Friday, February 25, 2011

In The Name of Democracy

I was driving to school this morning reflecting about the series of protests happening across the nation, the uprising in Egypt, and the 25th Anniversary of our bloodless revolution in the Philippines. I recall printing out a write up by a group of highschool Filipino students who created a website in remembrance of our People Power and the fall of a dictator..."In The Name of Democracy" -

For three days, men, women and children filled the streets of EDSA holding on frail hope. For those brief moments, they feared for their security, their lives, their future.

Rumors were spreading all over that the forces from the loyalists were coming in from the north to silence the cry of the people through bullets and shells. The prayers grew louder; anxiety filled the air.

From above, the citizens of Manila resembled ants swarming on the entire stretch of EDSA. Most of the streets were blockaded and trees were cut down to serve as makeshift anti-tank barricades. Curious civilians climbed the 25-ft. light posts to have a glimpse over the crowd. Along the curbs, women attended to the thirsty, hungry and the weary. Men stood vigilant and served as perimeter guards just in case loyalist troops decided to attack. Priests and nuns prayed and comforted people as they made their way through the population with rosaries at hand..

Tanks were on the other edge of EDSA, and the people had no hesitation to meet them with bare hands and prayers. Soldiers aboard the vehicles climbed out and were ordered to shoot. Most either shot in the air or were simply shocked at the amount of sacrifice ordinary people are willing to gamble. Tears rolled down their eyes as they were greeted with food and comfort from the rebels.

As Marcos proclaimed his presidency atop the balcony of the MalacaƱang, little did the remaining supporters realize that their would-be president was already arranging his plans for Hawaii.

All these events happened 14 years ago and are still alive in the hearts of many Filipinos who were there to experience it first hand.

This is the EDSA revolution – the peaceful cry for freedom.

Today, the Wisconsin Assembly has passed legislation that would curb collective-bargaining rights for most public employees, including teachers. This is a call to action. We must be activists in defense of our faith, our jobs, and our security. We can't turn a deaf ear to those who casually malign our beliefs. We can't daydream while the political, economic and cultural agendas are crafted and imposed by others. The complacent and the apathetic are the weakest among us. The strongest among us must get up and speak up.

We can influence the world through our prayers, our words, and our example. We are one million strong, we will keep the spirit of unity and solidarity in our hearts, and minds, and the name of democracy.

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