BAYAN Canada, an alliance of progressive, anti-imperialist, Filipino organizations from coast to coast, calls on our members, supporters and allies to join in the May 30 nation-wide protest of pots and pans called “casserole” in Quebec. BAYAN stands with the democratic people of Quebec and Canada in opposing draconian laws and capitalist austerity measures. BAYAN Canada is a member of the International League of People’s Struggle (ILPS) and has prestigious members such as the Migrante chapters in Canada.
Many members of our grass roots organizations in Montreal have been involved in supporting the student strike and in opposing the draconian Bill 78 in Quebec. We have gone out night after night in an effort to try to sensitize the people in working class and mostly immigrant neighborhoods like Cote-des-neiges to join and support the legitimate people’s struggles happening in Quebec. The casserole movement in opposition to the ruling Quebec Liberal’s Bill 78 (with the full support of the conservative held federal government and the complacent and complicit federal liberals and social democrats) was inspired by similar actions in Chile during the Pinochet regime. This unjust law was imposed in an effort to break one of the longest student stirkes in Quebec against tuition fee increase. The law only served to swell the ranks of nightly student demonstrations as whole families came out banging on their “casserole” to oppose Bill 78 and the Quebec government’s austerity measures. This proves once again the truth behind the saying, “exploitation and oppression engenders resistance.”
Let us remind our Filipino compatriots of their proud history. The student movement lead by Kabataang Makabayan in the sixties in the Philippines can be credited to the kick-starting of the new National Democratic movement that we as BAYAN are a part of. It lead to the first Quarter Storm and the anti-Marcos dictatorship movement that persevered through the darkest times in our people’s history even as the mightiest imperialist nation, the US, backed the dictatorship. This is not to mention the youth and students who had started the propaganda movement against Spanish colonialism back in the late eighteen hundreds and who later lead in the revolutionary movement to dismantle the Spanish colonial rule in the revolution of Andres Bonifacio. Today, youth and students in the Philippines continue to lead not only in their own struggles for free, scientific and mass-oriented education butalso take an active role for the Filipino people’s struggle for national and social liberation.
Many of our members in Quebec and Canada whether immigrants, migrants or refugees already face discrimination, harassment, and racial profiling by police and other Canadian security agents in communities that are often ghettoized. We do not support more laws that give more powers to the police forces to abuse their unjust authority over the people and to justify more repression in our neighborhoods where we live.
Many of our members are one of the most affected by crisis ridden capitalism and its austerity measures. Because of the existing discriminated in our workplaces – the fact that we are often last to be hiredand first to be fired, policies that allow the super-exploitation of migrants such as allowing employers to pay 15% less to migrant workers than average Canadians, etc… we feel it when the tuition of our children rises whether in Quebec or in the Philippines. We feel it when social services and benefits are cut. We see these as an extension of our exploitation and oppression as working people.
We refuse to be the scapegoats to capitalism’s crisis and reject any moves by the ruling class in this country to pit us against our working class brothers and sisters and the broader oppressed peoples in Canada.
The casserole movement in Quebec may have its roots in Chile, but in the Philippines, the people’s movement has been using the tactic of noise barrage to expose and oppose the various issues facing women, migrants, youth and student, indigenous people, workers and peasants for many years now. We are no novices in the casserole movement and thus will be out to bang our pots loud and clear.
The crisis of monopoly capitalism is affecting us all; from the Philippines to the more than one hundred and sixty countries Filipinos have been forced to migrate, including here in Canada. But imperialism is also bringing us closer together as a people united in anti-imperialist struggle.