For Immediate Release
January 31, 2017
Reference: Jackelyn Mariano, Chairperson, New York Committee for Human Rights in the Philippines (NYCHRP), email@example.com
NYCHRP Resists U.S. Imperialism and Racist Ban on Muslims and Refugees
On Sunday, January 29, 2017, the New York Committee for Human Rights in the Philippines (NYCHRP) joined a rally and march in Battery Park organized by immigrants’ rights organizations to oppose an executive order signed by President Trump that essentially barred entry of nationals from seven Muslim-majority countries – namely, Libya, Sudan, Yemen, Somalia, Syria, Iraq, and Iran – regardless of whether individuals had valid visas, green cards, or refugee status. Since Trump signed the executive order on Friday, January 27, dozens of individuals from these countries were detained at or deported from international airports across the United States. Massive demonstrations erupted in opposition of Trump’s racist Muslim and refugee ban, with thousands of people mobilizing at airports and in the streets in support of affected individuals and their families.
NYCHRP mobilized to the rally and marched as part of a contingent organized by members of the International League of People’s Struggles (ILPS), including GABRIELA New York, BAYAN USA, NYC Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP), and other organizations. They condemned U.S. imperialism and wars of aggression which they cite as root issues that created the refugee crisis in the first place. They also condemned the Trump administration’s fascist rhetoric, which has fanned the flames of racism, xenophobia, Islamophobia, and war-mongering in the U.S., using promises of policies such as this executive order and overstepping of executive power to strengthen right-wing political control.
“The US continues to wage wars in the Middle East and Africa while depriving the very people impacted by these wars any avenues of exit and escape,” said Rodrigo Bacus, NYCHRP’s Educational Discussion Officer. “All seven countries were targets of aggression under former President Obama’s surreptitious drone bombing war. Trump has now increased the stakes for people in those countries by implementing this ban.” Bacus also noted that this executive order reveals Trump’s capitalist interests, as he spared Turkey, Egypt, and Saudi Arabia, three countries where he reportedly has business ties.
“NYCHRP stands with the people who have been marching and demonstrating on the streets to shake and move the system to action: to compel lawyers to take overnight shifts reunifying families, to compel federal judges to block Trump’s executive order to a nationwide scale, and to force airport detention centers open to let people out,” said Bacus. “As Filipinos, we are compelled to act because we can very well be Trump’s next target. During his campaign, he called Filipinos ‘animals’ from a ‘terrorist country.’ In addition, a majority of the Filipino population in the U.S. are migrant workers and in the working class. Right-wing racist attacks against immigrants’ and workers’ rights will surely affect us and we have to oppose them.”
Obama’s drone wars also affected the Philippines, particularly in areas of Mindanao where the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF), an armed Muslim organization that seeks independence from the Philippines, is active. The U.S. has used this conflict to justify military presence and funding to the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP), which historically has suppressed people’s movements and has had a deplorable human rights record. Civilians have been killed in drone attacks and other military actions, causing many people to seek refuge from the armed conflict.
“Human rights defenders and peace advocates know that these violations of human rights are really about rich imperialists trying to solidify their stake and control of resources around the world,” said Bacus. “Fascist governments use ‘law and order’ and ‘national security’ as a means to frighten and control our communities, and place the blame on us while our communities are under attack. In response, we resolve to defend human rights, resist fascism and imperialism, and to expose and dismantle the institutions and people who facilitate and perpetuate dehumanization. We invite other advocates and defenders to join ILPS and NYCHRP in this effort and stand up for justice!”
As a result of Trump’s executive order, families were split behind walls at international airports in the country, fighting for reunification. After the march concluded at Foley Square, some members of the contingent joined activists from the National Alliance for Filipino Concerns (NAFCON) at JFK airport, where legal advocates and activists have been taking shifts to support new arrivals who could be affected by the Muslim ban.
Don’t Shut US Doors on People Harmed by US Wars!
From Palestine to Mexico, All the Walls Have Got to Go!
From Palestine to the Philippines, Stop The US War Machine!
#NoBanNoWall #NoBan #NoWall #Muslimban #Trumptravelban #BAYANUSA #ILPS