Solidarity Statement with KMU

Dec 20, 2020
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Greetings of solidarity to the Filipino people as they struggle courageously for the national liberation of their people from the bondage of U.S. imperialism

As always, the National Alliance Against Racist and Political Repression (NAARPR) stands in solidarity with the struggle of the Filipino people for national democracy and call for the immediate release of the HRDay7. Six trade unionists with the labor federation KMU (Kilusang Mayo Uno, or May First Movement) and a journalist were arrested by Philippine National Police on International Human Rights Day, December 10.

In 2017 and 2018, we had the honor of hosting the KMU in Chicago, and to stand with them as the labor movement here placed the KMU plaque on the monument to the Haymarket Martyrs. They KMU is named after the historic general strike which was centered here in Chicago in 1886 to demand the eight hour day.

National oppression here is a racist system in service of a ruling class whose wealth is built on slavery, genocide, and war. Our ruling class also exploits the people of the Philippines, whose country was militarily invaded over a century ago, occupied for half a century, and today their government is a puppet of the US government.

We call for the immediate release of the HRDay7 and a stop to the filing of manufactured criminal charges against activists.

Three years ago, President Duterte betrayed his commitments to the Filipino people. For the working class, he promised an end to contractualization, the system in which most workers are denied job security, benefits, adequate income, and workplace and environmental safety protections. In addition, his failure in handling COVID-19 has led to the highest unemployment rate in history.

As the Filipino people have fought back against Duterte’s betrayal, demanding that their needs be met, the regime has responded by passing an anti-terror bill. Now anyone criticizing his government is a “terrorist.”

Working people in all countries know the same truth: the rich have their lawyers, police, politicians, and judges. The only thing we have is organization, and the most important of organizations for the working class are our unions. Duterte knows that for Filipino workers, too. That’s why he attacks the union movement.

Here in Chicago, we have built a strategic alliance between the multinational working class and the national liberation movements. Our struggle for an end to police terror through community control of the police (CPAC) rests on the backbone of the united front of the organizations of the Black liberation movement, led by the Chicago Alliance Against Racist and Political Repression, and the unions that continue to support us, especially the Chicago teachers Union and SEIU Local 73.

Ours is a struggle for the democratic rights denied to oppressed nationalities in the US, and we raise our voices in support of the Filipino people in their struggle as well.

Free the HRDay7!

Yours in united struggle,
Frank Chapman, Executive Director, NAARPR

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URGENT APPEAL TO ACTION: Free HR Day 7! Free Our Unionists!