Land is life | Hacienda Luisita, Tarlac, Philippines | July 2011
November 16 marks the 7th anniversary of the Hacienda Luisita Massacre. In 2004, the farm workers of Luisita went on a labor strike demanding fairer wages, above the 9.50 pesos/day they currently made, increased benefits, and equal distribution of the land that farmers have worked on for centuries. 12 young farmers and 2 children, all who were unarmed, were killed when Philippine police and military forces were dispatched to break up the strike. This was the worst slaughter of Fillipino workers in years. No one was made accountable for these injustices.
This past summer on my Exposure trip, I got to visit Hacienda Luisita. The people there are still traumatized by the massacre. I listened to their compelling stories of the Luisita martyrs and how the farmers today are still getting harassed by the military and police. I saw what their conditions are currently like. Until the government distributes land to the landless, peasant farmers will always be peacefully protesting against exploitation and demanding justice to the victims and families of the massacre.
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