To the executive officers, board members, committee chairs and all relevant representatives of the Association for Asian American Studies:
On behalf of the Filipino American and ally organizations listed below, we commend the Association of Asian American Studies (AAAS) resolution joining a global response to the call of the Palestinian civil society to end Israeli occupation. Founded in 1979, AAAS advances the teaching and research of Asian American studies in higher education as well as other sites of learning as a means to promote “better understanding and closer ties between and among various sub-components within Asian American Studies” and other ethnic and understudied groups. We support the association”s April 2013 resolution to support the boycott of Israeli academic institutions because the resolution affirms the “core values of this academic association: resistance to imperialism and racial discrimination, support of self-determination of disenfranchised peoples, academic rights and the right to education for all members of society.” The AAAS stance on the Israeli occupation in Palestine aligns with the academic principles of the Critical Filipino / Filipina Studies Collective (CFFSC) and our own academic interests to support the self-determination of marginalized Filipino/as throughout the global diaspora as well as other subjugated peoples throughout the world. To this end, CFFSC stands behind the AAAS resolution viewing it as a brave act of international solidarity in support of the Palestinian peoples” basic human rights.
As Filipino and Filipino American academics, activists, organizers and allies, the CFFSC stands with all people resisting colonial domination, violent occupation, and dehumanizing racism. While the histories of the Philippines and Palestine are in no way equivalent, Filipino people have also experienced the denial of sovereignty and self-determination as exemplified throughout history and in particular to Philippine (neo)colonial relationship with the United States. Thus, we applaud the association”s public articulation and practice of anti-imperial politics in the 21st century. While the CFFSC is focused and committed to the confrontation of empire building grounded in the Philippines colonial history and neocolonial present, we find inspiration, hope, and points of commonality with other people”s resistance to injustice and oppression and in particular the resilient imagination and everyday practices of Palestinians in their struggles for freedom. For such reasons, we publicly support the AAAS resolution and view it as a global justice, pro-democratic, and pro-peace position taken against state violence in Palestine.
We urge executive officers, board members, committee chairs and all relevant representatives of the Association for Asian American Studies to:
**Publicize the AAAS” historic stance by posting the text of the resolution in the Journal for Asian American Studies, FaceBook and other official venues.
**Provide a venue for AAAS members to be able to communicate and support one another around issues that may arise from the resolution”s passing.
** Focus plenary, mega-panels and/or panels/roundtables organized and accepted by the Program and Site Committees on clarifying how members of the Association (as well as the Association more broadly) can move forward in implementing the resolution. Moreover, we encourage the organization of plenary, mega-panels and/or panels/roundtables that address how AAAS can use the BDS campaign to connect to issues relevant to API studies and anti-war and anti-racist movements.
In Peace, Justice, and International Solidarity,
The Critical Filipino and Filipina Studies Collective
Alay Ng Kultura, Seattle, WA
Anakbayan New Jersey, Jersey City, NJ
Anakbayan New York, New York, NY
Anakbayan San Diego, San Diego, CA
Anakbayan Seattle, Seattle, WA
Anakbayan Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley, CA
BABAE, San Francisco, CA
Coalition of Anti-Racist Whites, Seattle, WA
DAMAYAN Migrant Workers Association, New York, NY
Filipinas for Rights and Empowerment (FiRE), New York, NY
Habi Arts, Los Angeles, CA
Igniting Leadership and Action with Women (ILAW) – Washington D.C.
Kuya Ate Mentorship Program, San Diego
League of Filipino Students, San Francisco, CA
Philippines United States Solidarity Organization (PUSO), Seattle, WA
Pin@y Sa Seattle, Seattle, WA
Portland Committee for Human Rights in the Philippines, Portland, OR
QWave, New York, NY
San Francisco Committee for Human Rights in the Philippines, San Francisco, CA
Sisters of Gabriela Awaken (SiGAw) – Los Angeles, CA