On the occasion of Philippines Solidarity Week, New York City Students for Justice in Palestine extends our firmest solidarity to the Filipino people in their struggle for genuine democracy and national liberation. As youth and students in solidarity with Palestine, we are proud to call the revolutionary youth of Anakbayan USA our comrades in the struggle against U.S. imperialist domination and exploitation. The solidarity week is commemorated every February 4th, the anniversary of the Philippine-American War, the first U.S. imperialist war of aggression in Asia. This war marked the early stages of the period of global imperialism, which we have yet to shake off, and remains a crucial point of origin in the genealogy of anti-imperialist resistance in oppressed nations all over the world.
The anti-imperialist struggle for national democracy in the Philippines is a struggle that demands the unwavering support of revolutionary and progressive organizations in the U.S and abroad. The Filipino people have been waging an uninterrupted battle against U.S. imperialism and its puppets for well over a hundred years, and have ousted several U.S.-backed regimes since the artificial granting of “independence” from the U.S. in 1946. Today, the U.S. has 6,000 troops stationed in the Philippines, more than double the amount it has left in Iraq, despite the 1991 decision by the Philippine Senate to reject the renewal of a treaty allowing US military bases on Philippine soil. Facilitated by the ongoing presence of the U.S. military, American soldiers continue to commit violence against and exploit the Filipino people with impunity, evidenced by innumerable cases of murder and rape. It is clear that the U.S. will go to great lengths to protect and maintain its political and economic interests in the Philippines and Southeast Asia, and even clearer is the necessity of international solidarity with those struggling against it. The revolution in the Philippines represents one of the most advanced and developed revolutions against reaction and imperialism in the world today, and is one that demands our unwavering support.
In January of 2016, members of New York City Students for Justice in Palestine travelled to the Philippines with Anakbayan-NY, a revolutionary filipino youth and students organization. The trip provided SJP members with the opportunity to witness firsthand the concrete conditions of the National Democratic movement, and to highlight the importance of international solidarity, from New York to Palestine to the Philippines. NYC SJP received a warm welcome from revolutionary workers, students, professors, indigenous activists and people in general who reiterated their undying commitment to the liberation of Palestine and oppressed peoples within the United States. In addition to us learning from the experiences of the movement there, the Philippines-Palestine Friendship Association (PPFA), formed during the International League of Peoples Struggle conference in November 2015, extended their solidarity to us by meeting to coordinate campaigns and actions in support of the Palestinian struggle in the Philippines.
Often, surplus military equipment that the Israeli Defense Forces do not need is sold off to the Armed Forces of the Philippines to be turned on the Filipino, Moro, and indigenous people of the Philippine Islands. Although the geography changes, when these weapons are transferred, the basic nature remains the same: a U.S. funded weapon stays trained on an oppressed nation.Since these two nations are bound together by the yoke of U.S. imperialism, internationalism is not only our duty as revolutionaries, it is a necessity to strain and weaken the ability of the empire to exert its hegemony over the oppressed nations.
We salute the fellow revolutionary youth of Anakbayan-USA in their continued struggle for genuine democracy in the Philippines, and wish them unprecedented success in their current upsurge movement. On Philippines Solidarity Week and beyond we hope to build an ever growing relationship of concrete camaraderie in the struggle.