Archive for the Current Events Category

Fighting Fire With Fire: Protesters in Binh Thuan Fight Back Against Communist Police With Rocks and Molotov Cocktails

Posted in Current Events, Videos with tags , , , , , , on May 18, 2015 by Ian Pham

Binh Thuan ProtestPhoto via Dan Lam Bao

The following event occurred just last month, on April 14 and 15, 2015, only two weeks after the major labor strikes that engulfed Southern Vietnam for eight days.

In the province* of Binh Thuan, inhabitants took to the streets to express outrage at the Vietnamese Communist Party’s continued concessions to the People’s Republic of China, whose aggressive and intrusive actions in Vietnamese territory go on unabated, even fostered, by the government in Hanoi.

According to Dan Lam Bao, the people of Binh Thuan have grown fed up with the extensive pollution and environmental damage on their land brought forth by the construction of the Chinese Vinh Tan 2 thermoelectric plant. Prior to the protests, citizens of Binh Thuan were already concerned with the Vietnamese government’s decision to contract Binh Thuan land out to a Chinese company. Many attempts were made by the people to express these concerns to the government, but their objections went continually ignored by the VCP. As a result, with the construction projects going forward and wreaking havoc on the environment in Binh Thuan, the people took to the streets to make their voices heard.

The protesters came out in droves, in the thousands, and, as usual, the Party sent in the police to forcefully suppress the demonstrations. However, following the welcome trend in Vietnam as of late, the protesters fought back against the crackdown forces of the VCP. The authorities were met with fierce resistance. Many protesters threw rocks at the government forces, while others were resourceful enough to use Molotov cocktails to combat the communist police.

As China steadily maintains its encroachment on Vietnam’s territories, using the diplomatic, military, and economic means at their disposal, the VCP seems content on yielding in every case. The Vietnamese communists often avoid the issue at hand in the face of public criticism, all while citing the “friendship” that the two communist nations allegedly share, despite what reality clearly illustrates. The cowardice and treason of the government in Hanoi has sparked anger and disdain among the people of Vietnam.

The protests were captured on video and can be seen below:

Here are some highlights:

Vietnamese Protesters Throw Rocks at Communist Police

A flurry of rocks and other objects are thrown at the communist police. Jeers and insults can be heard from the crowd as they unloaded on the VCP forces.

Binh Thuan Protest

Protesters throw Molotov cocktails at the suppressive police forces on the streets of Binh Thuan.

Binh Thuan Protest 2

VCP police fire shots to intimidate the crowd, only to have them mockingly laugh and taunt in response.

The protests have since subsided. However, I think it is high time that the people of Vietnam stood up more to the VCP and their repressive measures, the way they did in this video, and in Saigon several weeks before that.

I support this development. It’s time to stand up.

Source:

Dan Lam Bao

* Correction: A typo was made saying the “city” of Binh Thuan. This has since been corrected to “province” of Binh Thuan. Apologies for any misunderstanding.

A Short Commemoration on This First Journey to Freedom Day

Posted in Current Events, Editor's Note with tags , , , , , , on April 30, 2015 by Ian Pham

Journey to Freedom Day in OttawaA crowd of over 500 people gathered in downtown Ottawa today for the inaugural Journey to Freedom Day celebration. Photo via Julie Oliver/Ottawa Citizen

Earlier today, Canada celebrated its first annual Journey to Freedom Day, a day of commemoration for the fall of Saigon, the harrowing journey of the Vietnamese boat people in search of freedom, and their vast contributions to Canada following their arrival. The significance of this day reaches far beyond Canada, however, as Vietnamese refugees were fortunate to find a new home in many different nations across the western world since departing from South Vietnam on and after April 30, 1975.

We don’t have much time left before the day is over, so I will have to make this brief.

Today, we mourn the loss of the Republic of Vietnam to the Communist North. It is on this day, forty years ago, April 30, 1975, that the Northern tanks stormed through the gates of Saigon’s Presidential Palace, signifying the end of the Vietnam War. Without getting into the politics of it all, it is acknowledged as a day of sadness, panic, and heartbreak. On that day alone, hundreds of thousands of Vietnamese people fled the country in frantic hysteria, with the sea being their only way out.

It is on that day that the journey to freedom began, and the day that a new chapter in our history commenced. For the next two decades, two million people would leave Vietnam in search of a better life. Of this two million, two hundred and fifty thousand would not make it.

For those fortunate enough, new homes would be found in distant lands such as Australia, Europe, America, and Canada. They were the lucky ones, the survivors, and they are our parents or grandparents. It is because of them, because of that journey, that we all have this life today. They risked their lives, they braved the dangers of that voyage across the ocean, and as a result of their strength and courage, we all are blessed with this life and this freedom. It is for this reason that a day such as Journey to Freedom Day carries so much significance across the world. Though Canada is the first to acknowledge the significance of April 30, we are all connected by the stories behind this day. We are all Vietnamese, and we are all here because of someone before us, who was brave and strong enough to embark on that journey to freedom.

Whether we are in Canada, the United States, Australia, or Europe, we are all here for the same reason, because someone before us took that harrowing voyage, that journey to freedom. Thus, it is important that we all understand the significance of Journey to Freedom Day, and how, despite being from different parts of the world, we all share that same history, the foundations brought forth by that incredible journey.

On this day, we remember the fallen. The soldiers, the people, and the nation of South Vietnam. Furthermore, we, on this day, commemorate the courage and sacrifice of the boat people on that perilous journey, and in that, we must never forget how precious a gift freedom truly is.

Enjoy your Journey to Freedom Day, everyone.

Always remember.

Canada Passes Bill S-219, Officially Marking April 30 as “Journey to Freedom Day”

Posted in Current Events with tags , , , , , , , , , on April 28, 2015 by Ian Pham

Journey to Freedom Event, OntarioPhoto via Twitter @MarkAdlerMP

It’s official, folks. As of late last week, April 30 will be known each year in Canada as Journey to Freedom Day, a day of commemoration for the Vietnamese boat people, their long and dangerous journey across the ocean after the fall of South Vietnam, and ultimately, their new beginnings and incredible contributions as proud and free citizens of Canada.

Jason Kenney, Canada’s Minister of National Defence, Minister of Multiculturalism, and ardent advocate of the Journey to Freedom Day Act since its inception, issues the following statement:

“This year Canadians will mark the first annual Journey to Freedom Day, thanks to a Senate bill which received Royal Assent today.

“The Journey to Freedom Day Act, which was introduced in the Senate in April 2014 by the Honourable Senator Thanh Hai Ngo, designates April 30 as a day to commemorate the thousands of Vietnamese ‘boat people’ Canada has welcomed since the end of the Vietnam War.

“Designating April 30 as an annual day of commemoration will give Canadians the opportunity to reflect on the journey of more than 60,000 Vietnamese refugees to Canada, to recognize the remarkable role Canadians played in helping them settle in their new home through the Private Sponsorship of Refugees program, and to celebrate the contributions of Canadians of Vietnamese origin to our country.

“I encourage all Canadians to reflect on the heartbreaking and inspiring voyage of the Vietnamese boat people, which is an important part of our country’s history.”

Mark Adler was the sponsor of Bill S-219 in Canada’s House of Commons during its lengthy process of becoming law. His hard work in support of the Journey to Freedom Day Act is another huge reason for its great success.

Here are some tweets and retweets by Member of Parliament Mark Adler on the passing of the Journey to Freedom Day Act:

There’s not much else to be said here, folks. It’s done, and it’s beautiful. The significance of this law echoes far beyond Canada itself, as freedom-loving Vietnamese across the world are rejoicing the passing of this law, and commending Canada for this great commemorative act.

Congratulations to Senator Thanh Hai Ngo, Member of Parliament Mark Adler, Defence Minister and Multicultural Minister Jason Kenney, Prime Minister Stephen Harper, and everyone involved in making Journey to Freedom Day a reality. Thank you for all your hard work, thank you for making this possible, and thank you for your service. You just made history.

In all, congratulations to Canada for being the first country to pass this trailblazing legislation. From Vietnamese communities across the world, inside and outside of Vietnam, you have done us all proud!

Journey to Freedom Day Becomes LawPhoto via Twitter @MarkAdlerMP

#JourneyToFreedomDay2015

#40YearsRememberingSouthVietnam

#LestWeForget

Canada Aiming to Pass April 30, 1975 Commemoration Legislation, Known as the “Journey to Freedom Day” Act

Posted in Current Events with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on April 21, 2015 by Ian Pham

Harper in Toronto Tet 2015

Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper speaks to a large crowd at the Tết 2015 Festival in Toronto in February. In his speech, the Prime Minister announces Canada’s intention to pass the “Journey to Freedom Day” Act. Photo via Vietnamese Association of Toronto

The Government of Canada is in the process of passing a new law commemorating the arrival of the Vietnamese “boat people” refugees to Canada after the fall of Saigon in 1975. Known as the “Journey to Freedom Day” Act, or Bill S-219, the legislation honors all of the Vietnamese people who escaped South Vietnam in the wake of the Communist takeover. If passed, April 30 will be known every year in Canada as “Journey to Freedom Day,” an official day of remembrance, recognizing the courage and sacrifice of the Vietnamese boat people and their incredible journey to freedom.

Originally put forth by Canadian Senator Thanh Hai Ngo, the law has already been passed by the Canadian Senate in December 2014, and has since been referred to the House of Commons for further consideration.

According to Senator Ngo’s website:

“I am extremely honoured to announce that Bill S-219, known as the Journey to Freedom Day Act, passed the Senate on December 8, 2014, and has now been referred to the House of Commons.”

“The bill regarding Journey to Freedom Day, alternatively known as Black April Day by the Vietnamese-Canadian community, establishes a day to commemorate the thousands of refugees who fled Vietnam in pursuit of freedom, and it pays tribute to Canada’s humanitarian tradition of welcoming thousands of refugees during and after the Vietnam War.”

“For the past 39 years, Vietnamese-Canadians have gathered on April 30 to remember a new beginning and to thank Canada. In 2015, the Vietnamese-Canadian community will celebrate the 40th anniversary of the boat people’s resettlement in Canada. I envision the Journey to Freedom Day Act as a way to mark this milestone year, to thank Canada for saving our lives and to commemorate the Vietnamese refugees’ new-found freedom.”

As expected, the Vietnamese government in Hanoi is not happy about this development. According to The Globe and Mail, Nguyen Tan Dung has written directly to Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper in protest of the new bill. In Dung’s letter, he claims that the legislation presents “a distorted version of Vietnam’s history,” and will likely “damage the bilateral relations both countries have worked so hard to build.” Moreover, a Vietnamese diplomat in Canada claims that the new bill “hurts” Vietnam, as April 30 is described by Hanoi as a day that marks the end of the war and “the beginning of reconciliation.” The Communist government has also accused Senator Ngo of “dredging up the past” in introducing Bill S-219, among the aforementioned and other similar complaints.

In response to Hanoi’s objections, members of the Canadian government have stated clearly that this is a private member’s bill, and does not signify Canadian foreign policy. Furthermore, Senator Ngo reaffirms the fact that the Journey to Freedom Day bill has nothing to do with Vietnam’s current regime, but rather with the Vietnamese refugees, and Canada’s warm welcome of these refugees after April 1975.

Jason Kenney, Canada’s Minister of National Defence, Minister of Multiculturalism, and Member of Parliament, explains that he supports Journey to Freedom Day because it celebrates the 60,000 Vietnamese who “risked their lives in search of freedom and found it in Canada.” Mr. Kenney also adds that, “Canada continues to have respectful relations with the Socialist Republic of Vietnam.”

Senator Thanh Hai Ngo sums up the purpose of the bill in a simple statement: “Freedom is not free, and the boat people paid for their freedom with their perilous journey.”

There are many reasons to support this bill, it delivers a positive message and commemorates that incredible and terrifying journey which made today possible for so many of us. It also celebrates the significant role that overseas Vietnamese have played in building up their new home countries after leaving Vietnam in 1975 and the years onward. This bill may be introduced in Canada, but the significance is not just in Canada alone. Across the western world, Vietnamese refugees have braved the ocean waves in their search for freedom.

As Vietnamese people who love freedom, democracy, and human rights, and this includes not just those of us in Canada, but also the U.S., Australia, Europe, and everywhere else, it is important that we support this bill and what it represents. This law marks an important epoch for people of Vietnamese origin living overseas, and can set an example for other nations if they so desire to pass similar legislation in the future.

To my readers in Canada, if you haven’t already, please take a moment to sign this petition and share it with your family, friends, colleagues, and anyone who may be interested. The petition is put forth by MP Jason Kenney, and lets Canadians show their support for “Journey to Freedom Day,” also known as Bill S-219.

It only takes a second to sign, and every signature counts.

>> Click here to sign the petition! <<

Let’s make this happen!

Sources:

Joan Bryden (The Canadian Press), Kim Mackreal (The Globe and Mail), Member of Parliament Jason Kenney, Prime Minister of Canada, Senator Thanh Hai Ngo, Senator Thanh Hai Ngo (2), Vietnamese Association of Toronto

Footage: Protesters in Saigon Fight Back Against Government Crackdown, Police Forced to Flee

Posted in Current Events with tags , , , , , , , , , on April 14, 2015 by Ian Pham

Saigon Protest, April 2015

Photo via Dan Lam Bao

Earlier this month, the city of Saigon and its surrounding areas were swept by a series of major worker demonstrations. The protests lasted more than a week, and sparked a confrontation between communist authorities and protest participants. Resistance to government crackdown was so fierce that members of the VCP police were forced to flee, with protesters giving chase.

For eight consecutive days, workers took to the streets to protest against the Vietnamese Communist government in response to a new law passed last November that limits citizens’ eligibility to claim social insurance. As a result of the new legislation, the people of Vietnam are unable to collect the social insurance money, which they have been paying into all their working lives, until the ages of 55 and 60, for women and men, respectively.

The social insurance fund is paid for by the working population of Vietnam through taxes, and is supposed to be available to the people during periods of unemployment. However, because of the new law passed by the Communist government, the people will be unable to claim any of this money until they are well approaching the age of seniority. This presents some obvious problems, such as the fact that the majority of Vietnam’s working population is well below the age range of 55-60, and are therefore the largest age group that will need to claim this money.

Another pressing issue that workers identify with this social insurance legislation is the fear that there may not be any money left in the fund by the time they reach ages 55 and 60. As one may or may not know, the VCP has a tendency to appropriate money inappropriately, allocating funds that do not belong to them right into their own pockets. Corruption within the VCP is a widely known reality, and like the many cases in the past, it is suspected that the government is siphoning money from the social insurance fund, just like they do in so many other areas of the treasury. The age restriction is believed to be a ploy by the Communist Party to bide time and prevent citizens from claiming money that no longer exists as a result of government corruption.

Thus, in reaction to the new law and all its implications, the workers in Southern Vietnam assembled in the streets of Saigon to protest against the VCP. The protests lasted for eight days between late March and early April, 2015, and drew as many as 90,000 participants on its first day alone. It would eventually expand to nearby cities as well, sparking strikes in Binh Duong, Long An, Tay Ninh, and Tien Giang.

In typical communist fashion, the police were called in to terrorize and crackdown on the protesters, with the ultimate goal of crushing the demonstration. However, in an unprecedented twist, the protesters in Saigon turned against the government forces and fought them back, causing many policemen to flee from the scene.

The event is captured on video and can be seen below, via Dan Lam Bao:

As can be seen, the VCP police force attempted to surround the protesters using their typical crackdown tactics. Only this time, the protesters pushed them right back, and in the end, caused the police to break up and run like a pack of ducks. Just goes to show how cowardly the communist forces actually are. They are trained to surround, isolate, and terrorize people who don’t fight back. When met with fierce resistance however, as exemplified by the video above, they just drop everything and run.

Communist Police Running Away From Protesters

Communist police. Bunch of pathetic losers.

DMCS.

Sources:

Ban doc Dan Lam Bao, Ban doc Dan Lam Bao (2), CTV (Dan Lam Bao)Hoang Tran (Dan Lam Bao), Ngoc An (Dan Lam Bao)

According to This Esteemed Communist Party Official, Fireworks Help Combat Poverty

Posted in Current Events with tags , , , , on March 26, 2015 by Ian Pham

FireworksQuotePhoto via Dan Lam Bao

“Những người nghèo, họ cùng khao khát được xem bắn pháo hoa. Những lúc thưởng thức bắn pháo hoa giúp họ quên đi cáo nghèo, cái khó.”

“The poor people, they all dream of the chance to watch a fireworks show. Those moments of enjoying fireworks help them forget about their poverty, their hardship.”

A real quote from a real Communist Party member, Phan Dang Long

Yep, that was a real quote from a real life Communist Party official in Vietnam. According to website Dan Lam Bao, Phan Dang Long, high-ranking official of the Vietnamese Communist Party, made this statement in front of state-run media in response to the question of why the city of Hanoi spends so much money organizing frequent fireworks shows. As shown above by his comment, this VCP official honestly believes that fireworks are a viable method of alleviation to the major poverty issue plaguing Vietnam today.

I don’t know about you, but if I were starving, with no place to live, barely any clothes on my back, and no idea how I am going to support my family or even myself in the immediate future, I highly doubt that some flashing lights in the sky are going to change any of that.

I don’t really have too much left to point out here, the guy thinks that fireworks are the solution to the crippling poverty issue engulfing all of Vietnam right now. This Communist Party official, in a public statement, I must add, thinks that FIREWORKS are the cure to the Vietnamese population’s pain and suffering. Let me reiterate. In an OFFICIAL STATEMENT to the press (government-run media, but still), this senior member of the VCP claims that FIREWORKS, not better education, not better social programs, not healthcare reform, not more employment opportunities, not the curbing of the extreme corruption present in all levels of the VCP, but FIREWORKS, are the remedy to the impoverishment and deterioration of Vietnam’s standard of living.

Wait, maybe I’m not being fair here. I forgot to ask how long the fireworks shows last for. A longer show must distract all the people from being poor and sick for a longer period of time, thus helping combat the poverty epidemic more effectively, right? This must be taken into consideration. Fifteen minutes of forgetting about the fact that you’re sleeping on concrete tonight is much better than ten minutes of the exact same fact, right? RIGHT?! Better than zero minutes, RIGHT?!?!

As comical as Phan Dang Long’s comment is, the sad reality is that brainless statements such as this are not uncommon for the Vietnamese Communist Party.

Mr. Phan Dang Long is the esteemed Deputy Chairman of Propaganda for Hanoi City. He is also an idiot.

DMCS.

This New Song by a Vietnamese Rapper Bashing the Communists Will Make You Want to Dance Like No One is Watching, Yell Out “F**k Communism!” With The Windows Down

Posted in Current Events, Entertainment & Media, Poetry, Songs of Freedom with tags , , , , , , , , on February 16, 2015 by Ian Pham

D.M.C.S.Okay, maybe not exactly, but there is in fact a new song out there that has been making waves on the internet. Written and performed by Saigon rapper Son Nah, “DMCS,” or “Địt Mẹ Cộng Sản,” which in English means, “Fuck Communism,” is an aggressive lyrical onslaught that completely tears the Vietnamese Communist Party to pieces. Corruption, cowardice, being morons that are unfit to govern, all of the things that we so often cover on this website in regards to the communists, Nah covers it all in “DMCS,” with his own poetic style, backed up by a hard and catchy beat.

Born and raised in Vietnam, the young lyricist Nah is currently studying overseas in the United States. Before coming to the U.S., Nah had already made a name for himself in Saigon’s hip-hop music scene. Even prior to his departure from Vietnam to the U.S., Nah had created music that brings to light the social decay that is rampant in Vietnamese society under the current regime. It was not until his arrival in the United States however, with the freedom of the press and absence of authoritarian censorship, did Nah see just how repressive and self-destructive the state of Vietnam currently is. With the free-flow of information, news, and unabated coverage of how corrupted, cowardly, and depraved the Vietnamese Communist Party truly is, Nah became inspired to speak about the matter in his new controversial track, “DMCS.”

The powerful and provocative subject matter in Nah’s song is reminiscent of our courageous brother Viet Khang. The key difference however, is that Viet Khang’s lyrics, though equally passionate and forceful, are more restrained, elegant, civil. Nah’s lyrics on the other hand, are just straight up nasty. If I could use one word to describe his work, I would simply state it as raw. And man, is it ever raw. With the lyrical versatility that a musical genre such as hip-hop music provides, our guy Nah just unloads on the Communist Party in his rhymes, saying what we’ve already been saying all this time, but with a fearless and defiant flow.

I tend to limit the use of profanity on this blog, but in this instance, I will make an exception. And, if I do say so myself, even though it may or may not make you want to dance like no one is watching (it might), and/or yell out, “Fuck Communism!” with your windows down (it will), I would just like to say that this track is, and I’m not even sarcastic here, straight fiyaaa!

It’s pretty damn good, folks. Just check it out for yourself.

(Note to my non-Vietnamese speakers: This song is in Vietnamese, but Son Nah has included the English subtitles, so that all of us can appreciate what he has to say. Just click on the “cc” button at the bottom right corner of the video (after pressing play) to enable the subtitles. Alright, now just sit back, relax, and enjoy.)

This won’t be the last we’ll hear of Nah. From the looks of things, it’s only the beginning. He’s spoken in an interview on SBTN, he’s made an insightful video on Youtube commenting on why he believes Vietnamese society is in serious trouble, and in terms of music, he has been and continues to come out with fresh new material. This guy is going places.

On a related note, I just can’t help but think of this after listening to Nah’s song.

Flag Pull Down

Fuck Communism.

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