We grieve for those who lost their lives Sunday morning in a bigoted, hate-fueled attack in Orlando, Florida. People - mainly Latinx and Black people - were targeted and killed simply because they were members of the LGBTQ+ community celebrating at a gay club in Orlando. It is a terrible tragedy to lose them, and we send our deepest condolences to their families, including chosen families, and the community of Orlando. Our profound grief, however, must not be fuel for more war.
We refuse to let the answer to homophobia be Islamophobia, hate, and further erosion of our civil liberties. To truly honor those lost, we must remember that our country’s recent mechanisms for securing “safety” in times of attack have meant an escalation of state violence and unjust treatment of LGBTQ+ communities and communities of color. To echo the eloquent words of a fellow veteran, Chelsea Manning, "We are not safe and secure when the government uses us as pawns to perpetrate violence against others. Our safety and security will come when we organize, love and resist together."
As the members of the Lakbay Lumad delegation near the end of their time in the U.S., we stand in solidarity with the indigenous leaders from the Philippines here to expose U.S.-sponsored violence against their communities and to call on those in the U.S. to join them in speaking out against it.