HomeNewsGovernments urged to recognize, empower mass movements

Governments urged to recognize, empower mass movements

A coalition of mass organizations in the Philippines on June 5 has demanded governments across the globe to allow people’s movements to “operate freely.”

A free and empowered people is the ultimate ally of any government,” said the Kalipunan ng mga Kilusang Masa (KALIPUNAN) in a statement. 

It said governments that treat their own people as enemies “only end up fulfilling their own fears – a fact that those in power should always keep in mind.” 

The group issued the statement a day after the commemoration of the 34th anniversary of the Tiananmen Square Massacre, also known as the June Forth Massacre. 

On June 4, 1989, Chinese government troops violently suppressed the student-led demonstrations that led to the deaths of at least 300 individuals and thousands wounded. 

KALIPUNAN emphasized the importance of remembering past struggles, like the Tiananmen Square protests, as a means to “confront challenges in our own times.”

“As injustice continues and governments target their own peoples, the memory of past struggles will continue inspiring resistance and hope in for succeeding generations,” it said.

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The group said forgetting the lessons of past struggles would mean “normalizing, accepting, and ultimately repeating past abuses.”

“As we find ourselves in the middle of intensifying geopolitical rivalries, it is all too easy to see violations of human rights and civil liberties justified in the name of national security,” the statement read.

In Hong Kong, police have detained several pro-democracy activists on the anniversary of the Tiananmen Square massacre, including 67-year-old Alexandra Wong, prominently known as “Grandma Wong.” 

Chan Po, who leads the League of Social Democrats Party, was also arrested for holding an LED candle and flowers near Victoria Park, where vigils to commemorate the 1989 bloodshed had been held.

KALIPUNAN said keeping the memory of Tiananmen Square alive is “an essential part of building a global order based on peace, solidarity, mutual respect, and popular empowerment.”

“We call for accountability and the official recognition of the crackdown by the Chinese government,” it said.

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