Justice for Filipino American Veterans (JFAV) to hold Veterans Day Protest in L.A.

All is set for the 9th Veterans Day Protest March for Thursday, November 11, in Los Angeles.

The Justice for Filipino American Veterans (JFAV) said they are calling on all community organizations, school and youth organizations in Southern California; advocates, veterans groups, widows and relatives of veterans to join the protest march to downtown Federal building on Veterans Day, November 11.

The assembly area will be at Search to Involve the Filipino Americans (SIPA) beginning at 9 a.m. The march route will be from Temple St. (at the corner of Glendale Ave.) to 2nd St. to downtown Federal building. The march will start at 10:30 a.m., organizers said.

According to JFAV coordinator Arturo P. Garcia, the Veterans Day Protest March will be a carryover activity from the Annual Veterans Day Parade in Historic Filipinotown that was started by People’s CORE and the JFAV in 2001. It used to be a parade in honor of Filipino World War II Veterans who fought for America and freedom during the Second World War from 1941-1945.

Expected to participate are Filipino American youth organizations from 16 schools, community and people’s organizations and non-profit organizations in Southern California, Garcia said.

He said some of the student and youth organizations taking part are Kappa Psi Epsilo, Chi Rho , XPO, TBD, Samahang Pilipino at UCLA, Kababayan of UC Irvine. Katipunan UC Riverside, CalPoly BARKADA, FASA from CSUN, Long Beach PAC, USC Troy Phi, Andres Bonifacio Samahan from San Diego, to mention a few.

Veterans and community organizations like the Society of Guerilla and Scouts (SGS), United  Filipino American Veterans (UFAV), VFP-UC Chapter, AWARE-LA, Seniors for PACE (SPACE) , BANTAY PILIPINAS, ANSWER-LA, People’s CORE and others will send participants, Garcia said.

Community youths like the Pro People Youth KMB from Los Angeles and San Diego, AJLPP. Carson Youth Movement, EJN and AFFIRM will also join the protest march.
Invited to speak at the rally are California Senator-elect Gil Cedillo of District 45 and Consul General Mary Jo Aragon or their representatives. A short program before the March will be held.

From Parade to Protest

Garcia said  the JFAV has had to change the activity from a parade to a protest after the Department of Veterans Affair (DVA) “denied more than 20,000 veterans of their lump sum claims in 2009 which forced the veterans have to go through a circuitous and tedious appeals process that eventually deny them of their claims.”

More than 46,000 veterans filed their claims in the Philippines and the United States but the DVA only granted less than 11,000 claims and flatly denied more than 20,000 others “because they are not on the so-called Missouri List,” Garcia said, which was what the U.S. used in qualifying who can receive the benefits.

JFAV along with the Association of Widows, Relatives and Advocates for Equality (AWARE) and the Migrant Heritage Commission led the efforts to help the veterans, their widows and their heirs to file a civil suit against the DVA last October 8 in San Francisco.

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