Thousands of people living in slums in Manila have fought fierce battles with police, who are trying to evict them from their homes in order to make way for a multi-billion dollar project to turn the area into a new business district.
As police moved in to the 72 acre site, residents erected barricades, and fought back the police using rocks, nail bombs, and bags of faeces. The police repeatedly charged the barricades with batons and teargas, but without success.
Of the 10,000 families housed in the area, 8,000 have already been relocated (violently removed) over the last two years, since the government signed a huge deal with a leading real estate company.
Many of the residents are migrants who earn poverty wages, and have lived in their homes for over 30 years. The site that the government are proposing to relocate people to is many miles away from Manila, their families, and their jobs.
In a typically callous statement, the minister responsible for the project claims that those refusing to vacate their homes of several decades are “Professional Squatters”, and militants who are agitating for a better relocation package, and that “they will not be tolerated, and dealt with accordingly”.
Link to a blog post detailing the start of the dispute in 2012 –http://en.squat.net/2012/01/16/san-juan-city-philippines-squatters-resistance-against-a-police-demolition-attack/