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This article historicizes the transnational counterinsurgency that the U.S.-Philippine governments have conducted against diasporic Filipino/a/x activists. In examining the period of the Cold War to the early 2020s, it makes a case for recognizing existing continuities of counterinsurgency tactics targeted at Filipinos in the United States, such as extradition, deportation, surveillance, and assassination. The Philippine state’s resort to red-baiting during the Cold War and contemporary “red-tagging” has aimed at the elimination of communism and terrorism at home and beyond its national borders, at the expense of human rights. This long history of counterinsurgency also highlights the acceleration and formalization of diasporic Filipino organizations dedicated to promoting democracy in the Philippines during the period of martial law under President Ferdinand E. Marcos, showing how diasporic Filipinos organized opposition not only to dictatorship, but also U.S. support for violent regimes. The transnational opposition against Marcos and then President Rodrigo R. Duterte has characterized diasporic Filipinos as a primary component of democratic movements in both the United States and the Philippines who have linked domestic racial oppression to U.S. imperialism and state fascism in the Philippines.

In: Journal of American-East Asian Relations
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Bayan Ko (my people/country),” focuses on the Katipunan ng mga Demokratikong Pilipino (KDP), the first national revolutionary mass organization of Filipinos in the United States that was directly linked to the Philippine left. With the onset of the Marcos dictatorship, Filipinos and their allies articulated a diasporic vision that linked homeland and domestic politics, the positionality of Filipinos in the homeland and in the diaspora, and the diaspora’s responsibility in supporting movements in the homeland. Sales documents how young activists in KDP became politicized through understanding their lived experiences as post-colonial subjects of U.S. empire, and how activists transformed this newfound consciousness into action by promoting the National Democratic Movement in the Filipino community. Through various efforts, such as their involvement in the Pilipino People’s Far West Convention, the Political Prisoners Program, and their ties to the National Democratic Front of the Philippines, KDP represented an important experiment of integrating overseas Filipinos into leftist movements in the homeland and testing radical transnationalism in the Filipino American community. Sales argues that KDP strived to make local/homeland politics legible and possible for the Filipino community.

In: Filipino American Transnational Activism
Author:

Abstract

Bayan Ko (my people/country),” focuses on the Katipunan ng mga Demokratikong Pilipino (KDP), the first national revolutionary mass organization of Filipinos in the United States that was directly linked to the Philippine left. With the onset of the Marcos dictatorship, Filipinos and their allies articulated a diasporic vision that linked homeland and domestic politics, the positionality of Filipinos in the homeland and in the diaspora, and the diaspora’s responsibility in supporting movements in the homeland. Sales documents how young activists in KDP became politicized through understanding their lived experiences as post-colonial subjects of U.S. empire, and how activists transformed this newfound consciousness into action by promoting the National Democratic Movement in the Filipino community. Through various efforts, such as their involvement in the Pilipino People’s Far West Convention, the Political Prisoners Program, and their ties to the National Democratic Front of the Philippines, KDP represented an important experiment of integrating overseas Filipinos into leftist movements in the homeland and testing radical transnationalism in the Filipino American community. Sales argues that KDP strived to make local/homeland politics legible and possible for the Filipino community.

In: Filipino American Transnational Activism