100+ Asian American & Pacific Islander Organizations Pledge to Resist Repression Under Trump Administration

Credit: Reader-submitted photos from the Women’s March on Washington and satellite marches across the United States, at http://blog.angryasianman.com/

As Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders, We Will Resist

We stand at a critical juncture in world history. The election of Donald Trump as president of the United States represents a direct threat to millions of people’s safety and to the health of the planet. As Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders (AAPIs) committed to equality, inclusion, and justice, we pledge to resist any efforts by President-Elect Trump’s administration to target and exploit communities, to strip people of their fundamental rights and access to essential services, and to use rhetoric and policies that divide the American people and endanger the world.

Mr. Trump’s campaign used explicit racial appeals to win the support of disaffected white voters, promising to restore their economic and social standing by deporting millions of immigrants, building a wall, creating a Muslim registry, banning Muslim immigration, and punishing Black dissent. He also engaged in deeply misogynistic language and behavior throughout his campaign. He insulted all people of color; people with disabilities; and women – all of whom amount to the majority of America. In the global arena, he has signaled at a new nuclear arms race, promised to expand the use of torture, and disparaged the United Nations.

Since his election, Mr. Trump has chosen known white nationalists, corporate moguls, religious zealots, climate deniers, hawkish ex-generals, anti-Islam spokespersons, and anti-government crusaders to serve in his Administration. Right-wing extremists now dominate his party, which will control all three branches of the federal government and the majority of state legislatures, and are positioned to jeopardize the future of the Supreme Court for the next generation and beyond. Together this new realignment of forces seeks to turn back the clock on civil rights and environmental protections, to maximize corporate profits by privatizing the public sector, and to create a racially and culturally exclusive America.

This is not business as usual, and we will not engage in business-as-usual tactics and strategies.

As AAPIs, our lives are rooted in the long arc of U.S. history, which was born out of racial violence and has been shaped by the struggles for freedom of oppressed peoples domestically and internationally. Some of our ancestors first arrived in what is now the United States as subjects of European empire over 400 years ago. Some of us are indigenous to this country as our ancestors’ lands were occupied and colonized by the United States as they sought to expand their global military and economic power. In the centuries since, AAPIs have faced indentured servitude, exclusionary immigration laws, bars to citizenship and land ownership, mass deportation, mass incarceration, war, sexual and gender-based violence, forced displacement, vigilante violence, surveillance, and racial and religious profiling.

Today our movements include Southeast Asian refugees organizing to end criminalization and deportation; Muslims, Arabs, Sikhs and South Asians fighting surveillance, profiling, war, and hate violence; women reclaiming their bodies against trafficking, domestic violence, exploitation, and criminalization; low-wage workers standing up against wage theft, poor working conditions, and abusive employers; Native Hawaiians and Pacific Islanders building a generation to fight against generational poverty caused by loss of sovereignty, militarization of lands and people, forced displacement, and criminalization; and trans, gender-non-conforming, and queer people putting their bodies on the line to demand a different, more humane world. We have always fought injustice, and we are resolute to continue doing so.

The majority of AAPI voters rejected Mr. Trump’s candidacy. Indeed, while Mr. Trump won the Electoral College – a problematic system with its own deep history rooted in slavery and racial inequities – he lost the popular vote.  And with only 58% of eligible voters casting ballots in this election, the vast majority of American voters did not vote to elect Mr. Trump. He and his Administration have no mandate to govern.

For all of these reasons, we commit to the following principles and ask all AAPIs to join us:

  • We will center and stand up for Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) community members who are likely to face increased levels of hate violence, targeting, and policing. We will center and uplift the experiences and calls to action of undocumented immigrants, Muslims and those perceived to be Muslim, refugees, women, and Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer and Intersex (LGBTQI) community members. We will also support the organizing and resistance strategies of AAPI groups and our allies closest to the ground in local communities.
  • We will defend all targets of bigotry, repression, and hate made by Mr. Trump’s Administration, or caused by the Trump Effect, with a broad principle of solidarity: “An attack on one is an attack on all.”
  • We will refuse to legitimate or normalize Mr. Trump’s Administration, which has already violated the core principles of American democracy by using explicit appeals to racial and religious bigotry, xenophobia, Islamophobia, and misogyny to gain political power. We will reject ideas, statements, and policies that strengthen the incoming Administration’s legitimacy, including divide-and-conquer tactics or strategies that position AAPIs as a racial wedge against other communities of color.
  • We will reject any attempts by the Trump Administration to use AAPIs to make a case for their legitimacy and diversity, and will not compromise our values and agency to gain a “seat at the table” in pursuit of narrow benefits. Nor will we conflate marginal visibility for genuine power and influence for our communities.
  • We agree to be transparent about our engagement with the Trump Administration, and to be held accountable for our organizational strategies and decisions.
  • We will raise awareness about how AAPI communities are affected by discriminatory and divisive rhetoric and policies, and will stand firm in opposing them.
  • We will support those who assume personal and organizational risk to defend democratic institutions and practices including human, civil, and constitutional rights, against unjust laws and actions by the government, any group, or individual.
  • We will seek unity in pursuit of shared goals, knowing that defending democracy will require various kinds of movements and tactics to weather the coming period of increased repression, and to build a more humane and sustainable world.
  • We will work tirelessly toward an inclusive and democratic vision that ensures the safety, self-determination, and wellbeing of all people, and we will model this in our resistance and solidarity efforts.

Signatories *

18MillionRising.org

AAPI Feminism Workshop

Alliance of South Asian American Labor (ASAAL)

Alliance of South Asians Taking Action

API Equality – Northern California (APIENC)

Asian American Legal Defense and Education Fund (AALDEF)

Asian American Millennials Unite

Asian American Organizing Project

Asian American Psychological Association

Asian American Resource Workshop

Asian American Student Union (University of Minnesota, Twin Cities)

Asian American Studies, UC Davis

Asian Americans Advancing Justice | Asian Law Caucus

Asian Americans Advancing Justice | Chicago

Asian Americans Advancing Justice | Los Angeles

Asian Americans United

Asian-American Women’s Political Initiative

Asian Counseling and Referral Service

Asian Pacific American Heritage Week, University of Pennsylvania

Asian Pacific American Labor Alliance, AFL-CIO (APALA)

Asian Pacific American Labor Alliance – Alameda Chapter

Asian Pacific American Labor Alliance – Los Angeles Chapter

Asian Pacific American Labor Alliance – New Jersey Chapter

Asian Pacific American Labor Alliance – Sacramento Chapter

Asian Pacific American Labor Alliance – San Diego Chapter

Asian Pacific American Labor Alliance – San Jose/San Mateo/Santa Clara Chapter

Asian Pacific American Labor Alliance – Seattle Chapter

Asian Pacific American Labor Alliance – Texas Chapter

Asian Pacific American Labor Alliance – Washington, DC Chapter

Asian Pacific American Network of Oregon (APANO)

Asian Pacific Environmental Network (APEN)

Asian Pacific Policy & Planning Council (A3PCON)

Asian Prisoner Support Committee

Asians for Black Lives (A4BL) — San Diego

CAAAV Organizing Asian Communities

Chinese for Affirmative Action

Chinese Progressive Association – San Francisco

CHOW Project

Critical Filipinx Scholars Collective

DC Asian American and Pacific Islander Democratic Caucus

Densho

Department of Asian American Studies, UC Davis

DRUM – Desis Risng Up & Moving

East Coast Asian American Student Union (ECAASU)

Empowering Pacific Islander Communities

Filipino Advocates for Justice

Filipino American Democratic Club of New York

Freedom at Emory University

Freedom Inc.

Freedom Trainers

GABRIELA USA

Hep Free Hawaii

Hepatitis Education Project

Hmong National Development

Institute for Asian Pacific American Leadership & Advancement

Intercollegiate Taiwanese American Student Association

Jahajee Sisters Empowering Indo-Caribbean Women

Japanese American Citizens League (JACL)

Japanese American Citizens League – New York

Korean American Resource and Cultural Center

Korean Resource Center

Kuya Ate Mentorship Program

Lionswrite Communications

MekongNYC

Midwest Asian American Students Union

National Alliance for Filipino Concerns

National Asian Pacific American Women’s Forum (NAPAWF)

National Asian Pacific American Women’s Forum – Philadelphia

National Coalition for Asian Pacific American Community Development

National Korean American Service & Education Consortium (NAKASEC)

National Queer Asian Pacific Islander Alliance (NQAPIA)

National Organization for Women’s (NOW) Inaugural Virtual Chapter: Young Feminists and Allies

OneAmerica

Penn Taiwanese Society, University of Pennsylvania

Philadelphia South Asian Collective

Pilipino American Unity for Progress, Inc. (UniPro)

Progressive Asian Network for Action (PANA)

Providence Youth Student Movement (PrYSM)

Rad Azns

REACH! Asian Pacific Islander Recruitment and Retention Center

Reappropriate

Services, Immigrant Rights, and Education Network (SIREN)

SHK Global Health

Sikh American Legal Defense and Education Fund

Spice Collective, University of Pennsylvania

South Asian Americans Leading Together (SAALT)

South Asian Fund For Education, Scholarship and Training (SAFEST)

Southeast Asia Resource Action Center (SEARAC)

Southeast Asian Coalition

Southeast Asian Freedom Network (SEAFN)

Stanford Asian American Activism Committee

UPenn Asian Pacific Student Coalition

UPLIFT

UXO Clearance Laos

VietLead

VietUnity – Bay Area

VietUnity – Los Angeles

Visual Communications

Wakefield Asian Club, Arlington, Virginia

Yale Asian American Studies Task Force

Yellow Rage

* List up to date as of Jan. 25, 2017. Visit bit.ly/AAPIStatementOfPrinciples to sign on. To view the press release, please visit: bit.ly/PRWeWillResist.

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