14th Annual Justice for Filipino American Veterans (JFAV) – Veterans Day March

The Justice for Filipino American Veterans (JFAV), an alliance of veterans organizations, community advocates, youth and students announced that they will march for the third time in 14 years on Veterans Day, November 11, 2014 in Hollywood, Los Angeles. The march will honor our heroes and demand justice and equity in light of the broken promises and unfulfilled pledges to the Filipino American veterans and relatives.

JFAV National Coordinator Arturo P. Garcia said, “The Hollywood Veterans Day March will start at 11:30 at the assembly area on Hollywood and Ivar St. The groups will gather at 10:30 am and the pre-rally will start at 11:00 am.”

Prior to that, volunteers are requested to gather at the Filipino American Community of Los Angeles (FACLA) Hall at 9:00 am with the veterans, widows, youth/students, and community advocates. There will be an orientation for volunteers and marshals at FACLA.

Garcia also said, “Aside from JFAV-LA, other groups will march on November 11 including FACLA, S4PACE, ANSWER-LA, Echo Park Community Coalition (EPCC), Philippinetown Inc. (PTI), Pro-People Youth (KmB), KmB X Sessions, Kababayan Alliance of UC Irvine, PASK, CalPoly Pomona Barkada, XPO, TDB, Samahang Pilipino of UCLA, UCR Katipunan, CSUN, Pasadena City College and many more.

Fighting Systemic Racism and Racial Discrimination

JFAV describes the history of the Filipino veterans’ struggle. On July 26, 1941, six months before the war, US President Franklin D. Roosevelt conscripted 120,000 of the Army of the Commonwealth of the Philippines into the United States Armed Forces in the Far East (USAFFE) making the Philippines, the US garrison outside of the US mainland.

During the war, USAFFE surrendered but not the Filipino people who waged a three year long war of resistance and rallied again under the US colors to liberate the Philippines from Japan. For their military service, at least 250,000 USAFFE soldiers and guerillas were recognized by the US Army as American soldiers making them eligible for veterans benefits.

But six months later on February 18, 1946, the 79th US Congress declared their “military service inactive” and until now, 68 years later they remain unrecognized as American veterans. Out of the 66 nationalities who fought during the war, only the Filipinos were excluded from receiving the benefits and privileges they deserve.

SB1315 did not pass in US Congress, which would have recognized the Filipino Veterans and provided lifetime pensions. Instead the ARRA Law of 2009 was passed to allocate lump sum payments. However, out of the 41,000 Filipino veterans who applied, only 18,000 were granted benefits and while the remaining were denied their benefits.

Garcia also added, “We will continue to march for equity and justice and we will not stop until we get justice and equity for our Lolos and Lolas and for community.”

For more inforation about the 14th JFAV March for Justice and Equity please contact Arturo at (213) 241-0995. JFAV is a campaign under People’s CORE’s Program for People’s Rights and Social Justice.