The Philippines: Crackdown

A tougher line on protests

The day appeared full of hope, with sunshine after three days of rain. There was no hint of the violence to come in Manila last week as some 3,000 demonstrators began marching from the U.S. embassy toward the presidential palace. Most of the noisy, jostling crowd was made up of farmers from central Luzon, one of the country's principal rice-growing regions. Joined by militant students, they were protesting both high rice prices and U.S. support for the regime of President Ferdinand Marcos.

As the demonstrators approached Manila's Liwasan Bonifacio, a central square, they were met by police antiriot squads. Accounts of...

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