BAYAN-USA Statement on Occupy Wall Street
October 12, 2011
Reference: Bernadette Ellorin, Chairperson, BAYAN-USA, email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Filipino-Americans across the US, under the banner of BAYAN-USA, salute the historic Occupy Wall Street (OWS) movement in New York City and the surge of solidarity protests that have unfolded across the country and even globally. BAYAN-USA member organizations are amongst those who are proudly marching in the streets of downtown Manhattan as well as in Los Angeles, Oakland, San Diego and San Francisco, under the umbrella call of exposing and opposing the vastly unequal distribution of wealth between the American people and the tiny financial oligarchy of banks and financial firms Wall St. represents.
At a minimum, OWS raises the basic question of fairness and equality, and the fact that there are no such principles under the current state of the US economic system. At a maximum, OWS has the potential to qualitatively raise the level of class consciousness in the US that can contribute to the shaping of a broad anti-imperialist united front in the belly of the world’s number one imperialist superpower. Whatever direction it takes, the unraveling of the rotten character of capitalism and its irreconcilability with human prosperity continues to push the angry American people to the realization that to stand against economic inequality is not only justified, but necessary for change to happen.
The ongoing decline of the domestic US economy in the form of the liquidation of the public sector, the hyper-dominance of military and prison industries, and the massive multi-trillion dollar bail-outs of big banks such as JP Morgan Chase and Goldman-Sachs is the result of a protracted domino effect from the worsening global economic crisis. This crisis is attributed to the flawed and unsustainable character of monopoly capitalism, or imperialism. Imperialism’s neoliberal economic framework, with its reliance on finance capital, has transformed the global economy into a virtual pyramid scheme of transnational bank transactions and predatory lending, built on risk and speculation versus the real economy. It is the same economic decline that moves the OWS protesters across the US because of rising unemployment and that is chronic to the Philippine economy, driving 4,000 Filipinos to leave the country everyday in search of jobs.
As a large immigrant group in the US, Filipino-Americans have a key role to play in exposing that the tyranny of corporate greed is rooted in the system of imperialism that not only impacts our communities here in the U.S., but is the root of the suffering of our people in our homeland and the cause of forced migration of Filipinos throughout the world. This is because of the Philippines’ particular experience as a semi-feudal, semi-colonial outpost for US imperialism, and how Third World poverty is manufactured out of this condition. This continues to be apparent under the regime of Benigno “PNoy” Aquino III, whose neoliberal economic agenda has turned the Philippine economy into one dependent on foreign investment rather than on its own domestic production as a nation. Without a Philippine economy that is nationally sovereign– including a genuine agrarian reform program that is equitable for the majority of the Filipino people who live off of it and a genuine program for national industrialization that can provide jobs so Filipinos don’t have to look for them abroad– the Philippines will remain tied to a rotten global economic system that is showing clear signs of decay, causing more burdensome misery for the Filipino people.
As with all other pyramid schemes, this one too is destined to collapse. But the timing of this collapse can be hastened by a broad mass movement determined to knock it down and build a better alternative. Just as the people’s movement in the Philippines for genuine national independence and democracy espouses a vision for socialism as a viable and pro-people alternative, as are governments in Latin America asserting their sovereignty by nationalizing their industries and natural resources, so must the American people fight for an alternative economic system that not only puts people’s needs over profits, but one that is not built on world hegemony and the destruction of other nations all over the world.
PEOPLE OVER PROFIT!
NO TO CORPORATE GREED!
DISMANTLE FINANCIAL OLIGARCHY!
DOWN WITH US IMPERIALISM!
LONG LIVE OCCUPY WALL STREET! ###
BAYAN-USA is an alliance of 15 progressive Filipino organizations in the U.S. representing youth, students, women, workers, artists, and human rights advocates. As the oldest and largest overseas chapter of Bagong Alyansang Makabayan (BAYAN-Philippines), BAYAN-USA serves as an information bureau for the national democratic movement of the Philippines and as a campaign center for anti-imperialist Filipinos in the U.S. For more information, visit www.bayanusa.org