50th year of martial law commemorated

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Various groups here and abroad launched a series of gatherings, study activities, cultural performances, protests and other activities to mark the 50th anniversary of the declaration of martial law.

Thousands attended a cultural gathering at the University of the Philippines (UP)-Diliman in Quezon City on September 21. Speeches and presentations in the gathering highlighted the anti-dictatorship struggles of veteran activists and the continuing struggles of the youth and the people against fascist state repression. Prior to the gathering in UP, progressives staged a rally in Mendiola, Manila and other parts of the national capital.

Protests were also mounted in Baguio, Naga, Cebu, Iloilo, Bacolod, and Davao. Local chapters of the Bagong Alyansang Makabayan led these mass actions. Many students also joined the day of commemoration by wearing black clothes.

Prior to September 21, teachers and members of the academe launched the “lakbay-aral” (study trip) initiative wherein they brought their students to historic spots in Metro Manila connected with the anti-dictatorship struggle. Some groups also showcased a play about the Escalante Massacre which happened under the Marcos I regime. Others mounted a widescale postering and streamer hanging bearing anti-martial law slogans. Many groups commemorated the anniversary through different creative ways.

Overseas, Filipino migrants in Hong Kong, Germany, US, Canada and Australia launched protests and activities.

Marcos Jr hounded with protests

In conjunction with the 50th anniversary of martial law, Filipino activists in the US hounded Ferdinand Marcos Jr with protests when he visited the country from September 18 to 23 to attend the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA).

Upon arrival on September 18, Marcos was met with protests by Filipino migrants outside the New Jersey Performing Arts Center. On September 19, protesters also met Marcos in front of the New York Stock Exchange where he was set to meet with foreign leaders.

They also held a series of protest actions from September 20 to 23 in New York City on the opening of the UNGA and to commemorate the 50th anniversary of martial law. On September 23, they were at the headquarters of the Asia Society New York to protest Marcos’ attendance in a dialogue. Three were arrested during the protest.

50th year of martial law commemorated