British Filipinos join global anti-China Imperialism protest rallies
British Filipinos join global anti-China Imperialism protest rallies
ON THURSDAY 24 JULY, Filipino leaders in the United Kingdom and Europe and supporters of the U.K. Pinoys for Good Governance (UKP4GG) coalition will join a peaceful global protest rally against Chinas intrusion and occupation of the West Philippine Sea. In London a static protest rally will be held in front of the Chinese Embassy in Portland Place, central London from 12-2pm.
July 24 marks the second anniversary of Chinas creation of the Sansha prefecture within a vast jurisdiction that includes islands and reefs in the West Philippine Sea.
Since the formation of Sansha, China has increased the number of provocative moves against the Philippines including the occupation of the Scarborough Shoal denying access to Filipino fishers and dispatching Chinese frigates to Ayungin Reef.
The coalition is spearheading the yearly global protest against China. The largest rally is expected to take place in front of the China consulate in Makati City, Philippines sponsored by the West Philippine Sea Coalition and led by Philippine former Interior Secretary Rafael Alunan III and former National Security Advisor Roilo Golez.
What wed like is for people to demonstrate against Chinas bullying in all capitals of Europe, said Gene Alcantara, chairman of the European Network of Filipino Diaspora. We would like it to happen because theyre at it again. Theyre really bringing their big guns, not just to the Philippines but also to the neighbours.
Peps Villanueva, convenor of UK Pinoys for Good Governance, said it was necessary to educate Filipinos in Europe about Chinas imperialist intrusions. The rallies aim to educate our local European Filipinos and the people of Europe about Chinas imperialist ambitions in the South China Sea.
President Aquino was absolutely right, Villanueva said. What China is doing now in Vietnam and in the Philippines is similar to what Hitler did in 1938 when he assimilated the Sudetenland in Czechoslovakia on his way to invading and occupying Europe.
The Italian Filipino community have partnered with the Italian Vietnamese community and spearheaded a signature campaign to protest against Chinas occupation of islands they suddenly claim they own in defiance of the Philippines and Vietnam.
Msgr Jerry Bitoon, Chair of the European Network of Filipino Diaspora Central Italy commented that, All these actions that China is pursuing in the area of South-Eastern Asia has not only seriously violated the sovereignty, sovereign rights and jurisdiction of the countries in the area, but has also seriously compromised peace, stability and security in the region, in evident violation of international rights, in particular of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea issued in 1982 (UNCLOS) and of the Declaration on Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea (DOC) signed between China and ASEAN in 2002, thus increasing the risk of an armed conflict.
Other Filipino community leaders across the globe have announced their plans to organize protest rallies in their continents.
According to Dr. Celia Lamkin, USP4GG Marianas Chapter chairwoman, Although there is no Chinese embassy or consulate on Saipan or Guam, the group wants to join the global protest on 24 July to show to the world the Filipino unity, solidarity and patriotism in defending territories and Philippine sovereignty peacefully.
This protest rally is only going to be the start of something that we intend to become bigger, not only in the Philippines but worldwide, Golez said, in order to tell the world what is happening in our backyard – the bullying thats being done by our big neighbor.
We protest the belligerent and blatant disregard of international laws in the West Philippine Sea, Alunan said. We ask China to respect the rule of law and be a good neighbor.
Vonz Santos, head of the USPGG Philippine chapter, said his group will feature a performance of Filipinos Unite, a collaboration of Filipino artists from around the world who came together to produce original music in response to the escalating tensions with China in the West Philippine Sea.
In New York, USPGG National Chairwoman Loida Nicolas-Lewis will lead the rally in front of the United Nations headquarters.
We are calling on the United Nations International Tribunal on the Law of the Sea (ITLOS) to stop China from its plan to take over the entire South China Sea which will constitute the largest territorial heist in maritime history, Nicolas-Lewis said. We want ITLOS to issue its decision now, not three years from now, before China can consolidate its occupation of Philippine territories.
In Washington, D.C., the local Philippine group, together with its Vietnamese counterparts, will stage a protest at noon on July 24 in front of the China Embassy.
The local Filipino and Vietnamese communities collaborated to successfully lobby the U.S. Senate to adopt Senate Resolution 412 on July 10. The resolution reaffirms the strong support of the U.S. government for freedom of navigation and other internationally lawful uses of sea and airspace in the Asia-Pacific region, and for the peaceful diplomatic resolution of outstanding territorial and maritime claims and disputes. The group decided to hold a picket-rally at the Chinese consulate in Los Angeles to join the worldwide protests against the Chinese Incursions.
We will organize and mobilize to join the rally versus Chinese incursions all over the United States and Canada, said Jun Baul, FACLA president.
It is the right time that we call on all patriotic and freedom-loving Filipinos in Southern California to come out and defend the Philippines against blatant Chinese armed provocations in the West Philippine Sea, said Arturo Garcia, National Coordinator of the Justice for Filipino American Veterans.
In San Francisco, USPGG organizers scheduled the rally there for United Nations Plaza on Market Street on July 24 from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.
We have invited the local Vietnamese community and other Asian communities to join us in protesting Chinas imperialistic occupation of the territories of sovereign Asian nations, said Rudy Asercion, San Francisco chairman of the National Federation of Filipino-American Associations which is co-sponsoring the San Francisco protest with USP4GG.
In Canada, Treenee Lopez, Chair, Global Pinoy Diaspora Canada Society, reported that they will hold their rally on 24 July at the Vancouver Art Gallery North Plaza at West Georgia Vancouver from 12-2 p.m. We stand against Chinas bullying of the Philippines and our neighbouring countries. Our goal is to disseminate information to the public about Chinas invasion and intrusion on our soil. We will hand out flyers to the public.
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