Pinays lead SF women’s march, calling for change in govt. stance

by Henni Espinosa, ABS-CBN News


SAN FRANCISCO — The sun was out in San Francisco, and these women activists came out to take their protests to the streets.

In commemoration of International Women’s Day, members of GABRIELA USA — a Filipino women’s advocacy group — led hundreds of Bay Area residents, families, and community leaders in a march that addressed issues affecting women, immigrants and LGBTQ communities.

One of their most pressing concerns is the Trump administration’s efforts to crackdown on undocumented immigrants — which include increased raids and deportation.

“Trump and his administration is really using things like the Muslim ban and other immigrant attacks, specifically to separate us and really divide us,” said Irma Shauf-Bajar, chairperson of GABRIELA USA. “But we are smarter than that.”

Organizers say immigrant workers also have to deal with more hardships — because they face a higher risk of abuse and wage theft from their employers. They say the government is not doing enough to protect them.

“Tumitindi ang takot ng mga Pilipino dahil nga undocumented,” said Bernadette Herrera, of Migrante Norcal. “Lalong titindi ang paghihirap nila dahil ang pagsasamantala ng mga employer, sasamantalahin nila ang ganitong programa ng gubyerno sa kasalukuyan.”

Despite the growing fear among immigrant communities, these kababayans say people are resisting. People are fighting back.

The event – entitled “rise against fear, resist attacks on our communities, unite for self-determination” – was also aimed to bring everyone together to create real change.

Even the men who showed up thought it was also their duty to fight for the rights and welfare of women.

“As men, we have our duty to show up. A lot of the causes of patriarchy and violence is caused by men,” said Armael Malinis, Migrante Norcal. “We need to heal from our personal trauma, and really work alongside women to really fight for liberation and a better community.”

“The community is our biggest protection,” said Irma. “Organizing is our biggest protection. It’s not just the Filipinos, or the Latinos, or the black folks — it’s all of us that must come together.”

These activists are planning to hold more marches and rallies in the next few months to build on the momentum of International Women’s Day.

They want their voices heard all the way to the White House, and hope that President Trump will make changes in his government policies to support and protect the most vulnerable sectors in the community.


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  • Mario
    15 March 2017 at 5:17 am - Reply

    Trump soon will be the most powerful President ever elected in America. Right now,he control the majority of the House of Rep and Senate, Supreme Court will be 5-4 conservative for the next 30 years, this summer Justice Ginsburg 82 yrs old, might retire, therefore Supreme Court will be 6-3 majority. With 6-3 in favor for conservative SC? OMG!!, Democrat will go crazy, possible destruction of their liberal agenda,LGBT,Planned Parenthood, women’s right agenda will be gone. Believe me, AG Sessions DOJ Court will decide,and no way for the liberal to win..Trump will only focus on one agenda which is job creation,he will stay in power for the next 4-8 year.Building the wall will give jobs ,illegal alien are ready to accept $3-5 per hour,cash money, but the wall will stop them from coming-in. Millennials don’t waste you time, go for the winning team.Are prepared to protest on the street for the next 4-8 yrs getting nothing…