Groups fete veteran labor organizer
National-democratic groups, led by organizations of workers and toiling people, launched a three-day fete for Jude Thaddeus Fernandez or Ka Jude, veteran organizer of the Kilusang Mayo Uno (KMU), at the University of the Philippines (UP)-Diliman from October 10 to October 12.
State forces killed Fernandez on September 29 at his home in Rizal. They falsely claimed he resisted arrest, belied by the fact-finding mission that went to the scene of the incident.
Police even tormented the family in recovering his remains. They denied having killed Ka Jude and insisted he was “Oscar Dizon”, the name indicated in the arrest warrant being served him.
Fernandez was a decades-long organizer of the toiling masses. His activism started in 1975 while studying at UP-Los Baños. He was among those who led the campaign for the restoration of the democratic student council, the free campus newspapers, students’ representation at the UP Board of Regents and the return of Philippine History and Institutions course to the curriculum.
Together with other university students, Ka Jude immersed in the working class and farm-workers movements during martial law. He played a prominent role in organizing workers of the Sunripe Dessicated Coconut Industry in Magdalena, Laguna, which spearheaded genuine, militant and patriotic unionism and militant mass struggles during those times.
The Communist Party of the Philippines also recognized Ka Jude’s great contribution as a proletarian revolutionary in advancing mass struggles, as well as in the armed revolutionary movement especially in the Southern Tagalog Region, as well as in Central Luzon. His rich experience in organizing and mobilizing the masses served as a guide to the continuous strengthening of the mass movement in different regions and sectors.