"Our force is irresistible, away with all pests!"

 

International Women's Day 2014

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 Manila

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NEWS RELEASE
08 March 2014
 

Reference: JOMS SALVADOR, Secretary General (0918 9182150)/ Public Info Desk (3712302)

MARCH 8: INTERNATIONAL WORKING WOMEN'S DAY AND FOUR MONTHS AFTER STORM YOLANDA
GABRIELA LEADS HUGE WOMEN'S PROTEST MARCH VS. PRES. AQUINO'S CRIMINAL NEGLIGENCE OF WOMEN AND PEOPLE'S WELFARE

More than 10,000 women led the march towards Mendiola near the Malacanang Palace where they held a huge protest action against Pres. Benigno S. Aquino whom they called “pabaya” (negligent) and “pahirap” (burden) to women and their families. Similar women’s protests that gathered thousands of women were also led by GABRIELA chapters in other major cities such as Baguio, Laguna, Legazpi, Naga, Bacolod, Iloilo, Tacloban and Davao.

According to Joms Salvador, Secretary General of GABRIELA, midway through Aquino's term, the lives of women, especially those from the marginalized sectors, have worsened rather than improved contrary to his promise of so-called inclusive growth. “The only sectors he ever included in this questionable growth are the big businesses and hacienderos like him. The number of foodless, homeless, landless and jobless has steadily increased yearly. On the other side, profits of big businesses like Meralco, Manila Water and Petron have grown in leaps and bounds.”

Salvador cited the unabated increase in prices and fees in recent months which has become unbearable for women and their families. “Rice prices, fuel prices, electricity rates, transportation fares, tuition fees, the list goes on and on. Where would women find the money to pay for these when they themselves are jobless, or even if they have jobs, they are bound by just 5 months of contract and receive less than minimum wage with no benefits,” she said.
 


In the past months, GABRIELA has responded with protest actions in response to these price hikes. They stormed the National Food Authority's warehouse to prove an artificial supply lack. They also barraged the Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) and Meralco with a series of protests after each announced electricity rate increase. Just yesterday, the women's group picketed the Bureau of Internal Revenue to protest the shame campaign against professionals and the planned taxation of the informal sector even as the agency goes easy on the top 10 billionaires who did not make it to the top 10 taxpayers.

The women's group also took up the cudgels for the victims of Yolanda, mostly women and children, who at exactly four months after, have remained neglected. This morning, they held what they called the “women's black Saturday protest” together with People Surge, an organization of survivors and relatives of victims of Yolanda, in memory of those who perished because of the government's neglect. They tied violet ribbons on the concertina wires that barricade the Pres. Aquino's residence at Times Street in Quezon City.

“While we continue to mourn the fate of our sisters and brothers who died because of the superstorm, we are more enraged by the lack of concern of Aquino and his government for the welfare of the victims. The lives of the victims have not yet normalized and this opportunist government has already bargained their areas to businesses after declaring a “No Build Zone.” Government officials, like vultures, have reportedly gained from kickbacks from substandard bunkhouses and even used the relief goods to perpetuate their own political agenda,” Salvador bemoaned.

In the afternoon main protest action, the marchers symbolically rammed through a more than life-size paper mural of the President and his cohorts enjoying their loot gained from the neo-liberal policies of privatization, liberalization, deregulation and denationalization. “Women will not let such hurdle stop us as we march towards our vision of a society that will create industries that benefit the people rather than capitalists, enrich our lands with harvests that will be shared by all and not only by landlords. We will work to realize this government fit for our children and our children's children,” Salvador ended. ###
 

   

This gang of BSAquino et al is blocking the way to Mendiola
 
   
   
   

"So many deeds cry out to be done, 
And always urgently; 
The world rolls on, 
Time presses. 
Ten thousand years are too long, 
Seize the day, seize the hour! 
The Four Seas are rising, clouds and waters raging, 
The Five Continents are rocking, wind and thunder roaring. 
Our force is irresistible, 
Away with all pests!"

Photos by Arkibong Bayan, Rossana Abueva and Gabriela National as indicated by the filenames
 
   

 

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