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BAYAN USA Stands in Solidarity with Wisconsin Workers, Supports Call for General Strike

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News Statement
March 11, 2011

Reference: Bernadette Ellorin, Chairperson, BAYAN USA

BAYAN USA Stands in Solidarity with Wisconsin Workers, Supports Call for General Strike

The unremitting campaign of the Wisconsin State legislature to illegally railroad the wildly unpopular budget bill proposed by Governor Scott Walker is being confronted head-on by a wave of people’s upsurge across the Midwestern United States led by workers. These are workers who are simply fed up and have lost their fear to fight for what belongs to them. Filipino-Americans across the United States, under the banner of BAYAN USA, salute this people’s upsurge, stand in solidarity with the workers of Wisconsin, and support the growing call for a general strike right in the heart of world’s number one imperialist superpower.

The Wisconsin State Congress, and the corporate ruling elite they serve, are fools to think they could get away with such foul maneuvers as to ram both the State Senate and Assembly votes for the destructive bill by cutting out the budget portion in order to avoid the quorum requirement. In addition, these bandits in government convened for a vote without a 24-hour notice, as is required by law. This display of right-wing thuggery typifies a widening trend in state governments across the US to pass legislation aimed to strip people of their livelihood and dignity. Just as Arizona governor Jan Brewer pushed for anti-immigrant hate legislation emboldening armed racists and ensuring the deaths of migrants of color, Walker’s so-called budget repair bill unleashes wholesale attacks on unions, essentially stripping workers of their rights to organize and collectively bargain.

Much like the struggle of Filipino workers and peasants against the deadly impact of neoliberal globalization under a semi-feudal economy, the struggle against the Walker bill in Wisconsin is part of a larger global people’s resistance against the death trap that is monopoly capitalism, or imperialism. In this time of spiraling economic crisis, it is the direction of imperialism to aggressively campaign for its survival by hoarding public wealth, state subsidies, and intensifying its exploitation of workers for the extraction of superprofits. Inextricable to this campaign is the destruction of unions, or the collective power of workers to organize for their rights and welfare. The struggle against union-busting in Wisconsin is very much akin to the struggle of Filipino unions against the guns and goons of multinational corporations such as Nestle, Dole, Toyota, not to mention the likes of colluding landlord dynasties such as the Cojuangco-Aquinos.

It must also be noted that the Walker bill drive is bankrolled by none other than David and Charles Koch, better known as the Koch Brothers, the wealthiest industrialists in the US notorious for funding the likes of the extremist Tea Party. This allegiance to corporate oligarchy over public interest reeks of moral bankruptcy and thrives on human suffering. The workers fight in Wisconsin, and the growing united front across the country in support of it, is a glaring reminder that not even the US is exempt from straightforward, unapologetic class warfare. In these trying times for workers in imperialist countries, one of the most effective tools the people must use to stifle the capitalist bloodline of their governments is to paralyze production through a general strike.

The intensification of class struggle in the US via the workers struggle in Wisconsin must be supported by and linked to all other oppressed people’s resistance against imperialism and reaction worldwide. As an overseas alliance of Filipinos integral to the national liberation struggle of the Philippines, BAYAN USA links arms with all oppressed peoples in the US and calls for solidarity with Wisconsin workers through emulation of their example. On the heels of people power victories and continuing upsurge in the Middle East and North Africa, now more than ever these inspirational examples must lead to concrete and widespread peoples movements of which imperialism is no match. ###