Statement of Solidarity of GABRIELA with the Third World Resistance Coalition on Martin Luther King Jr. Day
On the occasion of the Martin Luther King Day Jr. Day, GABRIELA Alliance of Women in the Philippines sends our solidarity with the Third World Resistance and hails the BlackLivesMatter struggle of the Black people in the United States. The struggle of the BlackLivesMatter movement for dignity and emancipation provides a wellspring of inspiration to all the working women of the world who are struggling against imperialism.
Like Martin Luther King, Filipino revolutionaries during the period of colonization of the Philippines were vilified and killed by colonialist Americans. Like the American ruling elites’ arrogance towards black Americans, American colonialists looked down on Filipinos and called us “uncivilized brown savages”. As black Americans were killed, so were Filipinos killed and massacred in the Bud Dajo and Balangiga massacres during the Philippine-American War.
The story of the American colonization of the Philippines is a story of deception, occupation, war of aggression, violent repression and exploitation of a people. The United States unleashed upon the Philippines a grand deception scheme called “benevolent assimilation” which led to the colonization and exploitation of the Filipino nation.
From the time of occupation up to the neo-colonial period, from McKinley to Obama, the US policy towards the Philippines remains a policy of stoking servility, of the Philippines serving the US in all aspects: economic, political, military and cultural. The US dictates upon the Philippines economic and political policies that serve US corporate interest through a puppet government and a bunch of bureaucrat capitalists, through a military force that it trains and keeps under its fold through the Mutual Defense Treaty and the Visiting Forces Agreement, through an education system patterned after its own education system and realized fully with the recent implementation of the K-12 system that will ensure a steady supply of cheap labor and docile citizens.
Then and now, the racism of the US elite and ruling class towards Filipinos is akin to their racism towards the black people in the United States. This racism is a product of a flagrantly brutal regime and the worsening crisis of imperialism that perpetuates sexism and prejudice, chauvinism, racism and bigotry, jingoism and state terrorism, fascism and wars of aggression.
Nevertheless, the history of American colonization of the Philippines is also a story of struggle and resistance. Filipinos have always yearned for emancipation, freedom and democracy, and resistance has always been the only way to realize this yearning.
Only by overthrowing US imperialism and destroying colonialism and imperialism can the people, including the black people in the United States, challenge racism, live with dignity and be truly free.
Black Lives Matter. The more than 40 to 45 million (US Census) black population in the United States is a force to reckon with. Their struggle and resistance will put a big blow to imperialism which is currently besieged with economic and political problems both domestic and abroad.
The Filipino working women, the working women of the United States and the black peoples and women have one objective, one interest and one struggle. The struggle of the black people connects with the struggle of the working people of the world in one call: Down with imperialism!