On the January 26 Demonstration

January 25, 2010

By Ang Bayan

Published in the book, First Quarter Storm of 1970 (Silangan Publishers, 1970), p. 30-35). In the book’s introduction, the editors wrote: “We believe that truth can best be served by allowing the amplest opportunity for and  fullest freedom in the battle of ideas. To that goal the publication of this book is dedicated.” Ang Bayan is the official publication of the Communist Party of the Philippines.

Significance of the January 26 Demonstration

Students all over the country and the broadd masses of the people are happy about and proud of the militant demonstration of January 26 on the real state of the nation. They regards it as a fitting rebuff to the mendacious “state of the nation” address delivered by Marcos, the fascist puppet of the U.S. imperialism and chief political representative of the big bourgeoisie, the landlord class and the bureaucrat capitalists.

The militant January 26 demonstration on the real state of the nation is a great milestone not only in the revolutionary student movement but also in the broad revolutionary mass movement. Although the main protagonist in the militant action was the students, there were contingents of militant workers and peasants who joined the students in revolutionary solidarity.

The militant January 26 demonstration sets the keynote for more massive and more combative mass actions in the city during the current decade of the seventies. It represents a new and higher degree of development of the entire mass movement that unfolded during the previous decade of the sixties. By all indications in the international and national situation, the reactionaries will rot even more rapidly and the January 26 demonstration is merely the opening salvo for bigger mass actions in the near future. It is a blow against the reactionaries to be followed by more and bigger blows.

The magnitude and resoluteness of the militant masses were unprecedented. For nearly three hours, more than 50,000 demonstrators stood their ground and battled 7,000 policemen and troops who employed on them the brutal “anti-riot” methods taught by the A.I.D. Public Safety Division and by special “counter-insurgency” agents of the JUSMAG. The mass of students acted in self-defense and unleashed a tit for tat struggle against the fascist brutes.

The militant January 26 demonstration stood firmly in just condemnation of the rottenness of the entire system and the rise of fascism. It was inevitable that the reactionaries would attempt, as they did futilely, to suppress through counter-revolutionary violence the truth that the mass of protesters spoke about the state of the nation in opposition to the brazen lies that Marcos dished out to the Congress. The manifestoes and slogans chanted by the demonstrators against the reactionary state and the fascist puppet chieftain expressed clearly the real state of the nation.

The demonstration in front of Congress was far greater and more honorable assemblage than the joint session of the House of Representatives and the Philippine Senate that met to celebrate their fraudulent and terroristic election and to listen to the lies of the fascist puppet chieftain Marcos.

The Tactics of the Enemies of National Democracy

The enemies of national democracy are bent on misrepresenting the January 26 demonstration as a demonstration for nonsense like “non-partisanship” in the forthcoming constitutional convention. They wish to obscure the fact that the demonstration was mainly on the real state of the nation. They wish to make the demonstrators appear reformist, instead of revolutionary, notwithstanding the resoluteness with which the students fought the reactionary police and troops.

In the first place, the reactionaries, with Marcos and Manglapus in cahoots with each other, have deliberately spread to the mass media that the January 26 demonstration was exclusively concerned with the forthcoming constitutional convention. A handful of priests, nuns and seminarians were deployed to help the police and the Metrocom prevent 50,000 demonstrators from voicing out the basic issues about the real state of the nation.

Overestimating their capacity for deceiving the people, the reactionaries tried to disperse the demonstrators immediately after Marcos has delivered his “state of the nation” address. They wished to make it appear that Marcos could lie in public without being seriously rebuffed. But the demonstrators shouted the truth that Marcos is a puppet and a fascist before, during and after he arrived to peddle his mendacity. The shouts of the people against reaction and for the revolution drowned out the petty and sham issue that the reactionaries tried to raise.

Two political mummies of counter-revolution, Emmanuel Pelaez and Luis M. Taruc, tried to misrepresent themselves as friends o the people. But they were strongly repudiated. Pelaez was hit on the head by a student for suggesting to the police to use water cannons and tear gas, instead of truncheons. As soon as Taruc appeared on the scene, the demonstrators in unison called him a traitor and a scab and stopped him from usurping the microphone.

In the course of the demonstration, the demonstrators clearly grasped their political objective: to expose the real estate of the nation and to oppose the lies of the reactionaries. Even the minority group of Catholic-school students joined the bigger mass of students and other demonstrators united, especially when the fascist brutes waded into their ranks and wantonly attacked them. Immediately after the demonstration, Marcos commended the police and the troops.

Later, true to their nature as fascists and demagogues, the reactionaries led by Marcos hypocritically called for investigation of police brutality and praised the students while they talked of possible “communist infiltrators” in the ranks of the students. This is a worn-out tactic of the reactionaries in their vile attempt to divide and rule the students and the people. Until now, the reactionaries prate in the press about the issue of “non-partisanship” in the constitutional convention as the exclusive issue of the demonstration. This is consistent with their line of preventing the people from speaking out on the real state of the nation.

The Christian Social Movement and its allied organizations have once more shown themselves up as partisans of counter-revolution by describing the students as victims of “infiltration” in order to soften up the just condemnation by the people of fascist brutality and the miserable state into which Marcos has plunged the nation.

Demagogues of both the NP and LP are also trying now to entrap student leaders into a joint House-Senate committee investigation. This is a worn-out device of the reactionaries to conduct a witch-hunt under the guise of helping the students. The “nationalist” prestige of Tañada is now being conveniently used for this purpose.

The chief fascist puppet Marcos himself is now seen in so many newspaper pictures pretending to be magnanimous and solicitous about the victims of state brutality. “His Majesty”, together with other rotten politicians, is now trying to flatter a handful of scabs in the student movement and mislead others with intrigues in presidential audiences. Labor racketeers like Oca, Hernandez, Arniego and Co. are also helping Marcos obscure the real state of the nation and attack the student movement and have offered their strike-breaking services.

Be Resolute in Struggle

The January 26 demonstration should be the inauguration of a nationwide campaign to make the students aware of the real state of the nation and the despicableness of fascism and to enmass them to the fold of the national democratic revolution. Ideological, political and organizational preparations should constantly be made to launch bigger mass actions taking national proportions against U.S. imperialism, feudalism and bureaucrat capitalism.

In cities, the revolutionary student activists and masses should develop the strongest worker-student alliance. As the national crisis bred by the fascist puppet regime of Marcos is fast worsening, the students and workers should always join up to launch mass actions against their oppressors and exploiters. All reactionary attempts to split up or draw away the students from each other or the students from the workers and other progressive sectors of the population should be vigorously rebuffed.

To the countryside, the students must also go in order to link themselves up with the biggest democratic force in the country, the peasantry. They must make rural investigations and participate in the peasants’ struggle as already demonstrated by quite a number of students. The initial requirement for the truly progressive student masses is to make rural investigations and mass work in conscious preparation for fuller participation in the uncompromising armed struggle against the tyrants of this society.

The guide for taking the road of national democratic revolution is the Programme for a People’s Democratic Revolution of the Communist Party of the Philippines.


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