Kabataan Alliance and Anakbayan-USA
Save Lumad Schools! Stop Lumad Killings!
We are Filipino youth and student organizations across the United States coming together to amplify the calls of
indigenous Lumad communities to “Save Lumad Schools and Stop Lumad Killings!” through the national
Save Our Schools Campaign.
The Lumad people continue to struggle against the plunder of their ancestral lands by foreign mining corporations and militarization by the Armed Forces of the Philippines and paramilitary forces. Community-built Lumad schools are an expression of their resistance and right to education, where they learn necessary skills such as reading, writing, knowing their rights, agriculture, and basic first aid. These schools have faced many attacks over the years, including the Department of Education shutting down legitimate schools, the illegal detainment and extra-judicial killings of teachers and leaders, government vilification campaigns asserting students are being trained as child warriors, and more recently the raids on the bakwit schools.
Even as they face displacement by aerial bombings and state violence, Lumad youth continue to attend makeshift, mobile bakwit (evacuation) schools to assert their right to education and self-determination. Our fight to support the Lumad struggle is part of the larger fight against increasing repression under the Duterte administration. Duterte’s Anti-Terror Law, counterinsurgency programs, and militarized response to the COVID-19 pandemic have threatened the land and livelihood of not only Lumad, but Filipino people across the country and our diaspora. By standing with the Lumad, we also stand with the people’s resistance against fascism.
Now is the time for Filipino youth, students, and allies to rise alongside the Lumad in their struggle and fight back! The Lumad struggle teaches us that to celebrate our culture and history is to fight for them. As Lumad youth continue to fight back for their education and return to ancestral land in the face of violence and threats, we must take initiative in educating ourselves and one another on our Filipino culture and history towards becoming active defenders of our culture and our people. We want to embrace our organizations for what they are—spaces where we embrace our identity and build community with one another—by upholding our commitment to learning about the ongoing struggles in our homeland so that we can take part in them too.
We call on all Filipino students and organizations to take the next step in embracing our culture by understanding the history of our people and the ongoing struggles for education and self-determination. May this empower us to rise up and defend the Lumad right to education amidst these intensifying attacks. All signing this statement commit to taking up at least one of the following calls to action:
Invite Kabataan Alliance and Anakbayan-USA to do an educational workshop on the Lumad and the Save Our Schools (SOS) campaign
Fundraise for SOS and donate to support Lumad school operations Host a film screening and discussion on Pangandoy or Bullet-Laced Dreams
Amplify the struggles of the Lumad by releasing statements and sharing articles and updates Endorse the Philippine Human Rights Act (PHRA) to cut U.S. military and police aid to the Philippines responsible for funding human rights violations on Lumad communities
Continue to raise awareness on the current events and burning issues in the Philippines within our organizations and communities
Defend Bakwit Schools! Save Lumad Schools! Stop the Attacks!
#SaveLumadSchools #DefendLumadEducation #DefendBakwitSchools #HumanRightsPH #StopTheKillingsPH
Stanford Pilipinx American Student Union (PASU)
Northern California Pilipinx American Student Alliance (NCPASA)
COC Anakbayan UCLA
Gabriela New Jersey
Just Peace Committee-BC
Canada National Students for Justice in Palestine
National Ecumenical Forum for Filipino Concerns - Inland Empire (NEFFCON-IE)
New York Committee for Human Rights in the Philippines (NYCHRP)
Philippine Study Group of Minnesota (PSGM)
Philippine United Student Organization (PUSO)
Freedom Road Socialist Organization