Monday, December 11, 2006

On February 11th, 2006 eleven young people from various areas in the Philippines set out for a hiking trip to a well known camping spot in the mountains of northern Luzon, the main island of the Philippines. The young people, ranging in age from 15 to 24, knew each other from involvement in libertarian groups such as Food Not Bombs and Earth First. In other words they were all idealistic young adults with no knowledge of or affinity for "armed struggle" and a certain antipathy to communist sects.
The truck they had hitched a ride with was intercepted by the police. The eleven were assaulted and imprisoned. Hours after their arrest a member of the local paramilitary organization of the Philippine government arrived and "identified" them as members of a guerrilla force that had attacked a military outpost on Feb. 10th. The detainees pointed out during their questioning that the group had been in many different locations on that date and only came together on the 11th for their nature trip.
The guerrilla group that they were supposedly part of, the New People's Army, is a Maoist terrorist group active in the Philippines. From the Molly point of view two things have to be said. While not being a fan of Maoists I must say that any Maoist group that recruits young "punks" (as the arrested describe themselves) for military attacks is particularly stupid. The converse is that any person with libertarian sympathies who would do Maoist dirty work would also have to be particularly stupid. Given two almost unbelievable levels of stupidity the truth is likely to be as the detainees say- they are totally innocent and the victim of a mercenary who denounces people for money.
The detainees were subjected to a number of tortures(I'll spare you the details) and forced to sign false confessions. Their whereabouts only became public because one of the prisoners managed to escape for a short period of time, and he alerted others to what had happened.
Many people across the world have rallied to the defence of these young people, especially on last Nov 17th and 20th when actions were held in numerous countries. The prisoners are, at the latest report, being held in the Benguet Provincial Jail. The detainees would appreciate items such as "punk rock memorabilia" and funds for their legal defense. To find out how to send such items and funds contact Solidarity South Pacific at . Bear in mind that these are political prisoners who may have materials sent to them used against them in their trials. Molly would suggest that you behave like she does in her beliefs that the only way to anarchism is gradual and in her granite hard anti-communism. This is evidence for their defense.
To keep up to date on this case watch the Manila Autonomous Media site at .

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