Emulate Jhed and Jonila’s bravery! Youth, rise up, do not fear!

This article is available in Pilipino

Kabataang Makabayan-Bikol hails the boldness and tenacity of principles of youth organizers Jhed Tamano and Jonila Castro who revealed their abduction, torture and illegal detention by state forces since September 2. Instead of cowering and submitting themselves to the enemies’ ploy to present them as surrenderees, they bravely disclosed what really happened to them during NTF-ELCAC’s own presscon. Jhed and Jonila are examples of how the youth’s decisiveness to fight against societal injustices and state fascism can not be bought, deceived nor shaken down.

Their courage and boldness must be emulated. The fascist state and its stooges’ criminalization and demonization of activism must not be allowed to continue undeterred. Rather, the people must fight and frustrate these attempts. There is nothing wrong with choosing to fight. Precisely because there is something wrong with the society that the people including the youth choose to fight. Throughout the world’s history, activism, mass struggles and revolutions – all these forms of struggle by the people are behind every genuine change that propelled societies and civilization forward. It is not a crime and those who struggle for change are not criminals who have to ‘surrender’.

The fascist state and ruling classes have long belittled the youth. They have invalidated the youth’s role in changing societies and have mongered the feudal thought that youth are ‘vulnerable to deception’ and must be protected from radical ideas. But the only thing they truly want to protect is their own selfish interests. They know that when the youth realize their role and combine their strength and skills with that of the rest of the nation, the united force that shall put an end to their reign will grow in power.

The NTF-ELCAC, mercenary army and the state itself are mistaken in assuming they can easily intimidate the youth and force them to submission. The youth’s consciousness of what is happening in this society is deep and their decisiveness to rise is ardent because these are firmly rooted in concrete and stark conditions for struggle – not because they are merely influenced nor are just going with the trends such as what these champions of feudalism want to peddle. In fact, they are founts of energy and intellect, critical analyses, out-of-the-box creative thinking. They are bold and eager to discover. They are not meek nor scared to call out the old ways and to fight to change it. They are forces of change and progress.

In times when the oppressing the people becomes rule of the land, the struggle becomes ever just. In the face of flagrant fascism by this current rotten state, the youth must only fulfill its role as the nation’s hope, mobilize, struggle and unite their force to that of the rest of the people and other sectors in this society.

Emulate Jhed and Jonila’s bravery! Youth, rise up, do not fear!