Exposure Trip Panel

People on Zoom holding various signs opposing "Cha-Cha" (Charter Change) and foreign ownership in the Philippines during a virtual event.

Building Solidarity from Canada to the Philippines

On June 5th, we joined Anakbayan Canada, Anakbayan Toronto, Anakbayan Scarborough, the International Coalition for Human Rights in the Philippines (ICHRP) Toronto, Migrante Ontario, Anakbayan Victoria, and a representative from Peoples’ Solidarity & Education Tours (PSET), for a panel discussion on exposure trips to the Philippines. 

To learn more about the organisations featured in the panel and donate to their causes, visit Anakbayan Toronto, ICHRP Canada, and ICHRP Global.

No to Charter-Change

At the end of the panel, we collectively called for a stop to the Philippine government’s attempts to change the constitutional charter, which would allow for 100% foreign ownership of Filipino industries, more US military bases in the country, and term extensions for state officials. These changes only seek to benefit big business, bureaucrat capitalists, and US imperialists, they don’t hold the interests of the people in mind.

Anakbayan Victoria joined us in calling for a stop to Charter Change in the Philippines.

During the webinar, speakers from Anakbayan Toronto introduced the panellists and spoke about the current situation in the Philippines, characterised by widespread inequity between peasants and workers versus the bourgeoisie classes.

These inequities have root causes that perpetuate and hold them in place, the three basic ones being bureaucrat capitalism (the use of public office for self-enrichment), feudalism (a mode of production, where landlords own the land and peasants work it), and imperialism (the highest and final stage of capitalism).

The three basic problems in the Philippines.

Panellists from Anakbayan Toronto, ICHRP Canada, and ICHRP Global spoke about their recent exposure trips to the Philippines, which were facilitated by PSET. All three expressed how the trips allowed them to build meaningful and lasting relationships with activists and community organisations that continue to inform their activism and work here in Canada. 

PSET’s guidance allowed these three activists to learn firsthand about some of the most pressing issues for the people in the Philippines, including environmental devastation; access to affordable housing, healthcare, and education; and state repression in the form of red-tagging, harassment, political imprisonment, and extrajudicial killings. One panellist spoke about how they were publicly red-tagged / labelled as a communist and terrorist supporter upon entry to the Philippines, despite just being there to learn from union activists and workers. 

Overall, exposure trips to the Philippines allow activists around the world to build lasting bonds of friendship and solidarity, creating networks that can be leaned upon in times of need. The relationships that are built between activists are one of equals and comrades. To learn more about exposure trips, contact us at cpso.toronto@gmail.com

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