Free Concert tonight at UP’s Sunken Garden, with a glittering array of bands and individual musicians prepared to sing songs of resistance:
The final list of performers tonight in order of appearance is: Chin Chin Gutierrez, Crazy as Pinoy, Affinity, Isha, Noli Aurillo, Carol and Sammy (of Pinikpikan), Susan Fernandez, Noel Cabangon, True Faith, Reggae Mistress, The Jerks, Session Road, Brownman Revival, Up Dharma Down, Giniling Festival, Paramita, Grasspipe, Radioactive Sago, Twisted Halo, Bobby Balingit/Juan Isip, Cynthia Alexander, Willie Nepomuceno, Leah Navarro, Dong Abay and Popoy Diokno, Color It Red with Tots Tolentino, Pinwheel, Bridge, Hemp Republic, Coffeebreak Island, Agaw Agimat, Tropical Depression, Datu’s Tribe, Village Idiots, Lost in the Veins.
Media warned: No special treatment. Ok, but you see, the special treatment lies in going after media especially.
Senators Defensor and Enrile are angry: Citizenry, not military, keeping GMA in office.
In Thailand, the Nation publishes a commentary by Suthichai Yoon, which says,
It’s almost impossible to be “neutral” in this current political confrontation. But if you really try, you might consider the situation as a beautiful stalemate, if there is such a thing in a political showdown.
It’s beautiful because it’s a confrontation with a human face. The protesters have vowed to keep the “Thaksin must go” campaign peaceful. And that promise has so far been strictly abided by. It’s a civil sort of face-off because PM Thaksin Shinawatra for his part has so far not resorted to any direct crackdown measures. He certainly realises how dangerous any attempt to employ force on the demonstrators might be for his own political survival.
Demonstrations have also been characterised by a highly civilised tone because the police have behaved in a most courteous way towards the anti-Thaksin elements. The law-enforcement officials have mingled with the protesting crowd unarmed, an unusual and pleasant sight indeed.
And Thailand may be setting a new precedent in the world’s civil disobedience movement with the announcement by the armed forces that they will remain “neutral” in this confrontation between Thaksin and his opponents. Don’t ask me how that stance is acceptable to Thaksin when he, as prime minister, is supposed to be every soldier’s boss. Don’t ask me why the Army chief General Sonthi Boonyaratklin, who should be telling the premier that he is on his side, was quoted as saying that if he had to choose, he would be inclined towards “defending the people’s rights” instead of protecting the politicians’ power base.
Making this political impasse even more sublime was Sonthi’s public statement that he saw no need for an emergency decree in Bangkok. And he said that almost immediately after Thaksin had declared in a speech in the Northeast on Tuesday that he was ready to sign an order to place Bangkok under a state of emergency.
To me, it’s also a perfect stalemate because if you read between the lines of all these public utterances and gesticulations, you wouldn’t be too far off to conclude that Thaksin has virtually lost the political prop of the armed forces and police. If he gets the subtle message, Thaksin should now realise that if he decides to crack down on the protesters surrounding Government House seeking his prompt departure, he would face the armed forces and law-enforcement officials’ unprecedented failure to comply. A state of emergency decree signed by the premier would be rendered meaningless if military officers, in their own very polite, subtle way, practise their own version of civil disobedience too.
Since the goings-on in Bangkok are both a validation of non-violent resistance and a crash course on the limitations of parliamentary government, read up on a Wikipedia article on motions of no confidence.
In the punditocracy, my column for today is Filipino first: why persecution on the pretext of fighting Communism isn’t merely counter-productive, but wrong.
Connie Veneracion renounces romance in politics, and declines any political participation unless a thorough, and not cosmetic, change is involved.
The Inquirer editorial says the administration is committing subversion. Tony Abaya thinks not, and suggests a dialogue is required between media and government because both cannot expect their absolutist desires to prevail.
JB Baylon says one of the biggest “residual threats” facing the President is karma.
Juan Mercado recounts political humor from the martial law years.
In the blogosphere, Blogkadahan.com has an ongoing series of entries on poverty. Two entries in particular struck me, the first by a guest writer from Malaysia, who explains the need for savings, education, and infrastructure; the other by CaT, recounting the faces of poverty in various countries, and its causes in ours.
Demosthenes’ Game pens a manifesto on the perils of passion in political discourse, and questions the continuing relevance of the “one man, one vote” maxim, and says that if supporters of the president are being called fascists, then fascism might as well be considered a badge of honor. On a playful note, he sets up Luli Arroyo’s Internet Brigade.
Ellen Tordesillas on an election lawyer saying photos of alleged electoral manipulation might have been taken at his house.
Newsstand on why journalists aren’t crying wolf. Edwin Lacierda explains to journalists just what might land them in jail and what won’t. Bunker Chronicles notices the government’s given up on 24-hour TV broadcasting.
atty-at-work on when good people leave government.
Vincula publishes an e-mail from the UP Law Class 2009B, where they announce they’re joining a Black and Red Ribbon Campaign:
Through BLACK we mourn the death of civil liberties;
through RED we invoke the spirit of resistance and militancy that will revive it.
As Mamutong puts forward a splendid quotation:
Power concedes nothing without a demand.
It never has, and it never will.
If there is no struggle, there is no progress.
Those who profess to favor freedom, and yet deprecate agitation are men who
want crops without plowing the ground. They want rain without thunder and
lightning. They want the ocean without the awful roar of its waters.
A chorus from raucous souls also has two great V for Vendetta quotes.