UP Diliman students and community barricade against "clearing operations"

This article is available in Pilipino

Students and other sectors launched a wildcat protest and barricade inside the campus of the University of the Philippines (UP)-Diliman yesterday, April 24, in Area 2 following the sudden clearing operations conducted by the Quezon City Department of Sanitation and Cleanup Works and Department of Public Order and Safety in some parts of the campus. UP Not for Sale Network spearheaded the swift action.

The group’s report say local agencies confiscated and scattered the equipment of vendors in Area 2, such as stalls, tables, chairs, plants and signs, because they allegedly overstepped the designated area covering their shops. According to the vendors, they were not notified of the clearing operations. At the same time, there were also clearing operations in Dagohoy St.

In response, various groups and residents immediately gathered to protest and put up a barricade in preparation if the clearing operations resume. At the same time, the University Student Council of UP Diliman called for a dialogue with the office of the Vice Chancellor of Community Affairs. Due to the quick action, the network extracted a promise from UP that residents will be able reclaim all the confiscated belongings and the clearing operations will stop within the next few days.

“Our campaign against commercialization must persevere as we see the administration becoming more aggressive in ramming its agenda,” the network said. They believe that the clearing operations are part of the UP administration’s tactic to pave the way to the closing of Area 2 and eviction of shopping center stallholders from the Old Tennis Court for the opening of Dilimall (a commercialized mall within the campus) this year. This Dilimall will be built by the Gokongwei family who owns the big Robinsons mall.

In the face of this, the network expressed its determination to respond and defend, together with the wider UP Diliman community, to ensure that the community’s welfare and rights prevail, not the commercial interests of big business.

AB: UP Diliman students and community barricade against "clearing operations"