Published Feb 2, 2011 3:38 PM
Following is the BAYAN USA Statement of Solidarity with the Egyptian People’s Struggle issued on Jan. 31.
Filipino-Americans under the banner of BAYAN USA are joining rallies across the United States in support of the Egyptian people’s courageous resistance and calling for an end to the U.S.-backed dictatorship of Hosni Mubarak. BAYAN USA is equally inspired by the national protest movements unfolding across North Africa and the Middle East, beginning with Tunisia, Yemen, Algeria and now Egypt.
Despite mainstream media’s attempts to distort the protesters as Islamic extremists, the protests in Egypt clearly represent a broad, united front of various classes and sectors of Egyptian society that have grown sick and tired over deep, longstanding socioeconomic problems including rising unemployment, food prices, widespread poverty and government corruption. These are all exacerbated under the current global economic crisis coupled with over 30 years of Mubarak’s allegiance to U.S. foreign policy — which stresses economic liberalization and privatization in the region — over the Egyptian people’s national interests.
The Filipino people are all too familiar with how the U.S. hegemonic hand at the root of the Egyptian people’s misery is able to be sustained through puppet leaders such as Mubarak treating government as a private business rather than as a public service, otherwise known as bureaucrat capitalism. This was the case with the former U.S.-backed dictatorship of Ferdinand Marcos, whose Iron Fist regime was no match for the popular people’s uprising known as People Power that ousted him from office in 1986. Unfortunately, this has also been the case with all the succeeding regimes in the Philippines.
The valuable lesson the Filipino people have learned from ousting two U.S. puppet presidents through popular upsurge is that a change in leadership does not eradicate bureaucrat capitalism, domestic feudalism nor foreign dictates. This must come from continuous struggle for structural change by way of a revolutionary mass movement.
We are endlessly inspired by the Egyptian people’s fighting spirit and self-determination, and we demand the U.S. government withdraw all forms of support for Hosni Mubarak, who is now heavily isolated. This especially includes all forms of U.S. economic and military aid to Egypt. Considered one of the closest allies to the U.S. government in the Middle East, Mubarak’s Egypt has enjoyed being the second largest beneficiary of U.S. military aid in the world, receiving $1.3 billion in U.S. tax dollars annually. We also call on the U.S. government to respect and recognize Egyptian sovereignty by not interfering with Egyptian domestic affairs.
Lastly, we call on the people in the U.S. to show their solidarity with the Egyptian people’s struggle by holding the Obama government and U.S. ruling elite accountable for the burdensome economic crisis they have passed on to our backs, in forms such as skyrocketing unemployment and homelessness, critical cuts to education and health care, overbearing privatization of social services, the prison-industrial complex and the rising costs of consumer goods. We call on the people in the U.S. to strengthen and expand our unity against the U.S. war machine waging costly imperialist wars of aggression abroad in the bogus name of democracy and freedom. This is among our best acts of solidarity with the Egyptian people and all other oppressed peoples of the world.
Long Live the Egyptian People! Mubarak, Step Down Now!
U.S. Out of the Middle East!
U.S. Out of the Philippines!
Long Live International Solidarity!
— Bernadette Ellorin,
Chairperson, BAYAN USA