Statement from Chicago Anti-War Coalition, July 9, 2021
There is a sign-on statement you can sign asking Congress to Block the Billion Dollar Arms Sale to [the government of Philippine President] Duterte! They are primarily seeking organizational sign-ons but individuals can sign as well. [jb]
Many Filipinos are very upset with President Duterte and the passage of an Anti-Terrorism law this month that he supports. This law empowers the government to detain individuals and groups without due process if they are suspected of opposing government policies, authorizes large-scale surveillance of individuals, and removes penalties for wrongful detention. We have been asked to join the opposition to this. Here is the stand of Chicago Anti-War Coalition (CAWC) on this.
CAWC fully supports the right of the Filipinos to work out their issues. They have an absolute right to self-determination.
What is happening in the Philippines comes in the context of continued interference by the U.S. government there and the U.S. joining with the local ruling class to oppose any opposition by the people. CAWC opposes the ongoing efforts by the U.S. government to interfere in the affairs of the Philippine nation.
U.S. government efforts today support the Anti-Terrorism Law and its attempts to put down opposition to U.S. imperialism and its agents inside the Philippines.
Historically, as we know, the U.S. government took over the Philippines in 1898 and forced it to become a colony of the U.S. Even after its so-called independence in 1946, the U.S. has been running things. The U.S. military had bases in the Philippines and still has U.S. troops stationed there and fighting against forces opposing the Philippine government. This agreement was extended last month, in June.
The Anti-Terrorism Law in the Philippines is a mirror image of U.S. anti-terrorism laws in the U.S. such as the Patriot Act. The provisions of the new Philippine Anti-Terrorism Law include: “Engaging in acts intended to cause extensive interference… to critical infrastructure…provoke or influence by intimidation the government … seriously destabilize or destroy the fundamental political, economic, or social structures in the country…”
The Patriot Act definition of domestic terrorism includes “an act.. that.. appears to be intended to: (i) intimidate or coerce a civilian population; (ii) influence the policy of a government by intimidation or coercion.” This could be applied to strikes or protests—for example, President Trump said recently that “domestic terrorists took over Seattle,” when referring to those who set up a commune in part of Seattle.
CAWC opposes such laws as being vehicles to suppress opposition to the unjust government and to its unjust policies of war at home and abroad, and to the oppressive and exploitative economic and political system.
The nature of the capitalist ruling class is to defend itself and put down all opposition. CAWC supports those struggling against injustice in the U.S. or in the U.S. neo-colony of the Philippines.
We need to build our organizations here in the U.S. with the aim of getting the U.S. out of the Philippines and changing the U.S. political-economic system to a system of, for, and by the people. This is the way to be of greatest help to those facing oppression in other countries dominated by the U.S. ruling class.
Chicago Anti-War Coalition (CAWC)