MANILA – July 25 was a historic event, as the 30,000-strong contingent of peasants, workers, indigenous peoples, professionals, urban poor, students and various sectors marched to the House of Representatives in Quezon City, without battling through barbed wires and policemen with truncheons, to amplify their calls and the people’s agenda in time for President Rodrigo Duterte’s first State of the Nation Address (Sona).
Yesterday’s rally was highlighted by a lot of superlatives and firsts: it had the biggest contingent from the regions, including some 8,000 peasants, indigenous people and urban poor from Mindanao and Bicol; it was the first rally to have a six-panel mural instead of an effigy; it was most peaceful and tension-free, as police allowed marchers to go near the Batasang Pambansa complex, where the first Mindanaoan president delivered the Sona, which, for the first time, gave the marchers something to cheer about.
At the end of the rally, and just when they least expected it,rally leaders were invited – for the first time – inside Congress to talk to the President.
“Today is historic because it tells how the people stood against the six-year disaster of the Aquino administration. Our participation shows the failure of his (counter-insurgency program) Oplan Bayanihan in Mindanao,” said Bai Ali Indayla, spokesperson of people’s caravan Manilakbayan 2016.
The continuous mass campaigns by peoples organizations, as well as the tactical offensive operations by the revolutionary movement, shook former president Benigno Aquino III’s term, proof of how the “reactionary” government can never address the needs of the people in Mindanao, she added.
Since I was political yesterday and it seemed to go okay, I’mo try and be political again today and see how it goes.
On the topic of a different kind of protest than I discussed yesterday, and specifically in regards to Sanders’ delegates booing at the Convention: Clinton supporters at large were put off by the loud, vocal dissent and the protest action of delegates choosing to leave the floor during the vote. They were not shy about suggesting all sorts of punishments and banishments as restitution for the offense cause, their argument being that it was neither the right time nor place for protest actions.
I do not claim to know all the rules for when, where and how it’s appropriate to stage protest and/or offer loud dissent. But I do know that the last people who should be able to decide when it’s appropriate to stage a protest are the people who are being protested.
Every time any sort of organized or spontaneous demonstration happens, you can count on the entity, organization or person against whom the protest is arranged to say “I support the right to dissent, but this is neither the time nor the place.” EVERY. TIME.
Which means it’s the PERFECT time and the PERFECT place to loudly offer your very vocal and visible dissent. Whatever place your target thinks is a safe and sacred space, that’s where you lob your brickbats.
That’s what protest is. Protest disrupts precious spaces. How else are you gonna make your voice heard against powerful entities - hang out in an alley across town and shout at a dumpster? Burrow under a golf course and whisper it to the moles? Boat out to sea and tell it to the whales? You can’t do that, the sea and all its whales are on fire (I mentioned that yesterday).
This is why protesters block roads, march in front of buildings, take over administration buildings - because those are “not the time or place.”
Clearly, there are some rules, unwritten as they may be, about protest actions; violence and threats of violence invalidate or at least overwhelm the message. Protest should be in proportion to the offense, should not target ancillary individuals (like, if you’re protesting a corrupt CEO, you don’t go after their children), you should have a purpose or at least a motivation rather than merely being disruptive for the sake of chaos. You know, things of which the delegates were innocent.
But the targets dictating terms is ridiculous. You know where that gets us? Protest Zones, like the ones George W.Bush’s administration set up, and all of us good Democrats HATED, because we considered the right to voice our displeasure against power to be sacrosanct and inviolable. Except when it happens to us, I guess.
USA. Massachusetts. Boston. April 5, 1976. “The Soiling of Old Glory”. Joseph Rakes, a white teenager, assaults a black man, lawyer and civil rights activist Ted Landsmark, with a flagpole bearing the American flag as Landsmark was on his way to a meeting in the courthouse.
The incident on Boston’s City Hall Plaza took no more than 15 seconds, Ted Landsmark recalls. He was set upon and punched; someone swung an American flag at him; his attackers fled; he glanced down at his suit. “I realized I was covered with blood, and at that moment I understood that something quite significant had happened.
It was taken during one in a series of protests against court-ordered desegregation busing. It ran on the front page of the Boston Herald American the next day, and also appeared in several newspapers across the country. It immediately became an iconic picture epitomizing racial tensions in Boston at the time. It was coincidently taken the year of the United States Bicentennial as well.
The photograph won Forman his second consecutive Pulitzer Prize in 1977. “I don’t want to say I was lucky to get it, because I knew what I was doing,” he says. “But I was lucky to get it.”
Photograph: Stanley Forman for the Boston Herald American
official petition for everyone to start wearing mad max hunger games post-apocalyptic style make up and clothes if trump becomes president. just total over night trend changes. a silent fashion-based protest.