On January 4, hundreds of protestors gathered in front of the US Consulate General in downtown Toronto for the No War With Iran Action, organized by the No War With Iran Coalition, the International League for People’s Struggle (ILPS) Canada, and Anakbayan Toronto. Chairperson Fatima Barron spoke on behalf of Anakbayan Toronto:
My name is Fatima Barron and I am the chairperson of Anakbayan Toronto. We are part of over 20,000 militant Filipino youth across the world who stand against US imperialism, feudalism, and bureaucrat-capitalism which ravages the Philippines. We stand for genuine liberation and democracy for the Philippines and other oppressed peoples of the world.
Anakbayan Toronto strongly condemns the attack on Baghdad’s international airport resulting in the killing of many, of which includes an Iranian General this past Thursday. This attack is ONLY the LATEST instance of US-led imperialist aggression.
The Canadian ruling class is not an innocent bystander. Canada is not only complicit but the Canadian ruling class plays an active part of the global capitalist system—which uses war to expand its reach.
Canada touts itself as the “Peacekeeper to the world” to mask their junior imperialist efforts such as placing sanctions on Iran, selling weapons to Saudi Arabia and working with the US-Duterte fascist regime to equip the Philippine military with a $233M helicopter deal.
The American and Canadian ruling class’ actions in Iran and the Middle East do not exist in isolation. It is crucial that we understand the wider context.
I am here today because I see the value in international solidarity. As one of the first colonies of the US beginning in 1898, the Filipino people are VERY familiar with US imperialism, aggression, and militarism.
I see the impacts of US capitalist-imperialism in the ways that the US funds the Philippine government, military, and police to target mass activists, progressive organizations, and all individuals who are critical of the fascist US-Duterte regime.
I see the impacts of US capitalist-imperialism in the ways that my people have to leave the country to work around the world, only to be met with strife and hardship in a land that did not want them.
As a Filipino youth in Canada, I am angry. I am tired of seeing the ruling class in the US, Canada, and the Philippines choose profit over people. Who choose to expropriate our resources, our land, our people over the rights and welfare of the toiling and exploited masses.
I am angry but I am optimistic. Hopeful even. Because I know a people’s movement is building and I am choosing to be part of it.
Anakbayan Toronto urges people to see past the smokescreen promising the superficial notion of only demanding peace. As long as the US ruling class continues to have vested political and economic interests in other countries, the US ruling class will continue to use aggression and war as a means for exploitation at the expense of the world’s working people.
To Filipino youth in one of the imperialist centres, we welcome you to join us in the unfinished struggle for genuine independence in the Philippines as it is one of our biggest contributions to the worldwide fight against imperialism.
For non-Filipinos, it is crucial that we build the global proletarian movement around the world. We urge you to join a progressive grassroots people’s organization. You are not alone in your anger. You are not alone in your fear. It is only when we take these emotions and feelings from today and put them into organized action.
We invite you all to join the people’s struggle around the world to choose revolution over reactionary war – to finally end the rotten system.
NO WAR WITH IRAN!
CANADA AND THE US OUT OF THE MIDDLE EAST!
FROM IRAN, PALESTINE, TO THE PHILIPPINES; STOP THE US-WAR MACHINE!
Photos courtesy of Spring Magazine.