Students walk out of their classrooms

to hold alternative classes at Plaza Miranda and Mendiola


Davao City      UP Los Baños/Quezon


July 18, 2008



The class at Plaza Miranda and Ka Satur as both teacher and student

The students give a grade to Arroyo and recommend what to do with her




July 18, 2008

Class walkouts today mark youth call to 'rise up'
More 'street classes' set until SONA

Youth ACT Now! (Youth for Accountability and Truth Now!) today held
simultaneous class walkouts signifying the youth's call on the public
to 'Rise up for meaningful social change'.

Students from UP, PUP, UST, Adamson, FEU, De La Salle, College of St.
Benilde, Lyceum, Letran, PLM, Trinity University, PCU, GAUF, St.
Scholastica, Mapua, UP Manila, Jose Rizal University, TIP, PSBA, Ateneo
de Manila, Miriam College, Sta. Isabel, PNU, St. Paul University,
Arellano University, EARIST, MLQU and some high schools in Metro Manila
held simultaneous programs in their respective schools before
converging in two assembly points, Kalaw in Taft Avenue and UST-Espana.

Youth organizations such as the National Union of Students of the
Philippines, College Editors Guild of the Philippines, Student
Christian Movement, Kabataang Pinoy, League of Filipino Students,
Anakbayan, KARATULA, Gabriela-youth, Liga ng Kabataang Moro, League of
Students for the Environment, Youth Revolt, Kristiyanong Kabataan para
sa Bayan, peasant group NNARA-youth and Bayan Muna-youth spearheaded
the protest.

By 1:00pm, the students marched to Plaza Miranda for the main program
with the theme, 'Kabataan at bayan, mag-aklas! (Youth and people, rise

According to LFS Chairperson Vencer Crisostomo, today's protest action
focused on 'alternative street classes to deepen political education
among the youth in order to bring forth a bigger, stronger, more
powerful youth movement that will confront the current ills of

"The youth are already aware of the economic and political issues
confronting our country now. Our aim today is to delve into the roots
of the current crisis and expose the unjust social set-up allowing for
a handful to exploit the majority," Crisostomo said.

For his part, Anakbayan chairperson Ken Ramos said, "It is important to
hold teach-ins such as this to encourage the youth to learn more about
the issues and study them beyond face value, and through such be able
to come up with a unifying alternative. In a way, we are trying to
relive what our predecessors of the First Quarter Storm did in the

First Quarter Storm veterans led by Bayan Muna Rep. Satur Ocampo also
shared the stage with student and youth leaders. The 'alternative
street classes' also featured rap acts, graffiti artists and youth rock
bands as performers.

From Plaza Miranda, the youth protesters held a 'symbolic march'
towards Mendiola Bridge before proceeding to the regular Black Friday
noise barrage in Trabajo, Espana at 5:00pm.

The youth protesters said to expect more protests and 'street classes'
as build-up activities for the People's SONA protests. ###

Vencer Crisostomo, LFS Chairperson, 09228262606
Ken Ramos, Anakbayan Chairperson, 09215129678



TV video clips:TV7a, TV7b, TV7c, TV7d and TV7e




By the numbers: state of RP education

1. Enrollment

1995 to 2002 — enrollment grew at an average rate of 1.98% yearly
2003 to 2008 — enrollment declined at an average rate of 1% yearly

2. Drop out rate

Grade 1           - 100 students enter school
Grade 6           - 65 students graduate (35 did not reach Grade 6)
High School IV - 43 students (22 did not reach Year IV)
College 1st yr  - 2 students (41 did not enter college)

3. Exodus of those who finished their schooling

9% - of Filipinos are college graduates, and
51% - of OFWs are college graduates creating wealth for their host countries

The percentage of children enrolled in primary school was down to 83 percent in the 2006-2007 school year from 90 percent five years earlier. The numbers are even worse for secondary education at 59 percent,


Download paper of the Alliance of Concerned Teachers on the performance of Arroyo in education





Click to view full size





Students Walk Out of Classes, Call for Arroyo's Ouster

At least 2,000 college and high school students walked out of their
classes today to call for a "meaningful change." They were joined by
out-of-school youth from different parts of Metro Manila.

Led by the Youth for Accountability and Truth Now! (Youth ACT Now!),
the protesters marched from España Street, in front of the University
of Santo Tomas (UST) main gate, to Plaza Miranda in Quiapo, Manila.

A two-hour program was held, dubbed by the organizers as "alternative

In his speech, Vencer Crisostomo, national chairperson of the League of
Filipino Students (LFS) said that "the ruling elite led by Mrs. Arroyo
and her imperialist masters" are the ones behind the Filipino people's

Biyaya Quizon, chairperson of the Student Christian Movement of the
Philippines (SCMP), criticized the Arroyo government's use of force
against political dissenters and ordinary citizens. Dion Carlo Cerrafon
of Kabataang Pinoy lashed out at the corruption of the Arroyo
government while Vijae Alquisola, national president of the College
Editors Guild of the Philippines (CEGP) slammed the colonial
orientation of the Philippine education and how education is used to
maintain the status quo.


In his speech, Bayan Muna (People First) Rep. Satur Ocampo stressed the importance of political education among the youth. He urged them to continue organizing and mobilizing the Filipino people.

Graffiti artists painted the white cloth which served as the backdrop of the makeshift stage. Black ink was used for Mrs. Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo's face; the word "Oust" was written below her. Rock bands and a rap group composed of Filipino-Americans also performed.

In a show of anger, the protesters simultaneously tore apart papers  with Arroyo's face.

By 4:30 p.m., the contingent marched toward Mendiola via Recto Avenue but was blocked by police car patrols. They proceeded to Nicanor Reyes Street. The police used water cannons to disperse the protesters but the latter held their ground.

Ken Ramos, national chairperson of Anakbayan, lauded the "defiance"  shown by the youth. He vowed that youth protests will continue until Arroyo steps down.

The protesters marched toward the Trabajo Market along España to end  their program. Bulatlat


More Bulatlat reports on the July 18 class walkouts:



    Photo above courtesy of Jonna Baldres



    PRESS RELEASE Reference: Rayan Brozula
    July 18, 2008 Deputy Secretary General, NUSP-Southern Tagalog

    UPLB students walk-out of classes to call for roll-back of tuition
    and to protest against campus repression

    Calling for the roll-back of tuition and other fees in the University of the Philippines (UP) and the removal of repressive policies in UP Los Baños, around 100 UPLB students walked-out of their classes today. Led by the UPLB University Student Council, the students said that the tuition increase has stripped more poor students who passed the UP College Admission Test of their right to education. They also clamored for the immediate holding of the campus elections which has been delayed by the administration since March this year and the removal of new policies violating the right of students to organization and freedom of expression.

    Charisse Bernadine Bañez, UPLB USC vice chairperson, hit the UP administration’s claims before the implementation of the 300% tuition increase that this would increase the number of poor students entering UP. “In our surveys and consultations with freshmen since last year, only a handful belonged to the lowest income bracket. Many also expressed fear that they may no longer be able to enroll in the coming semesters because they may no longer be able to produce adequate funds; many also availed of the student loan or only borrowed money to be able to enroll.”

    Bañez said that because the student council has continuously fought against the tuition increase, they are now experiencing escalated harassment from the UPLB administration. “It feels like Martial Law is existing in UPLB. Elections have been delayed, and now, student activities in buildings have been prohibited and stringent organization recognition requirements have led to the non-recognition of a large number of student organizations.” She cited that only a few varsitarian organizations were recognized and no religious organizations were also recognized by the Office of Student Affairs.

    Rayan Brozula, NUSP-Southern Tagalog deputy secretary general, said that the state of UPLB reflects the state of other schools in the region. He said that contrary to the claim of Malacañang that no state university increased tuition this school year, the University of Rizal System increased tuition by 100% from P50/unit to P100/unit. In PUP-San Pedro, an additional P500 special assessment fee was collected from freshmen.

    “Arroyo’s statement to freeze tuition in state universities is hypocritical because while she says this, her government’s actions are forcing state schools to increase tuition. Education budget remains meager, and the budget of the Polytechnic University of the Philippines, which has at least seven branches in Southern Tagalog, was slashed,” Brozula said.

    Also protesting against the education crisis, youth group ANAKBAYAN-Southern Tagalog is now on its eighth day of an eighteen-day cultural caravan. The caravan has held almost daily protest actions against this and the escalating price of rice and oil since July 10 in Rizal and Cavite and is now holding workshops in Laguna.

    At 5PM, the group held cultural performances in communities along the Laguna Lake to condemn the threat of demolition in the area.

    ANAKBAYAN-Southern Tagalog secretary general PJ Santos said that the worsening poverty is reflected in the report of the National Statistical Coordination Board that the enrollment in primary school dropped to 83% in the last school year from 90% five years ago. “The escalating prices of oil, rice and other basic commodities and services coupled with the rising tuition have greatly increased the number of out-of-school youth. Our parents could no longer stretch their meager wage and salaries to include education because it is not even enough to bring food to the table three times a day. If oil prices hike up to P70/liter, more youth will be forced to stop schooling and instead find jobs.”

    Santos also hit Arroyo’s continuing campaign to banner the Value-added tax as pro-people through various subsidies. “These subsidies are insincere band-aid solutions because these would not significantly solve the problem of poverty in the country.” He said they have been collecting signatures to campaign for the removal of the 12% VAT on oil during the caravan.###

    For more information, please contact 09282039214.


        Historic Plaza Miranda as alternative classroom    



    Today's protests will focus on "political education" and "youth
    movement building"

    July 18, 2006

    The national youth protest to be led by the League of Filipino

     Students (LFS) and other youth groups today will be "more than

    just an ordinary rally." This, according to Vencer Crisostomo,

    LFS National Chairperson.

    According to Crisostomo, the protest actions will focus on

    "deepening political education" among the youth in order to bring

    forth a "bigger, stronger, more powerful youth movement" that

    will confront the current "ills of society."

    The walk-out protests, which are expected to draw contingents

     from major schools in Metro Manila, carries the theme: "Kabataan

    at Bayan, Mag-aklas (Youth and Filipino People, Revolt)!"

    The day of action will highlight a rally program in Plaza Miranda

    in Manila where the students will hold an "alternative class"

    which is set to tackle the youth's analysis on the current social

     crisis and the alternative to the "unjust" social set-up.

    "We will not discuss the issues as it is. We will delve into the roots
    of the current crisis and expose the unjust social set-up wherein a
    handful few exploits the majority of the people," said Crisostomo.

    They will also invite veterans of the First Quarter Storm, for
    "lessons in youth movement building." The program will also feature
    rap acts, graffiti artists and rock bands.

    "The rally will be 'astig', not just because of the bands and the
    youth spirit. It will be about deeper political education and
    sharpening of our social analysis, aimed at bringing forth a new wave
    of revolutionary consciousness. We will tell the nation that we are up
    for the challenge to become 'pag-asa ng bayan' and we will defend it
    at Plaza Miranda," said Crisostomo.

    From Plaza Miranda, the youth protesters will march towards Mendiola
    Bridge and will end their protest with a torch parade towards Mehan
    Garden in Manila where a rock concert will ensue.

    Expected to join the walk-outs are tens of thousands of students from
    major campuses including UP, PUP, UST, Adamson, FEU, De La Salle,
    College of St. Benilde, Lyceum, Letran, PLM, Trinity University, PCU,
    GAUF, St. Scholastica, Mapua, UP Manila, Jose Rizal University, TIP,
    PSBA, Ateneo de Manila, Miriam College, Sta. Isabel, PNU, St. Paul
    University, Arellano University, EARIST, MLQU.

    High school students and out-of-school youth are also expected to
    participate in the walk-out.

    Crisostomo said that today's walk-out protest is also a preparation
    for bigger youth participation in the rallies set to "rock" President
    Arroyo's State of the Nation Address on July 28. #

    Reference: Vencer Crisostomo, LFS National Chairperson, 09228262606

    Visit the NEW LFS WEBSITE:

      More photos and video here  



    Graffiti artists did a swift job on a white cloth that served as the backdrop of the stage. In minutes they were done with the OUST ARROYO stage background.






    Walkout! Youth Mobilization Part 2 - 18 July 2008


    Youth Lightning Rally against Oil Price Hike - 09 July 2008

    Walkout! Youth Mobilization Part 1 - 10 July 2008

    Anakbayan @ the Department of Labor & Employment (DOLE) - 14 July 2008

    Trade Union Mobilization (Black Protest March) - 15 July 2008

    Picket for Paper Tech Workers - 17 July 2008



    Youth protesters marched from the Plaza Miranda classrom to another classroom at Mendiola but were blocked by police at Morayta-Recto.


    Photos courtesy of Jonna Baldres:




    UP Repertory skit

    Rep. Satur Ocampo in media interview and autograph signing sessions

    Fil-Am group from San Francisco perfomrs a number

    A student rock band from UE.


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