UP Diliman kicks off to Mendiola

On last day of strike,

UP Diliman kicks off to Mendiola




RG TESA, STAND UP Secretary General                                                                  KEVIN GOMEZ, Media Liaison Officer
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In a symbolic show of force, the UP Diliman (UPD) community marched from their campus to Mendiola, joining other state universities and colleges (SUCs) to “assert the people’s right to education and other social services.”

As the UPD community journeyed its way from Diliman to Mendiola once again—the last historic march was in 2001—the university reclaimed its “legacy of fearless and principled role in shaping society.”

“By remaining deaf to our legitimate calls for greater state subsidy, Pres. Benigno Aquino effectively undermined the nationwide strike conducted by SUCs. But we will never give up this fight, we had to strike back and flood the gates of Malacañang to remind him of the government’s role to uphold the interests of its people,” said UPD University Student Council (USC) Chairperson Jemimah Grace Garcia.

Today’s protest action marked the last of UPD’s three-day strike and the culmination of a series of other strikes declared by SUCs nationwide. Throughout the week, such universities ceased regular operations to oppose the cutbacks on education and other social services budget.

In previous days and months, strikers repeatedly called for the increasing of the budget for education and other social services, and actively pressed the government to reverse the budget cuts and adequately spend on such services. They also launched new and creative forms of protest such as fashion show, freeze mobs, and ‘planking’—which drew popularity and is currently being deliberated in Congress—to further their cause.

“Until this government refuses to give education and other social services the budget they truly deserve, we shall likewise remain stubborn in demanding for a higher budget in every venue possible—the hallowed walls of Congress, our university premises and ultimately the streets,” said RG Tesa, secretary general of progressive student formation Student Alliance for the Advancement for Democratic Rights in UP (STAND-UP) and convenor of UP Kilos Na Laban sa Budget Cuts (UP Kilos Na).

UP Kilos Na is a multi-sectoral alliance which spearheaded the university’s three-day strike. Early in the morning, UP Kilos Na organized a boodle fight dubbed “Almusalang Bayan,” where students collectively ate their choba choba breakfast placed on banana leaves in the steps of Palma Hall. # ##

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