we get asked: paano ba mag-edsa. aliw. naging verb na ang dati ay noun, which is good. it’s a good question to be asking, and to be thinking on.
in october last year, in the run-up to the burial of marcos sa libingan ng mga bayani, when there was dilawan talk of ousting duterte by staging an edsa in support of the president’s impeachment or a coup d’etat, i said no way. i was sure there was no ousting duterte: aint gonna happen.
…their best hakot efforts would be as nothing compared to the throngs that the duterte camp is certainly capable of mobilizing throughout the country. of course they could also shoot for a “crony”-business boycott a la pre-EDSA 86, but the duterte camp could just as easily mount a counter-boycott of the vp’s business allies, and it’s easy to imagine kung sinong pupulutin sa kangkungan.
but here we are again. and this time, ubos na, said na, ang benefit-of-the-doubt. read radikalchick’s How we lost our rights in 15 months #Duterte.
i thought the CHR one-k budget was past the limit and hoped it would be the last of the offensives for the nonce, coming so soon after the marcos 100 celeb sa libingan ng mga bayani. like, you know, give us a break?
instead it got worse. nasundan ng sereno impeachment — one of two complaints found sufficient in form and substance by house justice committee (next week pa daw si bautista) — na nasundan pa ng ombudsman’s indictment of pNoy over mamasapano, this while the president warns against violent protests on sept 21, the war in marawi rages on, finance sec dominguez salivates for the marcos wealth, jinggoy is suddenly out on bail, and the president just called out chr chief gaston: why daw does he care so much about male kids being killed. omg, the president doesn’t care? it would seem that they really have no valid case vs gascon, and so they’re resorting to dirty tricks to pressure him into resigning. (why kaya aren’t they doing that to comelec chief baustista instead?)
“You are so fixated with the death of young males, kaya nagdududa ako na pedophile kang gago ka.”
offensives galore. nang-iinis, nambabastos, nananadya, dismissing us as bleeding-heart dilawans (which most of us are not) or subversive communists (which most of us are not either), hoping to provoke us, no doubt, deliberately fueling a simmering rage, the kind that could lead to angry protests that could turn violent which would give him the excuse to sic the police on protesters, sabay declare ng martial law.
paano nga ba mag-edsa. all i know for sure is that it will take more than one huge protest rally where dilawans and leftists, and everyone in between, come together for a common cause. the september 21 rally of the multisectoral Movement Against Tyranny (MAT) that very specifically seeks only an end to drug killings and the attendant fascism is one such common cause that both extremist dilawans and extremist leftists (both affirmists and rejectionists) should have no difficulty getting behind in union with independent middle forces.
lampasan muna sana yung “but i want duterte ousted” at yung “but i don’t like leni” for maximum effect in the context of a process unfolding.
the template, of course, is the august 1983 to february 1986 movement that started out as a call to justice for ninoy, justice for all that only towards the end evolved into marcos resign. it bears pointing out that the ruling mantra of every rally over those 30 months was NON-VIOLENCE. it helped, of course, that the cops practised maximum tolerance then, kept their distance, marcos was on his best behavior since ninoy’s assassination, the world was watching kasi.
the world is still watching, but these are different times. we have trigger-happy cops and a president who threatens martial law if rallies get out of hand. sana the cops keep their distance on sept 21. but if not, don’t push back, don’t strike back with sticks or stones, don’t burn rubber tires, not even effigies. where there’s smoke, there’s fire.
non-violent tactics worked then and can work now as long as everyone’s on the same page. one page at a time.