Reference: Pyxie Castillo, Secretary General of LFS-SFSU, firstname.lastname@example.org
On March 14th 2014, League of Filipino Students at San Francisco State University (LFS-SFSU) called for a silent rally and vigil to be held at the Philippine Consulate and Union Square in San Francisco to coincide with the National Day of Action called for by Anakbayan-USA. Our silent protest and vigil was to call attention to the continued and recent extrajudicial killings of Freddie “Fermin” Ligiw, a youth activist with Anakbayan in Abra, along with his brother, Freddie, and father, Licuben.
The silent rally at the Philippine Consulate was postponed due to the unforeseen closure of Union Square. The command for yesterday’s rally decided to postpone the action to ensure the security of the members of supporting organizations. The presence of several dozen police officers, firefighters, and FBI agents scattered around downtown, hindered us from continuing the rally. We decided to push forward with the Vigil, and relocate our constituents at the Federal Building, just in case it was still unsafe to be in the downtown area.
The vigil aimed and was successful in attracting the attention of pedestrians and passer-by’s. We proceeded with the vigil without a bullhorn due to a technical difficulty, and made sure that our contingent was not blocking the sidewalk. Towards the end of the program, the Federal Building’s security officer asked us for a permit, which we did not have (as we understood we were on public property), and proceeded to ask us to leave. We recognize that the security officer was doing his job, and acknowledge the professional manner in addressing our vigil.
LFS-SFSU is disappointed that we were unable to continue and finish our vigil program at the Federal Building, having been denied our right to freedom of speech, even with our action being both solemn and peaceful. LFS-SFSU along with participating organizations of the vigil will continue to express our concern over the US Military Aid that produces oppressive security operations such as Oplan Bayanihan and continues to target activists much like ourselves. Activists that want and work towards genuine freedom and liberation to be realized and reached in our homeland.
“…Freddie lived for revolution until his last breath and until the last shots were fired for his brother and his father. And I thank you, Freddie, for reminding me that to commit to our communities and to be participants in genuine change means that revolution informs our lives…to laugh and cry and sing and dance with one another, to build a future that belongs to us, to our children. This loss reminds me that I have no choice but to work toward ushering in and creating a world where the authenticity and beauty of life can flourish and exist. We remember you and honor your life. Until we’re free. Justice for Freddie Ligiw and his family!” – Melissa Reyes, Chair of GABRIELA-SF.
Today, we were given the news that yet another activist, and former political detainee, Romeo Capalla, was killed in IloIlo. His killing marks the 11th extra-judicial killing of this year. LFS-SFSU again, calls for all fellow youth activists, women, and workers, Filipino or not, to join us to boldly move together and dare to take action and speak out against the pattern of human rights violations happening against activists in the Philippines!
“What we experienced at the Federal Building is ten times worse in the Philippines. That is the nature of an oppressive state. We must continue in taking action and seeking justice for our fallen brothers and sisters in the Philippines! We must not let our US tax dollars continue in supporting the murders of those who take action! We must not let the US dictate and take lead in the militarization of the Philippines! We must take action against US backed militarization in the Philippines!,” said Pyxie Castillo, Secretary General of LFS-SFSU.
Justice for Freddie Ligiw & Family!
Justice for Romeo Capalla!
Justice for all victims of state sponsored violence!