Posts Tagged 'kilusang mayo uno'

Repression Under President Aquino

During the uprising against Marcos, taken form the book "People Power: An Eyewitness History"

During the uprising against Marcos, taken form the book "People Power: An Eyewitness History"

In an interview then chairperson of KMU Crispin Beltran on the “progress” made under President Corazon Aquino after the fall of martial law and Ferdinand Marcos in the Philippines, Beltran states:

…from 1980-when KMU was organized-up to the overthrow of Marcos, a period of five and a half years, we recorded only 501 violations of  human rights workers.  For the whole year of 1987 along, we have recorded 735 human rights violations suffered by workers…(Scripes, 61-2)

Source

Scripes, Kim.  KMU; Building Genuine Trade Unionism in the Philippines, 1980-1994.  Quezon City, Philippines: New Day Publishers, 1996.

The Assassination of Rolando Olalia

Rolando Olalia of the Kilusang Mayo Uno Labor Center

Rolando Olalia of the Kilusang Mayo Uno Labor Center

Kim Scripes writes about the assassination in 1986 of KMU chairperson Rolando Olalia:

There was a mass outpouring of grief among Filipino workers and peasants in response to “Ka Lando’s” assassination.  Twenty-five thousand people spontaneously protested outside the military headquarters at Camp Aguinaldo in Quezon City.  But the biggest show of respect was the 12-hour funeral march that drew close to one million people.  (Scripes, 47)

After the killing of Olalia and the deaths of other workers rights activists and KMU union women and men the KMU began to actively campaign against the right-wing Aquino government.  Scripes quoted then newly elected Chairperson Crispin “Ka Bell” Beltran as saying:

UP to that time, KMU was totally for the preservation and protection of the Aquino government; we can say, without any fear of contradiction, that Lando Olalia was sacrificed for this government.  Evidence is now cropping up [that] he was targeted to create chaos, especially among the workers’ ranks.  The anger [of] the workers against the government [was supposed to] create a revolutionary situation and then the military would have this as a pretext to crush the workers’ movement and establish a civilian-military junta.  The over-all game was to move the Aquino government as a whole towards the right.  And under the complete control of United States imperialism.

After this incident…we adopted an oppositionist stance [to] the policies of the Aquino government.  (50)

Source

Scripes, Kim.  KMU; Building Genuine Trade Unionism in the Philippines, 1980-1994.  Quezon City, Philippines: New Day Publishers, 1996.

The funeral march of Rolando Olalia.

The funeral march of Rolando Olalia.

Genuine Trade Unionism in the Philippines

KMU Rally

Kim Scipes interviewed a top leader in the Kilusang May Uno (KMU, or May First Movement) Labor Center in 1986 about what it meant to be a genuine and militant trade union:

By “genuine,” we mean that the KMU is run by its members.  The members are given all information and decide the policies which run the organization.  By “militant,” we mean that the KMU will never betray the interests of the working class, even at the risk of our own lives.  The KMU believes workers become aware of their own human dignity through collective mass action.  By “nationalist,” we beleive the wealth of the Philippines belongs to the Filipino people and that national sovereignty must never be compromised.  The KMU is against the presence of the U.S. bases. (Scripes, 10)

Scipes states that:

The statement about never betraying the interests of the working class, even at the risk of KMU leaders’ own lives, is not hyperbole; many KMU organizers, leaders and members have been arrested and or killed. (ibid.)

Source

Scipes, Kim.  KMU; Building Genuine Trade Unionism in the Philippines, 1980-1994.  Quezon City, Philippines: New Day Publishers, 1996.


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