#SONA2015 | Defiance in face of lies, repression (Photos)

July 28, 2015

Outside Batasan Pambansa, tens of thousands braved the torrential rain, the pre-SONA threats and intimidation by state forces, and of course, the police barricade that virtually became a garrison in the middle of Commonwealth Avenue, to register intense dissatisfaction with the country’s state of affairs under Aquino. Inside, meanwhile, people’s representatives were equally defiant.

It was presumably President Aquino’s last State of the Nation Address; it felt like either an Oscar acceptance speech or a high school valedictory address. Either way, none of it expresses the true state of the nation — intense poverty and exploitation, massive gap between the wealthy few and impoverished many, foreign domination over the country’s politics and economy — like the protest action mounted by progressive groups led by Bagong Alyansang Makabayan (Bayan). This time, tens of thousands braved the torrential rain, the pre-SONA threats and intimidation by state forces, and of course, the police barricade that transformed Commonwealth Avenue into a virtual garrison, to register intense dissatisfaction with the country’s state of affairs under Aquino.

Photos were taken by Boy Bagwis inside Batasan Pambansa, and KR Guda, Pher Pasion, Macky Macaspac, Darius Galang, Marjo Malubay and Gregorio Dantes Jr. in the protest action.
Tens of thousands begin their march from Luzon-Commonwealth to begin the protest action against President Aquino's State of the Nation Address. <b>Darius Galang</b>

Tens of thousands begin their march from Luzon-Commonwealth to begin the protest action against President Aquino’s State of the Nation Address. Darius Galang

Tens of thousands gather in Commonwealth Avenue to protest President Aquino's State of the Nation Address in Batasan Pambansa. But hundreds of cops blocked protesters, who asserted their constitutional right to assemble and protest. KR Guda

Hundreds of cops block the protesters, who asserted their constitution right to assemble and protest. KR Guda

Protesters carry hundreds of placards with image of Aquino in a police lineup--suggesting that the current president must be arrested and held in prison after his term ends in 2016. KR Guda

Protesters carry hundreds of placards with image of Aquino in a police lineup–suggesting that the current president must be arrested and held in prison after his term ends in 2016. KR Guda

When protesters asserted that they march through Commonwealth, police blocked them with truncheons, hurting dozens of protesters. KR Guda

As protesters assert their right to march through Commonwealth, police block them with truncheons, hurting dozens of protesters. KR Guda

Scuffles ensued as cops momentarily retreat. KR Guda

Scuffles ensue before cops momentarily retreat. KR Guda

Angry protesters remained defiant in face of the police barricade. KR Guda

Angry protesters remain defiant in face of the police barricade. KR Guda

After expressing defiance at the police barricade, protesters march to the direction of other protesters from Southern Tagalog and Central Luzon who were positioned near Ever Commonwealth and were also confronting police barricades. KR Guda

After expressing defiance at the police barricade, protesters march to the direction of other protesters from Southern Tagalog and Central Luzon who were positioned near Ever Commonwealth and were also confronting police barricades. KR Guda

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Photo by Mykel Andrada

Photo by <b>Darius Galang</b>

Photo by Darius Galang

Meanwhile, police also attempted to disperse the protesters from Southern Tagalog and Central Luzon by hosing them with water. But the protesters did not relent. Gregorio Dantes Jr.

Meanwhile, police also attempt to disperse the protesters from Southern Tagalog and Central Luzon by hosing them with water. But the protesters did not relent. Gregorio Dantes Jr.

More attempts at hosing down the protests. Gregorio Dantes Jr.

More attempts at hosing down the protests. Gregorio Dantes Jr.

Photo by <b>Darius Galang</b>

Photo by Darius Galang

Protesters from peasant organizations led by Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas tried to push away container vans that blocked their march. Gregorio Dantes Jr.

Protesters from peasant organizations led by Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas try to push away container vans that block their march. Gregorio Dantes Jr.

Not deterred by the water cannon, protesters removed other barriers to their way. KR Guda

Not deterred by the water cannon, protesters remove other barriers to their way. KR Guda

Police barricade. KR Guda

Police barricade. KR Guda

Some protesters tried to get back at the cops who hosed them down by feebly striking wooden poles on the truncheons. KR Guda

A few protesters try to get back at the cops who hosed them down by feebly striking wooden poles on the truncheons. KR Guda

A few cops tried to capture videos of the action using GoPro cameras. KR Guda

A few cops take videos of the action using GoPro cameras. KR Guda

Protesters begin the program with a cultural performance. Dancers remove the stars-and-stripes blindfold. KR Guda

Protesters begin the program with a cultural performance. Dancers remove the stars-and-stripes blindfold. KR Guda

Union leader of Tanduay workers, who are on their 69th day of strike that day, speaks during the program. KR Guda

Union leader of Tanduay workers, who are on their 69th day of strike that day, speaks during the program. KR Guda

Indigenous people from Central Luzon also attended the protest. <b>Darius Galang</b>

Indigenous people from Central Luzon also attend the protest. Darius Galang

Sol Pillas of Migrante International introduces two mothers of OFWs detained abroad, Celia Veloso and Maritess Aquino. KR Guda

Sol Pillas of Migrante International introduces two mothers of OFWs detained abroad, Celia Veloso and Maritess Aquino. KR Guda

Gary Granada sings with the group League of Authors of Public Interest Songs (Lapis) for Bagong Alyansang Makabayan's program in Commonwealth. Macky Macaspac

Musician Gary Granada sings with the group League of Authors of Public Interest Songs (Lapis) for Bagong Alyansang Makabayan’s program in Commonwealth. Macky Macaspac

Amid the rain, protest artists were able to keep the effigy -- presumably the last one of President Aquino -- dry. Marjo Malubay

Amid the rain, protest artists are able to keep the effigy — presumably the last one of President Aquino — dry. Marjo Malubay

Protest signs and a mock jeep. Pher Pasion

Protest signs and a mock jeep. Pher Pasion

Veteran activists joined in the action. Pher Pasion

Veteran activists join in the action. Pher Pasion

Meanwhile, inside Batasan Pambansa, supporters give Aquino an ovation. Boy Bagwis

Meanwhile, inside Batasan Pambansa, supporters give Aquino an ovation. Boy Bagwis

Photo by Boy Bagwis

Photo by Boy Bagwis

Aquino begins his speech, which is full of audio-video presentations, self-congratulatory messages and shout-out to his closest cronies. Boy Bagwis

Aquino begins his speech, which is full of audio-video presentations, self-congratulatory messages and shout-out to his closest cronies. Boy Bagwis

In a show of defiance and protest inside Batasan, Makabayan bloc legislators hold up signs critcizing Aquino for being "abusive haciendero", human rights violator, pork barrel king, providing inept services, being a puppet of US imperialism, and being a bane to workers and peasants. Boy Bagwis

In a show of defiance and protest inside Batasan, Makabayan bloc legislators hold up signs critcizing Aquino for being “abusive haciendero”, human rights violator, pork barrel king, providing inept services, being a puppet of US imperialism, and being a bane to workers and peasants. Boy Bagwis

Photo by Boy Bagwis

Photo by Boy Bagwis

Photo by Boy Bagwis

Photo by Boy Bagwis

Photo by Boy Bagwis

Photo by Boy Bagwis

While Aquino was speaking, protesters burn his effigy, which depicts Aquino riding an MRT to hell. Pher Pasion

While Aquino was speaking, protesters burn his effigy, which depicts Aquino riding an MRT to hell. Pher Pasion

Photo by Macky Macaspac

Photo by Macky Macaspac

Photo by <b>Darius Galang</b>

Photo by Darius Galang

Protesters clean up after the program. In Batasan, barbage continues to pile up. Pher Pasion

Protesters clean up after the program. In Batasan, garbage continues to pile up. Pher Pasion

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