NEW YORK – Loida Nicolas-Lewis, national chair of the U.S. Pinoys for Good Governance (USPGG) has called anew for a simultaneous June 12 worlwide anti-China protest action by Filipinos and their allies to “Boycott Made in China” goods.
“The most meaningful way to celebrate Philippine Independence Day on June 12 is by boycotting “Made In China” products until China abandons its illegal invasion, occupation and militarization of the Philippine territories in the West Philippine Sea,” Lewis said.
In the U.S., the Independence Day protest activities will target Apple and Wal-Mart stores which primarily sell products manufactured in China. Lewis will be leading a picket in front of the Apple store at Fifth Avenue and 58th Street in New York City at 11:30 a.m.
“While We cannot individually fight China militarily, we can do so economically by boycotting Made-in-China products,” she said.
In Washington, D.C., a similar protest action will be held in front of the Wal-Mart Supercenter located at 99 H Street NW Washington at the corner of H and 1st Street in Chinatown. Eric Lachica, USPGG coordinator in D.C. said in his advisory notice that this event is a “good timing to protest China’s invasion of Philippines and Vietnam territories.
According to Reuters (“China exports just fell off a cliff, April 13, 2015), China reported that its exports to the U.S. and other countries “fell” by 14.6 percent in March from a year ago. A sustained, organized boycott of China-made products may have been a factor in the unexpected decline in China exports to the U.S., the group said. Many economists had projected earlier that China’s exports would increase by double digits in 2015.
In San Francisco, the Filipino community will officially celebrate Independence Day on June 12 at a $100 per person gala at the City Hall hosted by Mayor Ed Lee. But members of the Northern California chapter of USPGG are urging the Filipino community to celebrate Independence Day “meaningfully” by converging at the Union Square at 11:30 a.m. They will then march to the Apple store a block away to picket and call for a boycott of China products, said Rodel Rodis, president of USPGG.
“The traditional way of celebrating Philippine Independence by holding galas is not appropriate for the crisis that is happening now. China has illegally invaded and occupied seven Philippine shoals, which it has converted, into artificial islands by pouring sand and concrete over Philippine coral reef destroying our marine ecology. We have to stand up to this major threat to the national security of the Philippines,” Ted Laguatan, USPGG spokesman said.
The Southern California chapter of USPGG chaired by Rocio Nuyda is organizing a picket of the Wal-Mart store in Los Angeles at 701 Cesar Chavez Avenue at 12 noon. The L.A. picketing will be led by Arturo Garcia who will be joined by members of the Filipino American Community of Los Angeles (FACLA) and the Knights of Rizal.
In Chicago, the USPGG chapter will picket the Apple Store located at 679 North Michigan Avenue at 12 noon.
In Saipan, the June 12 protest will take place from 10 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. at the Kilili Pavillion on Beach Road in Susupe where made in China products are sold.
Filipinos in other US cities are also planning to celebrate June 12 Independence Day by picketing Apple and Wal-Mart stores and by boycotting made in China products to express their opposition to China’s invasion of Philippine territories.
In the Philippines, a “Martsa para sa Kalayaan” (March for Freedom) is planned for June 12 at 12 noon in front of the China Consulate in Makati located at the World Center at 330 Sen. Gil J. Puyat Avenue. The protest rally is sponsored by the Di Ka Pasisiil Movement led by former Rep. Roy Golez.
Jose Rizal M. Reyes and Eufemio Agbayani III of the Martsa para sa Kalayaan Network (MKN) announced the participation at the Makati rally of the Bantay Bayan, ROTC Philippines, the United Filipino Seafarers and the Filipino Patriotic Solidarity Movement among other groups.
Vonz Santos, chairman of the “Filipinos Unite” (FU) movement of Philippine artists who aim to use their music to call for Filipinos all over the world to unite against China’s bullying of the Philippines, joined other youth groups in a press conference on June 4 in Manila calling on Philippine presidential candidates to publicly state their positions with regard to Chinese incursions in Philippine waters.
“Our political leaders … owe the country a clear stand on Chinese aggression in Philippine waters. China’s intensified reclamation and militarization in the West Philippine Sea is an act of occupation and annexation. These are direct threats to our independence and sovereignty,” according to Akbayan Youth Chairperson Rafaela “Paeng” David.
The groups made the calls after observing that many political aspirants remain quiet on the issue despite escalating tensions in the region “We deserve leaders who will defend our country’s sovereignty in the face of mounting pressures from a power like China and can articulate what direction our country must take to achieve that,” David said.