AQ and the Struggle Against the Marcos Dictatorship
Ferdinand Marcos was elected President of the Philippines in 1965. In 1972 he declared martial law and ended democracy, assuming dictatorial powers. His dictatorial regime (1972-1986) was characterized by suppression of human rights, torture and murder of union organizers and political opponents and the looting of the nation’s wealth!
We recently interviewed Ethnic Studies Professor Davianna McGregor, who during the time of Marcos was both an educator and a member of the Union of Democratic Filipinos, an organization devoted to raising public consciousness about the oppressive Marcos regime and acting in solidarity with Filipino people who were struggling against the dictatorship. She told us of the problem faced by the ILWU since a significant number of its Filipino members supported Marcos. Of course AQ played a role in changing this dynamic!
(Note: In 1986, the “People Power Revolution” ousted Marcos and forced him into exile in Hawai`i, where he died in 1989).
Our documentary, The Struggle Never Ends, recounts the life and times of Ah Quon, and uses archival interviews with Hawai`i workers who were colleagues of AQ and part of the struggle against oppressive conditions. Since there is only limited time in a one hour documentary, our website, www.laborhistoryhawaii.org, features many interview excerpts that recount stories about working class life and culture. These range from picture brides to union activists as well as academic commentary. We add new stories each month, so please check it out and share
We have been fortunate to have had great support from the community for the AQ Project and the preservation and digitization of our film and video archive that makes both documentary and website possible. Stay tuned for more!
Mahalo Nui Loa,