Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Kilusang 99%

Dear friends,

I write on account of a social movement on its nascency called Kilusang 99%. This movement envisions putting the poor at the center of development and pushing for alternative policies to replace the existing economic paradigms that are bereft of social justice and have spawned social inequities and dislocation.

Kilusang 99%, or simply K99, is multisectoral and non-partisan composed of people’s organizations, sectoral groups, church institutions, the academe, and individuals who push for the implementation of four asset reform programs: (1) agrarian reform, (2) urban land reform and housing, (3) ancestral domain reform, and (4) fisheries reform. It also calls for the protection of the rights of workers from nefarious labor practices such as contractualization, and the resolution of all human rights violations.

The movement was conceived in early October when several government policies were revealed to be countering the objectives of the above-mentioned programs. The “Manifesto of The Kilusang 99%” points:

“When the 99% of society - those who struggle daily to put food on the table, the wage earners who bear the greater burden of taxation, the small businesses who are the backbone of our economy - are powerless, while the other 1% control legislation, the courts, the legal instruments of violence and most of media, then we have injustice at its worst. When corporations and banks are permitted to pollute the environment and exhaust our natural resources while the poor disproportionately suffer the harshest repercussions of climate change, then we have injustice at its worst. When the people are made to serve the economy instead of the other way around, then we have injustice at its worst.”

After the release of a favourable decision by the Supreme Court on Hacienda Luisita, K99 finds greater reason to lobby for judicial reform and consistency of judicial rulings, as wells as the revival of ethics and integrity of the judiciary to serve the interest of the majority.

K99, in some way, takes inspiration from the world-wide campaigns on “Occupy Wallstreet” and “We are the 99%” that started in Washington but have rapidly gained momentum in the rest of the world. But contrary to these global mass movements, the Kilusang 99% is not about corporate overthrow, proletarian reprisal, and government takeovers but about the promotion of corporate social responsibility and government accountability. It is the reorientation of business and industry to serve the interest of the poor and the marginalized. It harnesses the power of a unified citizenry to become a potent and compelling force for social reform. Thus, the movement is more than just pushing for systems change but about building constituency among the “uninvolved” and the “indifferent” quarters of society.

NASSA served as temporary convenor of this movement which soon became Kilusang 99%. Now it is already being coordinated by various sectoral groups and adheres to an open-and-inclusive approach transcending ideological barriers. At present, it is actively engaged with constituency building and serious analysis of alternative development paradigms that will uphold the interests of the poor.

For your deeper understanding of the movement, we have attached here is the copy of the “Manifesto of Kilusang 99%. We invite you to read and study the proposals identified therein and should you find the calls worthy of support, kindly email us at kilusangninetynine@yahoo.com to have your name or that of your organizations included in the list of signatories. Likewise, we ask your help to spread the Manifesto as well as the concept of Kilusang 99%.

For queries about the movement, please do not hesitate to reach us at the above email address.

Now is the time to speak out against social inequality and injustice. Make your voices heard. Fight for the right of the 99%.

+Broderick S. Pabillo, D. D.
National Director

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