STATEMENT OF SOLIDARITY WITH KADAMAY OCCUPIERS
The Bukluran ng Manggagawang Pilipino (BMP), a socialist workers’ organization, extends its solidarity to members of the urban poor who have dared to occupy public housing projects.
For the past several decades, the government has been remiss in its duty of guaranteeing quality, dignified housing for all. Workers have been producing tremendous amounts of wealth and spurring economic growth and yet, instead of ensuring that this wealth goes back to workers, the government has been allowing capitalists, landlords and other favored groups sectors to gobble up this wealth by gutting or failing channel sufficient resources to social services.
Worse, it has even helped some of the country’s richest families and largest corporations to profit from people’s desperate need for these basic necessities by promoting the privatization or commercialization of housing, as well as health care, education and other services.
Moreover, the government has been promoting anti-worker policies such as contractualization which has made it even more difficult for so many Filipinos to afford not just the houses constructed by these developers (on land typically grabbed or withheld from the public or from peasants and smallholders) but even the limited and supposedly cheap housing projects offered by the government.
As a result, land developers and other conglomerates such as those of the Sys, the Ayalas, the Gokongweis, the Villars have raked in billions and live in fabulous mansions while millions of Filipinos have no roof over their heads or live in squalid slums.
It is therefore only right that the urban poor fight for quality public housing.
This is not “stealing” or “theft”: the ones who stole or who committed theft are those who took the wealth workers produced, thereby depriving them of the means by which to build their own dream houses for themselves.
Workers fighting for quality public housing are in fact trying to stop this theft by taking back what is rightfully theirs.
This is not “anarchy” or “lawlessness”: anarchy describes a situation in which the powerful violate the laws of justice and morality by using violence or the threat of violence to take what is not theirs—violence which has forced so many workers to reside in shanties and to live in conditions not fit for humans.
Workers demanding quality public housing are in fact trying to stop this anarchy and to build order by fighting for what they deserve.
Bukluran ng Manggagawang Pilipino stands with them and sees itself as part of their struggle. We denounce all those who vilify and denigrate urban poor communities fighting for social justice, and we will condemn any further act of violence against any of us.#