BAYAN-USA-NORCAL Supports the Rights of the Egyptian and Tunisian People to Struggle for Genuine Freedom and Democracy

The allied organizations of the Bagong Alyansang Makabayan-USA Northern CA (BAYAN-USA-NORCAL), as members of the International League of Peoples’ Struggle (ILPS), stand in solidarity with the people of Egypt and Tunisia as they struggle for genuine democracy and freedom. As patriotic and peace loving Filipinos living the United States we feel that the massive demonstrations in which the Egyptian and Tunisian people are aggressively asserting their rights to freedom and dignity are not only just, but necessary considering the unbearable conditions of repression and negligence to basic human rights brought on by more than three decades of rule by respective fascist dictatorships of Hosni Mubarak and Zine El Abidine Ben Ali. For Filipinos the world over the scene of a sea of humanity calling out for a dramatic and sweeping change in socio-political conditions is “déjà vu all over again.”

The peoples’ uprisings that are ongoing in the nations of Egypt and Tunisia come literally weeks before the anniversary of the famed People Power Uprising in the Philippines which overthrew the fascist dictator Ferdinand Marcos. Even for young Filipinos who were not alive at the time of People Power the scenes of Filipinos occupying Epifanio de los Santos Avenue (or EDSA) are imbued in their collective consciousness as if they had actually been present during those fateful three days in late February of 1986.

Much like in Egypt and Tunisia today, the demonstrators were not simply a group of activists or students, but represented all classes and sectors of society. Working people, professionals, government officials, clergy members, men, women, youth; they were all present. Over 2,000,000 Filipino civilians spoke in a common voice calling for an end to the regime of Ferdinand Marcos and for definitive solutions to the lack of employment, landlessness, and poor access to basic needs and services.

We have faith in the possibility that Mubarak’s iron grip on the nation of Egypt will in fact be loosened and overcome and we also hope for genuine democracy in Tunisia with the departure of Ben Ali. We are not, however, naïve about the likelihood that the bourgeois interests of the old Egyptian and Tunisian elite will hijack the victory of the Egyptian and Tunisian people simply to recycle the old anti-people policies of the Mubarak and Ben Ali regimes under different names.

Despite the overthrow of Marcos Filipinos came into yet another round of repressive leaders representing the interests of the comprador/landlord class and Philippine elite puppeted by American Imperialism. Filipinos welcomed Corazon Aquino and her yellow-clad Laban Party with open arms, yet were met with the same repression and disregard for human rights that they faced during the Marcos dictatorship. The people’s struggle in the Philippines continues to this day and so shall the struggles of the Egyptian and Tunisian peoples.

Regardless of the immediate outcome of the current demonstrations we are convinced that Egyptians, Tunisians, Filipinos and all oppressed people of the world will continue undaunted in their quest for liberation until genuine freedom has been won. Long Live International Solidarity! ###

 

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