As per the policy of Mrs. Arroyo to ban demonstrations, the police responded with yet another forcible dispersal, beatings and arbitrary arrests and detention of the student marchers.
For students who joined the rally and the public who saw the police brutality, it was yet another “live” lesson in Arroyo civics which in the academe could best be referred as fascism.
Photos of the dastardly acts against Filipino students have found their way in foreign newspapers, showing the world the beastly treatment accorded by the Arroyo government of people who are merely exercising their rights and liberties.
Prior to the Arroyo policy, any group could freely hold marches and rallies at Mendiola Bridge, a bridge leading to the presidential palace. Years ago, a big statue of street parliamentarian and newspaper publisher Chino Roces was installed at the foot of the bridge to highlight the area’s historic role as the venue of street protests against government.