Youth groups to host alt-SONA rally on July 18 #YouthResist
A year of fake news. Incessant killings. Rampant corruption. The world turns, blood flows, and the imperative to fight power, resist lies and seek justice remains realer and greater than ourselves. “It is useless to resist,” the abusive and power-hungry would like to echo to us. But as 13 year-old Shibby de Guzman, in her St. Scholastica uniform and giant spectacles, asks — ”kung hindi tayo ang lalaban, sino ang lalaban?” If we won’t fight, who will?
On July 18, 2017, at 7:30 AM to 12:00 NN, at St. Scholastica’s College, Manila, history will be made. #YouthResist, a coalition of youth groups, will stage a nationwide “alt-SONA” on July 18 in anticipation of the President’s SONA, happening on July 24. Calling it “Fake News SONA”,” the group proactively rallies against the President’s killing spree. Youth mobilizations are also happening in the cities of General Santos and Cebu.
“Duterte managed to accomplish more in one year than the dictator Marcos in terms of death toll,” says Karla Yu, co-convenor of Millennials Against Dictators (MAD). “Marcos extrajudicially-killed more than 3,000 in his 20-year regime. Duterte killed more than 7,000 due to the brutal and corrupt war-on-drugs a year into office,” she pointed out. This number has been downplayed en masse by the PNP after widespread international criticism. That means: Yup. We don’t even know how many people, so-called drug addicts, have been killed.
Included in the invisible are children like Danica (5 years old) and Althea (4 years old), the youngest names on the list of people who died under this President’s war-on-drugs. “How young and how many before we become outraged by this President’s killing spree?” Jeza Rodriguez of the Student Council Alliance of the Philippines (SCAP) asked. “The all-out war on drugs also kills the youth and our capacity to dream. The more it kills young and innocent people, the more it kills the hope for a better future for our country,” she added.
In the spirit of activism and revolution, the youth and the studentry are leading the way. “There is a growing discontent among young people. This discontent is greater than our fear”, Shamah Bulangis of Akbayan! Youth said. “Together, young people are a formidable force.”
Speaking the manifesto of what could be this generation’s legacy, Shibby de Guzman boldly goes where few of people her age (or older) have gone before: “We are proclaiming that we are to continue to resist and we are to constantly fight and struggle for this county’s future. We refuse to stop asking, stop questioning our officials. We reject the notion that the loss of lives can just be thrown to the side.” Amen. See you on the 18th.
The alt-SONA will be held at St. Scholastica’s College-Manila on July 18, 7:30AM-12:00N.N. You can find the official Facebook page of Millennials Against Dictators here, or get in touch with them at firstname.lastname@example.org.