San Francisco protests after Presidents Trump and Duterte meet in the Philippines
SAN FRANCISCO — This skit demonstrated the undermining of president Rodrigo Duterte by president Donald Trump to exploit aggressive US expansion in the Philippines and throughout Asia.
The performance was part of a large rally held by Filipino-American activists and their allies in front of the US federal building in downtown San Francisco.
“We really see both Trump and Duterte’s presidencies as fascists presidencies that really strike fear in people,” said Jessica Antonio, Bayan USA. “They use fear against people.
Already disappointed in the actions of President Duterte — activists here say are surprised of his behavior with Trump.
“He has turned to really be the puppet of the U.S. Now, he sang a love song to Trump,” said Antonio. “I’m sorry. It just blows my mind that that actually happened and we really see his true colors are there.”
Allies from other Asian American communities such as the hella organized Bay Area Koreans joined in the protest in solidarity.
“Korea has had many experiences of that, living under dictatorship. It’s very similar to the dire situation in the Philippines now, but also we like to work to talk about how corporations undermine our ability to thrive,” said Io Sunwoo.
In response to Trump’s promises of more trade between the US and the Philippines, activists say this is another example of the Philippine exploitation.
“We don’t have the industries to make our own products and that’s what we’re against,” saidAurora Victoria David, NAFCON. “We want the resources of the Philippines to actually be processed in the Philippines, so there are jobs for the workers.”
“What we want for the Filipino people and society is national sovereignty. We want control over our own resources, our own people, our own policies because we know what’s best for our land and our people; whereas when the U.S. comes into play we see us turned into a commodity,” said Joemae Santos.
According to the activists, the demonstrations will not stop once Trump returns to the United States. They say they will continue to reach out to more communities of color to continue their fight against U.S. imperialism.