Hundreds of Filipinos joined the largest pro-Palestine rally in United States of America (USA) history held in Washington DC last Saturday, November 4, Bagong Alyansang Makabayan (BAYAN USA) reported.
Over 300 Filipinos for Palestine members and allies participated in the historic National March on Washington for a Free Palestine event attended by over 300,000 protesters as Israel’s punitive action against Gazans enters its second month.
The Filipino-Americans said they demand an immediate ceasefire between Hamas and the State of Israel, for the latter to end its siege on Gaza, and for the US and the Philippines to end its support for Israel.
“As Filipinos, we know what it’s like to struggle against foreign occupation and domination, what it is like to fight for national liberation across generations,” BAYAN USA said.
“Philippine and Palestinian liberation are inextricably linked because we have a common enemy. So let us rise up and link arms across our movements and build anti-imperialist solidarity,” the group added.
The latest conflict began after Palestinian group Hamas conducted military strikes against Israel last October 7 that also killed civilians, including four overseas Filipino workers.
Hamas took as prisoners hundreds of Israelis they said they shall be freed in exchange for thousands of Palestinian political prisoners held in Israeli prisons.
The State of Israel responded with massive air and ground strikes against all 2.2 million Gazans.
The Palestinian health ministry reported that at least 9770 people, 4,008 of whom were children, have been killed in nearly a month of Israeli strikes.
The massive rally in Washington came after the US government last October 18 vetoed the Brazil-led resolution at the United Nations (UN) calling for a ceasefire in Palestine.
The Philippine government abstained from voting on the resolution, the only Southeast Asian government that did not support the proposed measure.
This prompted BAYAN in the Philippines to spearhead a protest action at the Israeli Embassy in Manila last Tuesday, October 31.
At the Manila rally, BAYAN president Renato Reyes revealed the Philippines had been the third largest buyer of Israeli weapons from 2018 to 2022 used among others in former president Rodrigo Duterte’s bloody drug war that is under investigation by the International Criminal Court in The Hague, The Netherlands.
In Washington DC, BAYAN USA stated they demand an immediate end to the purchasing of weapons from Israel it said funnels hundreds of millions of dollars toward death rather than the needs of Filipinos.
“The Marcos administration’s silence on Israel’s genocide of the Palestinian people is unacceptable. It is also a death sentence for the tens of thousands of overseas Filipino workers in occupied Palestine, who are also seen as ‘collateral damage’ by Israel in its attacks against Palestine,” BAYAN USA said.
The Filipinos for Palestine contingent was organized by BAYAN USA, Malaya Movement, Kabataan Alliance, Anakbayan USA, and GABRIELA USA that were among the over 500 endorsers of the march. # (Raymund B. Villanueva)