On August 16, activists from the ANSWER Coalition (Act Now to Stop War and End Racism), Party for Socialism and Liberation, the International League of Peoples’ Struggle, Bayan USA, Gabriela, Anakbayan, Block the Bunker and Veterans for Peace staged a demonstration to denounce the renewed U.S. hostility towards the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, as well as U.S. plans to begin bombing areas of the Philippines affected by President Duterte’s declaration of martial law.

Speakers explained how the United States has long held policies of overt hostility against the DPRK, and since the end of the Korean War, has worked constantly to undermine, sabotage and ultimately destroy both its government and all attempts at the establishment of a separate peace between North and South Korea. Despite the constant attempts at casting the DPRK as a legitimate “threat” to the United States, the truth speaks for itself.

The DPRK has adopted a consistently defense-oriented military strategy since the end of the Korean War and maintains a “no first strike” policy with its nuclear weapons. North Korea has routinely issued peace offers to the Republic of Korea and the U.S. in the interests of ending the war, which have been rejected every time by the U.S. In 2016 the DPRK voted in favor of a global nuclear test ban treaty along with 112 other nations; the U.S. voted against. Most important, North Korea has not attacked, intervened against nor invaded a sovereign state since 1953!

The United States on the other hand has waged nearly ceaseless wars and military interventions all over the world, and just as in Korea, it has no business in being there. Thus far, the DPRK has held firm in resisting all efforts of the US to subvert, destabilize or sanction it into submission. All progressive and revolutionary people should stand in unwavering solidarity with the DPRK and the brave people in South Korea, Japan and elsewhere calling for an end to the U.S. military occupation of the region and in favor of a peaceful, just end to the Korean War.

US exploits martial law in the Philippines to strengthen militarism in Asia

Other speakers at the rally explained how the election of Rodrigo Duterte as President of the Philippines threatened to upset the longstanding military alliance between the U.S. and the Philippines, with the latter making overtures to distance itself from the U.S. while making stronger connections to Russia and China. However, after the declaration of martial law in Mindanao as an alleged response to religious extremism, the U.S. has eagerly announced potential plans to assist the Philippine government in its brutal and needlessly destructive bombing campaigns by directly intervening militarily by use of drone attacks. This announcement represents a serious escalation of U.S. militarism in Asia and a severe danger to all progressive and anti-imperialist forces fighting to free the Philippines from the grip of state terror and foreign imperialism.

U.S. militarism abroad has been matched by increased militarization of state and police forces domestically as well. Activists from Block the Bunker drew attention to the attempts to construct a massive $210 million dollar police precinct, known locally in Seattle as “the Bunker,” which would further serve to attack and suppress activists, organizers and nationally oppressed communities in Seattle. Bayan representatives also spoke about the rising tide of neo-fascism in the United States, after white supremacists, neo-Nazis and other elements of the far-right staged violent rallies defending the statues of Confederate leaders and slave owners in Charlottesville, Virginia. These rallies resulted in the slaying of anti-fascist demonstrator Heather Heyer, a member of the Industrial Workers of the World, and serious injuries to 19 others as a white supremacist deliberately drove his car into the crowd of counter-protesters.