By Katrina Pestano
For Northwest Asian Weekly
We are Filipino youth, women, workers, queers and artists living in Seattle.
We are here in opposition to Shell, its long history of corporate plunder and human rights abuses and its plans to drill in the Arctic. We are in solidarity with the resistance of Iñupiaq people of Alaska and the Ogoni people of the Niger Delta, and all indigenous people of this continent defending their land.
The Philippines has consistently ranked in the top 5 in the Global Climate Risk Index since 1994, and became number 1 in 2013. This means that it is one of the most vulnerable to climate change in the form of floods, droughts, and worsening typhoons.
In 2013, Super Typhoon Haiyan was the strongest storm to make landfall in recorded history.
Killed over 6,300 people
Over 1,000 still missing
Displaced 4.1 million people
$14 billion in damages
Over 1 million homes destroyed
Under the pretense of Haiyan relief work, the United States sent thousands of troops to the Philippines, and signed an executive agreement in 2014 which allows U.S. military forces to conduct operations out of the Philippines indefinitely, further eroding Philippine sovereignty.
We commemorate the lives lost due to climate disasters. We honor the resistance of Haiyan survivors demanding justice. We call attention to the connection between increased U.S. militarization and neo-liberal economic policies that perpetuate resource extraction on a massive scale, which will result in many more lives lost.
The Port of Seattle is complicit in this genocidal act against our home and our people, and many others across the world. They must be accountable to the people, not to corporations like Shell.
We will not wait for another Haiyan to happen. We will not stand by as corporations like Shell enact genocide upon people of the Global South. We commit to taking action when our elected leadership fail to protect us. We join all communities in resistance to the fossil fuel economy that will destroy this planet!
We join with YOU in mobilizing our communities to defend our land, our livelihood, our lives and our future! (end)