Daybreak rally, protest caravans greet US-RP Balikatan exercises



MANILA – As thousands of US troops start one of their largest Balikatan (US joint military) exercises in the Philippines today, youth-students and other activists groups held various protest actions.

In Manila, about 100 youth activists stormed the US embassy at dawn, surprising the police and security who usually barred the protesters from even crossing the street near the US embassy. The youth activists gathered before dawn and began marching, or jogging, to the US embassy in time with sunrise.

“That’s the only time the youth has a free shot at the US embassy,” said Charisse Bañez, secretary general of Anakbayan. Without much police interference, the youth were able to express their disgust at the latest round of US-RP Balikatan exercises.



Calling for “an end to US military intervention” and condemning the “continuing history of US oppression and colonialism,” they lobbed paint-bombs at the seal of the US embassy. They reportedly used one of the guard’s equipment to further deface the US embassy seal.

The flash rally kicked off the protest caravans set today in time for the start of US-RP Balikatan exercises.



“The Balikatan is a symbol of continuing US imperialist dominance and control. The US government, for so long, has trampled on our sovereignty, raped our women and murdered our people. Their economic policies have brought poverty and misery to our nation,” said Charisse Bañez.

The youth activists assailed President Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino III for being a US “puppet and fanboy” and for inviting further US military intervention and increased US presence.

“He is thumping his chest, yakyaking, overacting and shouting sovereignty regarding China but he is subservient and meek as a lamb when it comes to the US troops’ invasion,” said Bañez.

Overblowing conflicts to justify increased US presence

Anakbayan said Aquino and US is “complicating and hyping” the conflict with China to serve as pretext for US troops’ “invasion” of the country.



More than 6,000 US soldiers are expected to participate in this year’s US-RP Balikatan, marking an increase of troops and an expansion in scope of US military exercises.

Meanwhile, members of various peoples’ organizations converged near the Quezon City Hall. They held a brief program condemning the increased US military presence, and then they began a protest caravan against Balikatan. The caravan left Quezon City before 9 a.m. and headed to the sites of Balikatan exercises in Pampanga and Tarlac.

In Mindanao, peoples’ organizations also held a protest caravan.

Text by Marya Salamat, photos by Maybelle Gormate
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  1. cguro bayad kaung mga nagsisipagprotesta nung mga pulitikong ganid sa pera at pwesto, tayo na nga ang tinutulungan tpos tayo pa ang bumabatikos, bkit/, dahil ba sa natatakot silang mabutasan ng mamamayan na d tlga nila kayang humarap sa tunay na kalaban. sa totoo lang, ang kalaban ng mga amerkano ay ang mga pilipinong buwayang natatakot mabulgar ang mga masasama nilang gawain sa bayan. ano ba ang magagawa ntin tungkol sa gyera, WALA! ibang bansa lang ang makakatulong sa atin tungkol sa problema na yan! pero nagmamalaki ang mga pulitiko ntin na kaya ntin ang laban gaya ng ginawa ng mga bayani ntin noon na ang sandata lamang ay khit bata ngaun ay kayang gamitin. ITAGA nyo sa BATO, khit kailan ay d tayo magtatagumpay habang ang gobyerno ntin ay walang awang nilalapasnagan ang ating karapatan at kaisipan na kaya nating lumaban na ang gamit ay itak lamang. mabuti pang maging muslim na lumalaban ng patayan para sa kanyang lupa, d gaya nung nasa kapatagan na ang alm lamang ay mangurakot at gamitin ang kaban ng ating bayan. mga PUNYETA kayong mga nasa pwesto na BAHAG ang buntot at kahol ng kahol lamang para sa pansariling kapakanan.

  2. Dapat sa Inyo bigyan ng Armas at ilagay sa front Line para sumagupa sa China…

    mga hindi nag-iisip..ang ginawa ninyo para sa mga kabataan..ang ginawa nga US ay para sa buong bansa natin..para protektahan ang ating bansa at para sa pangdaigdigang kapayapaan..

  3. @#$%^ ninyo..

    ngayon, kayo muna ang haharap sa Scarboarough Shoal against china..kc nga mga bulok kayo, hindi kayo nag-iisip eh..America n nga lang ang tumulong sa atin para edepensa ang PH territory ganyan p kayo..mga BOBO!!!!

  4. The U. S. should not only pull out, but stop all aid to the Philippines. Save U. S. tax dollars only to those who appreciate. Let these demonstrators instead arm themselves to deal with matters like China, NPA, etc.

  5. maganda ang ipinakita nang kabataan sa pag hadlang nng baliktaan 2012…. ako personally…… saludo ako sa inyong ipinakitang tapang sa mga hamon nang imperyalistang US. sana sinagad nyo na…. sinunog nyo para walang matira…. hahaha. john from davao del sur….

  6. I am fully sympathetic and supportive of the goal of the demonstrators – end the illegal and harmful presence of U.S. troops in the Philippines!
    But when I saw these photos my heart sank. This was mindless vandalism. It is counterproductive, and only serves to strengthen the hand of those who paint opponents of American imperialism as agents of chaos. Half step forward, ten steps back.

  7. Why don’t I sympathize with people who have no respect for other people’s property? Imagine what these people would do if they become powerful enough. Such propensity for violence is simply awful.

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