We Fil-Am students condemn the persecution to death of the eighth-grade student Anthony Soltero, call for a stop to the fascist suppression of pro-immigrant student protesters and for carrying forward Anthony's fight for full immigrant rights.
IN MEMORY OF ANTHONY SOLTERO
We in the Coalition of Filipino-American Students for Justice and Peace condemn the persecution to death of the eighth-grade student Anthony Soltero, urge that his tormentor be brought to justice, and call for a stop to the fascist intimidation, inquisition and repression by authorities of student protesters for immigrant rights. We express our deepest bereavement to his parents, relatives, friends, classmates, and the hundreds of thousands of fellow student protesters he left behind.
Anthony Soltero, a leader of the heroic April 28 student walk-outs, committed suicide reportedly in direct response to threats by the De Danza Middle School vice-principal to jail him for his leadership in the protest actions. In a previous statement, we had already denounced the narrow-minded medieval policy of locking down schools and preventing student street protests as effective imprisonment of the students and as a denial of their right to the wider, real-life education in genuine democracy and civic citizenship that the pro-immigrant protests provide.
In that statement, we also had registered our opposition to the police-state tactics of sowing fear among students through acts of physical brutality, a policy paralleled by the psychological harassment of Anthony. Anthony’s suicide in a sense was a form of protest against and rejection of this policy.
His life has been short in years but long in meaning and depth. Anthony’s life and death illustrate that someone as young as he can acquire not merely the education, but more importantly the wisdom and integrity to believe in and join the struggle for social justice. We enjoin all freedom-loving students and parents to act to ensure that Anthony’s martyrdom will be not in vain.
Let us turn our grief into courage to carry forward Anthony’s principled fight for full immigrant rights to its just and adequate conclusion. Inspired by Anthony’s legacy of conviction and leadership, let us struggle for anti-racist, anti-fascist and anti-imperialist justice for immigrants and students.
COALITION OF FILIPINO-AMERICAN STUDENTS FOR JUSTICE AND PEACE
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