South Bay Youth and Students Unite: Activism is Not a Crime!

South Bay Youth and Students Unite: Activism is Not a Crime!


April 25, 2018
Reference: Justher Gutierrez,

On Wednesday, April 18, 2018, ABSV (Anakbayan Silicon Valley), SAHE (Student Advocates for Higher Education), SQE (Students for Quality Education), and SJP (Students for Justice in Palestine), came together in solidarity to host a cultural night entitled “Activism is Not a Crime” at San Jose State University. With the recent attacks against peace activism, our youth and student organizations saw this as a prime opportunity to honor our freedom fighters, share our outrage and sadness, and resolve to action.


Activists Under Attack

During the cultural night, every organization honored particular activists that have been detained in the past year, all of whom happened to be young women under the age of 25. SJP highlighted Palestinian activist Ahed Tamimi for her bravery in resisting occupation and fighting back when an Israeli soldier shot her cousin. Ahed is still currently detained. Members of SQE and SAHE drew attention to Claudia Rueda, an undocumented activist fighting for immigration rights, who was targeted by Border Patrol and detained by ICE. Claudia was released a month later through court order and the concerted efforts of the people demanding her release. ABSV presented on Myles Albasin, a member of Anakbayan Cebu who was detained by the Armed Forces of the Philippines simply for doing an immersion trip with farmers. She is still in detention today.

Throughout the evening, attendees and presenters received updates on Jerome Aba, a Muslim Filipino human rights defender who had been detained by Customs and Border Patrol that same day at San Francisco International Airport. New details have emerged highlighting Jerome’s excruciating experience of being detained for 28 hours, during which he was accused of being a terrorist, forced to strip naked, and denied adequate food. It has become evident that torture of activists happens in our own backyards, even in so-called “sanctuary cities,” and makes the need for resistance that much more crucial.

Stand Up, Fight Back!

With this event we hope to continue to inspire and mobilize our communities both here and back home. We call for all people to unite and fight back against the systems that continue to stifle and silence criticism and dissent.

We encourage all peace-loving people to attend the Stop the Killings tour on May 7, 2018 at Alum Rock United Methodist Church, 6-8PM to hear directly from activists in the Philippines on why we need to act now.





Published by Justher

Writer and social justice advocate. Saint Mary's College '14.

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