TUOI TRE VIET NAM: PHAI LEN TIENG

Below is an infomercial about the Speak Up Now! Campaign to help raise awareness about the plight of the 15 youth activists unjustly detained in Vietnam. These innocent young men and women, all of them religious and human rights activists in the Vietnamese Catholic community, were arbitrarily arrested and detained without any outside contact and the whereabouts of some remain unknown.

As of late, these arrests have become more and more like abductions–deftly executed and violent in nature, without any notification or explanation to the families of the detainees. But these youths are educated, faithful, and courageous individuals who are full of potential and love for their country and for justice. Most of them are only in their 20’s & 30’s, just like me, and probably just like you.

We cannot let this injustice go on. And yet, the plight of these activists is not getting enough media attention, nor enough awareness from the rest of the world… There must be something we can do to help these people; there must be some way we can show them our support, and that we are thinking of them…

You can help by:
1. Submitting a letter of support for the youths to phailentieng@lenduong.net. View the letters at http://phailentieng.lenduong.net/

2. Submitting a 30-second video recording of yourself (individual or in a group) saying why/how you are speaking up for the youths. This will be compiled to create a compilation of youth voices from around the world, standing in solidarity with the youths being detained in Vietnam. (Wear purple!)

We need your voice. Please help us stand up for Human Rights and for Justice.

SPEAK UP NOW!

Minh-Thùy

PBC Toronto at Oktoberfest 2011!

Sunday, October 09, 2011 – Monday, October 10, 2011: Kitchener-Waterloo, Ontario.

DTNPBC Toronto once again took part in this year’s Oktoberfest parade in Kitchener & Waterloo, where the biggest Oktoberfest celebration is held outside of Germany. Over here, it occurs on the very same week as the Thanksgiving weekend, so some of us PBCers got to spend Thanksgiving together. 🙂 We were also joined by our dear Hoi Nguoi Viet Kitchener Waterloo as every year, as well as the Vietnamese Student Associations of the University of Waterloo and Laurier.

The special thing about this year’s parade was that the Vietnamese community had a PARADE FLOAT!! It was made following last year’s parade with many donations from community members and the very hard work of the Tokyo Auto Collision bodyshop, who also run the Toronto Vietnamese Marching Band. This year was the first time it appeared in public at a parade!

Hope to see everyone there again next year!!

PBC Camp Video!

This video makes my day. Let’s go back in time to summertime with PBC!!!

SO MUCH LOVE!!!

Special thanks to PBC’s awesome videographer Chi-Linh Dinh for her hard work in filming and editing and putting together this awesome video to remind us of the fun times we all shared bonding together at Trai An Tinh 2011. ❤

First Vietnamese-Canadian Youth-lead Protest

Before I get to talking about the protest, I’d like to mention the very successful Charity Dinner for Democracy Activists that took place on the evening of Saturday, September 17th, 2011; organized by the Uy Ban Yem Tro Phong Trao Dan Chu Quoc Noi. Many, many supporters were in attendance, including the youth of DTNPBC, who also contributed 2 performances: a small choir performance of Phai Len Tieng by composer Anh Bang, and a small band performance of Ai Tro Ve Xu Viet by composer & musician Phan Van Hung. It was a lovely evening.

In other news, I should have posted about this much sooner than now, but it’s been a busy month for us students.

Sunday, September 18th, 2011 — In front of the Chinese Consulate in Toronto, ON.

THE FIRST VIETNAMESE-CANADIAN YOUTH-LEAD PROTEST AGAINST CHINA’S VIOLATION OF VIETNAMESE SOVEREIGNTY INCLUDING THE SPRATLY AND PARACEL ISLANDS WAS HELD IN FRONT OF 240 ST GEORGE STREET, THE CHINESE CONSULATE IN DOWNTOWN TORONTO. THIS PROTEST WAS ORGANIZED BY THE VIETNAMESE YOUTH COMMUNITY FROM DOAN THANH NIEN PHAN BOI CHAU TORONTO (DTNPBC TORONTO YOUTH FOR DEMOCRACY) AND THE UNION OF VIETNAMESE STUDENT ASSOCIATIONS OF ONTARIO (UVSA ONTARIO).

This day was a landmark event for the Vietnamese-Canadian community, because up until now, our Vietnamese youth had never organized and lead their own demonstration, but only lent a helping hand to our parents’ generation when they organized these events.

The protest voiced our community’s condemnation of the Chinese communist government, which, as of late, has been stepping up their aggressions toward other countries and especially toward Vietnamese fishermen, in the South ASIAN Sea.

I say South ASIAN Sea because this is what we believe the disputed territory should be called. However, the Chinese communist government have claimed the zone for their own, and have been bullying other nation’s ships that enter the area. They have even killed innocent Vietnamese fishermen who wandered into this “Chinese territory”. They have expanded their map to engulf the lands and territorial waters of other countries, such as Vietnam and the Philippines. For months, the Vietnamese citizens in Vietnam have been taking to the streets every Sunday to demonstrate their patriotism to protect their homeland and to protest the loss of lands that have been tied to Vietnam for over a thousand years.

Our community also protested and condemned the cowardly and unjust VIETNAMESE COMMUNIST GOVERNMENT. In 1958, Pham Van Dong, then-Prime Minister of communist North Vietnam, signed an agreement with communist China, handing over the disputed Spratly and Paracel Islands to China. However, THIS AGREEMENT WAS INVALID. THE ISLANDS DID NOT BELONG TO NORTH VIETNAM, BUT AT THE TIME RIGHTFULLY BELONGED TO SOUTH VIETNAM. Pham Van Dong did NOT in any way represent South Vietnam, whose PM was then Ngo Dinh Diem. Pham Van Dong therefore had ZERO legal right to comment on South Vietnamese territory, and the letter of agreement he wrote to the Chinese communist government should have ZERO legal value. Typical communists….

I also can’t stress enough this headache that some people give me. For the record, WE ARE NOT NECESSARILY PROTESTING AGAINST THE CHINESE PEOPLE. WE ARE PROTESTING THE CHINESE COMMUNIST GOVERNMENT AND THEIR ACTIONS. So, my friends who happen to be Chinese, although I love you dearly, I hope you will stop making ignorant comments in my presence. We are protesting what is UNJUST. Our community and its supporters are no doubt Vietnamese and love Vietnam, yet we are at the same time against the current Vietnamese communist government, because they are also UNJUST. But that in no way means we are against the Vietnamese people. If anything, we have resolved to stand in solidarity with our brothers and sisters back in our homeland of Vietnam, who yearn for Freedom, Human Rights and Democracy as much as we wish to help them bring all that back to Vietnam.

I am thrilled to announce that video footage and photos of the demonstration is now up for all to see! Please see below.

Look forward to seeing DTNPBC at the upcoming Kitchener-Waterloo OKTOBERFEST PARADE!!! WHOO!!!

Thank you to chú Minh, chú Duy & cô Hân, and my Papa for videography and photography. Thank you to all our supporters, young and old, for always being our encouragement as we carry on our people’s fight for Freedom, Democracy, Justice, and Human Rights in VIETNAM.

HS.TS.VN

Tet Trung Thu 2011

Saturday, September 17th, 2011 — Harbourfront Centre, Toronto, ON.

At this year’s Tet Trung Thu, Doan Thanh Nien Phan Boi Chau had a table to attract youth activists make their cause known to the community. They also distributed mini VNCH flags and flyers advertising their upcoming youth-lead protest to the guests and it was a big hit!!

Trai An Tinh 2011

Friday, August 26, 2011 – Sunday, August 28, 2011: Valens Conservation Area, Flamborough, Ontario.

Last weekend almost 100 members, friends and supporters of Doan Thanh Nien Phan Boi Chau Youth for Democracy gathered together for DTNPBC’s 2nd annual appreciation camp, Trại An Tình. That’s almost double the number of campers we had last year!

We had an amazing weekend of historical-themed games, a chance to bond and share and learn and reflect; most importantly to appreciate each other and all the privileges we have as Vietnamese-Canadians, children of Freedom fighters and refugees who risked or sacrificed their lives to give our generation all the best things in life.

Saturday night featured a bonfire “forum” in which every camper was offered the chance to express their feelings and thoughts about the relationship between the two generations – us children and our parents – and what it means to “bridge the generation gap”. Everyone seemed to agree that communication was key, but was lacking. I was very touched while listening to all the parents speaking and felt their genuine love and concern towards us. It was a very emotional and special segment of the camp.

I’m already looking forward to next year’s Trai An Tinh camp and hope to see everyone there again!!

Dai Hoi 6 Fundraising Dinner

Saturday, July 23rd, 2011 – Sacred Heart of Jesus Parish, Toronto, ON.

Last weekend, the Toronto fundraising team for the 6th International Vietnamese Youth Conference in Manila (Dai Hoi 6, or DH6) held a wonderful charity dinner and concert to help sponsor the Canadian delegation’s trip to Manila, Philippines. The theme of this year’s conference is Digital Activism, and we Canadians are proud to send our delegates to the conference with high hopes that they will return with useful knowledge and new inspiration to apply and to share. Also, a huge thank you to the Sacred Heart church, our organizers, volunteers and parents who helped us pull off this successful fundraiser; it was a lot of work but totally worth it! 🙂

DAI HOI 6 FUNDRAISER: CASINO NIGHT

Casino Night Poster

The Toronto fundraising team for Dai Hoi 6 (the 6th International Vietnamese Youth Conference) has been hard at work raising money to fly to Manila, Philippines this August and represent the Vietnamese-Canadian youth community. Last Sunday they organized a fantastic casino night event. Photos from the lively evening can be viewed here.

Our future leaders are one step closer to the experience of a lifetime at DAI HOI 6!

Harvest sprites at the ginseng farm

On Saturday, June 18th, 2011, our Toronto fundraising team for Dai Hoi 6 made a trip down to Lan Anh Ginseng Farm in Waterford, Ontario to work and raise funds for our cause. This August 2011, a group of youth from Toronto will fly to Manila, Philippines to attend a Vietnamese Youth Conference known as Đại Hội Thanh Niên Sinh Viên Việt Nam Thế Giới kỳ 6 (DH6) with other Vietnamese youths from around the globe. This year’s theme is digital activism.

It was a unique and fun experience. We all had a lovely day bonding and farming and hope to do this again!

Thank you to the sweet farm owner chú Anh; as well as our supporter chú Hộ who graciously came to help us out and brought us a wonderful meal to wrap up the day. 😀

Photos courtesy of Brian Nguyen.

First Annual Canadian VSA Summit

Saturday, May 21, 2011 — Ryerson University, downtown Toronto:

The Vietnamese Student Associations (VSAs) of Ontario, Canada held their first ever annual VSA Summit this past weekend. It was a successful afternoon with a good turnout and the discussion and learning of several relevant and useful topics, including Political Activism, Cultural Activism, Sponsorship & Funding, Culture & Bridging the Generation Gap, Leadership & Team-building, and Membership Retention.

I personally cannot wait until next year’s Summit. A big thank you to our two awesome organizers who brought the event to us. It was definitely a worthwhile and great experience.

Photos courtesy of Brian Nguyen.