Militants set Labor Day march to Mendiola Wednesday

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Various trade unions and militant groups announced Tuesday they would hold a massive Labor Day protest in Manila to reiterate workers’ demands for wage increases.

The demonstrators will assemble at the Welcome Rotunda, Buendia corner Taft Avenue, Moriones in Tondo, Blumentritt corner Avenida and Stop n’ Shop in Sta. Mesa.

Some of them will march toward Minor Basilica of the Black Nazarane in Quiapo to attend a Mass that will be officiated by Manila Archbishop Luis Cardinal Antonio Tagle at 11 a.m.

From Quiapo Church, they will proceed to Liwasang Bonifacio for a program until 3:30 p.m.

According to Kilusang Mayo Uno (KMU), the workers will then march toward Chino Roces Bridge (formerly Mendiola) for street performances and the burning of the effigy of President Aquino at 5 p.m.

The 10-foot-tall effigy was created by artists from UgatLahi Artist Collective. It depicts Aquino and President Barack Obama as two serpents around an electric post and was inspired by the symbol for universal healthcare, according to KMU.

Like a clown

The KMU is also preparing a mural, measuring 15 by 24 feet, portraying Aquino dressed as a clown and hounded by workers, peasants, urban poor and other sectors while hanging on an airplane piloted by Obama.

Created by painter and printmaker Orlando Castillo, former president of the Art Association of the Philippines and founding member of the Concerned Artists of the Philippines, the mural will be unveiled at Liwasang Bonifacio in Manila.

It added that Castillo’s mural “also shows the growing anger of the Filipino people against Aquino’s antipoor policies, betrayal of the people, and puppetry to the US. Anger at Aquino’s propaganda stunts aimed at deceiving the public is intensifying.”

Other artworks by various artists will be highlighted on Labor Day.

“They depict suffering and lies being inflicted on the Filipino workers by President Noynoy Aquino,” said KMU.

The Partido ng Manggagawa (PM) contingent will merge with the labor coalition Nagkaisa in a march from España to Mendiola.

Demands

PM said it will underscore its “Apat na Dapat” demands—regular jobs with living wages; housing, education and health care services for all; cheap prices of food and utilities; and equal rights and opportunity for women.

PM members are also attending nationwide protests on Wednesday. In Cebu, thousands of PM members will unite with the Nagkaisa contingent for a 7,000-strong rally from downtown Colon to Fuente Osmeña.

In Bacolod, PM will merge with the labor coalition Gawa for a downtown rally. In Iloilo, PM will gather an assembly of construction workers and then march on Plaza Letogay. In Davao, PM and Nagkaisa will have a joint protest at Orcullo Park. In Iligan, PM will link up with a labor unity rally at the public park in front of City Hall.

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