The leaders of militant groups will not be forced underground. We will assert our hard-won right to peaceful assembly and free speech. In the coming days, militant groups together with middle forces and human rights advocates will lead daily protest actions including street rallies in the NCR and key cities nationwide. Truly, in the line of fire is the place of honor.

If the running dogs of the desperate illegitimate regime of GMA will arrest us for defying her repressive state of emergency, then they better make sure they have the proper warrants and an airtight case for we will contest their repressive acts in the courts and in the streets. GMA’s Proclamation 1017 is just Marcos’ Proclamation 1081 in disguise.

We firmly believe that the people, especially the workers and the poor, will break the illegal state of emergency through open protests. The white terror of martial law was broken by open defiance; the fear factor of GMA’s trying-hard copycat will be easier to shatter. GMA may have all the bad intentions but she does not have the united military to suppress the people.

The La Tondena workers strike of 1975, the Alay Lakad march of the Dagat-Dagatan urban poor and the students’ Democratic Reform Movement—these courageous struggles were in open defiance of the dictatorship’s ban on strikes, rallies and protests. It took years of hard struggle to break martial law; it will take less sacrifice to smash the state of emergency of an illegitimate regime that is far weaker than Marcos.

Last February 25, the mass movement already showed that they would not be cowed by a wannabee dictator. The workers and the poor faced the full force of GMA’s iron fist and were not broken in a daylong running street battle with riot police. They are the harbinger of the protests that will escalate until the state of emergency is broken or the fake president is overthrown.

Wilson Fortaleza

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