Wednesday, 29 January 2014

Rest in power, Pete Seeger

Rest in Power, Pete Seeger

It was yesterday to hear about the news about a folk singer's peaceful death.

As Pete Seeger, known for his progressive folk songs played during the protest movement, died last January 27 in the Age of 94. He died peacefully in his sleep leaving a legacy of his songs that somehow brought power trying to bring social change both in the United States and in the world.

Personally, this writer had listened to his songs, one of which is the song "Where have all the flowers gone" that reminds of the Vietnam War, so is the song "If I had a hammer" that was originally a song made in support of the progressive movement, that also became popular with Trini Lopez singing in a cheerful tune.
However, despite his popularity, his songs reflected his views, that his activism during the Wprld War 2 and the cold war acquired an ire from the system, describing him as subversive, that even Eleanor Roosevelt, also a love of Folk Music described his "Songs for John Doe" as "Bad Taste."

But, that "Mendacious Moscow Tune" Time magazine's Henry Luce stated was the same tune that made everyone realize the real state of America should deal with. African Americans struggle for civil rights, the continuous building of war machine, and other anti-people actions had made Seeger strum his banjo and played the tunes making people arouse, organize, and mobilize against the system; especially during the November 15, 1969, Vietnam Moratorium March on Washington, DC. There Seeger had led 500,000 protesters in singing John Lennon's song "Give Peace a Chance" as they rallied across from the White House. 
His voice carried over the crowd, interspersing phrases like, "Are you listening, Nixon?" between the choruses of protesters singing, "All we are saying ... is give peace a chance".

Obviously, it can't be Moscovite what Luce and other slanderers said before, but American, American prior to its intervention during the war, emphasising peace and non-intervention that until today people had yearned for instead of "Military-Industrial Complex" and provoking its own kind and its neighbors with fear.
Ironically, president Obama, who had tolerated low intensity conflicts around the globe like his predecessors, had afford to pay tribute to the man who consistently opposed the system's views, as he said:

"Over the years, Pete used his voice and his hammer to strike blows for worker's rights and civil rights; world peace and environmental conservation and he always invited us to sing along. For reminding us where we come from and showing us where we need to go, we will always be grateful to Pete Seeger. Michelle and I send our thoughts and prayers to Pete's family and all those who loved him."

But come to think of this, is the system in the United States had apologized for the red scare and other actions made before? 

Quite saddening indeed, but why not relieve the spirits through his legacy of music? Seeger didn't die in vain, he's in a deep sleep that in the clarion of struggle will awake and thus alive in everyone's hearts.



(Or "let's help Axel Pinpin and his battle against Pneumonia!")

It was last month when this writer heard news about the Poet-Activist Axel Pinpin had been hospitalized.

Suffering from Pneumonia due to a critical condition from Asthma and confined at the Philippine Heart Center for Asia, Axel Pinpin had still take time battling the pain so as to survive and make AgitPop thrive like any other artist-activist do.  His works like "Remote Control" had fused militancy of his words  and grooviness of the music being played by his band. That somehow this writer had to say in one of his posts that AgitPop fused Agitation-Propaganda with those of Pop Culture. He was also a former political detainee who had endured torture from his captors that later on became basis for his poems reflecting his passions both in torture and in detention.

 Earlier, there was a benefit gig in Black Kings bar in West ave. in Quezon City. The event, which is titled REKOBERI had featured artists like Jess Santiago, and its proceeds end in the needs of the said bard-activist- especially those of medicines taken to battle his Pneumonia and other illnesses Axel has to resist and overcome.
And lately, there's a benefit  buy and sell page in Facebook named AxSale. Just like REKOBERI, the proceedings from the auction and selling of the featured works will go to Axel's recovery, while interested buyers can send a private message on the page. 

One example of the goods to sell is  "TUGMAANG MATATABIL: Mga Akdang Isinulat sa Libingan" that costs 500 pesos, and  a Bookmark with an excerpt from Axel's poem costs 100 pesos. Others such as Talahib's "Mga Awit ng Pag-ibig at Digmaan" and Bobby Balingit's enamel on paper artworks are to be determined by the buyer.

The page has also call on everyone especially artists, musicians and writers who are willing to donate their art crafts, books and other materials for auction, with its proceedings be allocated directly to the Bard-Activist's recovery, showing support along with prayers that he be healed and return to the scene with renewed strength and vigour better as before.

Anyways, all despite being confined at the Intensive Care Unit of the PHCA and recovering from his illness, Axel still needs everybody's help especially those from his friends and colleagues in the music scene and the struggle. And also despite not using respirator for his breathing, he still needs proper medication and blood transfusion, with blood type A- or O to improve his CBC count. His colleagues also called on others to help him, such as this writer, who had admired his poetry and exploits as an artist willing to make this message, with the same purpose of those who had admired his works assist him in his battle, knowing that his poetry, music, and stances regarding peace, land and bread made AgitPop thriving.
And again, hoping that he recover and hear his poems and accompanied music open everybody's minds and agitate better than before!


For those who would like to extend financial help, please contact JamJam Pinpin at 0942.274.5591.

Monday, 27 January 2014

Another battle has been unleashed

Another battle has been unleashed

It was afternoon when this writer passed near Manila Seedling Bank at Quezon city. This time full of old wood, bystanders and trucks full of riot policemen, the scene is quite obvius that the place mear the said establishment, especially its inhabitants, is again facing the problem they themselves trying to resist.

Like a few years ago, Sitio San Roque, Manila Seedling Bank, and even the Philippine Children's Medical Center faced the threat of eviction both from the developers and the authorities. The entire "North Triangle" is deemed to become Quezon City's "Central Business District", imitating those of Makati, Ortigas Centre, and Fort Bonifacio as developed areas suitable for financial and commercial transactions. 

Admittingly speaking, this writer would say that at first, it is quite nice to hear that Quezon City may developed and be at par with the districts this writer had stated; but on the other hand, seeing demolitions and forced evictions for the sake of profit-oriented private development seems that the city itself had given up state-owned property, supposedly for community building to the private sector- especially those of Ayala and Henry Sy competing in the control of the said district such as SM Development Corporation and Makati Development Corporation wanting to expand their interest in building commercial and residential complexes with the latter sponsored by the National Housing Authority as its agent.
The latter, being a government agency could have the opportunity to develop the said district into a community in which these residents can live as they wish, but instead they were doing the same procedure towards these urban poor by forcing them to settle in not quite developed suburbs near Metro Manila.

But, with most of the inhabitants rather chose to oppose their profit-oriented motives, particularly at Sitio San Roque, these so-called developers resort to force with the state carrying the task of evicting and destroying their communities. Even the land donated from the government such as the Manila Seedling Bank isn't spared from the order, that somehow made owners of each stall had hard time carrying their goods and move out such as one that advises its costumers to buy in their new stall at Mindanao ave; while the Philippine Children's Medical Center continues to pressure the state had the property be legitimately under their control.
Speaking of the forced evacuations and people opposing, the inhabitants had forced to throw bottles and stones and trying to resist the tear gas firing and truncheon-carrying riot policemen; and like any other incidents affecting the urban poor, clashes erupted with barricades made out of wood or furniture defended by bottle-throwing or wood-paddling inhabitants. Around 250 families are affected as according to GMA news regarding the clash over North Triangle, with 29 hurt mostly from the side of the resisters while three came from policemen. Also according to the report that the police had arrested nine people for allegedly throwing bottles, pillboxes, and "human bombs."

But according to a report from Tanggol Kabuhayan Pilipinas:

"Today, more than 1000 forces of Philippine National Police and Demolition Team headed by Col. Sanchez and Marlow Jacutin of Task Force COPRISS forcibly evicted and demolished the homes and livelihood of more than 200 residents.
The demolition team used guns, teargas and brute force. The community were being attacked with tear gas anywhere. Children are suffocated, brought to hospitals and traumatized."

Initial reports also even stated that (via Vencer Crisostomo):

"17 North Triangle residents were arrested today. Most of them were actually assisting children and even toddlers who were affected by the indiscriminate use of tear gas by elements of the PNP. The arrested have reportedly been brought to Camp Karingal in Q.C, while those injured, including those who suffocated on tear gas, were rushed to the Veterans Medical Center."

Well, if nine were arrested allegedly because of carrying bottles and pillboxes, how about those who are just assisting children and toddlers who were affected by tear gas? Also according to Katch Catoy, he stated that:

"14 wounded with two requiring hospitalisation including a two-month old baby who stopped breathing due to tear gas inhalation all in the ongoing barricade versus demolition team at San Roque, QC."

A certain "Ka Inday" who was suffering from heart attack, was also included in the list of affected that are now undergoing hospitalization also according to Catoy.

These actions would been lessened if the state rather chose to promote development in cooperation with the inhabitants, most of them were working as drivers, laundrywomen, even call centre agents and at the Manila Seedling Bank taking care of the plants and as vendors. The so-called development made by the profiteers is in fact privatizing a state owned land in a city originally made for the common man, and the state should had helped the inhabitants given dignity in their communities by developing the same community that nowadays being demolished all for the sake of  an illusion such as malls and complexes promoted by actors and actresses, typical presentation of the ruling class that can't be paid by those who can't afford, particularly those who had really build yet living in the conditions such as in that sitio.

"Worst of all," as according to Crisostomo prior to the standoff and demolition, "officials from the Commission on Human Rights (CHR) and the Philippine Commission on the Urban Poor (PCUP) ignored repeated pleas by the residents for a dialogue between the latter and the PNP." 

Hayz,  since Crisostomo, Catoy, and Tanggol Kabuhayan had stated the reports given,  seems that the system are rather intentionally acting aloof, starting with ignoring pleas to arresting including those who were doing nothing except assisting the young and the weak; and like any other incident such as Silverio years ago, this writer would say that simply because they are poor and destitute, they deserve hardship, and that hardship also meant repression both from the state and private interests.
Worse, they are unjustly classified as lumpen despite these people also working with dignity such as drivers, laundrywomen, vendors, anything least trying to work with dignity regardless of others judging that most shantytown dwellers are prostitutes and thieves, if not killers and drunkards.

Anyways, just because they had afford to resist they are deemed to be punished? When was development really cater to the masses instead of the privileged? The events given may possibly not end, much expected that there are reprisals to come, especially from a people willing to resist.

Sunday, 26 January 2014

Still, the peasants are coming with pitchforks

Still, the peasants are coming with pitchforks

"What was scary was when we shouted 'we need land reforms.' They took out their 30-calibre guns. They shot at our lines. Immediately, many were hit. Our leader said, 'Pull back, we can't beat guns.'" 

These are the words Dolly Tambongon stated as he recalled the tragic events during the January 22 1987 incident, that made everyone who had rejoiced 11 months after the "revolution" ridiculed the administration whom had promised to carry on the aspirations people had wanted to realise.

But with that said incident, known by the media as "Black Friday" and "Mendiola massacre", 13 farmers were killed, while others wounded fighting for genuine agrarian reforms and social justice in the still-Semifeudal Philippines. Constabulary men had fired live bullets at the protesters, at the same time firing tear gas, water from the fire trucks, followed by a series of beatings and hence calling it imposition order by the "democratic and republican state." 

Quite hypocritical for the state to speak about freedom, democracy, and reforms while at the same time beating the masses with swagger sticks if not forcibly abducted and disappeared. On their side, pretty obvious that they easily describe them as rebels, subversives for insisting radical reforms particularly regarding land and labor issues. Like Tambongon, there are others who felt getting hatred against the state like the farmers who had enjoyed having the fruits of their labor in their vegetable patches at Hacienda Luisita in Tarlac, especially those of the families of whose members killed in the sugar central itself, killed by the hired thugs of state during the Arroyo administration;

But landlords, such as the Cojuangcos, supported by the police had expelled them from their communities, even bulldozed houses and their crops last December 2013 under the present Aquino regime; those communities and crops destroyed were hard-earned labor people who had worked for years within the Hacienda, trying to make their lives productive and least sane in a farmland depressed by the landlord's conditions like 9.50 peso wage.
Some of them were imprisoned for resisting the explulsion order given by the Cojuangco's Tarlac Development Corporation (TADECO); while the once farmworkers, also stockholders and tenants of the Hacienda who had end expelled had filed complaints soon after, as according to Jobert Pahilga, counsel for the the peasant union AMBALA and executive director of Sentro para sa Tunay na Repormang Agraryo (Sentro) in an interview with Bulatlat:

“For destroying crops, bulldozing and fencing off farmlands and driving the farmers away, we are filing charges of malicious mischief, grave coercion and physical injury against Tadeco’s board of directors and their security guards,"

Or in its simple and direct term: brutality of the system, of the state against its subjects, especially under the orders of the corporation's interest. The massacres at Mendiola, Hacienda Luisita, and other agrarian issues involving the dispossession of the right to till, and circumventing laws had aggravated a problem that was centuries-old. Also to think that the system had forgot that they were talking too much about social justice the way they tackle about democracy and love as according to the constitution. 
And with the peasants and workers, dispossessed sectors had marched from the provinces, others stopping near the Agrarian Reform office at Quezon City, and the rest consistently marching towards Manila still venting the same old rage against the landlords and corrupt bureaucrats bleeding everyone dry their hardships. Or in case of Hacienda Lusita, is it just because Sugarcane, unlike rice and corn,  is a cash crop should be excempted from agrarian reform? What a mockery! 

So is the law, whom they called harsh, being distorted by making their thugs' extrajudicial cruelties also an application of the law! 

Perhaps, the system had intentionally aloof to heed the people despite promising reforms and stuff. Agrarian reform is one of the keys for self-sufficiency in agriculture and food security, and since the state had afford to say its subjects that change starts from the so-called self, then how come landlord-owned land haven't been distributed directly to the tiller as promised? Quezon's social justice program, Macapagal's Agrarian reform code, Marcos's PD 27, Cory Aquino's CARP and its revised, extended version had been treated by the same order who had acknowledged as mere pieces of paper, a piecemeal reform enacted trying to lessen the mood of the people, particulary those who had wanted to till their own lands for their communities and themselves. 

And regardless of all the pseudo-facts and figures presented by the system telling about the Philippines  becoming prosperous as it awashed with cash, of skyscrapers soaring over the urbanized Metro Manila with promises of foreign investments, still, the peasant issue, low wages, countnuous hikes of prices, low intensity repression, had make the country economically dead and trying to revive by a machine consists of illusions this writer had stated. After all, is 300 or 500 peso enough for a week in a country where hikes been justified much by the rotten order? Nope. 

Right was the statement given by an underground group, as everyone bore wittness to the brutalities of those parroting development, that obviously does not cater to the laborers regardless of the propaganda being presented. Like Marx, the programs tackling about land, bread, justice, and freedom is all but a holy water that consecrates the hands of a hypocrite. 

"The Filipino people awoke to the truth and bore witness to the brutal display of state fascism; it became clear that the fulfillment of genuine land reform was impossible under Cory’s haciendera hands. Corazon Aquino, being an heiress of one of the biggest and most vicious landlord families in the country, was unmasked unequivocally, despite her much-vaunted CARP, as anti-peasant."

And as everyone had awoke, it is possible that the ones who are dispossessed having the will to get even, of going beyond the parameters of so-called order knowing that they had called for reforms yet the system had given them bullets; they're all willing to march towards the bulwark of their enemies, like those from the antiquated pasts, carrying their bolos, pitchforks, anything to justify that their battle for land is also a reason why the Filipino had still fighting for its independence.

Saturday, 25 January 2014

Turning the once dispossessed into engineers of the rebellion

Turning the once dispossessed into engineers of the rebellion

(Or again, seeing the makeshift mecha of the rebellious)

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It seems that this writer had again take interest on how these people had the guts to create its own armory. Other than manufacturing makeshift guns, grenades and other weaponries of the resistance, some had afford to gather steel, assembling in an existing vehicle and had it armed with any kind of weapon gathered from its enemies.

To others, it seemed quite strange for a rebel to have their own technology, most of which were once junk yet repaired and again serviceable; but come to think that these people whom are against the system can't just throw away stones not hurling their enemies with lighted petrol bombs in the streets, and these people had enough idea to counter those from their oppressors, let's just say if their enemies had armored cars and stuff, and theirs able to drive any kind of vehicle, of course they have the idea to create not just to counter their enemy's strength, but to give its allies good morale in their protracted struggle.

Anyways, according to an earlier writeup from a Pakistani forum, also tackling the same topic as this writer's, said:

"This thread will be dedicated to the different war time improvisations all over the world. In the recent years most people could see during the Libyan war or now in the one that rages in Syria all kinds of improvised weapons, made from the components that are available at the moment. And that's not something new. There were numerous examples of such weapons that were made during the break up of the former Yugoslavia, Chechen conflict, and others that affected modern warfare."

Just like in then-Republican Spain during the Spanish civil war, the mobile pillboxes of the past paved way to the assembly of improvised armored vehicles. By using an existing chassis, whether it be a car, van, or a truck, armed mechanics had to repair, assemble every steel, given arms, all turning a lowly civilian vehicle into a one capable of countering those of their enemies. Patriotism, reality, and a glimpse of the future had somehow provide inspiration to those who had afford to create despite having limited resources, technology, and even men to assemble or repair their cherished armored vehicle.

Self-reliance for self-determination

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During the Yugoslav conflict, aside from the remnants of the old Yugoslav people's army with its Soviet-inspired vehicles, Serbian volunteers had its own weaponries manufactured from its own foundry. Mostly from old but serviceable trucks, tractors, or remains of military armor, they had took time repairing, given armor and armed whether with a machine gun or a rocket launcher salvaged from an old MiG plane, also repaired by its own mechanics, and some, if not most of them being former soldiers or militiamen fighting against Croats or Bosnians especially in Srpska or in Krajina, with the latter known for its famous armored train "Krajina Express."

Similar to Polish, German, and Russian armored trains, the Krajina Express was the last armored train used in a modern-day conflict. Armed with old weapons such as a German WW2 flak cannon, and alongside rockets, the Krajina Express had supported the Serb Krajinans against the Croats and Bosniaks in the contested Krajina. Serb Krajinans were in favor of uniting with Serbia, in which Bosnians opposed.

As according to Wikipedia:

The two-wagon train was originally armed with a WWII German 20mm gun and two 9K11 Malyutka missile launchers; a Bofors 40mm gun was added later. A pair of M-53 7.9mm light machine guns were mounted to defend the blind spots. The 40mm cannon was removed in 1992 and replaced by a Soviet-designed 76mm gun mounted on the rear wagon. The convoy was enlarged with a third wagon mounting two 20mm cannons. Two Zastava M84 machine guns and a twin 57mm multiple rocket were also added in 1992. The following year marked the definitive configuration of the armored train, when the 76mm gun was supplanted by an American M18 Hellcat tank destroyer. There was an open wagon with two 120mm mortars, but their operational use was limited. The end of the war in Croatia frustrated plans of mounting an 88mm flak gun.

The ingenuity of the Serbs during the conflict had made these vehicles happen, that the Krajina Express for instance had revived the use of Armored trains that was disregarded in favor of Tanks, Planes and Missiles in modern day warfare, but in a limited span of time such as in Bosnia.

On the other hand, Serbia's enemies, the Croatians, also created various armored vehicles during the Yugoslav conflict. Quite similar to the vehicles of the WW2, most of which were assembled in a truck chassis and armed with machine guns. The picture above was made out of a farm tractor, somewhat similar to a typical miliatry vehicle complete with a camouflage.

There were other vehicles made by the Croats during the conflict, one of which had used a chassis of a Tatra truck and just like Spain during the civil war, turned into a mobile pillbox and a personnel carrier.

So was this, even featured a logo of a Croatian volunteer group supporting the separatists.

The ingenuity of both Serb and Croat had somehow justifies the idea of struggle for existence as nation-states all after the desintegration of Yugoslavia. Like Spain and its interest in armored warfare prior to the civil war, there were remaining tanks formerly used by the Yugoslav army and hence used by separatist forces; and some of the destroyed ones had to be salvaged for the sake of making somewhat new and serviceable, such as a missile pod from an old MiG placed in a military vehicle, or an armored farm tractor, although crudely made compared to the one made by the Croats that is much assembled and furbished.

And few of which, especially those assembled in Croatia were end as museum pieces recalling their victorious feat resisting the "Chetniks"; so was the Serb's Krajina Express being displayed all despite being destroyed but salvaged and put into display; that for most Serbs would say it symbolises resistance against both what they deemed "Turk" and "Ustasa". 

Syria, self-reliance, Jihad and the Rebellion

It was quite interesting for this writer to see pictures coming from most Jihad sites regarding Syrian Jihadis afford to create their own armor. Alongside rebel Syrian army forces, these U.S., E.U., and Saudi-supported forces had also take interest in the creation of weapons no matter how crude least it kills most of their enemies particularly near Damascus.

Mostly assembled from an existing 4x4 vehicle, or a van, the rebels' fighting machine were aremed by gun or a home-made rocket launcher, if not salvaged from an enemy war machine being repaired by those sympathized with the cause; Some vehicles even featured the islamic chant "Allahu akbar" calling God as the Greatest supporter in their war of resistance, while others bear the symbols of Jihadi groups, or perhaps the colours of the Syrian resistance to distinguish from those loyal to president Assad.

Personally, in looking pictures coming depicting conflicts in the Islamic world such as the Middle East, it seemed also typical for a middle-eastern resistance group to have such vehicles armed aside from the usual AK-47 armed combatant. In then Taliban-ruled Afghanistan for example, heavy machine guns were being prominently featured in a vehicle, although not armored like those of Syria; while the latter had afford to turn a tool used in video games into a trigger, substituting cameras and a computer screen for a window in a not-quite crudely made armored vehicle. 

Quite strange at first to see what's inside an insurgent-made vehicle such as this. Perhaps the mechanic or the combatants  themselves had been inspired by video or computer games and turning it into a tool of war such as a joystick; a counterpart of those made by companies in the U.S. supporting the war effort, particularly in the field of robotics.

Rebels using trebuchets, hurling oil bombs and grenades through slingshots

Also situated in Syria, and perhaps other countries in conflict such as Palestine, irregular forces had crudely made weapons capable of hurling grenades, if not oil bombs against attacking enemies. Soldiers had took time besieging enemy strongholds by using unconventional weaponries supplanting the lack of recoilless rifles or missile launchers found in their vehicles or from their enemies.

And just like its wheeled counterparts, they are made out of steel salvaged from destroyed vehicles or construction materials; turning them into weapons reminiscent of Mediæval period such as this trebuchet below:

It may consider it desperate for an irregular combatant to create unconventional weapons, faced with the lack of launchers, of limited support from their allies had driven them to create in pursuit of continuing the battle. In Aleppo for example, they used the trebuchet to hurl pipe and oil bombs against Syrian army defences in the city. 

Other than making unconventional weapons, they took interest in making missiles rather than contenting in gathering materiel from their enemies. Just like those made in Palestine, it is propelled by a solid mixture of sugar and potassium nitrate, a widely available fertilizer; while the warhead is filled with smuggled or scavenged TNT and urea nitrate, also a fertilizer. Some missiles had also include other chemicals such as white phosphorous in the warhead as an incendiary.

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They also create mortars as well as its bombs. The Syrian insurgents tend to be self reliant having limited support outside Syria; most of the guns are those from their enemy if not bought clandestinely by its supporters; like in Afghanistan during the anti-Soviet conflict for example, most of the Mujahidin had also relied on its own gunsmiths making copies of Lee-Einfeld despite having confiscated AK-47s and Stinger missiles clandistinely given from the U.S. 

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The clandestine development of weapons, including those of armored vehicles intensifies popular resistance against repressive regimes or foreign occupiers knowing that just relying on foreign support is not enough to ensure their need for weapons. The missiles had used basic chemicals yet capable of propelling as well as destruction. China did that centuries ago the use of Saltpeter for their fire arrows, and Korea had developed using Chinese-made technology to create their Shinkichon despite emphasied on bow and arrow as well as the sword. Palestine and Syria had just did the example of the far east in using simple technology in pursuit of advancing struggle; urea nitrate mixed with scavenged TNT to create a good explosive agent compared to the enemy's use of white phosphorous or any other explosive agent. 

Lucky enough if they had acquired a large loot of ammunition, artillery, guns, even those of tanks and other confiscated military materiel to use instead of crudely made rockets, mortars, trebuchets hurling pipe bombs and grenades. But in an "army" with not enough firearm gathered, one has to rely on a weapon crudely made but sure shot to kill its enemy to confiscate its firearm and ammunition. 


Personally, it is not much been heard in mainstream media, other than those from foreign sources about the status of the Syrian conflict compared to Libya and earlier revolts in Tunisia, Egypt, or in the former Yugoslavia. The armored vehicles made by these rebels, other than invoking their will to struggle had somewhat realize their imaginations based on seeing modern-day weaponries of the establishment; no matter how crudely made by its mechanics, but capable of firing guns or defending its warriors with armor salvaged from destroyed military vehicles.

Among irregular armies and the lack of of conventional fighting vehicles, those makeshift vehicles , especially those out of trucks and cars carries a strong prestige power.  Although some if not most of it may offer little protection being a civilian-oriented vehicle, making its own mechanics, if possible, afford to put enough steel to add enough protection against bullets aside from repairing not so quite destroyed ones during a conflict; Their major asset as emphasised by the vehicles is speed, mobility, and the ability to strike from unexpected directions with automatic fire, as well as light troop deployment; it also add morale knowing that those vehicles had supported their armed struggle thoroughly especially in major conflicts alongside the usual guerrilla warfare.

So is in making unconventional weapons. Others would say it is imagination that brought again those pre-gunpowder siegecraft such as those being shown; the crudely made rockets often fail to reach targets, but it demoralises enemies knowing that those crudely-made weapons provide vengeance to those who had been repressed and fought back. 

Anyways, the ingenuity of an insurgent made the latter survive a long conflict if not achieving a continuous victory. The technology given to them may had been crude, makeshift, and easy to destroy; but these problems, alongside sensing their enemy's strength are treated as a challenge in order for these once dispossessed gain lesson, and the will to strike back as possible.

Monday, 20 January 2014

"Praying in a day everyone's yearning to revolt"

"Praying in a day everyone's yearning to revolt"

(or how president Aquino called people to pray
 in a day people reminiscing the 2001 "revolution")

It was yesterday when president Aquino had declared it as a "national day of prayer", obviously being set in the anniversary of the second EDSA revolt of 2001, the president and his retinue had invoke "peace", "reconciliation", "the typhoon Yolanda", and any other words and issues trying to rally its subjects with the latter had enough of his rhetorics and failures.

Considered as a "Publicity stunt", the said occasion had repeated earlier leaders using the clergymen to appease the people and its growing anger: Estrada had once joined hands with El Shaddai's Mike Velarde, Arroyo with the Iglesia ni Cristo, and today's Aquino with Cardinal Tagle and others. Yet at the same day when Senator Ramon “Bong” Revilla Jr delivered a scathing privilege speech that slammed the president for "crooked justice" that affected him.

But to most people, what they think much about yesterday is the revolt that seemed going to happen; set in the day when Estrada being ousted, the president had time and again appeased its subjects knowing that they are the ones who had voted for him last 2010 and had to maintain it in midst of controversy and tension;
 but had he stopped corruption? He even justified PDAF,
 had he given lands directly to the landless? The Cojuangcos even forced to evict farmers and even destroying their crops at the contested Hacienda Luisita,
 had he controlled the crisis on electricity and concerned about the victims of Typhoon Yolanda? Nope, he even said that he should leave anything to God for he's busy.
Obviously for Aquino and his subjects that his promises were made just rhetoric. He had once opposed Arroyo's policies but still he had tolerated it especially with the Conditional Cash Transfer Program he originally promised to had it over, but come to think of this: they, stooges of their fellow class rather focus on their skin than on the cries of the people; and if they have the will to give some, most of it are crumbs if not justifying an economics that is "trickle-down" like Reagan; workers had demand 125 peso wage increase, but the system had gave them 50 or 60 pesos, or none at all.

And he afford to urge people to unite and pray? People may indeed pray, but not for his reason presented to the media, but praying to end the mess the system had done. Praying that the original aspirations of their revolts, even those of Bonifacio's had to achieve, for the agenda of the ruling class are contradicting with those of the common people. Right is the Philippine Independent Church's Fajutagana, that the president had prayed for the victims of "natural calamities", but he had neglected “man-made calamities,” such as the pork barrel, illegal mining, human rights issues, and other environmental problems. And since Praying should be supported by work, and had the president not seriously addressing to these problems, then prayers “will not be sufficient” as what  Bishop Fajutagana said, for the president, again representing the ruling class of exploiters, cares much about themselves than heeding the cries of its subjects; or as what he said last year: "leave it to God, for I am busy", busy justifying bullshit while the people are badly affected by price increases, fare and tuition fee hikes, unemployment, rising poverty rates, all in midst of paper reforms and repetition of promises, rhetorics being vented to everyone the system still think of as "stupid".

So instead of calling it as "National day of Prayer", then why not "National day of NoyNoying" instead? It's much accurate to see him being a sloth and leaving his work to a coterie of secretaries. And again, had set in the day of everyone had chanted anti-establishment slogans, people had prayed for another revolt to come, that would make Aquino, or the entire ruling system surprised that the revolt isn't a revolt at all just like in 2001 and 1986, but a Revolution that is left unfinished!

Anyways, personally, this writer does not consider the 2001 and even the 1986 events as "revolutionary." Other than replacing a corrupt head of state with another, it had no major changes and instead keeping the same old nonsense: seeing exploiters and the corrupt bleeding everyone else dry till no more! It didn't even realize the original aspirations of the people.
And that instead of stable jobs, what they hear is contractualization; of farmers seeking land reform, what they saw is continuous dispossession; the reign of the corrupt ruling class had to appease the people knowing that they are desperately seeking allies, giving piecemeal reforms if not chains and prison cells filling those who comprise the marchers from EDSA to Mendiola.

Perhaps, in seeing these continuous issues, it's up to the people in getting beyond the parameters of superficial "legalism" and invoke the passion kept hidden. The protest marches that happened in 1986 or 2001 aren't merely noisemaking or "peaceful" events mainstream media had presented much; but carries a motivation that had happened during the time of Governor-General Bustamante: he and his supporters being lynched by an angry mob of priests; but if possible, it is the common people who were heavily taxed by repression will assume the task what the priests given as they again stood up and had enough of their bullshit.

Saturday, 18 January 2014

All after De Veyra, Vic Sotto, and various commentators surrounding thetwo

All after De Veyra, Vic Sotto, and various commentators surrounding the two

Sorry for being too late in writing this post, but this writer had also took enough time understanding every commonent just to make this writeup happen aside from focusing on some priorities that ought to finish upon prior to making this hell of a kind writeup.

It was last December that most people had to watch movies featured in the "Metro Manila Film Festival." And again, that fest are merely consist of movies featuring same old personalities and genres typical for well known producers to create for the wider audience; and this writer rather sees nothing except plain and simple repetition of what is lucrative, profitable, rather than artistic and enlightening for the eyes of many.
Obviously, that festival had been marred by fiascos that once involved a beauty queen, of corrupt bureaucrats and media producers trying to control the media industry with its time tested "ideas" that made critics like Lourd de Veyra and others had afford to write it over. While others had afford to create countercomments against critics out of being a fanatic.

Speaking of Lourd de Veyra, this writer had read his writeup about Vic Sotto and his movie featured in that last year's festival. The movie, entitled "My Little Bossings", is one of the most popular films ever produced for the MMFF, however, some people had afford to criticize not just because of Vic Sotto, but also Kris Aquino and her son, whom likely to be groomed as an artist thanks to tv and print ad commercials offered to him. 
de Veyra is somehow trying to create a constructive criticism about the state of Filipino cinema, using Sotto and "My Little Bossings" as its example, he had wanted artists featured in the said event to create better ones than getting contented to the usual ones presented by its producers. As according to the site

"In his open letter, Lourd made it clear that he was very disappointed over Vic and his latest movie, ‘My Little Bossings,’ which is one of the movie entries to the Metro Manila Film Festival. He was asking Vic: is that all that you can do? The letter was reflective of the sentiments of Lourd after watching the movie, which is now holding the record as the highest grossing Pinoy film of all time."

And aside from criticizing Sotto's acting, de Veyra had even addressed that the movie had been much emphasised on commericalism, citing the heavy ad placements of pancit canton, cough syrup, detergent powder and other products endorsed not only by Vic Sotto and Kris Aquino. That somehow it reminds of a movie about a society whose government departments been controlled by a company producing energy drinks. CARLS JR? BRAWNDO anyone? (A recommendation that the movie IDIOCRACY should been watched as well and have the Filipino reflect in it, until knowing that they are beingnused by the system.)

To sum it all, he called the movie, regardless of its popularity a waste of time. Compared to Sotto's earlier movies, the latest ones seemed to be far from what had enjoyed with. People who had read his post would afford to shout ad hominems for criticizing a legend, but sorry to say, what he wanted is a movie that is socially relevant than a show being shown for the sake of showing it; worse, being stretched by adding products such as a detergent powder, cough syrup, milk, or any other bullshit to endorse with! Aside from the "blessing" from the president who is the brother of Bimby's mother!

There were those who appreciated de Veyra's post especially in conveying his thought regarding today's Filipino cinema using Vic Sotto as example, as Pettizou Bouchard, one of the commenters in, said:

"I am so impressed with your letter to Vic Sotto. Your eloquence in conveying your thoughts in contemporary Tagalog without being rude or crass is commendable. You just talked about the elephant in the room. I thank you for being courageous where most of us including myself weren`t able to do. Mabuhay ka !"

On the other hand, another commentator had afford to criticize he as a person simply because of the writeup. Originally in Filipino, this writer had at least tried to translate it into English the comment that seemed to be a personal attack on de Veyra rather than assessing the writeup itself:

"There are so many people who are pretending that they are great especially Mr. Lourd de Veyra. Who is he, is he an activist? What did he contribute to take pride of? You should have been a director instead for as if you know about morality. You had believed in yourself too much, you can't even gave an opinion about obscenity for he himself through his words also had obscenity in it. If he had wanted to help Vic why not he talked to him personally? Instead that bald guy had afford to make noise, for what? Gain attention? It's simply because you're an activist. You should had first talk to Vic before you present your opinion. For sure most people will afford to pay respect to you. But you are becoming arrogant, and I would like to kick you in the ass! You are also immoral in your show especially in confronting with a girl. If that the lesson you wanted to learn? ...."

What's wrong in being an activist anyway? Perhaps that guy commenting is a good example both of an idiot and a fanatic who seemed who suffered from de Veyra's "butthurt" comment. Some even used children, family citing the movie as for all audiences compared to others that cater a specific audience. 

But of all the criticisms, seemed quite right was from Karen Natividad, and although her post is in the neo-Illustrado site GetReal Philippines, it had stated that it is the same people who voted for same old crappy officials who had "enjoyed" watching the movie. It even said that the criticism is pointless regardless of what de Veyra had said, even stating the Government who failed to make its own community "intellectually healthy" by submitting itself to the wishes of the so-called "mainstream media" and its "illusions". here's the snippet:

"Obviously, government fails in its duty to ensure that ours remains an intellectually-healthy society. The fact that movies like My Little Bossings rake in 50 million pesos is proof of this. Is there hope of getting the government to step up to this role? I wouldn’t bet good money on such a hope. The government after all is made up of officials voted into office by the very same people who eat up media crap like My Little Bossings."

To a group of neo-Ilustrado fanatics would somewhat critically agree with de Veyra although on the other hand criticizing him with a "conclusion that the Lourd missed the real point by a mile." Also true that Vic Sotto and movies like My Little Bossings are just products of Philippine society controlled by a decadent system. They exist because there is a strong demand for such kadiri quality full of idioicy common people had forced to content with. 

But on the other hand, is that just enough just to say that? Having a society being dominated by mere profiteers and exploiters had also turned Filipino pop culture into a cesspool, a hodge podge of  nonsensical ideas such as wholesale westernization and crass fatalism; and Film festivals such as that MMFF, despite controlled by a Government agency is in-fact monopolized by those who, as sponsors, as producers exploiting people simply from time to time spoon feeding the people with the so-called culture they tried to insist, and even justifying by using the Family, particularly the Children as its alibi. Yes, one may afford to call it as Cultural Liberalism, or Commercialism at its finest so to speak, especially in a film festival organized by an agency that used to babble morality, discipline, or any otherstatements  that even traffic problems such as overspeeding buses still left unresolved!

And with that 50 million rake made by the movie Vic Sotto had made? For this writer, it's all but the same as last year, or earlier ones featured in that MMFF, and that is far from the achievements made by those whom stressed cinema as a craft to devote than a mere profession to profit with; come to think of the movies of Vice Ganda or Ramon "Bong" Revilla jr. Those are based on the highest number of rakes, meanwhile, much well known works made by the late Manuel Conde, Ishmael Bernal, Lino Brocka had created movies that not just appeased everyone in the Philippines, but also around the world using creativity, imagination, good stories that seemed thought provoking and understandable for most, if not all audiences rather than today's nonsense, all for the sake of attaining a million rakes and winning the prize. 
That, sorry to say so, had been lost for generations and this time trying to replicate by those who had profound interest in creating Filipino cinema that is creative, thought provoking, and genuinely popular just like in the past; knowing that if most people think that good movies are those shown at Cinemalaya or CineFilipino, then how come old ones such as "El Filibusterismo", "Insiang", "Ang Tatay Kong Nanay", or the old "Panday" movies, sountracks conducted by renouned artists like Lucio San Pedro were once likely to be featured in today's "commercialized" events like the MMFF?

Anyways, back then, the main priority was good Quality Filipino entertainment that emphasises talent and relevance than mere profit. But nowadays, most had tried to create but rather fail or at least getting lucky just like Asiong Salonga or El Presidente last year. Personally, George Estregan's Boy Golden and Robin Padilla's 10000 hours seemed to be better than those largely featured in MMFF; and furthermore, what's the use of those who had screen if the emphasis is on the higher number of rakes? de Veyra is right to insist that today's artists should make good quality movies than getting contented in their usual antics, that some people had afford to say that they had wasted 200 or 300 peso to watch a crappy movie largely featured in billboards, print ads, Television commercials, and even social media! 

Anyways, hate de Veyra, but he was just stating the need for a real good Filipino cinema and Artists should be able to make themselves much better than what they had in the present. Charlie Chaplin didn't content in being a silent film actor with his familiar mustache! 


Personally, today's order of things, deemed rotten and degenerating for generations, had been tolerating the same old bullshit that made people dare to protest, since people from all walks of life had afford to protest on the rise of commodity prices and even contributions, some who are concerned about Filipino culture and art had afford to ridicule over the present-day nonsense that had brought those movies largely featured and promoted. Again, this writer would think and even say that from time to time today's Filipino cinema, or mass media in general is all but a rehash of sorts, seeing same plots, emphasising personalities than the storyline, profit over pleasure, anything nonsensical despite trying to follow the ways of the west, or even its eastern neighbors such as Korea or Japan. 
And since they tried to emulate those from Korea and Japan, then sorry to say, it ends Hispanic or American than Asiatic: softcore sex scenes, kisses and not quite so erotic love been shown instead the intellectual-like nature trying to show with. F4? 5566? Super Junior? Sorry to say, they wanted a singing version of CHIPPENDALES or an Asiatic MENUDO that can dance and sing as if everyone's in 1980s or 1990s, with the reason that, sorry to say so, most care about a male persona with a machismo image that still carries the Filipino Guapito image, of than those whom care about their hairstyle, or to the extent of making a parody. So were the all female singing groups who still trying to emulate African-American or Latina ones with higher decibels and calling them "Divas". 

Anyways, to sum it all, it's all but an expression of a whining petitbourgeois to create such writeups criticizing both or the one who had started it,  yet at the same time they are the same individuals who doesn't care much about watching those films such as last year. For sure they rather choose to watch those made in Holywood despite bothering de Veyra and Sotto. Personally, just like de Veyra, this writer had also watched Filipino comedies from 80s and 90s, and had appreciated some actors and actresses making a good craft out of that particular genre, but on the other hand, some of the same actors and actresses whom this writer had appreciate are desperately trying to keep their popularity, so were the directors, producers keeping prestige or end up disregarded by many.

yes, that on some degree agrees with what the man from Radioactive Sago Project had assessed in it. 

And to maximum extent, this writer, whom like others dealing against the flow, would say this: "revolt against the so-called "modern world" full of decadent realities. Only dead fishes join the current, living ones resist!"

Thursday, 16 January 2014

Of trucks clad in armor: the Republican experience during the Spanish Civil war

Of trucks clad in armor:
The Republican experience of creating armored vehicles
during the Spanish civil war


At first, this writer had to revisit one of most interesting topics other than politics, and that is technology. No matter how modern or makeshift being done, technology tries to bring out the best in the community especially in making new things, creating new challenges that brought to reality certain aspirations left in every paper or in an artwork.

It was last year when this writer made writeups regarding the old factories at Metro Manila as well as its failed attempt to industrialize itself, so was he featured the idea of a future shown in a series of postcards like those from Russia and in Germany before the war; these examples somehow how people tried to create the future, tempering reality with those of attempts in oursuit of bringing forth certain changes in a society, may it be in a form of machineries to support those whom continuously create history.

This time, this writer had made this writeup all about the efforts brought by the Republicans during the Spanish civil war. Featuring pictures and descriptions from sites sympathized to the Republican cause, this writeup may at least try to unravel, this time in English the efforts of the Republicans in the home front against the reactionaries led by Franco.
And that includes the creation of their own weaponry, that usually less featured in mainstream sites concerning the 4 year conflict.

"Soft Construction with Boiled Beans"
-A painting by Salvador Dali that "foreshadows" the conflict
during the Interwar period.
Just like any other European country trying to cope up with then "present" day standards, Spain had tried to make efforts in modernizing itself as a country during the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Known for being conservative in its leanings, the country itself had been late in developing, especially after being beaten during the Cuban and Philippine Revolutions, and eventually in Spanish-American war wherein they had lost their "Indies" via the treaty of Paris.

And speaking of being conservative, or to others may ought to describe as "Reactionary", would say that it involves the clergymen whom usually meddles in state affairs (using morality as its primary basis), landlords whom trying to keep their properties in midst of the growing peasant power in the Hispanic countryside, so were the Military whom using order as its pretext had to keep themselves in power, to the extent of appointing a general for a prime minister such as Primo de Rivera, whom also tried to modernise his country and at the same time preserving the old social order knowing that lower and middle-class Spaniards had afford to oppose such as Freemasonry, Liberalism, and then "new" ideas such as Anarchism and Socialism.

And as expected by then "subversives", Primo de Rivera's dictatorship as well as the monarchy had failed to achieve its goal. According to wikipedia, it stated that popular support for the regime had gradually faded, forcing the dictator to resign in January 1930. Meanwhile, there was little support for the monarchy in the major cities, with masses often equating the old order with corruption and ultraconservatism, that eventually made King Alfonso XIII abdicated; and replaced by the Second Spanish Republic, whose power would remain until the culmination of the Spanish Civil War.
And that civil war somehow meant a series of effort in trying to defend the young republic- not just being supported by antifascist and popular groups such as those of Mexico, Soviet Union, or the International Brigades, but Spaniards themselves and its ability to contribute, such as creating then "modern" weapons and armor of the interwar period. 

Obviously, this writer, in seeing those pictures had sought the efforts of the Spanish people in trying to resist the German and Italian-supported right-wing war machine of Franco. In the late 19th century would say that factories created industrial districts in urban centers of the country, whether it was from Madrid or Barcelona, factories had produced mainly consumer goods aside from familiar wines and agricultural produce; but in early 20th century may at least given a semblance of development such as Cars and Planes produced by Hispano-Suiza and others somewhat copied from its developed neighbours like France and Italy. 

From introducing to creating armored cars and trucks

In early September 1909, a report for the possible acquisition of vehicles for the Melilla was drafted. Entitled "Report on models own armored cars for Melilla campaign", it had studied different vehicles to be used for combat: Maudslay, SAG, Thornycroft, Armstrong-Witworth, RheinenMetall, Hotchkiss (manufacturer of machine guns in the regulatory time) and Schneider (Artillery material supplier).

German-made RheinenMetall armored car
One of the earliest armed vehicles introduced in Spain under the program was the 1908 RheinMetall armored car. Complete with a machine gun that would fire observation balloons, the vehicle was tested but it was not been purchased by the military whilst favoring the Schneider 1909 armored truck.

French-made Schneider armored car 
The French-made armored truck was the first AFV built and employed by the Spanish Army.  Also included in the Melilla plan, the first one was purchased in 1910, being sent two years later to the Moroccan war theater. While a second one, slightly different (more prominent engine compartment in the front), had arrived in Spain in 1911.

There were other vehicles introduced in Spain especially after the First world war. Mostly made in France, the Spanish armed forces had to modernise evenly such as tanks and armored cars replacing horse cavalry in the field of national defence; Obviously, their interest in mechanized warfare was more of necessity, especially during the Rif war, and with the use of then-modern vehicles such as Renault, Schneider, and other French-manufactured vehicles had brought enough idea for the armed forces to create their own versions, of proposing Spanish-made armored vehicles as part of their modernization plans, and perhaps to gain back their prestige that was lost during the Spanish-American war.

Camion Protegido armored car 

Camion Protegido armored car 
In 1921, the The engineering corps' Centro Electotécnico de Ingenieros created Spain's first domestic-made armed vehicle, known as the Camion Protegido armored car (or truck). It was a 4x2 vehicle, with many variations on this design, some with turrets, some without.  31 of this vehicles were built by the Centro Electrotécnico de Ingenieros between 1921 and 1924 on the following chassis: 1 Federal, 8 Nash-Quad 40 hp, 2 Benz 40/50 hp and 20 Latil 35 hp.

Some of these vehicles were also carrying machine guns in its 6-8 loopholes. And at the turret one of which had tried to install a flamethrower. The vehicle is also used as a mobile radio facility which was then new in the field of mobile warfare.

This kind of ingenuity made by the armed forces was a result of its earlier interest in armored warfare, that somehow heightened during the 1930s with the armed laborers taking the opportunity of creating its own Blindados.

Blindados For the republic! 
- revolutionaries in armed trucks

It was during the Spanish Civil War when the use of mechanized warfare been adapted much in the front. Unlike World War I that emphasised thoroughly on infantry and trench warfare, it had emphasised the use of tanks, planes for the offensive, that with Gemans applying its earlier Blitzkrieg tactics over Guernica, or the stubborn defence of Madrid by the republican forces with the use of armored trucks, the civil war that had started in 1936 was itself a testing ground for a bigger battlefield in which Spain itself, ironically speaking, and despite being controlled by the German-supported Franco, had chose to remain neutral.

Like the earlier topic about the Camion Protegido, this writer sought how Spaniards extensively create theirs not just depending on foreign aid especially from France, Mexico, or the Soviet Union. And since this writeup tackles about armed vehicles used during the battle, specifically on the republican side, certain groups like the Anarcho-Syndicalists, Socialists, and the Communists had not just trained its members firing guns, but being workers in its background had afford to create their own armored car, truck, if not repairing or refitting an existing tank with a new gun just like their enemies did by replacing machine guns with an anti-aircraft gun in its turret. 

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In Barcelona, Anarcho-Syndicalists created a variety of armored vehicles using an existing chassis and armed with machine guns. Just like the Camion Protegido of the engineering corps, they were primarily used for patrol and infantry support; and since those vehicles were makeshiftly made by the armed workers (as in working at the factory with a gun in hand) had served as basis for the latter to defend the young republic and the revolution trying to advance forth.

One example of the armored vehicles manufactured by the Anarchists and Socialists was the UNL-35. UNL stands for Union Naval de Levante, a shipyard in Valencia that was occupied by militants during the Civil war. 
According to the website "Tanks!", the republican forces, facing with an acute shortage arms, had to engage in the production of ordnance. Aside from shipbuilding, they engaged in the manufacture of armored vehicles and armored railway cars for the Teruel front (at the Devis works). The metallurgical industry in Valencia applied their vast applied techniques and knowledge gained in the naval sector to their production of some well finished armored vehicles.

UNL-35 of the Union Naval de Levante,
 occupied by the Anarchists and Socialists against the Fascists during the civil war
This vehicle  was designed by Soviet engineer Nikolai N. Alymov for Spain and inspired by the Soviet FAI. Like other vehicles patterned after French models and eventually adapted, the prototype was completed and Spanish engineers improved the initial design. A trained eye can spot the difference between a Soviet production FAI and the Spanish production UNL-35. The Spanish production unit has an almost "German" like turret.
Its Armor consisted of 8mm plates of high quality steel. There were four different variants (including an armored ambulance).

Production began at the beginning of January 1937 at the rate of 5 per month, although in 1938 deliveries were curtailed due to air raids which eventually forced the relocation of the plant to the facilities of the firm Amat at Elda; where production recommenced once again in September. The production of ordnance continued until April 1939, when aircraft again bombed the facilities. There's evidence of the completion of 130 vehicles of the UNL-35 type alone (some of which were captured by the Franco's "Nationalists").

Blindado Uni photo image_zps1c7e83d5.jpg

Blindado Uni photo image_zps8b0569ee.jpg

There were other armored vehicles made by the UNL. Following the same design, some were modified to accommodate an enough number of fighters patrolling the streets, supporting the infantry in the offensive, or acting as a mobile pillbox. Meanwhile, there are other groups whom also took interest in the creation of makeshift armored trucks often featuring the initials of the group belonging to.

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Most of the pictures, other than those featured in this writeup had no technical classifications except the place and group behind the manufacture of such armored vehicles through its acronyms prominently featured. Groups like the FAI and CNT were aligned with the Anarchist camp while others had to paint their respective groups like the Communists with its hammer and sickle. 

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And just like its earlier counterparts, they had used an existing truck or car chassis, as well as engines while carefully putting steel armor into it; similar to the UNL and earlier armored vehicles, it had gunports or turrets wherein machineguns being placed or a mortar, serving as a mobile mortar launcher. It also served as ambulances for the wounded troops or as radio facilities for the Republican forces for information on enemy's movements, if not propaganda dissemination to demoralise enemy troops.

 photo image_zpsbbd45b62.jpg

They also create armored tractors as well. Similar to tanks, they had to put steel in an agricultural tractor and arming it with machine guns with the same purpose as the wheeled vehicles during the conflict. 

Most of these "mobile pillboxes" depolyed during the civil war were destroyed. Most of the Republican exiles, prior to their escape, had afford to take pictures and gather data related to the vehicles being used. Those vehicles used had shown an expression of self reliance that most Spaniards, fuelled by love of country and its republican principles, and inspired by modern warfare had to assemble every metal sheet in every car or truck, turning into an armored vehicle armed with machine guns pointing against the troops of Franco.

So was their enemy, Franco and his Falangistas

Meanwhile, Franco's troops also had shared the idea of making armored trucks as well. The difference lies in having slogans such as "Arriba España" or "Viva Franco" painted in it. 

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However, these vehicles weren't featured much compared to the German or Italian-made tanks and other armored vehicles being shown. Like the Republicans in which they were supported by the Soviets with its tanks and planes, Hitler's Germany and Mussolini's Italy were eager to support Franco and his men with the latter trying to put Spain in order and using the Falange, originally an organization leaning to Modernism, as a mere support group in his regime. 
Like the earlier article about Franco, this writer depict him as a conservative who thinks largely about keeping Spain the same as prior to the creation of the Republic. He had to joint Falange, the Traditionalist-leaning Carlista, and other groups supported into a "National Movement" that made original Falangists dismayed with its original objectives not been realized, save for rhetoric.

But, their ideas in making improvised mobile armor, just like its enemies was also unravel how Spain tries to be self-sufficient despite being supported by its allies. They had to create armored trucks, and using it as mobile pillboxes for the offensive or as patrol vehicles in occupied zones.  

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An early German Panzer whose turret being modified
 to place a Breda Anti-aircraft gun
 And as what earlier said, they had afford to modify the turret of a German Panzerkampfwagen in order to place a Breda Anti-aircraft gun, acting as its main armament against the Soviet-supported Republicans with its own T-29. The original turret of the German-made vehicle were armed by machine-guns, and Spanish troops had to improvise by modifying it trying to be at par with its enemies. 


Personally, it is quite curious to see the ingenuity of the Spaniard shown during the conflict. That, in making those armored vehicles on both sides, those weren't shown much by mainstream media and instead depicting aircraft and tanks coming from other countries such as France, Germany, or the Soviet Union.

This writer also sought the stubbornness of the Republicans trying to defend their homeland against its own enemies. Using their ingenuity and despite lack of resources needed, the vehicles featured in this writeup showed the Spanish worker had to battle with time, spending its own mind and sinew to create, assemble, repair in every factory and at the same time kill its enemies in their garrison; hammer in hand and rifle on the other all trying to defend and create the homeland based on their aspirations trying to realize through the establishment of the Republic. 
Or as what they said much against their enemies trying to pass through their stations, factories, farmlands, homes and communities: ¡No Pasaran! They shalt not pass! Fighting stubbornly till the end with the rest trying to escape and creating resistance against the regime such as in Paris or in Mexico where a government-in-exile was created until Franco's death and the eventual transition to what Spain had known today.

But again, looking back in thine past, would say that the Spanish Civil War, although there were trenches and remnants of static warfare involved, had served as a model for a future battle wherein armored vehicles been thoroughly used in every major conflict.