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BAYAN USA: RNC, DNC. What’s the Difference?

BAYAN USA: RNC, DNC. What’s the Difference?

Reference: Rhonda Ramiro, BAYAN-USA Vice Chair,

In solidarity with thousands of people around the country, BAYAN-USA joined protests at the Republican National Convention this week, adding Filipino voices to the growing movement against the rising fascism promoted by US elites represented by Republican Presidential candidate Donald Trump.

The Republican Party is convening here in Cleveland, Ohio to discuss how they can further promote their neoliberal agenda – an agenda that includes policies that are racist, anti-immigrant, anti-Muslim, and anti-women.  Billionaire politicians like Trump are the reason we continue to see poverty, homelessness, refugees, and forced migration,” cried BAYAN-USA Deputy Secretary General Nikole Cababa during a protest in front of the convention center on opening day.

“The #1 threat to genuine peace, unity, and equality is U.S. imperialism. Donald Trump reminds us of how U.S. imperialism is the root problem – imperialism thrives on racism, patriarchy, and Islamophobia to divide the community and distract us from the billionaires robbing us every single day,” continued Cababa.

In his acceptance speech for the party nomination reminiscent of a Hitler diatribe, Trump confirmed his commitment to a Nazi-esque approach to maintaining and expanding U.S. hegemony which he had been preaching all along the campaign trail. In a fear-mongering speech filled with half-truths and outright fallacies aimed at scapegoating migrants, black people, the poor and anyone opposed to his agenda, Trump declared, “Americanism, not globalism, will be our credo.  Nobody knows the system better than me. Which is why I alone can fix it.”  He went on to describe his plans to build a “great border wall” and “completely rebuild our depleted military,” despite the reality that the U.S. military is exponentially larger than the seven next largest countries’ combined.

In a clear instance of double-speak, Trump denounced free-trade agreements such as the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) and the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP), yet at the same time declared his commitment to one of the cornerstones of such agreements: deregulation. Trump stated that he would “deal with the issue of regulation…we will end it very, very quickly” and “lift the restrictions on the production of American energy.”

At the end of the Republican National Convention and on the eve of the Democratic National Convention, BAYAN-USA also criticizes presumptive Democratic Party Presidential candidate Hillary Clinton. “From Honduras to Afghanistan, Clinton’s aggressively pro-military, pro-Wall Street track record while Secretary of State intensified conflicts and destabilized regions throughout the world,” said BAYAN-USA Secretary General Jessica Antonio. “Clinton was also one of the proud architects of the ‘Asia Pacific Pivot,’ which aims to pour 60% of the U.S. military into the Philippines and neighboring countries despite massive protests against the building of new U.S. military bases and expanded military exercises. We already know this has increased military-related human rights violations. We expect to hear more of the same from Clinton during the DNC next week.”

“BAYAN-USA denounces both the openly fascist and the status-quo pro-Wall Street, pro-military agendas of the Republican and Democratic parties. Millions of people throughout the U.S. have demanded an alternative to the business as usual politics of these parties because they are the very ones which caused the massive income inequality, global war zones, and systemic violence and repression we face today,” said Antonio.  “We agree with Mumia Abu-Jamal’s analysis when he said ‘The two major political parties are the abject servants of Wall Street and American empire uber allies. They each support militarism at home and abroad. They each support the indiscriminate murder of civilians from drones. They each support the worldwide archipelago of secret prisons. They each support mass incarceration of poor people, the suspension of habeas corpus and torture. It is only their talk that is different,’” stated Antonio.

BAYAN-USA reiterated its commitment to organizing for genuine, fundamental change in solidarity with the 99% as the only lasting solution to the current economic and political crisis in the world.  “We rise up because we can’t afford to sit down.  We rise up for immigrant rights, we rise up with our Muslim allies, we rise up with all women, LGBTQ & trans people, and we rise up because Black Lives Matter. The only way to smash U.S. imperialism and to rid ourselves of a Trumped Up economy is by organizing and strengthening our international solidarity,” ended Cababa.