Advance the national democratic propaganda movement as we mark the 45th anniversary of the First Quarter Storm of 1970

Communist Party of the Philippines
January 30, 2015

The Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) joins the Filipino people and youth in marking the 45th anniversary of the First Quarter Storm of 1970. Let us pay tribute to the tens of thousands of students, workers, urban poor and peasant masses who joined the massive upsurge of protests that rocked the ruling system and the US-Marcos fascist regime, echoed the call for a people's democratic revolution and served as an impetus to the growth of people's war in the countryside.

The FQS of 1970 is an important juncture in the development of the Philippine revolutionary mass movement. It was marked by a series of massive protest actions from January to March 1970 in Manila and other urban areas across the country. On January 30, 1970, Marcos ordered his police and military forces to attack a student and workers' protest in front of the congress building as he delivered his state of the nation address, sparking widespread indignation and more massive protest actions in the weeks that followed.

The FQS of 1970 is one of the most outstanding periods in the Filipino people's continuing history of democratic mass resistance. It continues the tradition of the massive workers' mass actions of the 1920s and 1930s demanding higher wages and an end to US colonial rule. It precedes both the resurgence of protest actions in 1977-1981 under martial law as well as the upsurge of protests from 1983 that culminated in the 1986 EDSA Uprising and led to the downfall of the US-Marcos dictatorship.

The FQS of 1970 drew inspiration from the international wave of anti-imperialist resistance and the successes of the socialist revolution in China. Youth and students across the globe were rising up against US interventionist wars in Vietnam and elsewhere and aligning themselves with socialist and national democratic revolutionary struggles in the colonies and semicolonies.

The FQS of 1970 is a direct result of widespread propaganda and agitation against the three basic problems of imperialism, feudalism and bureaucrat capitalism which beset the Filipino people. In previous years, the national democratic propaganda movement was carried to great heights by the youth and student mass movement with the Kabataang Makabayan at the helm. In behalf of the Party, the KM succeeded in firing up the patriotic and democratic fervor of the youth and students and mobilizing them as a massive force to carry out propaganda and cultural work among the workers and peasants, urban poor and young professionals.

The CPP calls on the Filipino youth and people to take to heart the lessons of the FQS as we mark its 45th year. The CPP addresses, in particular, the revolutionary students and youth movement, which have served as an ever-reliable propaganda and cultural force of the people's democratic revolution.

Efforts of the revolutionary forces nationwide to advance the people's war to the next higher strategic stage of the strategic stalemate must be accompanied by a major propaganda and cultural upheaval among the students and youth, and the people in general. Such an upheaval will serve to strengthen the unity the Filipino people in their aspirations for national and social liberation and to build a modern and progressive society.

In the face of the ever worsening crisis of the ruling system, conditions are exceedingly favorable for the revolutionary students and youth movement to wage a propaganda war offensive against reactionary, counter-revolutionary and reformist ideas. The failure of the ruling reactionary classes to resolve the basic problems of the Filipino people from the time the US granted the Philippine nominal independence in 1946 and the deteriorating conditions of the basic masses of workers and peasants under three decades of US-imposed neoliberal policies expose the rottenness and backwardness of the semicolonial and semifeudal ruling system and the necessity of waging a people's democratic revolution.

The CPP urges the revolutionary students and youth movement to raise its capabilities in conducting propaganda, education and cultural work. The reactionary cultural and propaganda agencies control massive funds and the big media to exert influence over the people. They use their resources to flood the internet and social media with pro-imperialist propaganda. They fund academic and research programs to perpetuate reactionary ideas in philosophy, sociology, economics, history and other fields. They target the youth in the hope of drawing them to consumerism, individualism and so-called post-modern philosophizing to cause their social alienation from the people and their disorganization.

The activists at the forefront of the FQS were confronted with the same challenges in waging propaganda and cultural work. They too were confronting a gigantic cultural and propaganda machinery that controlled the entire educational system, the corporate media and massive state resources. Then, as now, this reactionary machinery, however, could not cover up the socio-economic crisis and the sufferings of the broad masses of workers and peasants. It was up to the revolutionary forces to expose the roots of the crisis and unite the people under the banner of the people's democratic revolution.

The revolutionary forces among the students and youth school must transform the campuses into centers of protest and cultural revolution. The students and youth must unite to defend and advance their democratic rights and their struggle for a free, scientific and mass-oriented educational system amid all-out effort to commercialize education. They must link up with the struggle against the privatization of public service and unite with the people in protesting fare increases in public transportation, grossly inadequate allocations for public health, widespread unemployment, landlessness, military abuses, corruption and the plunder of state resources.

They must rekindle patriotism among the students and youth and conduct widespread studies of history, especially the period of  brutal US colonization and heroic Filipino armed resistance at the turn of the 20th century. This is a critical period in Philippine history which the reactionaries have sought to erase from the consciousness of the youth and people.

The students and youth must be imbued with the mass line and the humble spirit of serving the people. In line with this spirit, they can be encouraged to learn from the people in order to raise their social consciousness and strengthen their resolve to wage revolutionary struggle. Activists must persevere in studying Marxist-Leninist-Maoist theory, conducting research and social investigation.

The activists of the students and youth must persevere in conducting propaganda and agitation among the people. They must saturate the National Capital Region and other urban centers with propaganda by deploying propaganda teams around campuses, marketplaces, transportation terminals, buses, jeeps and trains, in and around factories, offices, malls, parks, communities and in the streets. Propaganda teams must be omnipresent, giving speeches, putting up posters and stickers, selling newspapers, giving out leaflets, conducting discussion groups, giving lectures, posting comments on social media and so on. They must reach out to millions of people.

We give particular attention to the specific role of the students and youth activists because it is they who can carry out the tasks of waging propaganda and cultural work on a large scale. Party cadres and activists among the different sectors, as well as all Red fighters of the New People's Army must also be imbued with this spirit of untiring propaganda and organizing work among the broad masses of the people.

Learn the lessons and uphold the spirit of the First Quarter Storm of 1970! Advance the national democratic propaganda movement! Persevere in propaganda and organizing work! Mobilize the Filipino people in their millions!