JUSTICE FOR FABEL PINEDA, BREONNA TAYLOR, OLUWATOYIN "TOYIN" SALAU, VANESSA GUILLEN, JENNIFER LAUDE!
For immediate release: July 11, 2020
GABRIELA Los Angeles, a chapter of the progressive international Filipino women’s grassroots organization, charges the U.S. government for the murders of Vanessa Guillen, Breonna Taylor, and Oluwatoyin "Toyin" Salau, and the U.S.-funded and U.S.-armed fascist Philippines government for the murder of Fabel Pineda.
The following is a statement from Ariana Rodriguez, Secretary General of GABRIELA Los Angeles:
“We want to alert everyone to who is to blame for the murders of these young women. In every single case, it was the military or police that either brutally killed these women or utterly failed to act to protect them, taking them away from their grieving communities. For weeks now, since the murder of George Floyd triggered a nationwide uprising in the United States, the public has been made aware of the true violence of the state and its armed forces. This is true in the United States, where Breonna Taylor, Oluwatoyin Salau, and Vanessa Guillen were killed, as it is in the Philippines, where Jennifer Laude was killed by a U.S. marine and Fabel Pineda was raped then killed by the U.S.-aided Philippine National Police.
“Where the calls to hold police accountable for their actions against Black men reverberate around the world, we call on the public to put as much energy and attention to the women of color who have also been killed with impunity by the state’s armed forces.
“A state that enacts crimes against its own people is a fascist one. Whether in the case of Pineda in the Philippines or Taylor in Louisville, KY, or the case of Salau in Tallahassee, FL, or Guillen in Fort Hood, TX, the state has sanctioned its armed forces to act with impunity while telling us over and over again that these military and police forces are here to serve us.
“The only true justice to be had in response to the murders of these women is to defund and disarm the police and military, from the U.S. to the Philippines. GABRIELA Los Angeles reminds people that the struggle in the U.S. to disarm a racist, misogynistic state is a struggle the international community has shared throughout decades of U.S. military occupation and U.S.-funded police abroad.
“With Fabel Pineda, Breonna Taylor, Oluwatoyin Salau, Vanessa Guillen, and Jennifer Laude in mind, GABRIELA echoes the calls: Defund the police! U.S. out of the Philippines! U.S. out of everywhere!”
Fabel Pineda, 15, was attacked and killed on her way home from a police station in San Juan, Ilocos Sur, Philippines where she had just filed a molestation complaint against cops from a neighboring town. Her murder suspects are the two policemen who raped Fabel and her cousin while the young women were out past curfew. She was shot Thursday, July 2 on her way home with her family.
Breonna Taylor, 26. Shortly after midnight on March 13, Louisville, KY police officers used a battering ram to enter Taylor’s apartment, unannounced and executing a search warrant. Taylor, a Black woman, was an emergency room technician. To this day, none of her killers have been arrested.
Oluwatoyin "Toyin" Salau, 19, who reported a sexual assault to police on June 6th. By June 13, she was found dead. Toyin was a Black Lives Matter activist in Tallahassee, Florida. Toyin had every right to share her story and seek accountability for the harm she suffered.
Vanessa Guillen, 20, whose remains were found in a shallow grave near Fort Hood, Texas after going missing on April 22. A Latina U.S. Army soldier, her disappearance came shortly after reporting being sexually harassed by a sergeant. As Filipinos who understand well the military occupation of the U.S. in the Philippines, the murder of Vanessa is especially triggering, serving as a reminder that not even the women who are sworn to protect and serve are exempt from the military’s violence.
The murders of these women are not isolated incidents but rather connected through the leadership of both governments, who use police and military to perpetrate abuse on ordinary citizens and protect those perpetrators from being held justly accountable. Most often, it is poor and working-class women of color who are disproportionately affected by state-sanctioned violence.
And yet, these stories continue to be unheard and forgotten. As an anti-imperialist Filipina women’s organization, GABRIELA Los Angeles stands in solidarity with all oppressed women who are harmed by the macho-fascist state and patriarchal violence. In order to combat the state sanctioned violence, we must unite and understand that women’s liberation has no borders. End violence against women! End to femicide and hetero-patriarchical violence! Justice for those slain by patriarchy, misogyny, and white supremacy!