Migrants protest against the ASEAN Summit and Marcos’ arrival in Australia

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This article is available in Pilipino

Filipino migrants and progressive groups launched a series of protests in Melbourne, Australia yesterday, March 4, as Ferdinand Marcos Jr arrived to attend the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN)-Australia Special Summit from March 4 to March 6. Led by the Bagong Alyansang Makabayan (Bayan)-Australia, protests disrupted the ASEAN Summit and Marcos’ activities.

The groups held a program at the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Center where the ASEAN Summit is being held. Filipino groups denounced the aid and military support of the imperialist US and Australia to the Marcos regime, which results in wanton human rights violations in the country. In addition, citizens from Palestine, West Papua, Hong Kong, and Myanmar also gave speeches. They directed their anger at ASEAN leaders for what they called “complicity” in war crimes and US-instigated wars.

In the program, members of youth group Anakbayan-Melbourne performed. They carried a black coffin made of cardboard inscribed with “RIP Democracy” symbolizing the death of democracy under the US-Marcos regime. They also brought an effigy of Marcos’ head with a long tongue painted with the US flag. Young people beat it at the end of their cultural performance.

At the same time, Filipinos also launched a protest at the State Library in Melbourne CBD where Marcos held a press conference. The police blocked them so that Marcos could escape through the other exit of the building.

The two delegations then marched to the Melbourne Town Hall where Marcos mingled and had an extravagant dinner. Marcos’ men and private Australian security forces dispersed the rally. Two of the protesters suffered bruises from the altercation.

“We condemn the use of fascism by Marcos’ private security and the intimidation tactics of the Victorian police,” said Bayan-Australia.

AB: Migrants protest against the ASEAN Summit and Marcos' arrival in Australia