For Immediate Release
March 14, 2017
Contact: Aurora Victoria David, NAFCON Secretary General, email@example.com, 650-491-4561
Filipino Leaders Launch Coalition Against Trump, Vow to Defend Community
San Bruno, CA – On March 12th, a new network of Filipino groups and individuals from different backgrounds across the Bay Area gathered at Skyline College to unite against the divisive and oppressive policies and actions of the Trump administration. They united to stand together to advance the rights of our communities. Representatives from more than 15 organizations launched Filipinos United Against Trump, or Filipinos United, and united on a plan of action in the current political climate.
Filipinos United will not just stand by as the Trump administration enacts policies that tear families apart, cut social services, and prevent workers from having a safe working environment. The group’s basis of unity states that it will “educate [members] and others, and take action collectively to ensure our families live at peace and thrive in our community. [It] will work in solidarity with all affected communities of all ethnic backgrounds.”
Though each organization addresses specific issues such as immigration, labor, gender justice, environmental justice, self-determination, and education in its work, the groups came together knowing these issues are linked to each other. Filipinos United choose not to be divided by particular concerns, but to build strength through collective unity and resistance.
Eugene Gambol of the National Alliance for Filipino Concerns (NAFCON) discussed Trump’s executive orders and emphasized that attacks on immigrants are not particularly new. Organizations that were present have been working on issues such as trafficking, wage theft, discrimination, and other abuses in the workplace for many years. Noel Abalos from Migrante Northern California underscored the poverty and lack of livelihood pushing Filipinos outside the Philippines, where they often face abuse and exploitation yet receive little to no support from the Philippine government.
Daly City Vice Mayor Juslyn Manalo sent a message of support. Attendees also discussed specific issues affecting Filipinos such as threat of deportation and budget cuts for social services. The group plans to continue to reach out to other Filipino organizations, businesses, government officials, lawyers, educators, faith groups, and others to grow the coalition and further strengthen the united voice of Filipinos in the Bay Area to protect our communities and defend our human rights. Filipinos United will organize Know Your Rights trainings, mobilize for actions like International Workers’ Day (May 1), and develop legislative advocacy and rapid response (e.g. in case of detention of an undocumented community member) structures.
Patrick Racela of the Kapit Bisig Kabataan Network (KBKN) concluded the event urging continued outreach to individuals who would like to get involved in assisting fellow Filipinos. Filipinos United is ready to respond to protect our fellow kababayans from deportation and other forms of abuse and harassment.
Photos Available Here
1. Filipino leaders from over 15 Bay Area organizations form Filipinos United Against Trump
2. Eugene Gambol of NAFCON discusses Trump’s attacks on immigrants and refugees
3. Noel Abalos from Migrante Northern California shares about the Labor Export Program of the Philippine government
4. Michael Tayag of NAFCON gives a thumbs up as the coalition approves the basis of unity
5. David Delena of Laya Migrant Youth for Change and Action and Charles Ramilo of Migrante Northern San Mateo County share about upcoming Know Your Rights trainings in Daly City
6. Justher Gutierrez and JP Sanchez of Anakbayan Silicon Valley talk about the need for active outreach to English as a Second Language (ESL) students in schools
7. Chris Quines of Migrante South of Market/Tenderloin discusses lack of resources and legal support for immigration cases in San Francisco
8. Pat Racela urges leaders to further grow the coalition for a stronger voice and power for the community