Youth group tells Duterte: ‘Look what you make our people do’

Anakbayan today welcomed the arrival of thousands of delegates of the “Lakbayan 2017,” a national caravan of the Bangsamoro and national minority groups from various parts of the Philippines.

The “Lakbayanis,” composed of various national minority groups and Moro from Mindanao, Visayas, Northern and Southern Tagalog, and Bicol, have gathered in a historic march to the capital at a time when the Duterte administration is fast-tracking its “fascist attacks” against the Filipino people, attacks which include the declaration of Martial Law in Mindanao and intensifying militarization and brutal police operations in all parts of the country.

The Lakbayanis are also calling for genuine self-determination and an end to land-grabbing, destructive mining, and militarization of their ancestral domain.

At various points in Manila and Quezon City, youth groups led by Anakbayan welcomed the delegates.

Alluding to a popular new song, Anakbayan National Chairperson Vencer Crisostomo told President Rodrigo Duterte, “Look what you made the Filipino people do – they travelled on foot, over seas and mountains, thousands of miles – not out of fear but to underline our demand for your government to stop your maniacal attack against our rights and welfare.”

“We welcome and join the Lakbayanis in this historic march against tyranny and fascism. The overarching message of this historic fight is the common struggle of the Filipino people against a system that has heightened the danger over our lives, welfare, and future. In the countryside, the Bangsamoro and national minorities still quest for genuine freedom and peace amid persistent age-old socioeconomic problems, yet what the government offers in return is the barrel of the gun. In the cities, while the youth and people demand free education and decent living conditions, Filipinos now wake up each day to tend to the dead littered in the streets left by brutal government forces,” Crisostomo said.

“The Lakbayan – a historic march for rights and peace – comes at a time when people truly need to stand up and fight the burgeoning brutality of Duterte’s regime. The caravan opens the youth’s mind to the fact that the struggle of each and every national minority group, the struggle of each and every marginalized sector, are fundamentally connected and intertwined.”

“We enjoin youth and students to not only visit the Lakbayanis in their campsite in UP Diliman, but also learn from them, struggle alongside them, and fight the common fight. Together, let us live out the real meaning of national solidarity,” the youth leader added.


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