Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Urban poor hold noise barrage as build up for SONA protests

Press Release
July 22, 2009

More than a hundred urban poor from Paranaque trooped to the Bicutan market at the South Luzon Expressway interchange this afternoon and held a noise barrage in the early evening against the plan to convene a constituent assembly and the threat of martial law. The 6 p.m. noise barrage of the Partido ng Manggagawa (PM), Alyansa ng Maralitang Pilipino (AMP) and Tucuma Federation is part of a build up for the counter-SONA protests on July 27 by the group TindigNation and is a preview of the nationwide mass actions on Friday.

“We call on our fellow workers and Filipinos to join the noise barrage this afternoon and on Friday to show to the government our collective outrage against con-ass and martial law,” explained Robert Labrador, president of Tucuma Federation, community organization in Paranaque.

The mass action today started with a march from the Tucuma community at Barangay Merville. The Paranaque residents warmly received the protesters as the march made its way from the inner streets of Merville to the Bicutan interchange. The noise barrage at the Bicutan market was enthusiastically welcomed by passers by and even drivers who honked their vehicle horns as a sign of support.

Among the protests that will be part of the Friday nationwide mass actions are noise barrages in Welcome Rotonda by the Manggagawa Kontra Chacha, and PM-sponsored activities by hundreds of Fortune Tobacco workers at Marikina, Valenzuela unionists at Malinta exit, Rizal urban poor at Antipolo, and students and faculty in Cabanatuan City.

Romy Cabugnason, spokesperson of AMP, stated, “We should defend our freedoms and rights which is bound to be taken away in the event of the imposition of martial law. If the threat of martial law does not come to pass it can only be because of the people’s protests such as this noise barrage. We should make noise today or else tomorrow we will wake up with Gloria Arroyo retaining power forever as prime minister or a new dictator.”

Judy Ann Miranda, secretary general of PM, added, “National Security Adviser Bert Gonzales is not making a secret of but instead actively campaigning for his proposal of no-election and a transition government. Gloria Arroyo will remain in power as a member of the transition government. What Gonzales is not saying is that a no-election scenario and a transition government can only come in being on the crest a chaotic situation. So even while the bombings have stopped, speculation still abound as to who are its masterminds and if its part of a scenario building exercise."

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