UMA joins anti-imperialist protests, int’l gatherings

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Ang UMA | July-December 2015

Militant peasant organizations in the Philippines led by the Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas (KMP) launched and joined various anti-imperialist activities, including national protest caravans and international solidarity gatherings from October to
November.

Peasant protests from October 15- 21 were held in Quezon City and Manila
to mark International Rural Women’s Day (Oct. 15); World “Hunger” Day
(Oct. 16) and the 43rd anniversary of Presidential Decree (PD) 27, the bogus
land reform program enacted during the Marcos dictatorship (Oct. 21).

The Unyon ng mga Manggagawa sa Agrikultura (UMA) was among various militant groups that welcomed the Manilakbayan ng Mindanao protest caravan which held camp-outs at the UP Diliman campus, Liwasang Bonifacio in Manila and the Redemptorist Church in Baclaran, Pasay City from October 26 to November 22. The people of Mindanao composed mainly of peasants, lumad or indigenous peoples, Moros, and other sectors affected by state-sponsored attacks on their communities and indigenous schools, called on the public to support their resistance to militarization and plunder. Manilakbayan delegates held several protest actions
and cultural activities to highlight the people’s struggle against foreign large-scale
mining activities and aggressive expansion of corporate agricultural plantations in Mindanao.

During the Manilakbayan, UMA was among groups which led the formation
of the REA P Mindanao Network. A street conference against oil palm plantations was also held Nov. 4, spearheaded by KMP. UMA also mounted the REA P photo exhibit at the International Festival of Peoples Resistance and Struggles (IF PRS) held Nov. 17.

UMA also participated in various international solidarity activities such as the Peasant Anti-Imperialist Solidarity (PAIS ) held Nov. 13, sponsored by the KMP and the Asian Peasant Coalition (APC); and the International League of Peoples’ Struggle 5th International Assembly (IL PS5thIA ) from Nov. 14-16. During the IL PS Assembly, the Commission 6 for Agrarian Reform Concern called for intensified struggle against foreign plunder of land and state terrorism. The Commission 6 workshop was attended by more than 50 delegates from various farmers and advocate groups in the Philippines, Indonesia, India, Malaysia, Kurdistan, US , France, Australia and Taiwan.

The IL PS Commission 6 also led a picket protest at the Ninoy Aquino Memorial
Shrine in Quezon City to condemn the 11th year of injustice and impunity on the Hacienda Luisita massacre.

UMA and AMBALA Vice-Chairperson Rudy Corpuz also joined a candle-
lighting protest in commemoration of the Hacienda Luisita martyrs at the
Tomas Morato rotunda led by militant labor center Kilusang Mayo Uno (KMU)
and also participated in by foreign delegates of IL PS and APWL D. Protests
were also held in Hacienda Luisita. Peasants and agricultural workers
joined various sectors at the anti-APEC protests held from Nov. 18-19. Despite
tight security, road blocks and dispersals, militant groups led by BAYAN culminated
protests in a mammoth rally at Gil Puyat Avenue, near the site of the actual APEC meetings.

“We declare this day as historic, in total contrast to the APEC summit where leaders of developed countries and puppet regimes such as the Aquino administration brainstorm on how to step up wholesale landgrabbing and control over vast agricultural lands. We, the producer-farmers of the world are standing up against this malevolence of monopoly capitalism or imperialism,” said APC and KMP Chairperson
Rafael “Ka Paeng” Mariano.

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