Kamalayan Kollective

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ISULONG: AN OPEN LETTER TO OUR MGA KASAMA HERE AT THE UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA, SAN DIEGO.

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28 February 2010

Dear Sisters and Brothers of BSU and MEChA:

We, Kamalayan Kollective, a political, people-centered, feminist organization here at UCSD, stand in solidarity with you in your brave efforts to create a just and lasting institutional change at our university. Your recent mobilizations on our campus in response to the explicit acts of racism and the administration’s failure to address adequately your demands prove the intelligence and resilience of students of color and our unwavering commitment to actualized social and educational justice. We do not merely applaud your efforts, rather, we raise our fists and march with you, for we, as Filipina/o students, have, always have had, and always will have your back.

As a decolonizing people, we hold dear and work diligently on the premise that we have inherited a revolutionary legacy of working across community identities. During the 1950’s, the Filipino farm workers struggled alongside our Chicana/o sisters and brothers in the United Farm Workers Movement; Filipina/o activists linked arms with our sisters and brothers of color in order to push for civil rights, in order to push for the demands of Black, Brown, Yellow and Red Power movements. At the turn of the century, Black soldiers during the Philippine-American War defected from the U.S. Army in order to fight for Philippine independence. The Latina/o community and the Filipina/o community have come together on multiple occasions to resist the anti-immigrant character of our campus and this country. In all acts of self-determination, we undoubtedly have had your back and you undoubtedly have had ours.

More pertinently, on this campus, we, as Filipina/o students, who make up a mere 4% of the undergraduate population, who continue to experience the effects of institutional neglect, resist the cultures of racism, sexism, classism, and homophobia. We are pained to witness our sisters and brothers in the local San Diego Filipina/o American community shut out of this institution, and instead exploited for cheap labor and tracked into the military and into prisons. Through these conditions, we emerge as leaders behind significant campus projects and community campaigns such as SIORC, SPACES, the Justice for Janitors Campaign, and campaigns for Affirmative Action. We initiate long-term and short-term projects to eradicate the ills of imperialism, racism, misogyny, classism, sexism, and homophobia on this campus. We have developed (with minimal to no help from the University) our own spaces such as Pinay Speaks, Pinayism Class (2005, 2007, 2010) and several other Directed Group Studies courses in order to confront the toxicity of this campus and to acknowledge that real pain and real oppression also exists along the horizontal axes of social category. We draw upon this legacy as radical Filipina/o organizers in the United States in order to identify ourselves not as allies to your Movement, but as comrades and comadres in the same struggle.

We, Kamalayan Kollective, are here to have your back. As underserved students directly affected and traumatized by the campus climate, we are taking a stand in representing the voice of the Filipina/o students who are in solidarity with you. We continue to believe in the necessity of real and immediate action. Sisters and brothers, in these times of struggle, we need you to have our back as much as you need us to have yours. Together, we do more than stand, we fight! MAKIBAKA! HUWAG MATAKOT!

Real Pain, Real Action, Isang Bagsak, Isang Mahal,

Kamalayan Kollective

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Written by thekamalayankollective

March 1, 2010 at 2:12 am