A CALL FOR INTERNATIONAL SOLIDARITY TO AUTONOMOUS RESISTANCE AND FOOD NOT BOMBS INITIATIVES AROUND THE GLOBE

Homelessness and hunger is prevalent in many countries. People begging for food and malnourished children are common images in many places around the world that used to have healthy communities and ecology. While people are enduring poverty and hunger, governments particularly the first worlds are spending hundreds of billions of dollars to develop war materials they use to control other countries through war, intimidation and manipulations.

Food Not Bombs (FNB) is a solidarity and non-violent action against social injustice. Food sharing is a practical respond to hunger caused by inequality where huge number of people deprived of access to protein while the few elite live extravagantly and using social patrimony to state activities involving violence and oppression of people and destruction of ecology.  People from Punk/Hardcore, DIY, Art communities and anarchists who are involved in culture of sharing and inclined to horizontal processes naturally attracted to FNB.

Many marginalized communities in so-called Philippine archipelago are enduring the lack of basic necessity such as shelter, food, water, education and livelihood.  The acute inequality and social justice rob the people of opportunities to improve their well being to secure the future of their families and communities.

FNB came in the archipelago during the 1990s as a respond to systemic poverty. It quickly spread like a wildfire in the archipelago particularly after the famous Battle in Seattle – a resistance against trade liberalization during World Trade Organisations Conference. Incidentally, during this period, anarchist collectives and individuals sprouted like mushrooms which thrive in fertile underground culture scenes and art communities.

FNB is not a monotonous activity of food provision to hungry people. It is a creative resistance designed to provide not only protein requirements but also engaged in sharing critical information and skills through workshops, discussions, dialogue, cultural presentations and other educational activities. It is frequently combined with really, really free market where people are encouraged to share their unwanted things to those in need. This event is not design to recruit people to a particular group but this encourages the people to self organize based on voluntary basis according to their own capacity. It encourages communities to practice self management under the theme of respect, diversity, decentralize and non-hierarchical relations. FNB is a direct action against capitalism, consumerism and statism. FNB is not an organization but rather an event or an activity can be organized by anyone without asking any permission to anyone or making affiliation to any group. An individual or group of people could organize FNB anytime, anywhere based on their actual context as long as it uphold the basic principles of non-hierarchical, respect, ecological and anti-authoritarian.                

Prior to Anti-Terrorism Act, Duterte is already violent. His humorous extemporaneous speeches with twist of sexist acts and remarks could not conceive his thirst for violence.  In many occasions he explicitly mentioned his actual involvement in killings.  Duterte is a megalomaniac person; he desires more power and hates those who threaten his position. He is vengeful and angry. His words are not empty. He is equitable in terms of retaliations to his "enemies"; from low life thugs, to a teacher, a laborer, overseas worker, senators, and lawyers and as big as corporate media and international institutions they will not be spared from forms of intimidations and harassment. Incarceration of oppositions and killings perpetrated by uniformed personnel and masked motor riding gunmen are the trademarks of his government.

His appetite for violence killed FNB volunteers and incarcerated one. These non-non violent people perished and suffered during War on Drugs operations that killed more than 12,000 which the great majority came from poor families and marginalized communities. Essentially, the war on drugs program is war against the poor and intended to intimidate the people and all forms of oppositions in general.

The Anti-Terrorism Act of 2020 will surely exacerbate the already worst situation of our society. The Duterte administration shrewdly fast tracked the law in the middle of pandemic crisis. A perfect timing were different oppositions rendered immobile giving no chance to react. It has been approved at the committee level and members of the House of Representatives are expected to debate and fast-track its approval before they go on a two-month break from June 6 of this year.

This law will categorise the  activities and initiatives of FNB volunteers, autonomous activists and anarchists as terrorism. Under this law, solidarity actions which commonly conduct by the said groups of people will be considered as crime allowing the state to detain suspected individuals without a warrant;  longer detentions without charge and give the executive branch more power against dissent. It ruled out the Human Security Act removing government obligations to compensate wrongly accused people.

The Anti-Terrorism Act of 2020 is an obvious instrument of a fascist government to curtail freedom that desires to instill fear among the populace to serve the interests of the oligarchs and foreign counterparts

Food Not Bombs volunteers, autonomous activists, independent artists and anarchists strongly condemn the fascist government. We are calling the international resistance to send solidarity to the struggle of different people and community of the archipelago against the authoritarian who serves the interests of few privilege elite. 

If you may please organize different forms of action against the Philippines Embassy in your own country to send your support to our fight for freedom.

FIGHT FOR SOCIAL JUSTICE! FIGHT FASCISM AND STATE SPONSRED TERRORISM! END WAR, POVERTY, HUNGER AND ECOLOGICAL SLAUGHTER ■

- FOOD NOT BOMBS ARCHIPELAGO       

The presidential elections in Brazil ended with the victory of the neo-fascist candidate Jair Bolsonaro of the far-right party Social Liberal Party (PSL), with just over 55% of the valid votes. After a necessary period of recovery and reflection, we as the Brazilian Women Against Fascism UK group would like to outline what we believe are the next stages of resistance and forms of mobilization that will need to be articulated before the government begins in 2019, but whose weight we already felt in that transition period.

We would like to thank everyone who joined us on October 28 in front of the embassy. Our demonstration was very moving and filled us with strength and affection. The solidarity of all those present, the work done collectively, the Brazilian food, the music, the drums, the dances, the hugs, the hail rain and the occupation of the streets ... Our immense gratitude to all those involved!

Our victory is knowing that we are fighting on the right side of history. Despite the electoral defeat, the campaign against fascism gained a lot of momentum in the last week of the campaign, especially among women. Even though the elected candidate had the broad support of companies and the financial market, as well as much of the mainstream media, the repercussion of the #EleNao (#NotHim) campaign showed that the path of resistance is possible and will become a reality.

Since then, we have received many messages of support and solidarity from other activist movements, unions and academic groups, offering support and solidarity, and invitations to participate in activities and demonstrations to debate and protest against the advances of fascism in Brazil and in the world. We understand the rise of the far-right as a global corporate phenomenon, based on privileges for the few and the suppression of the rights of the people. Because of this, we believe in the importance of forming a global opposition.

Our movement is a part of and helps build the wider front of resistance of all who oppose Bolsonaro. We are a non-partisan group of women with diverse ideological leanings, but we all have something in common: the strength and the will to fight against the growth of fascism in Brazil. We will not be answerable to the politics of any party, personality or leadership, and we will point out the limitations and responsibilities of each of these. Our main objective is to add and contribute to the resistance, especially of women, in Brazil and internationally.

We are very sorry that Brazilians living in London have also mostly chosen to elect Bolsonaro. It will be necessary to confront this, as we cannot allow his hate speech to be normalized. After the first round of the presidential elections, we saw a wave of violence and attacks on women, blacks, indigenous peoples, the LGBTQ+ community, teachers and people in general demonstrating against the elected candidate. Such a wave did not cease, nor has it diminished with his election. On the contrary, it has increased. Teachers and students were exposed and threatened in various university settings within Brazil, Quilombola communities and Social Movements are being attacked, as well as the entire LGBTQ+ community, among many other attacks. The dangers that Bolsonaro presents are not limited to minorities and human rights, but they cover a wide range of issues, including the environmental issue and the old colonial social structures. His policy proposals are aimed at keeping the lower social classes ever lower, so that upper classes maintain their exorbitant profits and absurd privileges, dramatically increasing the giant social abyss in which Brazil has been for so long, with direct attacks on those who oppose and denounce the government.

We understand that it is the task of all social movements in Brazil to form a united front of resistance against the Bolsonaro government. For this to happen, the connection with the international press and social movements is of crucial importance, to denounce the government and to exert pressure against the path of authoritarianism. This is the role that the collective Brazilian Women Against Fascism UK will seek to play. We have a long and arduous road ahead of us and we will need the help of all who are willing and able to build a grassroots base to disseminate information and a support for our fellow Brazilians.

Please get in touch if you want to get more involved and/or have some idea to offer - we need reinforcements as we plan to schedule an open meeting in January in London to work closely with groups and individuals interested in organising an international boycott campaign against Bolsonaro’s government.

No one will stop our fight for equal rights for all. We will not be silenced. ■

Não Passarão! EleNão!

BWAF UK (Brazilian Women against Fascism UK) is a non-partisan group of Brazilian women living in the UK, organised in reaction to the rising fascist threat to the democratic ideals of freedom, equality and social justice in Brazil and in the world. We are always open to the arrival of new comrades.