Thursday, August 28, 2008

‘Die-in’ protest, barricade stop planned demolition in Cavite

27 August 2008
Samahan ng Nagkakaisang Maralita ng Cavite
Partido ng Manggagawa-Cavite

‘Die-in’ protest, barricade stop planned demolition in Bacoor and Kawit

What was expected to be a violent confrontation between demolition crews and urban poor dwellers in Bacoor and Kawit in the province of Cavite ended up with a commitment from the local government to negotiate.

As early as seven o’clock in the morning yesterday, soldiers and policemen had already positioned themselves at Barangay Longos in Bacoor to secure the place that is targeted to be cleared of squatters. It was the second day that soldiers were stationed there prompting the residents to assume that demolition would be carried out for the construction of the R-1 or the coastal road extension project. Some 1,000urban poor families from Bacoor and Kawit are bound to lose their homes to the project while fishermen are also set to lose their source of livelihood.

In anticipation, residents took to the streets to block the planned demolition. Some 500 people marched from Kawit to the coastal road in Bacoor to join hundreds of other protesters in Barangay Longos. Together they held a ‘mass die-in’ protest and set up a barricade along the coastal road in Bacoor. The protesters under the Samahan ng Nagkakaisang Maralita ng Cavite (Sanagca), Partido ng Manggagawa and the newly formed Balikatan sa Komunidad (BsK) called for a moratorium on demolitions in the province.

Bacoor Mayor Strike Revilla, who rushed to the scene, spoke before the protesters them that he will help them negotiate with the national and provincial governments regarding their concerns. The R-1 project is a joint project of the national and provincial governments.

Cavite Governor Ayong Maliksi who was supposed to oversee the demolition talked with leaders of the groups and assured them also that the provincial government is willing to sit down with them. Governor Maliksi declared that he would try to negotiate with the national government for the people’s demand for source of livelihood.

However residents are still wary given the presence of soldiers and policemen in the area since they fear that anytime of the day surprise demolition can still be carried out by the national and provincial government. ###

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