Wednesday, 7 December 2011

Scenes from the first part of "Occupy Mendiola" protest

Scenes from the first part of "Occupy Mendiola" protest

These are the scenes from the first day of protests this December.

Known as  "Occupy Mendiola",  activists, coming from respective communities around Metro Manila, inspired by the "Occupy Wall Street" and other related protests around the world, gathered in Recto all in pursuit of marching towards Mendiola for a camp out and addressing their grievances to the government.

However, they end up having fired by a water cannon as well as beaten by the Police, yet they still remained strong enough to endure it and wanting to advance towards their destination. They even had an activity till dusk as mass leaders speak out against the system, followed by noises and music, all agitated and willing to push themselves against the truncheon-carrying men.

Some Policemen are even willing to take pictures of themselves "for Facebook", while some even had a chitchat with activists or strangers as the program continues to hold on. Traffic flow was so slow that instead of going to Legarda straight, opted to have an alternate route like Morayta; while fastfood stalls near the scene had to close "in order to prevent from getting looted and destroyed" as others think of as they sought.

And according to UP Kilos Na, a multisectoral alliance against budget cuts in the University of the Philippines, it said that:

“What better place to hold the camp-out than historic Mendiola — witness to the unstoppable protests of the people through several regimes,” 

And as for the violent dispersals, UP President Pascual, like its predecessor S.P. Lopez, also against it, as he said:

“legitimate expression of civil and political rights guaranteed under the Constitution...To prohibit such activities, and brand these as “seditious,” goes against the core principles of democracy, transparency and accountability which are central in President Aquino’s vision of daang matuwid and contrary to the call of the Aquino administration for active public participation in the governance of our country,”

But despite all these, of water cannons and truncheons, the protests remained intact although they moved out and temporarily stayed in Plaza Miranda and then, in Bustillos that is near their destination. Policemen tried much to defend as fire trucks and police vehicles parked in the main thoroughfare. One policeman even called the attempts for camp-out at Mendiola as inciting to sedition, and liable for arrest and incarceration.

If so, then what's the purpose of peaceful protests then? Just because they're against the system? Of venting rage against them? To others the event, like any other protest actions, are simply eyesores and hindrance to progress, being paid or whatsoever just to justify their angst against them; but most of these people who criticize mass actions are rather aloof in issues as they focused much on their desires they themselves opted to indulge in, or in other words, choosing contentment over change.

Anyway, here are the pictures of that said event.

Anakbayan's Vencer Crisostomo
and his first round of his speeches and hand signals
 (especially with the recognizable lifting pointers)

Mediamen, including yours truly,  raised off their cameras for scoops.

Noises of defiance prevailed
despite the truncheons and water cannons being fired earlier before the activity. 

Seems that they ready for beating. 

Raising fists in defiance of earlier beatings,
Raising fists in affirmation of their actions.
Fastfood stalls near the event were closed ensuring that their properties are not to be looted,
 destroyed in that said activity. 

Protesters, Sightseers, Strangers watching

Vencer Crisostomo in an interview with GMA News

Some Policemen afford to talk with Activists.

Some tend to understood situations despite differences

They even afford to laugh it out as they felt getting tired from standing

While other policemen seemed that they're talking about  ice cold beer after the event.

Or just simply standing and looking at everyone

Vencer Crisostomo and his another round of speeches

And that includes raising his hand
asking those who wanted to continue on their  campout.

Some of them afford to say that they wanted
to have a picture of theirs on Facebook  since they're "handsome" to be a riot policeman 

Ready for another round of smashing!

another coat of brownish red paint tommorrow,
and another  spray paint on the next day.

To Plaza Miranda Campesinos!