Anti-tuition increase protest

November 23, 2006. UP students from the different UP units across the Philippines simultaneously protested today against the 300% tuition and other fee increases proposal by the UP Administration. In UP Diliman, throngs of students walked out of classes and mobilized in front of historic Palma Hall.

I’ve said my piece about this already and defended my stand to those who are in favor of the proposal, and even to those who are simply too allergic to activists and to my political party in UP.

My basic contention is that it is simply unjust for state university students to carry the burden of neglect of a government that conveniently loses billions in graft and corruption and conveniently allocates billions more in dubious repressive and status-quo preserving policies. It is unjust because it alters the very nature of UP as a state university and it violates the constitutional assurance of state promotion, protection and accessibility of education at all levels. It is especially unjust when a great majority of Filipinos live on less than a dollar or two a day.

I was able to invite some of my blockmates to come along. They’ve never joined rallies or mobilizations before, until this afternoon.

I was also told to speak in front of the crowd, in short notice. Whew. Impromptu public speaking is not my thing.

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