ASIAN!

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ASIAN! or Asian Sisters (& Brothers) for Ideas in Action Now!, began in November 1994 in Santa Barbara, California, after students in an Asian feminism class attended a Los Angeles rally protesting Jessica McClintock's failure to pay Chinese garment workers. Diane Fujino, Robyn Rodriguez, and Cheryl Deptowicz established ASIAN! as a radical political group to uplift humanity, with an emphasis on improving conditions facing Asian and Asian American women. As mentioned the group, the name changed to include "brothers," but the focus on women's leadership remained. Given the lack of radical activism in Santa Barbara and in fine with ASIAN!'s belief that systemic oppression underlies and connects multiple issues, ASIAN! has organized political forums and campaigns around, among other topics, garment workers; sex industry; political prisoners, particularly focusing on Puerto Rican POWs and letter writing to California political prisoners; and anti-imperialist struggles in the United States, Philippines, Hawai'i, North and South Korea, Okinawa, Puerto Rico, and Africa. ASIAN! has introduced political issues to the campus community and its membership by bringing prominent radicals to speak on the UCSB campus, including Yuri Kochiyama, Geronimo ji Jaga, Ramona Africa, and Rafael Cancel Miranda.

ASIAN! also organized coalitions to oppose attacks on affirmative action by the University of California regents and by Proposition 209, and since 1995, organized to save the fife of Mumia Abu-Jamal, the only political prisoner on death row. Despite a desire to include community members, ASIAN! remains a small, predominantly student group with substantially more women than men and a diverse Asian membership in addition to a few non-Asian members.[1]

Outreach

ASIAN! has invited numerous Asian and Pacific Islander radicals to Santa Barbara for public forums accompanied by potlucks and/or political education studies: Yuri Kochiyama, Rev. Michael Yasutake, Mitsuye Yamada, David Monkawa, Fred Ho, Haunani-Kay Trask, and Filipino leaders of BAYAN Rafael Baylosis, Rafael "Ka Paeng" Mariano, and Joe Navidad.[2]

References