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Fighting from a DistanceHow Filipino Exiles Helped Topple a Dictator$
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Jose V. Fuentecilla

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780252037580

Published to Illinois Scholarship Online: April 2017

DOI: 10.5406/illinois/9780252037580.001.0001

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Into the Land of the Fearful

Into the Land of the Fearful

Dread and Apathy

(p.14) Chapter 3 Into the Land of the Fearful
Fighting from a Distance

Jose V. Fuentecilla

University of Illinois Press

This chapter focuses on the reactions of overseas Filipino communities to anti-martial law activists in exile. Much of the print coverage of the U.S.-based anti-Marcos groups tended to spotlight prominent exile figures. Having found the freedom to speak out, to write for publication, to demonstrate, to organize openly—activities that could get their colleagues back home in trouble with the authorities—they plunged into furious rounds of organizing the resident Filipino population. They had assumed that their compatriots in the United States would empathize with their experience and respond readily to appeals for money, membership, and participation. However, anti-martial law activists who reached out to Filipino communities were met with two reactions—apathy and fear. Apathy was most pronounced among the newer immigrants. They had come to the United States to improve their prospects for a livelihood they found unachievable back in the Philippines. The first order of business was to get settled—employment, housing, education for their children—all the basics of survival in their new home. There was no room to indulge in politics, local or Philippine. There was also the fear of getting involved. News of roundups, interrogations, and military detentions was constant. They would not want to jeopardize relatives back home once their U.S. activities were made known.

Keywords:   anti-martial law activists, political exiles, Filipino communities, anti-Marcos groups, immigrants, apathy, fear

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