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Twenty Years of People Power

by IdiotSavant Sat Feb 25th, 2006 at 06:13:37 AM EST

From No Right Turn - New Zealand's liberal blog:

Over the last week, there has been a significant anniversary which has passed almost without discussion: the 20th anniversary of the People Power revolution in the Philippines.

It began as so many of these things have begun since: with a disputed election.  On February 7th, 1986, the Philippines went to the polls, and at the end of the day, thanks to violence and vote rigging, president and strongman Ferdinand Marcos was "re-elected". The elections were condemned as fraudulent by the United States, as well as by local Catholic bishops. Two weeks later, on February 22nd, they were also condemned by Marcos' Defence Minister, Juan Ponce Enrile, and Vice Chief of Staff of the Armed Forces Lieutenant General Fidel Ramos. Enrile and Ramos subsequently barricaded themselves in two army camps on the outskirts of Manila. A Catholic radio station, Radio Veritas, put out the call for people to surround the camps and prevent Marcos from sending in the army to put down the rebellion.  And the rest is history. An estimated three million people showed up, and when Marcos' tanks arrived, they were met by singing nuns with rosaries and forced to retreat.

Two days later, Corazon Aquino, the real winner of the elections, was sworn in as President.  Marcos fled later that night, leaving behind only bad memories and his wife's enormous collection of shoes. The Philippines had overthrown a dictator almost without a shot being fired.

The People Power revolution set the pattern for practically every revolution since - for Estonia, Czechoslovakia, and the fall of the Berlin wall; for Serbia's "Bulldozer Revolution", and the later "colour revolutions" in Georgia, Ukraine, and Kyrgyzstan. But while it set the pattern, it was also by any assessment a failure.  Before People Power, the Philippines was effectively ruled by a corrupt oligarchy of crony capitalists.  Today, it still is. The players have changed, but they're still playing the same old game. By itself, "people power" isn't enough.  There must be a willingness to improve the government and hold it to account - not simply to change it.

This was...and is...a significant development in our recent history, to which I'd add the current developments on Latin America. The US needs some "people power" right now, to really push some serious governmental reforms...

"Once in awhile we get shown the light, in the strangest of places, if we look at it right" - Hunter/Garcia
by whataboutbob on Sun Feb 26th, 2006 at 08:00:41 AM EST
Some times thing ahve to change completely to remain the same.

This is why I am normally for incrmental changes...they really change things...women rights, gay rights and steps to imporve the welfare state...

In the same line, worst situations in history are also incremental...as Nazi getting power in Germany.. gradually, incrementally.....until they invaded Poland.

A pleasure

I therefore claim to show, not how men think in myths, but how myths operate in men's minds without their being aware of the fact. Levi-Strauss, Claude

by kcurie on Sun Feb 26th, 2006 at 11:52:56 AM EST

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