Further invigorate mass struggles against the US-Aquino regime*
April 7, 2011
Last week's protest actions against the relentless increases in the prices of gasoline and other petroleum products have brought to the fore the growing protest movement against the antipeople and pro-imperialist policies being implemented by the Aquino regime. Tens of thousands of people joined street demonstrations in major cities nationwide.
The breadth and intensity of these demonstrations in the country's major urban areas reflect the depth and strength of the people's anger against the policies and systems being implemented by the Aquino regime. They signal not only the worsening social crisis but more so, the growing number of people who have been taking a stand against the increasingly heavier burdens being wrought by this crisis.
The continuing mass actions by the people against rising oil rices are part of the mass struggles that have steadily been gaining strength since last year. Just a few months after Aquino took power, he stoked the people's anger with the nearly simultaneous imposition of policies that added to their burdens and worsened their poverty and suffering. The people's hopes for change with the new government were instantly dashed when Aquino showed that he had no plans at all of addressing the people's demands.
Just a few months after taking the seat of power, Aquino showed everyone who his real “bosses” were. Kowtowing to the dictates of the International Monetary Funds and World Bank, he slashed the budgets for education, health and other services and approved proposals to raise toll fees in expressways and fares in Metro Manila's public train system.
These issues starkly demonstrated Aquino's lopsided priorities in favor of cronies and fellow big businessmen and their objective of raking in profits. He also clearly demonstrated his utter lack of concern for the people's welfare and their desire to rise above their abject poverty. Worse, he even bought an expensive race car “for relaxation”. This underscored how strikingly different and alienated he was from ordinary people whose impoverishment makes the task of meeting their families' daily needs an arduous struggle.
The prices of gasoline and other petroleum products have been rising on an almost weekly basis for more than three months now, spurring hikes in the prices of food and other basic commodities. Already inadequate wages and salaries of workers, rank and file employees and ordinary folk have become even more insufficient. In spite of this, the Aquino regime has done nothing to relieve even slightly the people's hunger and suffering. It gave oil companies free rein to raise their prices, especially since every price increase gives the government a windfall in tax collections.
Aquino turns a blind eye to the people's true situation and turns a deaf ear to their cries and grievances. He has taken pains to justify his shunting aside of the workers' demand for higher wages. He mocks the people by saying that prices have not really been rising that fast in a desperate attempt to rationalize his objections to the demand for a `125 increase in the daily wage.
Doctored surveys are even now unable to obscure Aquino's rapidly dwindling popularity. Amid the intensifying crisis of the ruling semicolonial and semifeudal system, the reactionary US-Aquino regime's inutility, incompetence, puppetry and fascism are rapidly unfolding.
The vigorous protest actions of the past few months are signs of a bigger storm of mass struggles in the coming months and years. Aquino can no longer rest easily on his throne in the remaining years of his term with the rapidly erupting struggles of an angered people.
Conditions are exceedingly favorable for the expansion and intensification several-fold of the revolutionary mass movement in the countryside and cities. There are a myriad issues that can raise the people's consciousness about the basic problems and the rottenness of the prevailing system. The US-Aquino regime's refusal to address the people's grievances and resolve their problems teach them the need to tread the path of struggle.
There is basis for the workers' movement and the movement of the toiling masses to gain vigor and surge forward. There is a strong cry for decent wages and permanent employment as against widespread joblessness and labor flexibilization, for higher wages and lower prices, for housing and other social services. In their respective factories and communities, the toiling masses are confronted with a mass of problems that drives them to organize and take action.
They must be reached, aroused, organized and mobilized. They must be united through various forms of organizations, unions or associations and linked through alliances and movements. Their day to day issues must be linked to the struggles of their sector' and the entire people. Their struggles must be focused against the ruling US-Aquino regime.
The youth and students can play a key role in the qualitative invigoration of the democratic mass movement. The youth and student movement has been intensifying since last year, with the growing momentum of struggles against tuition fee hikes and measures taken by the US-Aquino regime to slash the budget for education and other social spending.
There should be continued efforts to expand political education to raise the consciousness of the youth and students on society's problems and their roots. There must be active efforts to counter various tendencies towards petty bourgeois thinking that are being propagated among their ranks in order to block their involvement in social issues.
The youth must be mobilized in a powerful “serve the people” movement involving tens of thousands of them trooping to factories and communities in the cities and villages in the countryside in order to learn from and to help in arousing and mobilizing the toiling masses. They must consciously become involved in molding public opinion through the internet, cellphones, the mass media and other means.
A broad anti-Aquino united front is emerging based on the strength of the movement of democratic sectors. There is growing involvement from more and more personalities and groups from the middle strata who are disgruntled with the continually worsening social crisis and the ruling regime's failure to present solutions to the people's problems. It will not be long before Aquino pays dearly for his inutile, corrupt, antipeople, fascist and puppet rule. It will not be long before he is swept away and swallowed by the giant wave of people's struggles.