Migrante dance vs. modern-day slavery, social injustice pork barrel

On the occasion of the 2013 High Level Dialogue on Migration and Development, Migrante International brought to the United Nations (UN) its appeal to put an end to the Global Forum on Migration and Development (GFMD) and to decisively bury the notion that migration, as it is recognized and practiced by the world today, shall not and will never lead to any genuine development.

Migrante International chairperson Garry Martinez is currently in New York, USA to attend the International Assembly on Migrants and Refugees (IAMR), a gathering of grassroots migrant organizations from around the world that exposes the GFMD’s line of “managing migration” as a “tool for development”. The IAMR has been held in opposition to past gatherings of the GFMD, which was formed by the United Nations High-Level Dialogue on Migration and Development in 2006.

 3MW dance-protesters

Today, overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) and their families in the Philippines danced in unison with 3MW (Millions of Migrants Mobilizing Worldwide). The 3MW is a global cultural campaign consisting of a choreographed line dance to an original song highlighting the root causes of forced migration and the issues migrants and refugees face everyday, such as family separation, labor exploitation, wage theft, detention, deportation, criminalization and discrimination.

The main event of the 3MW was held at the Washington Square Park in New York City at 2:14pm yesterday, “in honor of the 214 million migrant workers around the world who are directly impacted by policies put forth by the UN HLD.” OFWs all over the world participated in the event (please visit the official IAMR4 website, www.iamr4.com).

In the Philippines, returned OFWs and their families gathered at the Liwasang Bonifacio in Manila to dance and stand up against social injustice and the root causes of forced migration of Filipino workers, among them, joblessness, landlessness and poor social services brought about by widespread corruption in government.

“Today, we dance in solidarity with migrant workers all over the world to end modern-day slavery. Today, we dance with OFWs all over the world in continuing protest against a corrupt, anti-people and anti-migrant government that has treated OFWs as milking cows for patronage politics and the interests of a few. Today, we dance with millions of Filipino modern-day heroes in the call to abolish the pork barrel system and for greater state subsidy for social services, including direct services for OFWs in distress,” said Mic Catuira, spokesperson for Migrante International.

 Bonifacio at 150

The dancers donned Andres Bonifacio masks “to symbolize the continuing struggle of the Filipino people against modern-day slavery, neo-colonialism and greed for profit of modern-day foreign and local exploiters.” “Our modern-day heroes emulate Bonifacio and honor him on his 150th birth year,” Catuira said.

Catuira said that global protests against the pork barrel system will continue to escalate until November 30, Bonifacio’s birth anniversary, and December 18, International Migrants’ Day. Migrante International will also be joining tomorrow’s Million People March against the pork barrel systems in Ayala. ###