FILIPINO AMERICAN YOUTH CELEBRATE BONIFACIO DAY AND THE NECESSITY FOR YOUTH ORGANZING
November 30, 2010
Contact: Ivan Penetrante
Chairperson, Anakbayan San Diego
SAN DIEGO – On this occasion of the twelfth anniversary of our mother chapter in the Philipppines, on the birthday of Andres Bonifacio, and while our kababayan in the Philippines wage an ongoing strike against budget cuts to education, Anakbayan San Diego reclaims a history of transformative politics in the tradition of Bulosan, Vera Cruz, Silang, Sison, and the countless movers of history, those martyred and those who remained unnamed.
In 2007 Filipino American community organizers planted the seeds of the youth struggle by starting up an Anakbayan chapter in San Diego California, a militarized city marked by naval and marine bases, border violence, and an aura of conservative politics. Against this climate, and indeed rising from these contradictions, the Filipino American youth of Anakbayan continue in their conscious raising efforts.
Though experiencing our own specific conditions, Filipinos Americans are fundamentally connected to their brethren in the Philippines and across the diaspora. Our problems are inseparable. We are here in the United States for a reason. Filipinos continue to leave the Philippines in droves because of conditions of land and labor exploitation from feudal landlords and bureaucrat capitalists, the lackeys for the State-Finance nexus of the United States and their Global North allies. We are here because Imperialism continues. Despite the closing of U.S. military bases in the Philippines in 1992, through the Visiting Forces Agreement U.S. Troops continue to occupy the Philippines making a mockery of Philippine Sovereignty.
Here in the U.S., many face the problems of racism, immigration status, and unemployment. Filipino youth grow up struggling with their identity. Many try their best by taking pride in their Filipino culture. While important, Anakbayan San Diego believes that Filipino Americans should take inventory on why there is cultural alienation in the first place. We recognize the continual presence of the Eurocentric culture of the United States, now complicated by the commodification of a liberal multiculturalism that is void of any emancipatory politics. Identity and culture is important, but it is not enough. We recognize the necessity that the struggle for Filipino identity and culture is part of the struggle for progressing the rights and welfare of all Filipinos. Indeed, the progression of Filipino culture is a culture in the service of National Democracy. An ocean apart, Anakbayan San Diego holds to these principles and seeks to materialize them into progressive action towards social transformation.
SULONG SA DALUYONG!
LONG LIVE INTERNATIONAL SOLIDARITY!