Closed gates of Palma Hall shut out walk-out rallyists

Students gather at Palma Hall on 14 July 2011 to protest against the "€œeducation crisis." Protesters called for a higher state subsidy on education. BEA FABROS

By James Relativo

Tension flared after Palma Hall guards closed the building’s front gates and barred the entrance of a rallying crowd during an indoor student walk-out on July 14.

The militants argued with the guards, shouting: “May I.D. kami! Papasukin niyo kami!”

USC Chairperson Jemimah Grace Garcia said the move of the College of Social Sciences and Philosophy administration to limit the time of rallies from 11:30 a.m. to 1p.m. and ask for a permit could never be justified.

“Ang isang kilos protesta ay hindi dapat pinipigilan o nireregula dahil sa totoo lang, walang kilos protestang labag sa interes ng mga estudyante at ng pamantasan (Protests should never be hindered nor regulated because no demonstrations counter the interest of the students and the university,” Garcia said.

“Sana yung pagharang sa hanay natin, ganito rin ang kanilang pagharang sa mga polisiyang anti-estudyante at anti-mamamayan (I hope they too will stop anti-student and anti-people policies the same way they stopped us from rallying today),” she added.

Student organizations and individuals walked out of classes and urged the Aquino administration to provide greater state subsidy for education and other social services.

Students from College of Mass Communication head to Palma Hall after walking out of their classes on 14 July 2011. The walkout is part of a series of protest activities organized to fight against the continuing 'education crisis'. BEA FABROS

Chancellor Caesar Saloma and the CSSP Dean Michael Tan have yet to issue a statement on the incident.

In the College of Mass Communication, organizations put streamers and banners in front of the college and invited students to join the mobilization.

“Inaasahan palagi ang konseho ng Kolehiyo ng Pangmadlang Komunikasyon na laging mangunguna at sasamahan ang mga estudyante sa kanilang laban para itindig ang karapatan natin sa edukasyon (The student council will always lead the students in their fight for their right to education),” CMC Student Council Chairperson Norman Riego said.

The in-door walk-out is a build-up to the national youth walk-out of state universities and colleges on July 19 and the President’s State of the Nation Address rally on July 25.

Author: TNP

The Official Student Publication of the UP College of Mass Communication.