The May 1 Coalition for Worker and Immigrant Rights supports the struggle of Bayan USA and the Philippine people against increased US military presence in the Philippines.
The U.S. occupied the Philippines (as well as Puerto Rico and Guam, and making a protectorate of Cuba) after the Spanish-American War of 1898 and colonized it for almost 50 years. Since formal independence after World War II, the U.S. has imposed several neo-colonial regimes, including the Marcos dictatorship and the current Aquino government. The U.S. had several major military bases in the Philippines, but these were closed under the Philippine Constitution as a violation of their country’s sovereignty. Now the U.S. government is trying to send more troops and ships as part of the Visiting Forces Agreement, claiming that they are needed to confront the rise of China. This is a part of the U.S. attempt to treat the Pacific Ocean as a U.S. lake, with the sending of thousands of marines to northern Australia and Navy warships to Singapore. It will only help to increase tensions in the region.
The Philippine government has also been exporting its surplus labor to the United States as part of an attempt to ease its economic problems. It is one of the countries with the largest number of overseas work force. But many of these Philippine migrants have been very active in the struggle for their rights, in the United States and other countries. We stand together with our Philippine sisters and brothers in their struggle for self-determination and national liberation.
No U.S. Military Forces to the Philippines!