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As Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders, We Will Resist

We stand at a critical juncture in world history. The election of Donald Trump as president of the United States represents a direct threat to millions of people’s safety and to the health of the planet. As Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders (AAPIs) committed to equality, inclusion, and justice, we pledge to resist any efforts by President-Elect Trump’s administration to target and exploit communities, to strip people of their fundamental rights and access to essential services, and to use rhetoric and policies that divide the American people and endanger the world.

Mr. Trump’s campaign used explicit racial appeals to win the support of disaffected white voters, promising to restore their economic and social standing by deporting millions of immigrants, building a wall between the U.S. and Mexico, creating a Muslim registry, banning Muslim immigration, and punishing Black dissent. He also engaged in deeply misogynistic language and behavior throughout his campaign. He insulted all people of color; people with disabilities; and women – all of whom amount to the majority of America. In the global arena, he has signaled at a new nuclear arms race, promised to expand the use of torture, and disparaged the United Nations.

Since his election, Mr. Trump has chosen known white nationalists, corporate moguls, religious zealots, climate deniers, hawkish ex-generals, anti-Islam spokespersons, and anti-government crusaders to serve in his Administration. Right-wing extremists now dominate his party, which will control all three branches of the federal government and the majority of state legislatures, and are positioned to jeopardize the future of the Supreme Court for the next generation and beyond. Together this new realignment of forces seeks to turn back the clock on civil rights and environmental protections, to maximize corporate profits by privatizing the public sector, and to create a racially and culturally exclusive America.

This is not business as usual, and we will not engage in business-as-usual tactics and strategies.

As AAPIs, our lives are rooted in the long arc of U.S. history, which was born out of racial violence and has been shaped by the struggles for freedom of oppressed peoples domestically and internationally. Some of our ancestors first arrived in what is now the United States as subjects of European empire over 400 years ago. Some of us are indigenous to this country as our ancestors' lands were occupied and colonized by the United States as they sought to expand their global military and economic power. In the centuries since, AAPIs have faced indentured servitude, exclusionary immigration laws, bars to citizenship and land ownership, mass deportation, mass incarceration, war, sexual and gender-based violence, forced displacement, vigilante violence, surveillance, and racial and religious profiling.

Today our movements include Southeast Asian refugees organizing to end criminalization and deportation; Muslims, Arabs, Sikhs and South Asians fighting surveillance, profiling, war, and hate violence; women reclaiming their bodies against trafficking, domestic violence, exploitation, and criminalization; low-wage workers standing up against wage theft, poor working conditions, and abusive employers; Native Hawaiians and Pacific Islanders building a generation to fight against generational poverty caused by loss of sovereignty, militarization of lands and people, forced displacement, and criminalization; and trans, gender-non-conforming, and queer people putting their bodies on the line to demand a different, more humane world. We have always fought injustice, and we are resolute to continue doing so.

The majority of AAPI voters rejected Mr. Trump’s candidacy. Indeed, while Mr. Trump won the Electoral College – a problematic system with its own deep history rooted in slavery and racial inequities – he lost the popular vote.  And with only 58% of eligible voters casting ballots in this election, the vast majority of American voters did not vote to elect Mr. Trump. He and his Administration have no mandate to govern.

For all of these reasons, we commit to the following principles and ask all AAPIs to join us:

  • We will center and stand up for Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) community members who are likely to face increased levels of hate violence, targeting, and policing. We will center and uplift the experiences and calls to action of undocumented immigrants, Muslims and those perceived to be Muslim, refugees, women, and Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer and Intersex (LGBTQI) community members. We will also support the organizing and resistance strategies of AAPI groups and our allies closest to the ground in local communities.
  • We will defend all targets of bigotry, repression, and hate made by Mr. Trump’s Administration, or caused by the Trump Effect, with a broad principle of solidarity: “An attack on one is an attack on all.”
  • We will refuse to legitimate or normalize Mr. Trump’s Administration, which has already violated the core principles of American democracy by using explicit appeals to racial and religious bigotry, xenophobia, Islamophobia, and misogyny to gain political power. We will reject ideas, statements, and policies that strengthen the incoming Administration’s legitimacy, including divide-and-conquer tactics or strategies that position AAPIs as a racial wedge against other communities of color.
  • We will reject any attempts by the Trump Administration to use AAPIs to make a case for their legitimacy and diversity, and will not compromise our values and agency to gain a “seat at the table” in pursuit of narrow benefits. Nor will we conflate marginal visibility for genuine power and influence for our communities.
  • We agree to be transparent about our engagement with the Trump Administration, and to be held accountable for our organizational strategies and decisions.
  • We will raise awareness about how AAPI communities are affected by discriminatory and divisive rhetoric and policies, and will stand firm in opposing them.
  • We will support those who assume personal and organizational risk to defend democratic institutions and practices including human, civil, and constitutional rights, against unjust laws and actions by the government, any group, or individual.
  • We will seek unity in pursuit of shared goals, knowing that defending democracy will require various kinds of movements and tactics to weather the coming period of increased repression, and to build a more humane and sustainable world.
  • We will work tirelessly toward an inclusive and democratic vision that ensures the safety, self-determination, and wellbeing of all people, and we will model this in our resistance and solidarity efforts.

Signatories (as of March 1, 2017):

  2. AAPI Feminism Workshop
  3. Alliance of Filipinos for Immigrant Rights and Empowerment (AFIRE)
  4. Alliance of Rhode Island Southeast Asians for Education
  5. Alliance of South Asian American Labor (ASAAL)
  6. Alliance of South Asians Taking Action
  7. Anakbayan-USA
  9. API Council - SF
  10. API Equality - LA
  11. API Equality - Northern California (APIENC)
  12. API Rainbow Parents
  13. Asian American Action Fund
  14. Asian American Alliance - Columbia University
  15. Asian American Association - The Ohio State University
  16. Asian American Law Journal
  17. Asian American Leadership Forum for Youth
  18. Asian American Legal Defense and Education Fund (AALDEF)
  19. Asian American Millennials Unite
  20. Asian American Organizing Project
  21. Asian American Psychological Association
  22. Asian American Resource Workshop
  23. Asian American Student Union at UMCP
  24. Asian American Student Union at University of Maryland
  25. Asian American Student Union (University of Minnesota, Twin Cities)
  26. Asian American Studies Graduate Student Association, UCLA
  27. Asian American Studies Program, California State University Fullerton
  28. Asian American Studies, UC Davis
  29. Asian American Writers' Workshop
  30. Asian Americans Advancing Justice | Asian Law Caucus
  31. Asian Americans Advancing Justice | Chicago
  32. Asian Americans Advancing Justice | Los Angeles
  33. Asian Americans United
  34. Asian Americans / Pacific Islanders in Philanthropy
  35. Asian-American Women’s Political Initiative
  36. Asian and Pacific Islander Americans in Historic Preservation
  37. Asian Coalition for Equality (ACE)
  38. Asian Counseling and Referral Service
  39. Asian Educators Alliance
  40. Asian Pacific American Coalition at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
  41. Asian Pacific American Heritage Week, University of Pennsylvania
  42. Asian Pacific American Labor Alliance, AFL-CIO (APALA)
  43. Asian Pacific American Labor Alliance - Alameda Chapter
  44. Asian Pacific American Labor Alliance - Los Angeles Chapter
  45. Asian Pacific American Labor Alliance - New Jersey Chapter
  46. Asian Pacific American Labor Alliance - New York Chapter
  47. Asian Pacific American Labor Alliance - Sacramento Chapter
  48. Asian Pacific American Labor Alliance - San Diego Chapter
  49. Asian Pacific American Labor Alliance - San Francisco Chapter
  50. Asian Pacific American Labor Alliance - San Jose/San Mateo/Santa Clara Chapter
  51. Asian Pacific American Labor Alliance - Seattle Chapter
  52. Asian Pacific American Labor Alliance - Texas Chapter
  53. Asian Pacific American Labor Alliance - Washington, DC Chapter
  54. Asian Pacific American Leadership Institute
  55. Asian Pacific American Network of Oregon (APANO)
  56. Asian Pacific Americans for Action (APAA) @ Cornell
  57. Asian Pacific Americans for Progress
  58. Asian Pacific Environmental Network (APEN)
  59. Asian Pacific Islander Americans for Civic Empowerment
  60. Asian Pacific Islander Coalition for Action and Diversity (Sarah Lawrence College)
  61. Asian Pacific Islander Community Leadership Foundation (ACLF)
  62. Asian Pacific Islander Queer Sacramento Coalition
  63. Asian Pacific Policy & Planning Council (A3PCON)
  64. Asian Prisoner Support Committee
  65. Asian Services in Action (Cleveland)
  66. Asian Women United
  67. Asian/Pacific American Librarians Association
  68. Asian/Pacific/American Institute at NYU
  69. Asians for Black Lives (A4BL) -- San Diego
  70. Asians4BlackLives
  71. Association for the Advancement of Filipino American Arts and Culture (FilAm Arts)
  72. Baltimore Asian Resistance in Solidarity
  74. Berkeley AAPI Alumni Association
  75. Brandeis Asian American Task Force
  76. Burma/Myanmar Student Association at the University of Washington, Seattle
  77. CAAAV Organizing Asian Communities
  78. California Asian & Pacific Islander (API) Legislative Caucus
  79. Cambodian Mutual Assistance Association of Greater Lowell
  80. CAPA21
  81. Chicago Desi Youth Rising
  82. Chinese for Affirmative Action
  83. Chinese Progressive Association - Boston
  84. Chinese Progressive Association - New York City
  85. Chinese Progressive Association - San Francisco
  86. Chinatown Community for Equitable Development
  87. CHOW Project
  88. Church and Society Committee, Buena Vista United Methodist Church
  89. Coalition for Asian American Children & Families
  90. Coalition for the Revitalization of Asian American Studies at Hunter College
  91. Critical Ethnic & A/PIA Studies Graduate Working Group at University of Michigan, Ann Arbor
  92. Critical Filipinx Scholars Collective
  94. DC Asian American and Pacific Islander Democratic Caucus
  95. Densho
  96. Department of Asian American Studies, UC Davis
  97. DRUM - Desis Risng Up & Moving
  98. East Coast Asian American Student Union (ECAASU)
  99. Empowering Pacific Islander Communities
  100. Equality Labs
  101. FIGHT (Formerly Incarcerated Group Healing Together)
  102. Filipino Advocates for Justice
  103. Filipino American Democratic Club of New York
  104. Filipino Migrant Center
  105. Florida Asian American Student Union
  106. Freedom at Emory University
  107. Freedom Inc.
  108. Freedom Trainers
  110. Gay Asian Pacific Islander Men of New York (GAPIMNY)
  111. Greater Chinatown Community Association
  112. Guam Communications Network
  113. HEART Women & Girls
  114. Hep Free Hawaii
  115. Hepatitis Education Project
  116. Hmong Innovating Politics
  117. Hmong National Development
  118. INHERITANCE magazine
  119. Institute for Asian Pacific American Leadership & Advancement
  120. Intercollegiate Taiwanese American Student Association
  121. Iu Mien Student Union (IMSU at Berkeley)
  122. Jahajee Sisters Empowering Indo-Caribbean Women
  123. Japanese American Citizens League (JACL)
  124. Japanese American Citizens League - New York
  125. Japanese American Citizens League - Olympia
  126. Japanese American Citizens League - Seattle
  127. Japanese American Service Committee
  128. KAYA: Filipino Americans for Progress
  129. Khmer Girls in Action
  130. Khmer Health Advocates
  131. KmB / Pro-People Youth
  132. Korean American Resource and Cultural Center
  133. Korean American Student Association (KASA), University of Southern California
  134. Korean Resource Center
  135. Kuya Ate Mentorship Program
  136. Latinx Medical Student Association (LMSA) of Brown University
  137. Lionswrite Communications
  138. Los Angeles API Giving Circle
  139. Many Languages One Voice
  140. MekongNYC
  141. Micronesian Islands Club
  142. Midwest Asian American Students Union
  143. Minidoka Pilgrimage
  144. National Alliance for Filipino Concerns
  145. National Asian Pacific American Women's Forum (NAPAWF)
  146. National Asian Pacific American Women's Forum - New York City
  147. National Asian Pacific American Women's Forum - Philadelphia
  148. National Coalition for Asian Pacific American Community Development
  149. National Education Association (NEA) Asian Pacific Islander Caucus
  150. National Korean American Service & Education Consortium (NAKASEC)
  151. National Queer Asian Pacific Islander Alliance (NQAPIA)
  152. National Organization for Women's (NOW) Inaugural Virtual Chapter: Young Feminists and Allies
  153. New Directions Consulting
  154. Nikkei Progressives
  155. Northeast Union of Vietnamese Student Associations (Northeast UVSA)
  156. OneAmerica
  157. Paradox
  158. Pasifika PRIDE
  159. Penn Taiwanese Society, University of Pennsylvania
  160. Philadelphia South Asian Collective
  161. Philippine Student Association - UIUC
  162. Pilipino American Unity for Progress, Inc. (UniPro)
  163. Pilipinx Academic Student Services
  164. Princeton Asian American Students Association
  165. Progressive Asian Network for Action (PANA)
  166. Progressive Hmong American Organizers
  167. Project ALOFA
  168. Providence Youth Student Movement (PrYSM)
  169. Rad Azns
  170. Raha Iranian Feminist Collective
  171. REACH! Asian Pacific Islander Recruitment and Retention Center
  172. Reappropriate
  173. Refugee Women's Alliance (ReWA)
  174. Rutgers University Taiwanese American Student Association
  175. Sacramento Hmong LGBTQIA
  176. Satrang
  177. Seattle Immigrant and Refugee Commission
  178. Service Employees International Union API Caucus
  179. Services, Immigrant Rights, and Education Network (SIREN)
  180. SHK Global Health
  181. Sigma Psi Zeta Sorority Inc.
  182. Sikh American Legal Defense and Education Fund
  183. South Asian Americans Leading Together (SAALT)
  184. South Asian Fund For Education, Scholarship and Training (SAFEST)
  185. South Asian Helpline & Referral Agency (SAHARA)
  186. South Asian Network (SAN)
  187. Southeast Asia Resource Action Center (SEARAC)
  188. Southeast Asian Campus Learning Education and Retention (SEA CLEAR)
  189. Southeast Asian Coalition
  190. Southeast Asian Education Coalition
  191. Southeast Asian Freedom Network (SEAFN)
  192. Southern California Korean College Students Association
  193. Southwest Union of Vietnamese Student Associations
  194. Spectrum LGBTQ of Alpert Medical School
  195. Spice Collective, University of Pennsylvania
  196. Stanford Asian American Activism Committee
  197. Swarthmore Asian Organization (SAO)
  198. Syracuse Lambda Phi Epsilon
  199. Taiwanese American Citizens League (TACL)
  200. Taiwanese Americans United
  201. The W.O.W Project
  202. This Filipino American Life Podcast (TFALPodcast)
  203. TIGRA - Transnational Institute for Grassroots Research & Action
  204. UCLA Asian American Studies Center
  205. Ugnayan Youth for Justice and Social Change
  206. Union of Vietnamese Student Associations of the Midwest
  207. University of Colorado Boulder CollaborASIAN
  208. UPenn Asian Pacific Student Coalition
  209. UPLIFT
  210. Utah Asian American Pacific Islander Democratic Caucus
  211. UXO Clearance Laos
  212. Vanderbilt South Asian Cultural Exchange
  213. Vanderbilt University Asian American Student Association
  214. VAYLA New Orleans
  215. Visceral Crew
  216. VietLead
  217. Vietnamese Student Association - Boulder
  218. VietUnity - Bay Area
  219. VietUnity - Los Angeles
  220. Views From the Edge ( AAPI perspectives
  221. VISIONS
  222. Visual Communications
  223. Wakefield Asian Club, Arlington, Virginia
  224. Writ Large Press
  225. Yale Asian American Studies Task Force
  226. Yellow Rage
  227. Yoni Ki Raat NYC