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Tuesday, December 6, 2011

"Occupy Mendiola" starts tomorrow Youth groups to hold campout protest against budget cuts, rising prices, poverty

More than a hundred youth groups nationwide are calling for days of “campout protests” starting tomorrow to tackle a broad range of issues including budget cuts, rising prices, corruption, poverty, and the “lack of genuine change in the country.”

In a response to the “Occupy Wall Street” movement, youth groups are calling on various sectors who are “fed up with the status quo” to “take action,” launch strikes and walk-outs and campout at Mendiola in Manila for “days of rage and protests.”

According to Vencer Crisostomo, national chairperson of youth group ANAKBAYAN, the camp-out protest is expected to highlight a broad range of issues from the recent 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.

“We hope this could be the start of something new. It is time to send a message to those in power: We will no longer put up with lies, corruption, abuse, exploitation and injustice,” said Crisostomo.

A website, has been put up by the groups to coordinate the campout. Statements, call-outs and videos have been posted. Organizers say livestreaming of the protests will also be posted on the site.

In the unity declaration posted on the site, groups say “tens of thousands” will strike, walkout and participate in various protests. Similar actions are set to take place across the regions. Concerts, workshops and street art protests will be featured.

“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 statement.

Youth leaders and personalities have posted videos supporting the campout including “fliptop” star BLKD, Director Boni Ilagan, poet Axel Pinpin, UP Professor Judy Taguiwalo, and Dr. Mary Clamor, one of the ex-detainees collectively known as the Morong 43.

The groups have also formed a “sawang sawa na” facebook group and used #sawangsawa and #campoutPH hashtags on twitter where people can post where and why they are “sawang-sawa (fed up).”

“We will 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 statement said. Vencer Crisostomo, Anakbayan

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