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Dallas protests political repression in the Philippines

By Cassandra Swart |
July 30, 2021
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Anti-Duterte protesters line up along Main Street in Dallas, July 25.
Anti-Duterte protesters line up along Main Street in Dallas, July 25. (Fight Back! News)

Dallas, TX - On July 25, about 30 people gathered at Belo Garden Park in downtown Dallas to protest killings of activists and indigenous people in the Philippines by Rodrigo Duterte's far-right government. The protest was called by Malaya Movement Texas, and the Dallas Committee for Human Rights in the Philippines.

The protest was a part of nationwide demonstrations against political repression on the date of the Philippines State of the Nation Address, with protests also occurring in Austin and Houston. The event was cohosted or endorsed by the Dallas Anti-War Committee, Dallas Alliance Against Racist and Political Repression, and Democratic Socialists of America North Texas.

Chants at the rally included "Not another nickel, not another dime! No more money for Duterte's crimes!" "Junk junk junk terror law!" "The people united will never be defeated!" and "No no to martial law!"

Speakers included Sarah Jalandoon, a member of Malaya Movement Texas, who discussed the importance of the ongoing struggle in the Philippines under Rodrigo Duterte, and the importance of getting the Philippines Human Rights Act passed. The legislation will cut U.S. funding for the military and police of the Philippines that engage in extrajudicial killings of activists and the indigenous community.

"We need to stop that funding, and keep telling what's happening, and keep sharing and engaging others to take up the struggle until true sovereignty and democracy overtakes the Duterte regime.
Freedom for the Philippines!" stated Jalandoon.

During her speech, Kawana Scott with the Dallas Alliance Against Racism and Political Repression expressed solidarity and talked about the similarities between the struggle against police crimes in the United States and the struggle against repression in the Philippines.

"Black Lives Matter are in solidarity with the Philippines. The similarities are many, but the more obvious ones are that when the laws crack down, it’s never to crack down on the actual problem, it's more about control. When we are cracking down in the war on drugs, we aren't cracking down on families not eating enough, we aren't cracking down on crime in the streets. We’re cracking down on what the symptoms are, not the problem. It's a tool used in our communities and used in your communities that has systemically destroyed our communities. We can see how our struggles are in solidarity with one another," Scott stated.