So we have this family band side project… @itsmorphintimebitch @tintinkyrano @westcoast_lurkn @ajxeazy @gine496 @joyceeefruit_ @chestercastillo @itscandyland @go_kiana_go #happybirthday @k._.go (at Tha Haystack)
"Kahit na may bagyo, kahit na may unos, kahit may libo-libong kaaway, kahit na magapi at isa ang matira sa ating dakilang hanay! Tayong mangagawa at magsasaka samabayanan ay muling babangon! Ipagtatagumpay ang bawat labanan sa buong daigdig!"
- Awit ng Pag-asa (Song of Hope)
Before leaving for the Philippines, I reflected deeply on a question posed by a kasama: For whom do you do this for? Often times, my experience as an organizer in the U.S. is a slow, sometimes lonely grind, even with so many family, friends, and kasamas who reach out to me. And as much as I say that I do this for the masa, it’s hard when you feel disconnected from a movement that you study so much about, but have no idea of the life it breathes into the toiling masa an ocean away. From my first time visiting the Philippines in 2008, I was already aware of the conditions the people struggle with. But being exposed to it was different; it’s always different experiencing something that you’ve only read or heard about and at that time, I didn’t know what to do about anything.
It wasn’t until I joined the Pilipino American Collegiate Endeavor (PACE) and the League of Filipino Students (LFS) at San Francisco State University in 2011 that everything came together. Connecting the stories and experiences of my lola with my experiences, the experiences of new friends and kasamas, and the collective experience of the struggle of the Filipino people put everything in perspective for me. I recognize I’m here today because of the conditions and contradictions fostered through the semi-colonial and semi-feudal nature of the Philippines; those conditions and contradictions forced my family to leave for better economic opportunities and stability.
The idea of going on an exposure trip was raised when I joined LFS, but I wasn’t too sure about going, at least at that time. With an overwhelming amount of support and encouragement from family, friends, and kasamas, I decided to go on LFS-SFSU’s Baliksambayanan Summer 2014 Exposure Trip to truly experience being with the masa. My journey through Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao has breathed new life into me. This journey has shown me who the masa are and how the National Democratic Movement is an integral struggle that must be waged if we are to see liberation from the hands of U.S. Imperialism.
I know why I’m here, I know why I do this, and I know who I do this for.
- Do not forget Michael Brown
- Do not forget how the media dehumanized him and tried to justify his murder
- Do not forget how peaceful protests were painted as savage riots
- Do not forget police armed with military grade weapons terrorized and arrested black civilians
- Do not forget Darren Wilson being awarded over $400,000 in fundraiser donations for murdering an unarmed black child
- Do not forget that this system was not built to defend us, but to control us
- Do not forget Ferguson
Tonight in Ferguson, Mo. Even CNN is calling out police brutality.
We are watching history unfold. Do not stand down. Spread the word.
No justice, no peace.