Marcos Jr. Met with Protests by Progressive Filipino Groups and Parliamentarians in Canberra

Senator Janet Rice displays a sign reading 'Stop the human rights atrocities' when Marcos delivers a unique speech to the Australian parliament. (Photo Credit: Rappler)

Delegations of solidarity and mass organizations led by Bagong Alyansang Makabayan – Australia (BAYAN) and others gathered in the Australian capital to stage a protest outside Parliament Hill while President Marcos Jr. addresses the joint session of the Australian Parliament. The demonstration was to take place in front of Parliament Hill.

Jeant Rice, a Democrat, carried a sign that read “Stop the human rights abuses” during Marcos Jr.’s address. As a result of her resolute action, the lady was escorted out of Parliament immediately, and subsequently, she joined the Filipino organizations that were assembling outside of Parliament. Senators David Shoebridge and Gordon-Steele John, both of whom are members of the Green Party, joined her in expressing solidarity with the Filipino people and condemning the foreign policy of both Manila and Canberra, which is in cahoots with the imperialist interests of the United States. Furthermore, they demanded that fellow Australian Parliament members oppose the AUKUS alliance and joint military exercises in the Asia-Pacific region, and insisted that the Philippines establish an autonomous foreign policy.

Danny Ladera, the chairman of BAYAN Australia, stated, “We applaud the three Green senators who courageously stood and spoke the truth about the US-Marcos regime and demonstrated unwavering solidarity.” Speakers representing diverse Filipino organizations also addressed the chamber from outside of Parliament, denouncing the increasing human rights violations and atrocities committed by Marcos Jr. Additionally, they demanded that former President Rodrigo Duterte be held responsible for his ruthless war on drugs.

Alexia Fuentes, secretary general of BAYAN Australia and chairman of Anakbayan Melbourne, also condemned the charter change agenda of Marcos Jr., stating that it will further expose the Philippines to foreign capitalist exploitation and exacerbate the economic crisis that the majority of Filipinos are currently experiencing under the US-Marcos regime.
Following a brief interval of songs and protests, diverse contingents of the Filipino mass organizations marched in the direction of the United States embassy, where a concise program was being conducted.

The Bayan Australia vehemently denounced the imperialist intervention and militarization of the United States in the Asia-Pacific region, and demanded that American troops be withdrawn from the Philippines. In addition, demonstrators demanded the termination of the Enhanced Defence Cooperation Agreement (EDCA) and the Visual Forces Agreement (VFA), along with the dissolution of the AUKUS military alliance, which they viewed as a mere instrument for geopolitical conflicts orchestrated by the United States.

As they marched towards the Philippine embassy, the group continued their performance with additional songs, remarks, and dancing. Millions of Filipinos are currently starving, while Marcos Jr.’s extravagant and opulent travels abroad infuriated the Filipino community in Australia.

Concurrently, demonstrations were taking place in Melbourne, Sydney, and Perth to condemn the advent of Marcos Jr.

Later that day, President Marcos Jr. is scheduled to dine with a number of Filipino community members at the Melbourne Town Hall following his conclusion of the ASEAN Summit at the Melbourne ConvenCon ExhibiCon Centre. In addition to organizing and participating in a mass rally at the ASEAN Summit, numerous progressive Filipino organizations and other formations are prepared to mobilize and protest outside Melbourne Town Hall, where he will be dining with select community members.