Anakbayan to heed ‘nat’l day of outrage’ against ‘Luisita scam’ with street, online protests
Youth group Anakbayan announced today that it will join the August 18 nationwide protest against the Hacienda Luisita ‘compromise deal’. Aside from street rallies, including a march in Manila to the Supreme Court, the group also announced a ‘Blog Action Day’ on the same date.
The ‘deal’ , which supposedly gives farm workers of the sugar estate a choice between owning small parcels of land from Luisita or continuing to work under the infamous SDO (Stock Distribution Option), has been lambasted by many groups and personalities as ‘grossly unfair’ against the farm workers.
The latest revelation from peasant groups showed that the military presence in the hacienda played a huge role in the ‘deal’ by terrorizing the farm workers into accepting it. Military elements are also the primary suspects in the assassination of militant leaders and sympathizers of the farm workers, including: Ric Ramos, a union leader; Fr. Will Tadena; and Abel Ladera, a Tarlac councilor.
Previously, the compromise was criticized for ‘short-changing’ the farm workers by allocating only 1,400 hectares of the estate for distribution, as opposed to previous rulings by the Dept. of Agrarian Reform that the entire hacienda should be covered by land reform.
“On August 18, the demand for land reform and social justice will echo not just in the streets, but in cyberspace as well. We will expose the rottenness of the ‘Luisita scam’ for the whole world to see” said Anakbayan national vice-chairperson Anton Dulce.
During the ‘Blog Action Day’, bloggers will write about their opinions, analyses, and even suggestions on how to resolve the decades-old conflict in Luisita, explained the youth leader. Even non-bloggers are given ways of participating, such as posting certain messages on their Twitter and Facebook statuses during that day.
“We recognize the fact that the uplifting of the nation cannot begin if the largest sector in our society continues to exist in conditions of virtual slavery. The fates of the Filipino youth and peasantry are closely intertwined” said Dulce.
Anakbayan, a comprehensive progressive youth organization, counts many young farmers and peasants among its 17,000-strong nationwide membership.