On 18 June at 4pm, we will converge at the Fridericianum Museum in Kassel, along with our comrades from RESBAK (@resbak_artists) and GABRIELA GERMANY, to express our grief and outrage over the extreme state-backed violence happening in the Philippines.
The STOP THE KILLINGS banner by the artist collective RESBAK (Respond and Break the Silence Against the Killings) is an invitation to join us in grieving with those who have lost loved ones and in resisting a genocidal policy that has killed up to 30,000 people mostly from urban poor communities during Rodrigo Duterte’s ‘drug war’ from 2016 to 2022. The ‘drug war’ and Duterte’s endorsement and glorification of violence and dehumanization of certain sectors of society have turned the Philippines into one of the most dangerous places in the world for civilians and prompted the International Criminal Court to investigate Duterte and some of his officials for crimes against humanity.
The call to STOP THE KILLINGS persists despite the end of the presidency of Duterte. The recent landslide victory of President Ferdinand Marcos, Jr., the son of the former dictator Ferdinand Marcos, and Vice President Sara Duterte, the daughter of the outgoing President, signals a continuation of this violent policy. Alarmingly, Rodrigo Duterte has been tapped by Marcos to be his anti-drug czar. This development, coupled with massive disinformation and historical distortion and erasure of Marcos Sr.’ martial law dictatorship, point to a likely intensification of the deterioration of the human rights situation in the country, including attacks on freedom of thought and expression.
The urgency to resist and forge transnational solidarity is greater than ever. We resist not only to survive. We resist to thrive. Together with survivors of the ‘drug war’ and other wars elsewhere in the world, the STOP THE KILLINGS performative-banner is part of broader processes and actions of grieving, caring, and creative building of an alternative world.