Lestari maintained, “Now, with the current financial crisis being experienced by no other than US imperialism, we have to be prepared for the probability of more serious violations of our rights—wage reduction, cutbacks on welfare services, job instability, and even [violations to] our political and socio-cultural rights.”
Berdan said that migrants must be aware of the current situation. “In order to make the world’s working class pay the bill of the crisis, imperialism will increase its economic exploitation, political oppression, military aggression, national chauvinism, racism and fascism, religious fundamentalism and all forms of reaction.”
During the October 29 opening of the GFMD, the IAMR delegates held a rally. They were joined by thousands of Filipino activists.
Shouting “No to Forced Migration! No to Labor Export!” the IAMR protesters marched along Quirino avenue in Manila toward the direction of the Philippine International Convention Center (PICC), the venue of the GFMD.
They were blocked by some 300 elements of the Philippine National Police and Philippine Air Force at the corner of Quirino ave. and Mother Ignacia street.
Still, the protesters remained in high spirits, continuing their protest at Liwasang Bonifacio in Manila where they held a program. On the same day, migrants all over the world heeded the IMA’s call for zero-remittance.
Lestari said that when IMA was founded in June this year, migrants began a higher level of organizing and campaign to struggle for migrants’ rights and welfare. She said coordinated actions of migrants gained good results.
“Now, because of our efforts, the issues and struggles of migrants we never heard of before from countries like Saudi Arabia, Qatar, United Arab Emirates, Kuwait, Taiwan, Korea and others are reported in newspapers. We are gradually putting in the international arena our issues and plight and even our analyses of these issue,” she said.
Lestari continued, “We have no other recourse but to fight for our rights are violated every day and every hour of the day. No one can effectively do this except us.”
Berdan urged fellow migrants ‘to carry out the next tasks as part of the anti-imperialist and anti-fascist struggle in the international arena.’ He said, “It must be remembered that migrant masses are not homogenous but heterogeneous in terms of their political preferences. We must bring to them the class consciousness and the concept of international and popular liberation.” (Bulatlat.com)