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The Foothill Script

Foothill College's Student News Publication

The Foothill Script

Foothill College's Student News Publication

The Foothill Script

Fight Like Brandon Lee!

Hosted by Malaya South Bay, League of Filipino Students at SJSU, PAWIS South Bay, and ICHRP-US the “Fight Like Brandon Lee!” speaking tour occurred on May 10th, 2024 at the San Jose Peace and Justice Center.

The house isn’t particularly grand, nor is it on a bustling intersection. But there is an aura of history to it, and as soon as you step onto the grounds you feel as if you are walking in the steps of countless people before you. We walked back into a driveway to find that the food had just arrived and sign ins and masks were being handed out. Despite the somber nature of what was about to be discussed, the atmosphere was far from subdued. This was a serious topic, but you got the feeling it was just as much a celebration of the man Brandon Lee is, as much as it was a time to confront many hard truths.

The talk began with a powerful play on the song “Made in the USA” by a member of a hosting organization named Veronica. With lines like “say no to apartheid, sing to stop the genocide” the message resonates with many current and past issues for many different cultures.

After her performance, the talk with Brandon went underway. It opened with a discussion on how Brandon got into activism in the first place, with the inciting incident being the war in Afghanistan and how he was able to see through the manipulations about its true purpose, and that it’s real nature was simply “deaths for profit.” He later detailed how he transferred to San Francisco State and how he was welcomed by the League of Filipino Students with open arms. It was here that he learned of the exploitation that the Filipino people underwent historically and still today by the United States of America. He detailed how the USA uses the Philippines as an important geographical location to ward off China, and how they train the the police and military there in order to instill fear in the Filipino people. Brandon specifically detailed how many of the methods of torture that the Philippines government employ were introduced to them by the US Military. 

A large part of the talk was dedicated to the exploitation of native land in the Philippines. One example he mentioned was the construction of hydro dams on native land, and how the natives were compensated in mere centavos, which are worth less than a penny. Additionally, these hydro dams did not power their own towns and communities, but instead went toward the national power grid.

When speaking on the details of his attempted assassination, Brandon Lee spoke strongly and clearly, not a hint of fear or anxiety present in his tone. He spoke on how he had just made dinner for himself and his daughter, and how he left the house to give the scraps to the dogs. It was then that he was shot four times, with one bullet passing through his spine. Even with immediate care, it would be a miracle to survive this kind of shooting. In Brandon’s case, it was multiple hours before he was able to go under proper treatment as the first two hospitals he was taken to did not have the facilities to treat him, and he would have to go to Baguio in order to get surgery. No nurse would accompany him to Baguio when they would have to make the dangerous journey back alone, and so they were forced to wait even longer for Brandon’s cousin, who was a non practicing nurse, to accompany him on the journey there. 

Despite all of these setbacks, Brandon survived. Perhaps even more miraculously was that his spirit did not shatter after these trials, but was instead tempered. He ended his talk with words that resonated deeply with many that attended.

“Even though I cannot walk or make a fist, I will continue to fight for oppressed peoples of the world.”

Brandon still undergoes constant care due to his attempted assassination, and if you would like to help fund his treatment or learn more, please donate using the link below. 

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About the Contributor
Alexander Martinez
Alexander Martinez, Lead Copy Editor
Alexander Martinez is a second-year Computer Science Major at Foothill College. He has a passion for creative writing and hopes to gain experience in his hobby by contributing to The Script.

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