Monday, March 20, 2006

Asian Youth and People Join in Global Day of Action Against U.S. War of Terror and Aggression**

The Asian Students Association (ASA), together with regional and local organizations in Hong Kong, led a protest action at the U.S. Consulate General today, March 20, to denounce its continuous occupation of Iraq and to call for the immediate removal of its troops there and in many parts of the world.

The leading organizations joining the ASA are the International League of Peoples’ Struggle, Asian Human Rights Commission, Asian Migrants Coordinating Body, Asian Monitor Resource Centre and Hong Kong University Students Union. Around 50 participants of various nationalities were present and took part in the solidarity event.

The timing of the march was impeccable as we walked our way through the traffic and the droves of people going out for lunch. A lot of people stopped and watched us as we started from the foot of the Hong Kong Bank Building in Central and snaked through the traffic and up Garden Road, where the consulate is situated. We were chanting slogans: “U.S. Troops Out Now!”, “Down with Bush, Rice and Cheney!” and U.S. Imperialist, No. 1 Terrorist!”

Aside from the big banner and the placards we were holding up high, we also taped on our shirts print-outs of a hand with a bloodied flag painted on it and stamped with a no-entry symbol. This is to symbolize their major demand that day: HANDS OFF IRAQ AND ANY PART OF THE WORLD!

Speakers expressed their indignation in fiery speeches as the crowd chanted slogans in unison.

Apo Leong of AMRC opened the program by recollecting mass actions we have staged in 2003, the year the U.S. attacked Iraq. He furthered that the Hong Kong people will not cower in this campaign as long as the American military forces remain in Iraq.

Bruce Van Vhooris of the AHRC started his speech with the poem “God Bless America”. An American himself, he is angered by the unjust and illegal war that the U.S. has staged. The lies, he said, were created by the government only to invade and take control of Iraq’s oil. He called for the ending of the lies, killings and occupation by U.S. and the impeachment of George W. Bush.

Eni Lestari of the Asian Migrants Coordinating Body discussed how Muslims like her are angered by the demonization of Islam by the U.S. imperialism. She went on to say that as migrants and as Muslims they will continue to fight this U.S. war of terror.

Bond, the internal vice president of the Hong Kong University Students Union, a member of ASA member and officer Hong Kong Federation of Students, found no sense in the war the U.S. is waging, he said in his speech. Legislator Leung Kwok Hung, or Long Hair to many, also expressed indignation over the occupation and aggression as well as explained its relation to the other atrocities done by the U.S. and the support it has given to repressive regimes.

Ramon Bultron of the ILPS Hong Kong read the ILPS statement stating the infamy of the war and how various peoples all over the world, including the people of Iraq, have expressed condemnation and resistance to it. Governments have been pressured by their people to withdraw support on the war. The unpopular war is giving a lesson to U.S. imperialism that even with its advanced war arsenal they cannot win against the united people’s movement.

After Ramon, a Cambodian staff of the AHRC spoke against sectarian killing and the end to the U.S. occupation.

The various leaders went on to submit the statement to representatives of the U.S. Consulate as the whole crowd demanded the end to the war and the occupation, the immediate removal of the military troops in Iraq and of Bush from his presidency. We made sure they heard as right.

Rey Asis of the ASA secretariat facilitated the program. He went to mention that members of the ASA joined in the international day of action. The All Anti-Invasion Student Joint Action (AASJA-Japan), Malaysian Youth and Students Democratic Movement (DEMA-Malaysia), the League of Filipino Students, National Union of Students of the Philippines and the College Editors Guild of the Philippines (LFS, NUSP and CEGP-Philippines) and Front Mahasiswa Nasional (FMN-Indonesia) were among its many members who launched their own action today.

Lastly, we drew in a huge number of media outfits covering the whole event. Reporters from Phoenix, Associated Press Television Network, South China Morning Post, ATV, Radio Hong Kong and Hong Kong News among others were there with us all through out the whole mass action.

** Photos of the mass action will be posted later tonight. Thank you for your understanding.