Reference: Rachel Redondiez, Secretary-General, BAYAN USA,
email: secgen @ bayanusa.org
The US-based chapter of the Filipino people’s alliance known as BAYAN cited the Democratic takeover of both legislative chambers of the US Congress is no surefire recipe for major reforms, namely an end to US military aggression and neoliberalism overseas, unless the momentum of people’s mobilization on the streets escalates and intensifies.
“The series of mass mobilization in cities across the US for the past five years– for an end to US war and occupation overseas, comprehensive immigration reform, minimum wage hikes, same-sex marriage rights, and other people’s demands are what created the conditions for an all-out isolation of the Bush regime during these past mid-term elections. It will create the conditions for an ultimate end to US war. The outcome of the midterm elections only exposed the deepening cracks and factionalism inside the Bush empire,” stated Chito Quijano, vice-chair of BAYAN USA.
Quijano cautioned that the resignation of US Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, one of the leading architects of the so-called “US War on Terror” should serve as a catalyst for unwavering surgence in the US-based anti-war and people’s rights movement.
“Now is not the time to rest. Without continuous pressure coming from the streets, the Democratic Party will be left unchecked and continue serving the narrow interests of big business and the American elite. History has shown the Democratic Party’s penchant for US war of aggression and bloodshed as well, as evidenced by the Vietnam War, which accumulated one of the highest death tolls of US soldiers abroad,” Quijano continued.
BAYAN USA, an umbrella network of Filipinos based in the US, urged Filipinos to continue engaging in the anti-war movement from inside US borders.
“We are a people currently devastated by US military aggression in the Philippines, as well as targeted and scapegoated by the US War on Terror’s campaign against immigrants all over the world,” Quijano added.
Filipinos in the US stand as one of the most grossly underrepresented communities in US Congress, despite name recognition for over 100 years of sustained migration to the US.
“These so-called centennial milestones haven’t resulted in any change for the Filipino community in the US. We are still ravaged by the US government’s curtailment of education rights, civil rights, employment rights, immigrant rights, and every day an average of three World War II Filipino veterans still die without ever receiving their pensions. We are also victims of the war inside the US,” Quijano stated.
“We link arms with all oppressed peoples abroad and in the US and challenge the newcomers in Congress to heed the people’s agenda, scrap their foreign policy of war and neoliberalism, and use their legislative powers for genuine progress, not devastation”, Quijano ended.