Housing rights defenders are under attack in the Philippines. Under the fascist regime of President Rodrigo Duterte, urban militarization has spread, community activists have been jailed on false charges, countless have been tagged as terrorists and experienced harassment and intimidation, leaders have faced assassination attempts and malicious lies have been spread about movements.
The National Alliance of Urban Poor Filipinos known as KADAMAY has felt the brunt of these incessant attacks. Since Duterte released his Executive Order No. 70 ordering the creation of a National Task Force to End the Local Communist Armed Conflict, urban poor and housing rights activists have been repeatedly targeted with the justification being that they are communist-terrorist groups. There is a clear intent to illegalize Kadamay.
A common tactic used against KADAMAY is the extortion and threats against members to force them into being presented as surrenderrees of the New People’s Army. This masquerade is both a money making scheme of the military incentivized by the government and also a ploy to divide the organization most critical of eviction and anti-poor housing policies in the country.
Clearly, the administration, with support from the imperialist superpowers of China and the USA, is going after those in the legal democratic movement who are exposing the grave deficiencies and violence of housing policies, homelessness and mass demolitions.
This year marks the full blown implementation of Duterte’s flagship economic program, the Build Build Build, which draws in around half of its investments from Chinese loans to bankroll the eviction of more than half a million poor families. In its place are fake totems of modernization that will have rendered so many ordinary people homeless. Activists and housing rights defenders in particular are discredited, treated like criminals and silenced to ensure that the slew of projects are completed without any opposition.
Commission 18 for the rights of the homeless and internally displaced of the International League of People’s Struggles calls on comrades, allies and housing rights advocates to band together in launching a global day of action to support Kadamay and other housing rights activists amid an unprecedented level of attacks on civil liberties unseen since the Martial Law era of the Philippines in the 70s and 80s.
Let us show our solidarity on February 8 through mass actions, assemblies discussions and the like. While Kadamay is poised to host a protest camp in the Philippines as a sanctuary for those endangered by the state. We will not be defeated by repressive curtailment meant to make way for imperialist backed projects.
Housing is a basic human right and the poor are powerful!
Fight for housing rights!
Stop the attacks on housing rights defenders!
Defeat imperialist backed demolitions!
Stop the criminalization of activists!
The International League of People’s Struggles, broad network of anti-imperialist groups, the whole league is divided into thematic or issue based- commissions. Kadamay stands as the secretariat of Commission 18, which is for the rights of the homeless and internally displaced.
Kadamay – Home | Facebook
ILPS Commission on the Struggles of Urban Poor Communities