Repression against the 1st of May in the Philippines

1st of May demonstration against US imperialism in Manila, Philippines. Source: Ang Bayan Ngayon

State agents harassed a gathering of workers led by Workers Alliance of Region III-Kilusang Mayo Uno (WAR III-KMU) on the 1st of May in Angeles City, Central Luzon in the Philippines. The armed State forces surrounded the venue and were patrolling the roads around it before the event was about to start. The chairman of the WARIII denounced the repression in an interview with the student newspaper of the Holy Angel University.

Due to the repression, the event took place in another venue. In the gathering, the second chairman of the Bagong Alyansang Makabayan (Bayan)-Central Luzon, Arnie Gallardo, shared the regional situation of workers in factories and workshops, and denounced that the State does not address the demands for wage increases. In Central Luzon, the average daily wage is ₱500 (around 8,72 US dollars). In addition, the Far East Alcohol Labor Union-ANGLO-KMU organized a general meeting and condemned the State repression and blockade against the gathering.

In the capital Manila, the 1st of May demonstration marched to the US embassy to protest imperialism, especially highlighting the ongoing Balikatan military exercise of the US and Philippine armies, when the police attacked it.

Six youths were arrested in the struggles, and were released on bail on the 7th of May. Various organizations have condemned that the process was deliberately prolonged, and protest actions demanding the release of the arrested were made in front of the Manila police headquarters. The youth organization Anakbayan said regarding the release of the activists: “This is a success brought about by the collective calling and action of the youth and other sectors for the freedom of six”. They denounced that despite the release, the police is not held accountable for the illegal attack against the demonstration, and called for immediate acquittal of the activists.

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