October 11 Protests will Target Philippine Consulates in New York City and Washington, DC; Demand Immediate End to Killings, Action by U.S. governmentActivists will protest at the Philippines consulate in New York City on Tuesday, October 11, the mass murder and detention of people suspected of using or selling drugs in the Philippines. Since President Rodrigo Duterte took office in May, more than 3,000 people have been murdered and 700,000 admitted drug users are under threat to confinement in concentration camp-like conditions.
President Duterte is directly responsible, calling on Filipinos to “feel free to call us, the police, or do it yourself if you have the gun,” and pledging to protect the killers from prosecution. Recently, Duterte compared himself to Hitler and stated his goal was to kill millions of drug users.
“We demand an immediate end to these murders and the dangerously vicious rhetoric of President Duterte,” said Robert Tolbert, a board member of the grassroots community organization VOCAL-NY. “But we also recognize that these horrible actions grew in soil tilled by the United States.
“Our own drug war has inspired death and destruction worldwide, and while the current situation in the Philippines is among the worst, we must take responsibility and put an end to the global war on drugs,” Tolbert said.Following similar actions last month, on October 11 activists from VOCAL New York, Health GAP, Drug Policy Alliance, Harm Reduction Coalition, the Student Global AIDS Campaign, ACT UP New York, and other groups will protest at the Philippines consulate as part of a global week of action called by the Asian Network of People Who Use Drugs (ANPUD).
Activists are demanding an immediate end to the Philippines Drug War and suspension of U.S. bilateral law enforcement aid. Elsewhere in the U.S., an allied action will be held at the Philippines embassy in Washington, DC, at noon on Thursday, October 13 (details below).
“President Obama and Secretary Kerry must strongly condemn the killings and immediately withdraw the pledged $32 million for law enforcement in the Philippines until President Duterte acts to end the bloody human rights abuses,” said of Health GAP. “It is early in this extremely deadly version of the ‘war on drugs’ to know what effect it will have on HIV prevalence, but we are deeply concerned about both immediate and long term consequences to health and human rights, and we know that ending war on drugs tactics is essential to ending AIDS.”
New York City Philippines Drug War Protest
TIME: Tuesday, Oct. 11, 10 AM to 11 AM EST
LOCATION: Philippine Consulate General, 556 5th Ave (at 46th St), New York, NY
RALLY POINT: 9:45 AM at 42nd St and 5th Ave, march to consulate.
Washington DC Philippines Drug War Protest
TIME: Thursday, Oct. 13, Noon to 1 PM EST
LOCATION: Embassy of the Philippines, 1600 Massachusetts Ave NW, Washington, DC
RALLY POINT: Convene first at NE corner of 17th and Mass NW