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Uphold the Militant and Revolutionary Tradition of the FQS, Remember Mendiola, 1970!

by First Quarter Storm Network-USA Thursday, Feb. 01, 2007 at 11:34 PM
magsasakapil@hotmail.com 213-241-0906 337 Glendale Blvd. Los Angeles, CA 90026

-MAKIBAKA, HUWAG MATAKOT! With these as the battle cry, on January 30 and 31, 1970, during the indignation marches and rallyist, angry students and youth defending themselves again from unprovoked attacks by the military and police as well as water-housing firemen stormed the gates of Malacanang. Using a captured fire engine, the rammed the gates and made it inside the compound of the palace.

Uphold the Militant and Revolutionary Tradition of the FQS

Los Angeles ---- On the 37th anniversary of the First Quarter Storm of 1970, we, the members of the First Quarter Storm Network (FQSN) in the United States, pay tribute to all the living activists and masses who participated in this historic event and to those martyrs who have given up their lives for the people and were products of this momentous occasion.

On January 26, 1970, the national democratic movement and other sectors mobilized in front of the Philippine Congress to protest the intervention of then President Marcos on the constitutional convention of 1971. Aware that Marcos is out to perpetuate himself in power, the youth movement then led by the Abating Makabayan (KM) and the Samahang Demokratikong Kabataan (SDK) and other youth groups mobilized more than 50,000, called for true systemic change and not to hinge their hope into a “ non-partisan constitutional convention.”- Then slogan of the Christian socialist and reformist sectors.

The fascist military and police brutally attacked the unarmed protestors and ushered in the series of mass action now known as the First Quarter Storm. Hundred of students were beaten up, arrested and jailed. Both the militant and the reformist youths scheduled massive indignation rallies and actions within the next days.

MAKIBAKA, HUWAG MATAKOT!

With these as the battle cry, on January 30 and 31, 1970, during the indignation marches and rallyist, angry students and youth defending themselves again from unprovoked attacks by the military and police as well as water-housing firemen stormed the gates of Malacanang. Using a captured fire engine, the rammed the gates and made it inside the compound of the palace.

The military counter-attacked and using now rifles and pistols, they tried to break up the mass demonstrations. The students angered by the military response raised barricades and fought the military police the whole night of January 30 until the wee hours of the morning of January 31, 1970.

The result of the battle was lopsided. Four students were killed and more than 150 were wounded. More than 200 were arrested and jailed but were released later. It was really a firestorm in Philippine history that until now has not been surpassed.

For several months, rallies, people’s congresses, marches and protest actions was conducted almost weekly and in different forms. The people were mobilized by their tens of thousands. The FQS produced thousands of activists, cadres and mass leaders who fought, died and are continually fighting for the interest of the masses. It was truly a political storm.

The Significance of the FQS

But the FQS was not just a spark that light up the movement. It was product of decades of organizing by the earlier activists from SCAUP and Kabataang Makabayan from the late 1950’s to 1964 and the October 24th Movement of 1966. They laid the foundations of the FQS that changed the history of the Philippines.

The FQS signaled the resurgence of the nationalist and democratic movement composed of youth, students and other sector in going to and integrating with the masses. The activists rediscovered their own roots, went back to their discarded and forgotten culture and did not integrate but served the people.

Thousands of youth participated in this second propaganda movement and the by ward was “continue the unfinished revolution of 1896. It was indeed a Cultural Revolution and was inspired by the great cultural proletarian Cultural Revolution in China. What was the May 4th Movement in China was the FQS in the Philippines.

Years later. On May 2001, when veterans of the FQS gathered during the First International Assembly of the International League of Peoples Struggle (ILPS) in The Netherlands, they decided to form the FQSN and the FQSM in the Philippines.

Uphold the Militant Tradition of the FQS

They saw the need to uphold the militant and revolutionary tradition of the FQS so as not to let it be an “intellectual property “ of fake historians, revisionist and opportunists who appropriate the name of the FQS to their own selfish interests.

They took note that there were different groups calling themselves as “veterans of the FQS” and are using it to malign the revolutionary movement. Some of them were even from the military, former NPAs and renegades from the revolutionary movement who surrendered to the government and are in the pay of the reactionary regimes. Some of them are now officials of the present puppet government.

The two EDSA uprisings that overthrew the political leaderships of Marcos and Estrada in 1986 and 2001 were likened to the FQS but those events were very different. They were political revolution but it did not change rather maintained the reactionary system. That made he FQS more relevant to the masses and the youth to uphold its revolutionary and historic tradition.

The FQS was an impetus for many activists to fight for systemic and lasting change in the Philippine society. We hope to look into the day that the barricades will rise again, militancy will be the order of the day and the youth and the whole nation will be in the streets to fight for real systemic change and effect real and lasting change for the downtrodden of the society.

********

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