Friday, December 15, 2006

What a Disappointment


I've been so psyched the whole week about today's Lantern Parade in UP. I even took a day-off to make it an official gimik day.

Then I found out it's been cancelled due to threats which the administration believed would come from the rallyists against the UP tuition hike.

A lot of my former classmates will kill me if they read this but...

I'm not one of those who believe that everytime there's an issue to be fought you take it out to the streets. Rallies are becoming tired tools for protests. A lot of people don't take it seriously anymore, and even sneer at it. They scoff and say, "Sus, may rally na naman." Is this really what we want the people to think?

You would say that holding rallies is a component of awareness-raising, a venue to lay out points of view not only for the authorities but also the masa.

But whatever awareness raised by such angry actions (i.e. burning of effigies, etc.) and words (pabagsakin! itapon sa kangkungan!) cannot be unbiased. It's also just one form of brainwashing through kindling raging ire --- no matter how justified it may be. And everyone's got cause to be angry these days. Everything can be complained about. It's not so hard to stir discontent and a lot of mobilizers are using that to manipulate the masses.

Is it possible to use rallies sparingly? Mass mobilization is such a powerful tool -- let's use it wisely. A little pressure at the right pressure points (right time for the right issue) can change the face of the world. Compare that to the noise and chaos that modern rallies have evolved to. If we are doing this for progress, why then the need to slur, burn, raze, hate?

No, I did not sell out. I still believe that we need to overhaul our government, we need to teach people to vote for more capable (and not more popular as the case may be) leaders (not politicians), and we need to help the less fortunate by providing them with opportunities to build their capabilities which would increase their ability to choose a better future.

But how can anger bring peace? How can insults increase understanding?

I really am striving to understand.

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