So on Friday I finished a four day march from Calamba, Southern Tagalog to Makiti City, Manila. I have much to talk about on my experiences with the Lakbayan (People’s March, which is a seven day long hike) but I don’t have enough time as of now so I will leave you guys with a few points. Hopefully after the State of the Nation protest on Monday I will have more time to update my blog with more posts.
- I was with a contingent of PAMANTIK-KMU a union in Southern Tagalog affiliated with the KMU. BAYAN-Southern Tagalog (BAYAN-ST) is one of the strongest chapters in BAYAN and I was able to see their strength in many ways during the march, especially from the warmth of the people who showed their support for the marchers.
- During a jeepney ride toward Calamba I saw a lot of anti-government and pro-BAYAN graffiti on the walls and fences in the towns along the way. One of them read, “Stop Political Killings – BAYAN-ST.”
- On the march through Southern Tagalog many vendors would actually give away free food to the marchers, such as bananas and bread. Also, local BAYAN-ST and Gabriella-ST organizations would post up along the march and either give support by cheering and waving banners or actually join up wiht the marchers.
- The government has been very heavy handed in Southern Tagalog. They have killed over 20 KMU members trying to organize at a Nestle plant and have put out arrest warrants for 70+ members of BAYAN-ST, causing those members to go into hiding.
- And much much more, but I gotta go!