Anakbayan congratulates the Kalipunan ng Damayang Mahihirap (Kadamay) for its militant occupation campaign that compelled President Duterte to announce the giving of 6,000 idle public housing units to the urban poor group.

From threatening the use of force to evict the occupants, Duterte was forced by Kadamay’s unwavering collective action to backtrack and sing a different tune. In a speech in front of army men, the president said he will just build “new and better” housing for the PNP and AFP whose unused housing units have been occupied by Kadamay.

In the face of harassment from state forces and concerted vilification against Kadamay, this tactical victory is another testament to the power of collective action. Nevertheless we share no illusions that the struggle against the current administration’s continuing pursuance of neoliberal policies has ended.

Indeed, the failed profit-oriented housing projects that has translated to the contracting out of public housing to private corporations that profit on the poor persists. Over 52,000 public housing units nationwide have remained idle even as tens of thousands are homeless.

Just recently, 57 members of Kadamay, including 16 minors and 8 elderly, became victims of mass arrest and unjust detention at Camp Karingal in Quezon City. As we continue the struggle to forward the people’s democratic rights and interests, the militancy and collective action of the Kadamay-led occupation is a shining example for the Filipino people.

 

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