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Lakbayan 2009

Sunday, July 26, 2009
Lakbayan 2009 marchers at Mendiola, Manila (Photo by Jack Stephens)

Lakbayan 2009 marchers at Mendiola, Manila (Photo by Jack Stephens)

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!

A mini-flag that opposses the CON-ASS bill.  Mendiola, Manila (Photo by Jack Stephens)

A mini-flag that opposses the CON-ASS bill. Mendiola, Manila (Photo by Jack Stephens)

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