Saturday, February 25, 2017

Workers on EDSA: Level up not move on

Militant workers joined the rallies today commemorating the anniversary of the people power uprising and rejected the call by Malacanang to “move on.” Wilson Fortaleza, Partido Manggagawa (PM) spokesperson instead insisted that “Don’t move on. Don’t revise history. Let’s go rogue. Level up EDSA. Power to the people not a democracy of trapos.”

Members of PM are joining workers, urban poor, farmers and other sectoral groups who will assemble at Meralco along Ortigas Ave. and then march to the People Power Monument for a multisectoral program. Meanwhile the PM chapter in Cebu is participating in a rally at downtown Gaisano Metro this afternoon.

PM also expressed apprehension at the suppression of political dissent with the arrest of Sen. Leila de Lima. “Workers defend civil liberties because political freedom is a necessity in fighting for and winning labor demands,” Fortaleza explained.

He added that “EDSA is not a cul-de-sac. The struggle for democracy and make empowerment real does not end with EDSA. Ang EDSA ay walang endo, wala itong kulay.”

Its youth wing, PM-Kabataan, is also mobilizing community youth and young workers in the activities today. Ryan Bocacao of PM-Kabataan declared that “EDSA’s epic fail is engendering a throwback to dictatorship. But is a return to the past the answer to the misery of the present? We say no, as young Filipinos who wish the best for our country. Is it time to move on instead of celebrate EDSA as the Duterte administration say? We say no, for we believe the real alternative is to level up EDSA. People power is hollow without democratizing power. Empowering the people—providing economic security to the masses and also their participation in policy decisions—will pull the rug from underneath historical revisionists and wannabee dictators.”

Fortaleza averred that “Workers were at the forefront of the fight against the Marcos dictatorship well before EDSA. At tuloy ang laban sa ngayon. Tunay na demokrasya hindi bagong diktadura ang pag-asa ng masang manggagawa.”

PM-Kabataan echoed this call. “As working class millennials—community youth and young workers—we are witness to, nay victims of, the disaster of three decades of EDSA democracy. To those living in the purgatory of the EDSA democracy, the hell of martial law is little comfort. No surprise then that purveyors of fake news, creative imagination and alternative facts are having a field day,” Bocacao explained.

February 25, 2017

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