Groups from the Southern Tagalog region led by militant Bagong Alyansang Makabayan (BAYAN) Timog Katagalugan trooped to the National Capital Region (NCR) this morning with red flags and streamers, a throwback to the atmosphere of the 1917 Bolshevik Revolution.
Groups organized a Russian-themed protest to “remember and emulate the people’s triumphs against imperial domination and fascist rule.”
Peti Bautista, BAYAN-TK spokesperson, said that they adopted the theme as part of the October Revolution Centennial Celebration worldwide and in treasuring the lessons of how the people went on to oppose and topple the Tsarist monarchy.
Protesters registered their disgust against the arrival of US President Donal Trump, a “hallmark of destructive and murderous imperialist foreign policy,” in a program held about three kilometers from the Philippine International Convention Center (PICC), the venue of this year’s ASEAN East Asia Summit.
Groups condemned the effects of US Imperialism on different sectors of the society such as the labor sector, youth sector, peasants, and indigenous people citing attacks on different sectors in the Southern Tagalog region.
Kabataan Partylist (KPL-ST) highlighted how neoliberal attacks on education affects the curriculum in state universities and the K-12 program’s agenda to produce graduates for the international market. “Imbis na tugunan ang interes at pangangailangan ng sariling bansa, ang mga estudyante ay tinuturuang magsilbi sa pandayuhang interes,” KPL-ST said.
NNARA Youth-ST condemned the exploitation of our natural resources by foreign corporations and how the government protects the interests of these corporations instead of the interests of the indigenous people who are being displaced. “Tuloy-tuloy ang pagpasok ng mga iba’t ibang korporasyon upang magpatuloy sa pandarambong ng ating mga likas na yaman, umaabot sa puntong binobomba na ng imperyalistang US at pati narin mismong gobyerno ang mga kabundukan upang magkamal ng likas na yaman, tulad ng nangyari sa Mt.Banoi sa Batangas.”
Protesters condemned Duterte’s partnership with Imperialist countries such as the US and the worsening crisis in the society brought about by imperialism, feudalism, and bureaucrat capitalism. “Bread, land, and peace was the call of the millions of peasants and workers a hundred years ago. A century hence, it remains the cry of the people of the world – fueled by anger against the dominating imperialist plunder and war led by the ‘Tsarist rule’ of the US ang through its conduits like the ASEAN,” Bautista of BAYAN-TK says.
Meanwhile, groups expressed their dissent on the massive police barricade set up in securing the perimeter of venue of the summit saying that it further legitimizes the exclusion of the wide majority of the people from their policy-making and called on the police force to serve and protect the interests of the Filipino people instead of foreign interest.
Youth Advocates for Peace and Justice (YAPJUST) called on the police force saying, “isang hamon sa kapulisan na patuloy na paglinkuran ang sambayanang Pilipino, pakinggan natin ang hinaing ng ating mga mamamayan.”
The protest begins the crusade of the people of Southern Tagalog in the national capital against lopsided economic partnerships and tyranny. By the afternoon, they joined the wider delegation from BAYAN and from other delegations such as peasants, workers, and national minority groups from the island of Mindanao.
The delegation from the Southern Tagalog will join the nationwide campout and the upcoming protests against ASEAN, to which Bautista of Bayan-TK stated that they will push through as near as the PICC as they can. “Massive police barricades are nothing to a people resolved to push through,” Bautista said. [P]