We are happy to celebrate this one of a kind moment in the history of the youth and student movement in the Philippines. This event, in the eyes of every people may ought to call it as violent, and yet they also seen it as a day that shows how every people rose up and trying to topple a regime, or rather say the system whose rottenness drives the nation continuously into poverty and serfdom.
At first, that event seemed not to be discussed in history books or just simply a fragment in the middle days of the republic. Called by both activist and media as the "First Quarter Storm," this series of protest mass actions, which began on January 25, 1970 and continued up to March of 1970 became an inspiration to the progressive leaning Filipino and even to the oppressed peoples of the world through succeeding events year by year.
In that historical event, it all started as a peaceful demonstration, wherein ten thousand youth-student activists, along with workers and peasants, peacefully assembled in front of the old congress in Manila to express their grievances against the rotten system through the government itself, and the causes in which against them were the anti-people, anti-democratic policies being hurled and the excessive spending of public money to reelect the fascist dictator Ferdinand Marcos as the president during that time.
that peaceful demonstration became radicalized as the policemen brutally attacked them with truncheon and gunfire upon the signal of Marcos himself after delivering his "state of the nation address". The demonstrators fought back for several hours with bare fists, wooden handles of placards, stones to Molotov cocktails and pillbox bombs that caused casualties amongst the riot police. And every activist, whether radical or moderate were suffered from the bruises, wounds, shouts and beatings coming from the armed thugs.
That kind of demonstration made by the students, especially coming from then mass organizations Patriotic Youth (Kabataang Makabayan), Society of Democratic Youth (Samahan ng Demokratikong Kabataan), and others tried much in resisting the wrath laid by the armed thugs unleashed by the Marcos regime.
And according to Philippine revolution.net:
"...They conducted build up rallies in communities, schools and factories and then launched people's marches from different points of Metro Manila in order to converge on the focal points of reactionary power."
And somehow, these mass organizations, alongside trade unions and peasant organizations tried much in uniting and it includes facing the consequences of being beaten, captured, or even killed by the fascist armed thugs whether that activist was radical or moderate.
But the most remarkable event during the First Quarter Storm was on January 30, 1970, when students assembled at Mendiola, other students then followed and converged at the presidential palace with that same purpose of hearing their grievances; but since the policemen, in the name of control and of order had themselves resort to force; and yet the youth-student movement kept on resisting stubbornly-responding the fascist menace by making bonfires with their torches, of throwing stones at the lamp-posts, of Molotov cocktails newly filled from the gasoline stations near Mendiola as well as Pillbox bombs, while of the demonstrators, like Romulo Jallores and Percival Gregorio seized a firetruck and rammed it through the gates of the palace.
These actions, despite the loss of life, property and even liberty somehow showed a sheer force of the people against the rotten system, and since it also became an inspiration for further demonstrations from the Martial Law to the post-Marcos regimes in the Philippines, the First Quarter Storm also created a new batch of revolutionaries coming from prominent institutions, factories and farms willing to "go to the people" through taking up the gun and fight till the death as well as martyrs who offered themselves ad majorem dei patria.
There are more storms to come for the rotten system prevails in beloved Philippines, there will also be more bloodshed to spill in every road to the dirt ridden paths and victories the Filipino militant made, the First Quarter Storm, serving as an example, must also served as a greater part of Filipino history other than February 25 or its succeeding events-for modern struggles started in these pictures you have seen in this blog.
For in fact, what we face today is the worst crisis of the world capitalist system since the 1930s. And all of these are due to the US-instigated policies of "neo-liberal" globalization as well as imperialist aggression and terrorism. The broad masses of the people, both the Philippines and other nations suffer conditions of exploitation and oppression far worse than four decades ago. And these intolerable conditions thus drive the people and and through the revolutionary forces to fight more resolutely, militantly, and even sporadically all for their national and democratic rights and interests like this remarkable event made in the streets of Recto, Legarda and Mendiola to the Palace gates of Malacanang.
And as for the final words, we must continuously pay tribute to this one of a kind event, as well as to continue its profound struggle, or in other words: we must continue the storm and must not break loose!
Dare to struggle, dare to win!