Organizing in the Filipino American Community

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Taking the Streets of Hollywood on Veterans Day

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Filipino Youth Say #NoDAPL and Stand With Standing Rock

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#FPAC25 at Echo Park Lake

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Organizing in the Filipino American Community

Pro-People for Seventeen Years

Seventeen years ago, Kabataang maka-Bayan (KmB, Pro-People Youth) was founded. Every year, we celebrate with our annual Solidarity Night, bringing together our rmembership, alumni, mentors, allies, and accomplices. On this momentous occasion, we reinvigorate our collective dedication to pursuing social justice, national democracy, and raising the next generation’s social consciousness. Here’s to 17 years, and many more!

Below is a select list of all we have accomplished over the past year.

KmB Year in Review

  • Justice for Filipino American Veterans: March and Rally, Lobbying in DC, Appearance on LA18 Kababayan Today
  • California Coalition Advancing Pilipinx Studies: Pilipinx Visibility Week, Huwag Tumigil Community Forum, #Double Erasure Campaign
  • Love for the People Power: Commemorating 30 Years Since the End of the Marcos Regime
  • Philippine Independence Day Parade
  • No to Marcos Burial at LMNB Global Protest
  • SCPASA Conference: Illustrate at UCLA
  • SB1015 Lobbying: Supporting Domestic Workers’ Right to Overtime Pay
  • Pilipinxs for Black Lives: End State Sanctioned Violence and Institutionalized Racism
  • Vigilant LOVE Coalition: Ensuring the safety and justice of AMEMSA Americans.
  • #NoDAPL: In Solidarity With Standing Rock
  • End Fossil Fuel Dependency
  • International Women’s Day March
  • Ethnic Studies Now Campaign
  • Historic Filipinotown Tours With USC, CSULB, and UCLA
  • Festival of Philippine Arts and Culture
  • #NotMyPresident Dump Trump Rally

Taking the Streets of Hollywood on Veterans Day

Demand an End to 70 Years of Injustice Against Filipino American Veterans

LOS ANGELES, CA, November 4, 2016 – Hundreds of marchers from over 50 endorsing organizations across Southern California will come together to hold a march in the heart of Hollywood on Friday, November 11, 2016, Veterans Day, to advocate for equity for Filipino American veterans who have been denied recognition for their service.

The action is led by Justice for Filipino American Veterans (JFAV), an alliance of community and student organizations united in the pursuit of equity for the thousands of veterans living in the United States. Veterans, widows, surviving relatives, university students, community members, and other advocates will be present on Veterans Day.

“Up to now, the Filipino World War II veterans are unrecognized. Our community, the Filipino community, is unrecognized,” said Arturo Garcia, the National Coordinator for JFAV. “That’s how grave the situation is. We must really continue the fight because it has been 70 years. There’s no equity. They must have their equity right now.”

During World War II, an estimated 250,000 Filipinos and 7,000 Filipino-Americans were drafted or volunteered to join the United States Armed Forces of the Far East (USAFFE) to fight Japanese Imperialism in the Philippines. As a result of their service, the US government promised that the Filipinos would receive full recognition as American veterans.

But on February 18, 1946 the Rescission Act of 1946 was passed and declared that their service “shall not be deemed to be or to have been service in the military or national forces of the United States or any component thereof or any law of the United States conferring rights, privileges or benefits.” To this day, this racist law remains in place, barring veterans from being fully recognized as American veterans and therefore preventing them from getting equal access to services they deserve.

Gathering for the mobilization starts at Hollywood Blvd. and Ivar Ave. at 10am for a rally before taking the streets of Hollywood Blvd. The march will end at the TCL Chinese Theater.

Justice for Filipino American Veterans (JFAV) is a nationwide alliance of Filipino World War II veterans organizations, youth, students, and community advocates based in the United States. Its aim is to attain the full recognition and just compensation, rights, and benefits for Filipino World War II veterans, their widows, and families here in the United States and those in the Philippines.

Stephanie Sajor
Working Committee
Justice for Filipino American Veterans


Filipino Youth Say #NoDAPL and Stand With Standing Rock

Filipino Americans in Solidarity With Standing Rock

Recap of the NoDAPL march and rally in Los Angeles

On Sunday, October 23rd, KmB joined the #NoDAPL action in solidarity with the Indigenous People in Dakota. The march started in MacArthur Park, making its way through the streets of Los Angeles, before rejoining with the Climate Revolution Rally at Levitt Pavilion.

Energy Transfer Partners claims that they will have safeguards in place against leaks. But there are no guarantees that the water and land will be protected. This month alone, there have been pipeline leaks in Pennsylvania, Nebraska, and Oregon. Just last month, Alabama and Georgia both declared a State of Emergency after the Colonial Pipeline spill.

But above all, the building of this pipeline is a criminal act. It is in direct violation of Article 2 of the 1868 Fort Laramie Treaty, which gives the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe the “undisturbed use and occupation” of their permanent homeland, the Standing Rock Indian Reservation. The project shows a complete disrespect for the indigenous people’s historical and cultural treasures. But as history has shown, this would not be the first time the US government and those in power have reneged on a promise.

From North Dakota to Los Angeles to Mindanao, solidarity means ideologies aligned for autonomy, community action, and pro-people change. We stand with Standing Rock against the creation of the Dakota Access Pipeline.

[Image: Navor with their hands blackened by ink, depicting oil, with the words “WE CAN’T DRINK THIS” in blue.]

[Image: (L-R) Chris, Kayzelyn, Stephanie, and JP marching in the streets with a crowd of people. Kayze is holding a sign that says “Sovereignty for Standing Rock, Tongva, and Moro people! -KmB LA Pro-People Youth #NoDAPL”]

[Image: Navor (on left) holding up a red sign that says “No DAPL” with an illustration of a Native person juxtaposed with a pipeline spill. Eddy (on right) holding a white sign that says “Honor Sacred Lane” with an illustration of the sun over rolling hills and a river.]

[Image: (L-R) Eddy, Navor, Nancy, Stephanie, and JP with fists up holding up protest signs. It is the end of the rally and march, back at MacArthur Park]

Read more about our work.

#FPAC25 at Echo Park Lake

It felt completely right to have #FPAC25 at Echo Park Lake. Family, comrades, and allies in the heart of our cultural community.

KmB fam Digital Martyrs, Klassy, Odessa Kane, and Bambu rocked the stage with that real hip hop. Current Chairperson and Education Officer Eddy M. Gana Jr. and Stephanie Sajor aka Steady went in with spoken word. One message prevailed amongst all performances: black lives matter.

Filipino and Black solidarity is needed now, as it was in the past, and how it should be always. For instance: On the cusp of the Philippine-American War, many Black newspapers and leaders opposed colonization and supported Filipino independence. Black soldiers joined the military hoping their show of patriotism would improve their conditions back home. But as the war waged on and they witnessed the atrocities being committed against the Filipino people, some of them defected and joined the Filipinos, literally risking their lives to fight for our freedom.

Now, as we see the Black community suffering under state sanctioned violence and institutionalized racism, the very least we could do is speak out on the mic and urge our community to show up for black lives.

Read more about past actions in solidarity.

SIKAP’s #DoubleErasure Campaign

Wear the SIKAP armband in solidarity.

The Pilipinx experience will not be erased from education. Our identity is not an elective. We wear our history on our sleeves. Join SIKAP’s #DoubleErasure campaign every Tuesday of October for Pilipinx-American History Month.

Why #DoubleErasure?

The term was coined in accordance with Pilipinx issues following the observed erasure of our people from higher education in the 1990s at UC Berkeley. This erasure was happening in two ways:

1. At the student level: the decrease in admissions and lack of support for Pilipinx students in higher education.

In 1995, Proposition 209 passed, dealing a blow to Affirmative Action. The effects were immediate. At UC Berkeley, for example, there was a 36.7% decrease of Pilipinx student admissions, even though 895 Pilipinx applied (more than ever before that year). In 1996, a statement of concern was issued to advocate for Pilipinx visibility which continued the efforts for student and community organizing.

2. At the educator level: Pilipinx professors being denied tenure.

There was a trend of Pilipinx professor being hired, but being denied tenure. In fact, no professor associated with Filipino Studies had been offered tenure since the establishment the Department of Asian American Studies 20 years prior. In 1992, Amado Cabezas was denied tenure in the Ethnic Studies department. Enrique Bonus was hired in 1994, but denied tenure the next year. In 1993, Oscar Compamones was hired in the English Department, but was denied tenure in 1996. (By the way, in 1992, an English professor had said that Pilipino literature didn’t exist!)

The erasing of our stories is continuing: In 2003, TAPS (Tagalog and Pilipino Studies Kollective) at UC Irvine won a multitude of courses but today in 2016, despite their hard won victory over a decade ago, only 1 course remains (Filipina/Filipino American Experience).

We use #DoubleErasure to remind ourselves that we must continue the work to ensure that our stories not only remain, but are recognized and respected. We can only move forward when we know where we have been. In SIKAP, we say: “You can erase us, but we’re still here.” And as long as we’re still here, we’ll keep fighting.

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