As we commemorate the 155th birth anniversary of the “great plebeian” revolutionary, Andres Bonifacio, the members of CONTEND UP Diliman join our people, especially the workers, in advancing Bonifacio’s struggle in its new form, our people’s national democratic struggle. Faced with intensifying assault of the US-China Duterte regime against the economic rights of our people, the brutal disregard for basic human rights of the poor, the crackdown on Leftist organizations and their mass leaders, the wanton misogynistic denigration of women, and the escalating harassment of Lumad communities and schools, CONTEND stands with our restive people and all patriotic sectors of our society in opposing these fascist and anti-people policies.
As educators we are dismayed, but not disheartened and frightened, by the threats perpetrated by the repressive state agents of our fascist state. We will not cower amidst the intimidation of the Philippine National Police (PNP) against educators and schools. We will continue to teach “rebellious ideas”. We will stand our ground in the face of the PNP-concocted “Red October plot” that “red-tagged” schools and universities as seedbeds of terrorism. To teach is to create rebels. The essence of education is to create minds who will torn asunder the yoke of oppression based on false beliefs and oppressive practices. The critical education of Bonifacio coupled with his personal engagement with fellow colonized Filipinos molded his mind to become a “rebel”. He used his knowledge and education to repudiate the travesty of our sovereignty by the colonizers. So we say with Bonifacio, “And so, my brethren, prepare yourselves for the fight and rest assured that victory will be ours, for righteousness and the sanctity of duty are on our side.”
As educators we do not simply teach to create rebels without a cause. We do not teach disobedience for the sake of anarchistic nonconformity. Rather we teach our students to question ruthlessly all existing social realities, not only to deprogram their minds from false and repressive beliefs and practices, but to use these radical ideas to transform our society.
We urge our fellow educators to emulate Bonifacio’s revolutionary practice and aspirations. Like Bonifacio, we should bring and encourage our students to live with the oppressed sectors of our society. In these immersions, our students can apply and sharpen their analysis of our society. They can learn from the values of our militant workers and peasants and to begin remolding themselves against their petty bourgeois habits and values. These pedagogical engagements should guide our students to denounce the continuing dehumanization of our workers and peasants! Our classroom lectures and discussion should enable our students to understand why the tax reform law should be vigorously opposed as anti-poor. Like Bonifacio, we should teach our students to side with oppressed and exploited against their oppressors.
In the age when scholars and policy makers are skeptical about nationalism, we should teach our students the value of anti-imperialist nationalism that will challenge the sinister economic and cultural imperialism of US and China. We will join our fellow educators who defend Filipino language as medium to advance our national culture. For our national language is a weapon to resist cultural genocide. So today with Bonifacio we shout in clinched fist: “Mabuhay! Long live the sovereign people of the Philippines!”
LONG LIVE THE REVOLUTIONARY LEGACY OF BONIFACIO!
DOWN WITH STATE FASCISM!
DOWN WITH IMPERIALISM!
DOWN WITH BUREAUCRAT CAPITALISM