Wednesday, March 01, 2006

Black Friday - A Flash Mob Type of Protest vs GMA

Last Friday, February 24 – as the nation was preparing to celebrate the freedom we regained at EDSA two decades ago, Ms. Arroyo issued Proclamation 1017 declaring a state of emergency, in response to a military uprising.

In the hours and days that followed, it became evident how GMA intended to implement this presidential decree. We saw the excessive use of police power in dispersing the crowds. And even after the military threat was decisively contained, we saw the warrantless arrests of known opposition leaders, the closure of newspapers, and the barefaced intimidation of media owners and practitioners.

PD 1017 is eerily similar to PD 1081. And the pattern is unmistakably Marcosian. Crackdown on the reds – the public has no love lost for them, anyway. Control media. And prop up the illusion of a new order after the purging.

I’m glad that many, who have been sitting on the fence all this time, saw through the farce and finally came out to take a stand. I saw prominent businessmen, showbiz personalities, and working professionals go to the streets to defy the proclamation.

Sadly, however, there are those who remain unmoved. Worse, they even embrace the GMA propaganda that this is ultimately for the greater good.

I am reminded of 1972 where many in the middle class and the business community actually welcomed the “New Society” of Marcos. They lauded the arrests of known communists; they deserved it, many thought. They didn’t mind reading and watching government-censored news. They didn’t mind the imposition of curfews and the curtailment of some basic rights. All these were a small price to pay in the interest of stability and prosperity, or so they thought.

Until one day, the government began sequestering their business. Until one day, they began arresting someone close to home and they realized they had very little legal recourse to protect their rights.

It is time for the business community, the middle class, and all other sectors to make a stand.

Today, we launch the Black Friday Protest Movement to give you an opportunity to be counted with low risk and nominal involvement on your part. All you need to do is, every Friday, you and your friends can wear black, go to a designated place and hang around for about 30 minutes and leave.

How will you know the designated time and place?
Register by sending a blank email to BlackFridayProtest-subscribe@yahoogroups.com. When you’re registered, you will receive an announcement every Wednesday evening (Manila Time) of the designated time and location for the coming Friday (example: 5:00 to 5:30 PM at the nearest Jollibee restaurant from your place).

There will be no speeches or programs at the designated place. Just people in black hanging around for a few minutes to be counted. All these are within the bounds of the law, even a repressive one like PD 1017.

The Book of Ecclesiastes teaches us there is a season for everything. I believe this is the season for mourning… the death of democracy and the numbing of our national conscience.

It is time to reawaken. It is time to be counted. It is time to say, “tama na! sobra na!” Please register now by sending blank email to BlackFridayProtest-subscribe@yahoogroups.com and pass this on to all your friends, colleagues, and egroups.

By God’s grace, we may yet see a better Philippines for our children.

God bless,

Enteng - eMandirigma

12 Comments:

Blogger arolfi said...

i am not on any side..not for the protesters and neither for the government..but why don't you just try to take time what those protests do to us, or even what they do to our country?..do such protests, rallies, or whatever, cause you or the Philippines any good?..if it does, it's for sure not to your benefit, but for the benefit of the other politicians who dream of taking over the place of presidency or any position in the government..let me know of a person who joined a protest and that protest did him good, say he's life is already doing fine because of joining a protest..if there is, again, he's probably one of our politicians today who's getting rich out of our own money..

my point is, why don't we just try to make each of our own life better..if each Filipino does this, i'm sure the Philippines will not be as poor as how we are today..yes, i agree that our government is corrupt..but why don't we try to start on ourselves?..let's work hard for our own life and stop blaming the government..i don't believe that a Filipino who is having a poor life is a victim of our corrupt government..yes, he may be, but that's only in some little ways..face it!, he is a big victim of his own lack of hard work..our government is not there to make every Filipinos rich, because that will never happen!..don't be independent to our government!..you can have a good life on your own!..there are many Filipinos who are living a good life because they strive and work hard for themselves..they are living a good life despite the fact that our government is corrupt..if they can do it, then why can't we also do the same?..

the problem with us Filipinos is that we have the perception that the government can make our life good and easy..we always blame the government for our poor life..if the government is really a big factor to cause one's life miserable, then there should be no rich Filipinos anymore!..the key to a good and well-to-do life is "HARD WORK"...not "THE GOVERNMENT"...

my another point is, can't you see what the rallies and protests do to our country?...they only make the Philippines more miserable!...because of those protests and rallies, no more investors invest in our country!..

so, in short, mind your own business!!!..mind your own life!! work HARD and make your life better!!!

Thursday, March 02, 2006 2:17:00 PM  
Blogger THEBLACKSHIRTGROUP(Admin) said...

wow arolfi, you've missed the point completely, haven't you? The issue at hand is not corruption or poverty, it's about democracy and the injury done to democracy by proclamation 1017.
The administration has arrested or threatened opposition leaders (in one case using a warrant dated 1985) and threatened the press (even going so far as to temporarily close the Tribune). So this is not a question of progress or development, this is a question of the rights of the citizens vs the potentially illegal actions taken by the state. So ask yourself, "do i want to live in a democracy? Do I want to live in a society in which i cannot be arrested without cause, and in which my opinions can never be censored?" if the answer is yes and yes, then you will realize that protesters are not acting out of self interest. They are not looking to benefit directly or quickly from their actions, as a matter of fact they are frequently injured during rallies. They are looking out for the nation, for every last one of us. I really don't see what your problem is, all you need to decide is whether or not you think the authorized and overt actions taken by the state against the people's rights are reasonable and acceptable. If they aren't then you ought to be giving support to the protesters.

Thursday, March 02, 2006 11:56:00 PM  
Blogger Helga said...

I really don't see what your problem is, all you need to decide is whether or not you think the authorized and overt actions taken by the state against the people's rights are reasonable and acceptable. If they aren't then you ought to be giving support to the protesters.

Nice answer, theblackshirtgroup, but I take exception to your use of the word "state". In this case, it should be substituted by the word "Gloria".

Friday, March 03, 2006 12:01:00 AM  
Blogger carlosceldran said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

Saturday, March 04, 2006 10:47:00 AM  
Blogger carlosceldran said...

I have to agree with anonymous. I say, it's you - the protesters who don't get the point. You obviously don't have enough numbers to get the anti gma ball rolling. So please try to find another more constructive way to prove your love for country instead of through pseudo-anarchy. Not everybody wants to join your little noisy party OK? So please...Please.

Feel free to erase my comment once again.

Saturday, March 04, 2006 11:04:00 AM  
Blogger Jhun Sagum said...

The FUTURE depends on what do we
DO with the PRESENT

I don't know about you arolfi
but I don't see a bright future
with a

1. LYING leader
2. Cheating leader
3. Corrupt leader

She should defend herself on the
accusations and NOT hide by
twisting the law and constitution

To forgive is human, but
before we can forgive there
should be ACCEPTANCE to the
crime. No one is ABOVE the
LAW.
With GMA, we NOW have
a POLITICIZED AFP, PNP and
Supreme Court, even the
HOUSE of PUPPIES (Lakas-Party of
Thieves)

In Singapore, there's minimal
opposition simply because the
Administration is doing their
JOB TRANSPARENTLY.

Saturday, March 04, 2006 4:18:00 PM  
Blogger Helga said...

Carlos, don't know what you mean by erasing your comment. We're against any kind of censorship, and if you notice, the comment was deleted by the author.

Saturday, March 04, 2006 7:00:00 PM  
Blogger carlosceldran said...

That wasn't the comment. It was one that I put in the day before. Oh never mind. Its no big deal.

Have you read netnewsasia by the way?

http://netnewsasia.com/content/view/88/67/

Sunday, March 05, 2006 9:29:00 AM  
Blogger carlosceldran said...

That wasn't the comment. It was one that I put in the day before. Oh never mind. Its no big deal.

Have you read netnewsasia by the way?

http://netnewsasia.com/content/view/88/67/

Sunday, March 05, 2006 9:37:00 AM  
Blogger Helga said...

Thanks, Carlos, made it part of my post on BnW blog. Check it out.

Sunday, March 05, 2006 10:56:00 AM  
Blogger micketymoc said...

Jhun, in Singapore, there's minimal opposition because the people have traded some civil rights for government control.

Basically, the PAP controls all media; people's rights to free expression and assembly are reduced to a bare minimum.

I think this is food for thought: should government be allowed to rein in free expression for the sake of stability? In the instance of last month's chaos and 1017, I think it was a good call.

Wednesday, March 08, 2006 11:11:00 AM  
Blogger Jay said...

GMA has a better intelligence staff than coup plotters, naunhan sila. My suggestion for the opposition is you should change whoever is your leader bec he or she is not effective (or do you have any in the first place?) There are so many attemp to stage EDSAs but all of your effort is futile. EDSA anu na ba? 12? kasi after EDSA 2 lahat na PALPAK. Kasama naman CORY AT BISHOP CRUZ not to mentintion the COMMUNIST GROUP then whats LACKING? Cant you GET it, unless you will show the people you have a better alternative that this present government, ALL YOUR EFFORT WILL FAIL! about the prolamation 1017, im sure you are very disapointed when GMA lift it, mali nanaman ang mga prediction nyo na "ETO NA PO ANG BAGONG MARTIAL LAW", hehehehe. PALPAK NANAMAN. Same thing will happen to this BLACK CRUSADE - aba pati color BLACK ginaya nyo na din huh. Kung mag trabaho na lang kayo edi hindi kayo pupulutin sa kalye, you are just causing traffic. MAS LALO LNG MAIINIS SA INYO, Kayo lang naman nakakaramdam nang press violation channel 7 di naman, GMA is not STUPID unlike your liders she will not declare martial law or anything similiar SIMPLY BEC alam nya na mag kakarason kayo na supportahan nang middle class.

IM 100% SURE WALA NANAMAN MANGYAYARI DITO SA BLACK PROTEST NATO.

Sunday, March 12, 2006 12:53:00 AM  

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