Monday, November 20, 2006

San Francisco Solidarity with Philippines Movement Against Human Rights Abuses

The San Francisco Board of Supervisors tomorrow will vote on a resolution brought to them by many Pilipino community-based organizations that have been fighting for democracy and against human rights abuses in their homeland. The community coalition that has come together to demand labor and human rights in the Philippines is broad-based with representation from youth and student, faith-based, workers' rights, women's rights and many other groups. I am attaching below my letter of support for the coalition...

Dear President Peskin and Members of the Board of Supervisors:
Thank you for your leadership as a Board on Human Rights and Social Justice issues over the years. I am writing as concerned Board of Education member and an Asian American active in human rights and global justice issues in Asia to urge you to support Supervisor Mirkarimi's resolution condemning the political killings taking place against labor and church leaders in the Philippines. The resolution also urges Mayor Newsom to express our City’s concern to Philippine President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo when he travels there as part of the San Francisco-Manila Sister Cities trip next week.
As an activist I have been a supporter for over 20 years of Filipino American organizations that have worked against martial law [Marcos era and today] and for a more democratic and independent Philippines. The issues of human rights abuses, including assassinations of student and labor leaders, today parallel the repression and anti-democratic practices of the Marcos regime in the 70’s and 80’s when I was most active. Filipino immigrant students of mine from San Francisco State often describe in my Asian American Studies classes horror stories of their parents’ generation and of the ongoing repression today in their homeland.
As an immigrant rights activist I am proud of the long history and friendship between our City and that of Manila , the Philippines ' capital. Please do not turn a blind eye to the human rights crisis that is taking the lives of students, workers, priests, women, and anyone who dare to speak out.
By supporting the Mirkarimi resolution you will be ensuring that San Francisco acts in solidarity, along with Amnesty International, business organizations, and faith-based groups, with international efforts to press the government of the Philippines to uphold labor and human rights. Our Mayor's upcoming trip provides a timely opportunity for us to do this.


For more on Pilipino community activism in the Bay -

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