Philippines President Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino III delivered his last State of the Nation Address on July 27 at the joint session of the 16th Congress at the House of Representatives in Quezon City, in metropolitan Manila. Shortly after he finished, a group of left-wing legislators unfurled a protest banner that read in English translation: “Human rights violator.”
On the same day in San Francisco, Calif., over 100 Filipino activists from BAYAN USA Northern California, GABRIELA, NAFCON and other supporters held a People’s State of the Nation speakout at Union Square. Speaker after speaker spoke of human rights violations and economic conditions forcing the mass migration of Filipinos from their homeland to the U.S. to find jobs to support their families in their homeland.
The protesters then marched through the busy shopping areas around Union Square and Market Street, ending at the Philippines consulate where they held a closing rally.