“Makibaka! Huwag matakot! [Dare to struggle! Do not be afraid!]” was a chant that rang through the air on Sunday, April 11. Unified local Filipino American members of the organizations Bayan PNW, Malaya Seattle, and the International Coalition for Human Rights in the Philippines gathered at Seafood City in Tukwila on Sunday for a die-in protest and rally. Organizers focused on demanding justice for the March 7 killing of nine Filipino activists in the Calabarzon region of the Philippines, an incident that is being called Bloody Sunday.
According to the Philippine news site Rappler, activist groups across the Philippines have been the main target of a crackdown by the Philippine National Police (PNP) and the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) on Bloody Sunday. Last July, the Emerald reported on protests led by Filipino American activists outside of Seafood City in opposition of the anti-terrorism bill that was signed into law by Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte. Many of the organizers believe that violence against activist groups in the Philippines has increased significantly since the signing of the anti-terror bill. They’re also calling on the U.S. Congress to pass the Philippine Human Rights Act, which would suspend U.S. military aid to the Philippines that has assisted the PNP and AFP in its campaign of extrajudicial killings.