Filipino Women Supports Black Resistance and Join Direct Action to Blockade Oakland Federal Building

For Immediate Release

January 16, 2015

Reference: Irma Bajar, International Relations Officer, GABRIELA USA,

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Oakland, CA – More than two hundred protesters made headlines this morning with thirty activists effectively creating a blockade in front of two main entrances to the Oakland Federal Building as an act of solidarity for Black liberation, power and self-determination. In the wake of the increasing police brutality and murders committed against Black people across the country, organizers of the protest successfully blocked both entrances for four hours and twenty-eight minutes; four hours symbolic of the length of time that Michael Brown was left on the street after being gunned down by Ferguson police, and twenty-eight representing the every twenty-eight hours a black person is killed by state violence. Members of GABRIELA USA joined the blockade and protest, connecting the state repression faced by Filipinos in the Philippines to the police brutality faced by Black communities in the U.S.

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Irma Bajar, GABRIELA USA’s International Relations Officer was one of the individuals chained to the Federal Building doors alongside other activists representing international movements. “Today’s action was a demonstration of our support for Black Power and Resistance while connecting police violence here in the U.S. to a global structure that is fueled by imperialism. As a part of third world movements for liberation, we are committed to the militant struggle for Black liberation and self-determination,” says Bajar.

Elaine Villasper, GABRIELA USA Vice Chair of Membership addressed the crowd of protesters and explained that BART has operated a fifteen year program where BART officers go to the Philippines to hold trainings and consultations with the Philippine National Police (PNP). “These trainings and consultations are just a guise for sharing tactics of repression, the outcome of which is the murder of innocent people. The murder of Black lives like Oscar Grant is directly connected to the murders of activists in the Philippines. We must make these connections, link arms, and stand in resistance against these attacks against our lives and our communities.”

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Today’s action will be followed by a mass protest and march on Monday, January 19 at 12:00PM from Fruitvale BART to the Oakland Coliseum. GABRIELA USA will be joining the Third World Resistance contingent and welcomes all allies and supporters to join us in reclaiming Martin Luther King Jr’s legacy, and march in solidarity with Black communities.

#3rdWorld4BlackPower #MLKShutItDown #BlackPowerMatters