In the weeks following the Michael Brown non-indictment decision, BAYAN USA members and organizers, including those of us in Seattle and Portland, joined the protests across the US in response to the human rights crisis exposed in the systemic police killings of unarmed Black people.
PCHRP members joined Portland’s AMA Coalition for Police Reform in an emergency rally responding to the Grand Jury Non-Indictment of Michael Brown’s Murder. Alongside 2,000 Portlanders, PCHRP delivered a solidarity statement calling for justice for the family of Mike Brown, and an end to state-sanctioned violence. Connecting the struggles of the Filipino people to that of the people of Ferguson, PCHRP rose in solidarity as we fight for self-determination and genuine liberation of black people.
Angelica Lim, Education Officer of Portland Committee for Human Rights in the Philippines (PCHRP), delivering a bold, resolute, and timely solidarity statement at the Portland rally in support of the call for justice for Mike Brown. We’re so inspired by the fighting spirit of this kasama. “PORTLAND! We raise our fists and take to the streets in our own communities to protest state repression. While fighting for rights of immigrants and working-class people of color in the U.S. we understand all too well the connection between our struggles for liberation, and the shackles of a system that is not pro-people. From our homeland of the Philippines, to Palestine, to Hong Kong, to Mexico, to Ferguson, we are here united.”
In Seattle, members of Anakbayan Seattle, GABRIELA Seattle, Alay ng Kultura, and the Philippine-U.S. Solidarity Organization (PUSO), marched with an Asian-Pacific Islander contingent in a protest led by Garfield High School’s Black Student Union and other young black leaders. BAYAN USA PNW regional co-coordinator Nicole Ramirez read parts of a statement by Southeast Asian Freedom Network (SEAFN):
“We need to do our work of connecting our struggles to those of our black sisters, brothers, and kinfolk…We know what it means for our lives to be taken by armed bodies of US government while no one pays attention, here and in our homelands. We know what it means to be forced to find peace with our trauma, and find justice on our own without solidarity from the outside world. We know what it means for the truth of our experience to be stripped from us by the system, and then have to live with our truth in the shadows and be invisible in our intergenerational trauma and pain. As Black communities charge genocide, war and state violence on their lives and futures by the forces that are meant to protect them, we know deeply the meaning of these very words and experiences as we carry the weight and history of mass human rights violations against our people from one side of the world to the other.”