bells of balangiga, workshop 2

bells of balangiga, workshop 2
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this second workshop brought issues that were closer to home, or at least the places where we currently live. i was late to the event, but i was able to catch two issues: HR4437 and the identity issue. the third issue concerns women; a member of gabriela was there.

HR4437 is the Border Security bill, sponsored by wisconsin Rep. James F. Sensenbrenner, Jr. activists at the meeting are worried mainly about two clauses in the bill:

(3) make illegal U.S. presence a crime


(6) impose on smugglers the same sentences that the aliens they have smuggled would receive

this means that if you live with or in the same house as someone who has chosen to remain in the country after their visas have expired, you can go to jail simply because that person lives with you.

the full text is HERE.

the most effective way you can prevent this bill from becoming law is to call, write, or fax u.s. sens. dick durbin and barack obama, as well as your congressmen. click HERE to be brought to the illinois coalition for immigrant and refugee rights web site. to the right of the screen is a button that says "take action! click here!" please be patient as the site that services that space is always down; ICIRR's site will let you know when the site will be available again.

identity is the second issue i was able to catch. members of the committee on pilipino issues had admitted that this is an issue they need to address more fully with youth in chicago - this is usually the first thing filipino youth seek when asked about their heritage, or asked to help out in activist arenas.

identity, the cultural aspect, is something i had always chased after since the moment i set foot on u.s. soil, so i'm not sure why CPI didn't address this early on. i thought they had actually already solved this issue with themselves, so i just went ahead and followed their activities as much as i could, and just went back to my books. ahaha.

CPI always has great workshops - at one last summer, they asked us to take a piece of paper and draw what we thought of when we hear the word "philippines." there was a lot of rain in my drawing, ahaha, but interestingly enough, none of it fell on a fat tree that suspiciously looked like oak. ahahaha.

at another, they made us all see, without giving us the answers, that activism is stemmed, first and foremost, in love. *hay, talaga naman.*

to me, these workshops already show me they're into looking for what it means to be filipino in the u.s. (already the desire to hold workshops is a huge step. attendance is another deceptively small step.) i wonder what else about identity are they trying to make us see by mentioning it at the workshop, but i'm curious to see.

the third issue concerns women, and all i was able to catch is that gabriela read a statement condemming president arroyo's state of emergency declaration. the member read off an email printout. speaking your mind is something i've taken for granted here in the u.s., but i should remember that there still are people in the homeland who are killed just for telling - or printing - the truth.

i left the meeting jubilant because i was given assignments for pintig (that i've yet to accomplish! arg - sorry!), and coz ging was totally excited of the prospect that we might be able to afford screening a film at the gene siskel film center. woohoo!!! ahahaha we were jumping up and down, i was so hopeful. how hot is that! it would totally ROCK if we can have a fundraising screening at siskel.
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