omnibus omnia

Sustaining people power (from Writer’s Block)

In Constitution, Manila, News, Opinion, People Power, Philippine politics, Philippines, Pinoy, Politics on March 2, 2008 at 00:39

Well, we had momentum, more than once, and even now. What we do not have is inertia; we had momentum, but we did not sustain it…

Even while basking in the afterglow of the interfaith rally, we cannot deny that there’s little indication of President Arroyo having any willingness or desire to step down; and the opponents of the President should accept that they’re in for the long haul.  Therefore, to understand the battle the reformists face and the reasons for waging it, I sincerely that recommend “Inertia: Sustaining the EDSA Movement“.  A brilliant and impassioned post from Writer’s Block, its argument is something every Filipino should read who cares for our country:

…My friends, there is a scientific principle that goes like this: “An object that is at rest, stays at rest.” If we refuse to resist, we will condition our bodies to willingly surrender, however rough the violence or however much the abuse reaches a crescendo. At the very least, and fortunately, we are not in a state of rest. We are in a painful transition between rest and motion. Mon Casiple opined that we need momentum to have successful People Power. Well, we had momentum, more than once, and even now we have it. What we do not have is inertia; we had momentum, but we did not sustain it.

Our demonstrations, our protests–our motion in general was focused on anger. This is a volatile, passionate, but scattered emotion. It forms the most fiery basis for rebellions; but it is also easily killed. Lozada, in his speech, warned that “we must not let this demonstration be impelled by anger; when the anger dies, we go home. We must be impelled by a need to serve, and to watch over the excesses of the government.” In short, we must be impelled by our obligations, and not by our tempers…

Our momentum was made and sustained by anger. And so we easily got distracted by other things: the ZTE controversy, the Garci Scandal, Martial Law fears, Cha-Cha, the bombings in Ayala and Batasan. The government knows this–why else do you think they move the media from one headline to another, as if we were living a teleserye? Doubtless our target was indirectly the same, but our energies were spent on the symptoms, rather than the disease itself: a system of government that makes Estradas, Arroyos, and Marcoses possible. We can at least learn.

I am not naïve enough to say that demonstrations will assure Arroyo’s overthrow. It did not force Suharto or Thaksin out. The 1983 rising did not pressure Marcos to resign. But the sustained rebellion had an effect: the two autocrats of Indonesia and Thailand were forced out by the military under the pressure of continued civil disorders. Marcos was forced to hold snap elections when the mounting pressure of the Aquino assassination added to the weight that the International Community brought down on him…

Having stated its basis, Writer’s Block rises to a battle-cry that reminds me of Churchill inspiring Britain to fight on against Nazi tyranny, even in the face of overwhelming odds:   

… No, no, no, Arroyo will not listen, as Pharaoh did not listen to Moses, but we will howl nevertheless. In the two years she remains in power, we will howl her in the streets, howl her in the courts, and howl her out of office. We will howl like mad, and make all of government tremble with fear. We may not have the power to forcibly take her out, but we have the power to pressure the elements of her government to keep her from remaining one day more. If we sustain our EDSA movement, we can be vigilant enough to take hold of her that one last day and try her for crimes against the nation. If we sustain our EDSA movement, we can kill the Arroyo government by electing new, idealistic blood to the Senate, and the House of Representatives (fingers crossed!) and other elements of government.

And why wait so long? The opportunity still remains with us. The United States is too busy internally with their elections, their culture war between Republicans and Democrats, to care. China, Gloria’s much-desired protector, is too busy keeping a clean, respectable front to the international community ahead of the 2008 Olympics. China’s foreign policy has made an about-face away from support for oppressive governments to spearheading their denunciation. So no, I don’t think China will dip its fingers in. Not yet. And so, for once in our lives, we hold the destiny of our nation.

Read the rest of the article here

  1. […] citizenbrain wrote an interesting post today onHere’s a quick excerpt Well, we had momentum, more than once, and even now. What we do not have is inertia; we had momentum, but we did not sustain it… […]

  2. […] ever-wise Scriptorium ponders this entry, too. Svelte Rogue Reborn explains why the blogger attends rallies. What rallies […]

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