Day 1 of Mendiola Camp-Out Protest


December 6, 2011.

We are calling on all Filipinos, fed up with the status quo and united in a common hope for a better present and future without the suffering that we witness everyday, to launch actions, strikes, walk-outs and to join a historic nationwide camp-out protest this December. We can no longer stand a twisted social set-up that robs the majority of our people of a decent life and basic social services. We can no longer stand a social system that produces immense wealth for foreign interests and a few as the people, who toil all their lives, are increasingly pushed deeper into hunger, poverty and injustice. We continuously attempted to make those in power heed our call for change. But they refuse to listen, and instead, constantly barrage us with lies, cover-up stunts, insults and threats of force. Like thieves, they railroad unjust measures, they rule with impunity and dare to call it democracy. Sawang-sawa na tayo.

Youth mobilization to Mendiola

Militant youth march to Mendiola

July 7, 2007. Yesterday, hundreds of youths from different universities, colleges and high schools, including out-of-school youths from across Metro Manila, marched together to Mendiola to protest against an education system that has become increasingly inaccessible, and to protest against the impending implementation of an “Anti-Terrorism” law.

Militant youth march to Mendiola

We were, however, as usual, stopped on our way to Mendiola when we reached Morayta, just in front of the gate of Far Eastern University. When we tried to push forward, the police violently pushed us back.

Militant youth march to Mendiola

Eventually, the dust cleared and we went on with a program right on Morayta. While everything was at peace and negotiations were going on, the police, amusingly, engaged some of us in casual conversations, and vice-versa. Some were even sharing their drinks. It was an amusing sight. It felt as if they were simply role-playing, and it was their salaried duty to play the role of protecting a repressive status quo.

Militant youth march to Mendiola

Militant youth march to Mendiola

As we always do, after a few hours, we pulled out from Morayta and tried to circumvent the police barricade by taking the narrow streets of Sampaloc in a mad dash to Legarda. Unlike previous years, we were able to push on to as near as a few feet from Chino Roces bridge. A few steps from Mendiola. A few blocks from the country’s seat of power and corruption.

Militant youth march to Mendiola

Just behind the police barricade on Legarda were a few armed policemen. What a clear breach of rules and protocol during rallies. Law enforcers are restricted from carrying firearms within a certain distance from the bulk of people. There were also firetrucks, though there was obviously no breakout of fire within the area.

Militant youth march to Mendiola

There was this inspiring boy who spoke to everyone at the rally a little before we self-dispersed. He was so young and yet he spoke so eloquently and passionately about our issues as young Filipinos.

More pictures can be found at my Multiply site.