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Richard speaks at Paola Ortiz vigil.

*Montreal, September 22, 2011.  Mexican, Paola Ortiz, is a mother of 2 children who were born in Canada. She has lost her appeal to stay in Canada and is ordered to leave the country. Paola Ortiz ran away several years ago  from an abusive husband who is a federal police officer in Mexico. While staying in Canada waiting for the lengthy decision process on her application for permanent status, she gave birth to two special needs children.  Even though the Quebec provincial immigration had approved her for immigration selection, the federal immigration department under the helm of the Conservatives has denied her application.

*For more info on Paola’s case: 

http://www.solidarityacrossborders.org/en/paola-ortiz/stop-the-deportation-of-paola-ortiz

The following is the speech of Richard Ebiya Salvador, son of Melca Salvador.  Melca was fired from her work in Montreal as a caregiver when her employer found out about her pregnancy with Richard, and later, as a single mom was not able to find work fast enough.  As a live-in caregiver, Melca lost her status in Canada when she was not able to fulfill the strict requirement under the LCP to work 24 months of “live-in” within a period of three years. Melca became the vice-president of Pinay, a progressive Filipino women’s organization, in 1999 in recognition of her work with setting up and administering Pinay’s first migrant transition home.  Melca Salvador and her supporters won against a similar deportation order for Melca and Richard in 2001. Richard was only four years old at the time.

Eleven years later Richard is speaking as a member of Anakbayan in Montreal. As a fifteen year old teen, it was very intimidating to go up in front of a crowd to speak, but he gathered all his courage to do what he needed to do to help Paola and her children.

Full speech:

My name is Richard. I am a new member of a new organization in Montreal called, Anakbayan.  Anakbayan means children of the people.  Some of you may recognize me if you were here doing this very same thing 11 years ago.  I was only four years old at the time.  My mother is Melca Salvador, a Filipino maid who was ordered to leave Canada in 2000.

For all the organizations and people who supported her campaign to stop the deportation, I say to you now, thank you!  As my mother said in her victory speech, “thank you, I am here because of all of you, because of what you did to help me and my son, Richard.”  Yes, we won that fight and we can win again!

My mother passed away a few years ago fighting cancer.  But my family of supporters keep me safe while I grow up here in Quebec and Canada.  Today is not about my mother or about me.  But I am here to honor what you have done for my mom.  I am here to say that anything is possible.  I am here to say that Paola Ortiz deserves to stay here with her children.

I stand with you today to say, no more victimizing the victims!

Bring down imperialist walls and borders!

Defend the right of people to self-determination!

Stop the deportation!

Video clip of Richard’s speech:

http://www.facebook.com/video/video.php?v=118300148275548&saved

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Filipino youth participants during an international conference in the Philippines - July 2011

A first general meeting of Anakbayan organizing group in Montreal will take place this Sunday, September 11.  All interested Filipino youth in Montreal and surrounding area are welcomed to join.  The meeting will introduce participants to the various multi-disciplinary arts workshops to be offered to young Filipinos. Participants will also have a say on future events and plans of Anakbayan-Montreal.  Come, relax and have fun.

Date and time: Sunday, September 11, starting  at 3pm.

Venue: 4755 Van Horne, suite 110 (very close to metro Plamondon – Van Horne and Victoria exit).

TYS art project in Manila (photo by TYS)

Isang organisasyon sa Amerika, TRUST YOUR STRUGGLE COLLECTIVE, na may mga myembro na ay mga Pilipino. Nalibot nila ang Pilipinas at sumali sa “Internanional Conference on People’s Art” sa Maynila.  Ito po ang link sa mga retrato na kinuha nila sa Maynila sa facebook:

http://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.10150662139095613.705488.250707945612&type=1

Another example of art with a purpose… introducing the Hip-Hop artists group Blue Scholars.  Their Lyrics are meaningful and straight from their experiences.  Their music has the message that can reach many people.  Here is some background for one of the inspiration of the video below:

“Filipino immigrant Rudolph Ryan Hizon had been in the United States for only three months in 2008 when he decided to join the Army…

While serving in Afghanistan, Army Spc. Rudolph Ryan Hizon was killed by an improvised explosive device Feb. 28 in Logar province, south of Kabul… The infantryman was 22.”

(Full article posted on Anakbayn LA site: http://anakbayanla.org/post/7005917491/filipino-immigrant-rudolph-ryan-hizon-had-been-in)

While many young Filipinos leave their country to join their families abroad, there is no doubt in their minds that the reason for their leaving is for the survival of their families and to seek a better future for themselves.  “Kung maaari ko lamang manatili sa Pilipinas (If only I can stay in the Philippines),” many would say.  But why are we forced to leave in the first place?  Some would argue that the Philippines continues to have her development arrested by persisting neo-colonial and feudal history.  Some youth in Seattle take exactly this position and link their current struggles in their new home to the struggles of their people in their homeland.  The following video is an example of how they discuss this through cultural means.

Anakbayan Seattle posted this video to talk about their organization and the significance of November 30 to the history and struggles of Filipino youth.

Project ANAKBAYAN hopes to tap into the creativity of young Filipinos in order to explore the many issues and challenges that we face.  We hope to have meaningful exchanges as well as enjoy the creative processes involved in the many workshops.  Come Join us!

Project Anakbayan’s organizing group was recently formed in Montreal.  Made up of committed young Filipinos they are ready to push the project forward to its completion.  The group is planning to widen the circle by inviting more Filipino youth to join their outreach committee as their first step.  Their objective is to get the project off the ground within a couple of weeks.  An online registration form for the workshop series will be available soon.  Stay tuned for more updates and event schedules!

We are currently running a project called ANAKBAYAN that incorporates various art forms in a series of workshops for young Filipinos who have made Canada their home.  ANAKBAYAN aims to draw out the issues of Filipino youth and apply them into the content of a group art project, including through film and video.

Please call Carla or JR at

(438) 938-3662

or email us at project.anakbayan@gmail.com

 Updates and schedule coming soon!

*This project is administered by BAYAN Canada in cooperation with other organizations such as the Centre for Philippine Concerns and the Immigrant Workers Centre.