Statement from Irma Shauf-Bajar, Chairperson GABRIELA USA, March 19:
GABRIELA USA vehemently condemns the March 16th attack and murders of eight people in Atlanta, Georgia, six of whom were Asian women. We send our deepest condolences, solidarity, and love to the families who have lost their mothers, daughters, aunties and sisters in the wake of this violent tragedy. We are devastated and mourn alongside the greater Asian community and allies as we continue the struggle towards genuine safety and justice.
These targeted killings are part of a continual increase of anti-Asian violence and murder in the U.S. Individual acts of violence must be connected to the larger systems – we understand that this act of racist and patriarchal violence is a symptom of the ever worsening conditions rooted in capitalism and U.S. imperialism.
From the Chinese Exclusion Act in the U.S., to U.S. wars of aggression in Japan, Korea, and Vietnam (to name a few), to the massacres and occupation of the Philippines by U.S troops, violence towards Asians in this country is part of the rising tide of white supremacy and fascism and is inextricably linked to the hyper-militarized and patriarchal culture rooted in the U.S. maintaining its Imperialist domination.
The exploitation of Asian women stems from decades of U.S. occupation in our motherlands. From Okinawa to Olangapo, one glance at the histories of U.S. military bases will turn up evidence of relentless sexual violence. Jennifer Laude and Yumiko Nagayama are only two of the countless Asian women and children who have suffered at the hands of American men.
We must protect our Asian communities, particularly that of working class immigrant and migrant lives, and ultimately we must DEFEND the lives and safety of Asian, immigrant, and other exploited and working class communities in the US. This defense must come in the form of organizing in our communities to address the symptoms and root out the cause of this vicious violence due to the capitalist and imperialist culture that is maintained by the ruling class and white supremacy. We must continue to organize for genuine safety, security and the right to live free from terror supported by the state.
In the face of fear, sadness and grief, let us direct our energy towards collective action and solidarity. Let us remember and hold near to our hearts the countless Asian women, sisters, daughters, mothers, aunties and cousins who have died by the hands of imperialism and continue this struggle for them! Let us link arms and work together to interrogate the US empire whose creation has come at the demise of our people! Isang bagsak!
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