Anti-RIMPAC groups stage protests in the US and Hawaii

This article is available in Pilipino

Anti-war groups under the International Cancel RIMPAC Campaign and Resist NATO Coalition launched a week-long protest against the RIMPAC (Rim of the Pacific Exercise) currently being held by the US Navy’s Indo-Pacific Command in Hawaii and its surrounding waters. RIMPAC is the world’s largest maritime warfare exercise. It began on June 27 and will last until August 2. Meanwhile, various groups are also preparing to protest the upcoming NATO Summit in Washington, DC from July 9 to July 11.

These groups include Bayan-USA and Malaya Movement USA with chapters in San Diego and Hawaii.

“There is a large Filipino population in San Diego,” according to Eric Tandoc of Malaya-San Diego. “The US is gathering 30 naval forces from around the world for the RIMPAC exercises to provoke a war with China, putting our relatives and loved ones back in the Philippines at greater risk and in the crossfire of a war they do not want.” The US ships participating in RIMPAC start their journey from its military base in San Diego.

Bayan-USA called RIMPAC, as well as NATO, as “instruments of US war” and called on all Filipinos in the US and other places to oppose these.

“From its 2-year proxy war with Russia in Ukraine, to its support for the Zionist entity in Israel’s genocide against the Palestinian people, the US is pushing its military power to maintain its waning global dominance,” Bayan-USA stated on June 27. The threat of overt imperialist war in the Asia-Pacific is growing, as the US continues to encircle and provoke China economically, politically and militarily, it said.

The role of the Philippines is key to the US strategy against China. It considers the country an “unsinkable aircraft carrier” or an unbreachable launching pad for warplanes and forces in Asia, and the Filipino people as cannon fodder.

“RIMPAC is a cover for the gathering of the US and its allies to rehearse or prepare for war, death and destruction,” according to the group. “This will only exacerbate tensions between military powers worldwide, particularly those it sees oppose to its hegemony, particularly China, Russia, Iran and the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea.”

Every year, RIMPAC devastates the people and environment of Hawaii, where most of the war games are held. This includes live missile fire and ground assault that cause immediate damage, and chemical pollution that causes long-term damage to the land, air and waters of the islands that future generations will have to endure.

“In general, the working families and native Hawaiian communities will bear the brunt of the adverse effects of these war games,” according to Bayan-USA.

Filipinos make up 15% of the population in San Diego, and 25% in Hawaii.

AB: Anti-RIMPAC groups stage protests in the US and Hawaii