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Campout protest kicks off December 6 in Mendiola

‘Sawang-sawa na kami sa bulok sa sistema!’

In a response to the worldwide “occupy” protest movement, various organizations are calling for a “historic nationwide camp-out protest” starting December 6 at Mendiola Bridge in Manila.

In a statement published on, more than 100 groups nationwide called on those who are “fed up with the status quo and united in a common hope for a better present and future” to “take action” and launch strikes, walk-outs and camp-out.

“We can no longer stand a twisted social set-up that robs the majority of our people of a decent life and basic social services. We can no longer stand a social system that produces immense wealth for foreign interests and a few as the people, who toil all their lives, are increasingly pushed deeper into hunger, poverty and injustice,” said the statement.

‘Sawang-sawa na tayo’

The camp-out protest is expected to highlight a broad range of issues from cuts in budget allocation for social services, price hikes, demolition of urban poor communities, human rights and land reform. Migrant issues will also be featured as a Filipino on death row is set to be executed on December 8.

“December 6 is Day One. It is time to send a message to those in power: We will no longer put up with lies, corruption, abuse, exploitation and injustice.  Together, we will stand for freedom, justice, equality and genuine change. We can no longer sit idly by as our people – our youth! – face a dim future,” said the various groups.

The website, which displayed the photo of the Don Chino Roces in Mendiola, highlighted the theme “sawang-sawa na tayo (we are fed up).”

Viral protests

“We continuously attempted to make those in power heed our call for change. But they refuse to listen, and instead, constantly barrage us with lies, cover-up stunts, insults and threats of force. Like thieves, they railroad unjust measures, they rule with impunity and dare to call it democracy,” said the statment.

The groups say “tens of thousands” will strike, walkout and participate in various protests. Similar actions are set to take place across the regions.

Various groups have expressed support for the camp-out. The National Union of Students of the Philippines have issued a callout to more than 600 member student councils nationwide while the College Editors’ Guild of the Philippines have called for a “Student Press Camp” in Mendiola. Artist groups have also issued a call to “occupy.” The Burgos Media Center has issued their support, and facebook fan page Occupy Philippines called for support and donations. Groups from University of the Philippines Diliman and Manila, and Polytechnic University of the Philippines have also called for participation.

“We will be peaceful but militant in our actions and let our calls strike fear into the hearts of powers that be. Bring tents. Take with you family, friends, and fellow Filipinos who want genuine social change. See you,” the groups said.

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