SWS, IBON, Pulse Asia, etc) indicate folks want Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo to GO and very strong support for progressive party lists.

US propaganda reports:

Exit polls in the Philippines are suggesting that the opposition did better than expected in Monday's congressional elections. However, President Gloria Arroyo is still expected to keep control of the House of Representatives, where two attempts to impeach her were defeated by her allies. Meanwhile, violence continues to take its toll on the political process.
Here's a running account of electoral fraud and violence.

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Date:2007-05-14 16:26
Subject: San Jose Police Brutality and Racial Profiling of Filipino Family Condemned

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE May 14, 2007                       
CONTACT: Raj Jayadev (408) 757-5875

 San Jose Police Brutality and Racial Profiling of Filipino Family Condemned

 Community Demands the District Attorney's Office to Drop Charges Against Family Members and Prosecute the Offending Officers Immediately

 WHAT: Press Conference -- "Campaign Against Police Brutality and Support Filipino Family" with speakers from the Asian Law Alliance, Coalition for Justice and Accountability, and several local community organizations

WHEN: TUESDAY, May 15, 2007, 12 noon

 WHERE: Public assembly area outside of the Superior Court, 190 West Hedding St, San Jose, CA, 95110

 San Jose, CA-- San Jose police officers used unnecessary excessive force and racially profiled Marlo (18),

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Date:2007-05-13 18:25

Dear Friends and Supporters of the Filipino Community:

Please distribute to your contacts!!!

The Justice for Custodio Family Committee (JCFC), San Jose, Ca and Coalition for Justice and Accountability(CJA), San Jose, Ca condemn the San Jose Police Department and the City Government for the brutal use of excessive force against three unarmed Filipino residents of Evergreen Valley.

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Date:2007-05-09 19:40
Subject:some halal food in southern Philippines

- unleavened roti bread in lamb oil: plain or with beef, chicken, or egg
- satti with chicken or liver

Places in Zamboanga such as Tini's and Jimmy's Satti serve halal dishes where you can get hot or cold tea tarik and local kahawa coffee.

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Date:2007-05-08 16:23


FROM TEXT BACK (Brgde Against Chtng & Killngs)- USA
____________ _________ _________

(Translation: If you love our motherland, fight against cheating. Oppose political killings! Don't be fooled by traditional politicians, vote for progressives)

Our votes may not count, but our voices will be heard: No to cheating! Stop Political Killings!
Vote for Progressive Party Lists!

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Date:2007-05-07 14:47
Subject:Statement on the arrest of two PUP Sociology Students by the Military in Caluag, Quezon
Mood: agitated

The PUP students who were captured by the troops of the 4th Infantry Battalion on the allegation that they are NPA recruits are legitimately enrolled in our university. They are in fact doing their summer course in community organizing, a course requirement for their curriculum in Bachelor of Science in Sociology, traditionally being done every summer between April and May of each school year. There is no way they could be there in Quezon province to participate in rebellious or subversive activities as alleged by their captors. The undersigned groups in PUP strongly condemn such arbitrary arrests of civilians, most particularly our students. We are also urging the concerned authorities to immediately release Jihan Manampad and Rina Togonon and stop pursuing their eight other classmates who are also doing community organizing work in the same area. Any actions from the military that violate the human rights of such students under their custody will be legally pursued by the academic community and organizations in PUP.

We are also seeking the support of the PUP administration, the faculty, employees and students for the two students now being falsely charged of rebellion by the military. Currently, the teacher of the students, Prof. Justine Nicolas, is negotiating for the release of his students and is himself in the same risk of possible arrest. The PUP administration should act decisively on this matter as it involves not only the basic rights of students and teachers but also and more importantly the core principles of academic freedom, which every university must uphold.

Release our BSS 3-1 students, Jihan Manampad and Rina Togonon! Stop pursuing legitimate students in the course of fieldwork for their academic work!

Congress of Teachers and Educators for Nationalism and Democracy–PUP (CONTEND-PUP)

Faculty Circle—PUP

Unyon ng mga Kawani—PUP (UNAKA)

Unyon ng mga Guro sa PUP (UGPUP)

University Center for Human Rights Research and Education (UCHURRE)

Monday, May 7, 2007 11:01:57 PM (philippines)

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Date:2007-05-07 00:17
Subject:food image: green tea panna cotta

Source: she who eats blog.

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Date:2007-05-07 00:04
Subject:On undocumented migrants in rural England

P. Hetherington of the Guardian ("Old shame haunts new slave market," 2 May 07) comments on "deceptive, systematic underpayment and appalling living conditions" of undocumented migrants in England:

A Lithuanian journalist who posed as a migrant worker found that many co-workers were subjected to deception, systematic underpayment and appalling living conditions...

When Society Guardian recorded the desperate plight of migrant workers in the east of England three months ago - from poverty pay under the minimum wage to grossly overcrowded housing - the response was probably not what we expected...

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Date:2007-05-07 00:02
Subject:J. Butler theorizing migrant politics by linking Arendt & Said

Butler wrote the following for the London Review of Books, "I merely belong to them" (10 May 07):

Arendt could be said to have embraced a diasporic politics, centred not on a Jewish homeland but on the rights of the stateless. To read her now is to be reminded of the passages in Edward Said’s book Freud and the Non-European where he suggests that Jews and Palestinians might find commonality in their shared history of exile and dispossession, and that diaspora could become the basis of a common polity in the Middle East. Said sees the basis of solidarity, in part, as the ‘irremediably diasporic, unhoused character of Jewish life’, which aligns it ‘in our age of vast population transfers’ with ‘refugees, exiles, expatriates and immigrants’. If Arendt sometimes argues for home and for belonging (though she does this less frequently over time), it is not to call for a polity built on those established ties of fealty. A polity requires the capacity to live with others precisely when there is no obvious mode of belonging. This is the vanquishing of self-love – the movement away from narcissism and nationalism – which forms the basis for a just politics that would oppose both nationalism and those forms of state violence that reproduce statelessness and its sufferings.
More thoughtful analysis is regarding the "transfers" of refugees, exiles, expatriates, immigrants, and similar groups.

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Date:2007-05-07 00:01
Subject:On desire and cultural imperialism

A kiss is but a kiss... from Economist's article on "It started with a kiss: India’s moral police blow their whistles" (2 May 07):

India’s freedom fighters—and subsequent nationalists—revered chastity. For them it was a defining Indian virtue, separating them from the more permissive West. According to Dipankar Gupta, a sociologist at Jawaharlal Nehru University in Delhi: “Kissing went off-screen primarily because of our desire to capture the high moral ground against the British.” But thanks to globalisation, young Indians have become more like the louche Westerners the bigots deride. “We’re in a bit of a cleft,” says Mr Gupta.
Alway nice to read commentary from Third World sociologists. Still, I don't agree with Gupta's analysis here.

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Date:2007-05-04 10:11
Subject:On "fashionable racism"

Against "fashionable racism."

I find this term to be an interesting redefinition linking personal expression and aesthetic racism, yet more institutional analysis is needed.

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Date:2007-05-04 09:46
Subject:Biopic of Young K.M. in the Works

Haitian filmaker Raou Peck (worked on Lumumba) is looking to chronicle the philosopher's young life -- from 1830-1848, from age 12 to 30. This span will allow the auteur to cover notable pieces of his youth, including growing up surrounded by intellectuals, his time as a Young Hegelian, his love for Jenny von Westphalen (his aristocratic wife), meeting F.E. and the publishing of the C. Manifesto.

See http://www.cinematical.com/2007/05/04/biopic-of-young-karl-marx-in-the-works/

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