On Civil Disobedience

My column for today was inspired by Mahar Mangahas’ column, The important right of civil disobedience, which had these interesting findings, based on the 2004 Survey on Citizenship of the International Social Survey Program, which makes possible a comparison of Filipino attitudes and behavior to that of other peoples, particularly in our part of the world. As Mangahas digests it,

In a recent talk on “Surveying the Social Volcano” for CEOs and other opinion leaders at the Inquirer, I presented cross-country data showing Filipinos with: (a) a high score in seeing widespread corruption in the public service; (b) a very low score in seeing elections as honest; (c) a very low score in having personally joined a public demonstration; and (d) a very high score in putting importance to the right of civil disobedience…

…The outstanding finding from this survey of democratic rights is that, whereas we Filipinos, compared to other peoples of the world, care slightly less about a minimum living standard, the rights of minorities, the right to equal treatment, the right to be heard, and the right to participate, at the same time we care much, much more than others do about the right of civil disobedience.

Only four countries have higher scores than the Philippines on the importance of civil disobedience, all from the Eastern bloc: Bulgaria (79), Poland (72), Slovakia (71) and Latvia (65). Russia’s score is 57. Germany’s high score of 52 may be due, said a German visitor, to the national memory of having acquiesced to immoral government policies in Nazi times.

Will the social volcano erupt? In my Inquirer seminar, I said that the eruptions of 1986 and 2001 proved that “the social volcano” can be awakened. During “Juetenggate,” President Erap was (slightly) popular, while then-Vice President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo was unpopular for having deserted him. Public opinion on Erap was still divided during the impeachment trial. EDSA People Power II was triggered by the unscripted refusal to open the “second envelope, which nine out of 10 Metro Manilans saw on live TV. The “Hello Garci” crisis is worse. For three years, President Arroyo has been very unpopular, while her VP has been (relatively) popular.

The ISSP citizenship-survey data suggest that a social explosion would be driven less by the Filipinos’ inclination towards rallies than by their insistence on the right of civil disobedience. The timing of such an explosion, like that of any volcano, is unpredictable.

Therefore, plan for the Black Swan moment! Wuzzat? Read Fear of a Black Swan: Risk guru Nassim Taleb talks about why Wall Street fails to anticipate disaster, which will spare you having to buy the book (but you should, anyway).

Relevant readings are Basic Concepts of Satyagraha: Gandhian Nonviolence and What is Satyagraha? both of which I quoted in my column.

Also, extracts from Letter from a Birmingham Jail, in which Martin Luther King laid out non-violent resistance:

In any nonviolent campaign there are four basic steps: 1) Collection of the facts to determine whether injustices are alive. 2) Negotiation. 3) Self-purification and 4) Direct action.

Concerning the last, he wrote,

You may well ask: “Why direct action? Why sit-ins, marches, etc.? Isn’t negotiation a better path?” You are exactly right in your call for negotiation. Indeed, this is the purpose of direct action. Nonviolent direct action seeks to create such a crisis and establish such creative tension that a community that has constantly refused to negotiate is forced to confront the issue. It seeks so to dramatize the issue that it can no longer be ignored. I just referred to the creation of tension as a part of the work of the nonviolent resister. This may sound rather shocking. But I must confess that I am not afraid of the word tension. I have earnestly worked and preached against violent tension, but there is a type of constructive nonviolent tension that is necessary for growth. Just as Socrates felt that it was necessary to create a tension in the mind so that individuals could rise from the bondage of myths and half-truths to the unfettered realm of creative analysis and objective appraisal, we must see the need of having nonviolent gadflies to create the kind of tension in society that will help men to rise from the dark depths of prejudice and racism to the majestic heights of understanding and brotherhood. So the purpose of the direct action is to create a situation so crisis-packed that it will inevitably open the door to negotiation. We, therefore, concur with you in your call for negotiation. Too long has our beloved Southland been bogged down in the tragic attempt to live in monologue rather than dialogue.

He then discusses, at -beautiful- length, the question of the law, the dilemma at the heart of civil disobedience:

One may well ask: “How can you advocate breaking some laws and obeying others?” The answer is found in the fact that there are two types of laws: There are just and there are unjust laws. I would agree with Saint Augustine that “An unjust law is no law at all.”

Now, what is the difference between the two? How does one determine when a law is just or unjust? A just law is a man-made code that squares with the moral law or the law of God. An unjust law is a code that is out of harmony with the moral law. To put it in the terms of Saint Thomas Aquinas, an unjust law is a human law that is not rooted in eternal and natural law. Any law that uplifts human personality is just. Any law that degrades human personality is unjust. All segregation statutes are unjust because segregation distorts the soul and damages the personality. It gives the segregator a false sense of superiority, and the segregated a false sense of inferiority. To use the words of Martin Buber, the Jewish philosopher, segregation substitutes and “I-it” relationship for an “I-thou” relationship, and ends up relegating persons to the status of things. So segregation is not only politically, economically and sociologically unsound, but it is morally wrong and sinful. Paul Tillich has said that sin is separation. Isn’t segregation an existential expression of man’s tragic separation, an expression of his awful estrangement, his terrible sinfulness? So I can urge men to disobey segregation ordinances because they are morally wrong.

Let us turn to a more concrete example of just and unjust laws. An unjust law is a code that a majority inflicts on a minority that is not binding on itself. This is difference made legal. On the other hand a just law is a code that a majority compels a minority to follow that it is willing to follow itself. This is sameness made legal.

Let me give another explanation. An unjust law is a code inflicted upon a minority which that minority had no part in enacting or creating because they did not have the unhampered right to vote. Who can say that the legislature of Alabama which set up the segregation laws was democratically elected? Throughout the state of Alabama all types of conniving methods are used to prevent Negroes from becoming registered voters and there are some counties without a single Negro registered to vote despite the fact that the Negro constitutes a majority of the population. Can any law set up in such a state be considered democratically structured?

And he then says,

…There are some instances when a law is just on its face and unjust in its application. For instance, I was arrested Friday on a charge of parading without a permit. Now there is nothing wrong with an ordinance which requires a permit for a parade, but when the ordinance is used to preserve segregation and to deny citizens the First-Amendment privilege of peaceful assembly and peaceful protest, then it becomes unjust.

I hope you can see the distinction I am trying to point out. In no sense do I advocate evading or defying the law as the rabid segregationist would do. This would lead to anarchy. One who breaks an unjust law must do it openly, lovingly… and with a willingness to accept the penalty. I submit that an individual who breaks a law that conscience tells him is unjust, and willingly accepts the penalty by staying in jail to arouse the conscience of the community over its injustice, is in reality expressing the very highest respect for law.

Of course, there is nothing new about this kind of civil disobedience. It was seen sublimely in the refusal of Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego to obey the laws of Nebuchadnezzar because a higher moral law was involved. It was practiced superbly by the early Christians who were willing to face hungry lions and the excruciating pain of chopping blocks, before submitting to certain unjust laws of the Roman empire. To a degree academic freedom is a reality today because Socrates practiced civil disobedience.

As did Rizal. And he then says, of those praising the police for their non-violent handling of protesters,

It is true that they have been rather disciplined in their public handling of the demonstrators. In this sense they have been rather publicly “nonviolent”. But for what purpose? To preserve the evil system of segregation. Over the last few years I have consistently preached that nonviolence demands that the means we use must be as pure as the ends we seek. So I have tried to make it clear that it is wrong to use immoral means to attain moral ends. But now I must affirm that it is just as wrong, or even more so, to use moral means to preserve immoral ends. Maybe Mr. Connor and his policemen have been rather publicly nonviolent, as Chief Pritchett was in Albany, Georgia, but they have used the moral means of nonviolence to maintain the immoral end of flagrant racial injustice. T. S. Eliot has said that there is no greater treason than to do the right deed for the wrong reason.

Then what? The problem, it seems to me, is that we have yet to fully comprehend non-violent resistance, because civil disobedience for us consists in thumbing our noses at officials but not pursuing collective action. We will gladly puncture the pretenses of the powerful but in as risk-free a manner as possible; sustained confrontation, on the other hand, we leave to others to pursue.

Including, ironically, institutions.

I didn’t encounter it at the time, but Rep. Teodoro L. Locsin’s advice to the Supreme Court last year, which you can read in Just Do It, is interesting, taking the era of Martin Luther King into account:

IMAGINE a situation where killings and disappearances are taking place. The victims form a distinct and disliked, though by no means unpopular political grouping. In fact, they have the most populist agenda of any other. The victims are not prominent members of their persuasion. They are not even zealous militants or even militants at all. They are mere rank and file; social workers in short. The crimes show a pattern pointing to security agents as the perpetrators. More than a pattern, it is the conclusion of a presidential commission. The authorities are reluctant to investigate the murders and disappearances. More, the authorities are openly dismissive of the problem. Gratuitously, yet with a knowing air, they deny the crimes are taking place. Yet, contradictorily, they blame the crimes they deny are taking place at all on the victims themselves, adding that in a sense the victims have only themselves to blame for adhering to a cause detested by the military. “They are begging for it” is heard from their lips. And yet the Constitution that covers both victims and suspects protects freedom of belief without any distinction; the last distinction having been erased by the repeal of the antisubversion law.

Alabama in the 1960s? No. US President Johnson sent in US marshals to protect the victims and enforce their rights. The hypothetical situation might well be the Philippines today under a government that, out of complicity with or fear of the perpetrators, will do nothing, leaving only a newly elected Congress, already too absorbed in its forthcoming perks to pay back the cost of its recent election, to take any serious notice let alone action. Leaving a Court anxious not to say alarmed but constrained by the passive role to which judicial tradition and the constitutional text confine it.

And he then delves into the problem that arises when the law is in the hands of those unwilling to enforce them:

If we supposedly live under a rule of law but the principal laws are not systematically left unenforced in key cases by those principally charged to enforce them, why have the Supreme Court at all? The Nazi courts are said to have had a near fine record in purely commercial cases, unmarred even by anti-Semitism since all the Jews had already been relocated. These Nazi precedents may still be standing and, if not openly cited, nonetheless consulted for their illumination on commercial and civil laws. Precedents from Japanese Imperial courts are deeply respected. Yet neither society, more vibrant and coherent even than the democratic ones that succeeded them, is yet deemed to have had a genuine rule of law or judicial system.

Strictly speaking, this is not a problem for the passive receptacles of cases, as the Court modestly describes the judicial function – when and if, that is, the executive brings them before the courts. But the problem is precisely an executive that sits on its hands and thereby stains them with these crimes. As a result, by the Court’s own initiative, the weakest and least dangerous branch of government must pit itself against the most powerful and lethal; the circumspect power of deliberation against the brazen power of the sword, with the petty power of the purse counting pennies on the side.

To be brutally honest, Congress can have no fruitful role to play in this dilemma, if it were expected simply to craft more new legislation to curb violations of constitutional rights. From where I sit, thickening the thicket of legislation may confer a passing comfort for the small shade that the shrubs may give, but it will not result in the smallest progress in addressing the utter disregard of such legal safeguards as the Constitution and past congresses have already put in place.

The solution, Locsin proposed, was judicial activism:

What seems to be doable is for the judiciary to be quicker and more aggressive in addressing human rights cases even under existing rules where legal standing and actual controversy exist. Give the executive no leeway to tell the families of the victims, “So sue us and see how far that gets you.” A recent Court of Appeals decision shows how far. Or rule quickly and with finality – as the Court just did after almost a year – on the validity of the arrest and detention of Leftist lawmakers; and use the occasion of its ruling to express in the strongest terms the Court’s uneasiness if not alarm over the human rights situation in the country. There is a limit to circumspection and the Court can, in practical terms, really, do no wrong.

In short, strike down offensive executive actions as fast as they are correctly protested – I emphasize the qualifier “correctly”‚ – and the executive will get the message and the citizenry, feeling reassured that effective recourse lies somewhere, will be further emboldened to do what is firstly their responsibility and not the Court’s: stand up for their rights. That will answer the criticism from the groups representing the victims that to protest is to step forward and hang around with a bulls-eye painted on one’s chest.

Besides, if the Court became aggressive, on whom would discredit fall if the Court’s orders are ignored – the Court which makes no pretense of power or the executive which willfully neglects to use its power as the Constitution mandates?…

…In this regard, I invite the Court’s attention to the literature on the judicial activism of the Israeli Supreme Court which has established constitutional norms where none existed – such as freedom of expression, press, association and public assembly, as well as equality regardless of Palestinian race and religion; going to the extent, according to a paper by Ariel Bendor, of enforcing good government. Even in cases of national security, the Israel Court has proscribed coercion and torture and the detention of a Muslim community in negotiating the release of Israeli hostages. “The policy of the [Israeli] Supreme Court in the sphere of [legal] standing and justiciability [is] based on giving preference to the rule of law;” i.e., the need to protect and preserve the rule of law itself “as opposed to the institutional interest of the court” to steer clear of political issues that invite retaliation from the political branches of government. “This is because without judicial imposition of the law,” says Bendor, “the law would not be upheld” at all.

Which explains why the Supreme Court being under fire, at present, is pregnant with meaning.

Blog entries I quoted in my column were: The Marocharim Experiment and Brown SEO. See Secondthoughts also.

147 comments

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    • Jeg on April 17, 2008 at 3:24 pm

    The solution, Locsin proposed, was judicial activism.

    Ugh! The present SC is seen as an Arroyo SC. Is this the SC that we want to be engaged in judicial activism? But alas, President MLQ was correct to observe that the Filipino prefers good government over self-government, and that is what we have to work with for now.

  1. “Personally, I do it by vigorously blowing my horn at every official convoy that crosses my path. Then refusing to give way.”

    Oh I really love to do that, the thing is I don’t have a car so I do the usual which is raising the middle finger and pointing it at the car hahaha

    Thanks for mentioning my post “Oplan Evil 200” in your column, I hope with this simple act of disobedience we could open up other avenues for dissent, even if the courts can’t give us our proper due.

    Hope to see you guys soon when we get rounded up by the police hahaha

  2. Jesus Christ is quoted to have said the famous line
    “Give to Caesar what belongs to him and to God what belongs to God”

    The Jews were trying to entrap Jesus in civil disobedience. The first and most simple act of civil disobedience to simply stop paying tax to an unjust government.

    Of course Christ has the better of it. He really meant something more radical than the fundamentalists of today understand. This Gospel line has salved the consciences of those who support unjust social structures.

    Dorothy Day was able to get its true meaning, the corollary that Jesus meant. “Once you give to God, there is nothing left for Caesar. Everything belongs to God, Everything!.”

    So Christ was actually calling for something very radical. Civil disobedience is justified.

    • benign0 on April 17, 2008 at 3:30 pm

    “Rule of Law” pala ha. If we want the Law to be the winner, then there should be NO PARDON to cretin mutineers.

    As today’s INQ7.net editorialised:

    But there’s no getting away from the reality, indeed the enormity, of what [the Magdalo mutineers] did in July 2003. Some of the country’s most elite soldiers, with top-of-the-line equipment and superior training, rose in arms against the duly constituted authority and took over a luxury high-rise in the middle of the country’s prime business district. Regardless of the justness of some of their demands, their mutiny cannot be countenanced. Their kind of adventurism must be punished—or else it will erupt again.

    No pardon!!

    • Marck on April 17, 2008 at 4:04 pm

    Thanks for the mention, MLQ3.

    • cvj on April 17, 2008 at 4:18 pm

    Jeg, you call this ‘good government’?

    • Jeg on April 17, 2008 at 4:32 pm

    Jeg, you call this ‘good government’?

    No, but that is the preference. Notice that Rep. Locsin calls for judicial activism. He calls for the judges to act instead of calling on the people to act, separation of powers be damned. That is I think what MLQ3 is also pointing out — we want the government to be good — when he wrote:

    …civil disobedience for us consists in thumbing our noses at officials but not pursuing collective action. We will gladly puncture the pretenses of the powerful but in as risk-free a manner as possible; sustained confrontation, on the other hand, we leave to others to pursue.

    Including, ironically, institutions.

    • cvj on April 17, 2008 at 6:04 pm

    Jeg, thanks for the clarification.

    • Nick on April 17, 2008 at 7:23 pm

    Cocoy, wasn’t so happy about the Article…

    “Because We Can”

    Warning, a lot of Profanity, but it sets us up with a solution calling for a grassroots movement..

    • Nick on April 17, 2008 at 7:27 pm

    Civil Disobedience. Yes. Breaking The Law, sometimes that is suggestive, that is why we need the court to decide whether or not our actions were within the confines.

    But sometimes, the government can take that law into their own hands, and everything contrary to their policy seems to be against the law. What then can we do, to respect the law but also to air our grievances? When the law only protects the highest of the highest officials of the land?

    • Nick on April 17, 2008 at 7:27 pm

    Civil Disobedience. Yes. Breaking The Law, sometimes that is subjective, that is why we need the court to decide whether or not our actions were within the confines.

    But sometimes, the government can take that law into their own hands, and everything contrary to their policy seems to be against the law. What then can we do, to respect the law but also to air our grievances? When the law only protects the highest of the highest officials of the land?

    • baycas on April 17, 2008 at 8:38 pm

    “Because We Can…”

    can’t help mentioning the candid shots of a body spray can from vsmmc operating room. no canned laughter in that video…the cankered minds of those doctors and nurses…what a cantankerous deed. they are sick…really, really sick! they probably cannot escape punishment…

    • PhilwoSpEditor on April 17, 2008 at 10:55 pm

    Civil Disobedience is in many ways much more effective than just sitting by the table and talking to a wall. I mean, I do prefer what MLQ3 said in his column (Using my words in what I remember).

    “When an official convoy comes along, I use my car horn repeatedly and refuse to give way.”

    Honestly, I think its a wake up call more than just rallying. Better we do something rather than be apathetic about what’s happening around us, but at the same time, know the things behind what we are fighting for. (Which I said in my school paper column.) Instead of writing on our own money (Which I think the 200 peso bill was a complete waste of paper), try other methods that are less violent, following what Ghandi or Martin Luther King advocated.

    • Maginoo on April 17, 2008 at 11:17 pm

    Civil disobedience? I doubt it. With what?

    When the population is almost fifty percent below the poverty line, what leverage can they have against the government. Not getting a residence certificate maybe.

    With the rice crisis and spiralling food prices, people are concerned with survival. The only form of civil disobedience under these conditions is a revolution.

    • supremo on April 17, 2008 at 11:21 pm

    Civil disobedience. It has come to this point. Why not do it all the way?

    • Bert on April 18, 2008 at 12:39 am

    “Because We Can…”

    A tranquilizer drug, a sleeping pill, for all our headaches!

    When we wake up on 2010…VOILA!…sitting there on the throne, gleefully smiling, is the same, to paraphrase Neri and Salceda, “evil bitch”.

    • benign0 on April 18, 2008 at 5:38 am

    Civil disobedience is a limp-d1ck form of classic street fiestas. Looks like the Old Guard (and I mean these aging “militants” and oppositionists) are either lowering the bar or mellowing their approach to extra-constitutional “change”. 😀

    When a people are rendered impotent by deprivation of their most basic staples, all they are able to do is whimper instead of shout.

  3. Inability to confront much less a sustained one is just not going to work when you have subservient people in a semi-feudal society.

    • baycas on April 18, 2008 at 7:51 am

    remember the “Desperate Housewives” thing?

    look and think now…

    a case of a tube in a tube that has been youtubed:

    http://alexskywalker.multiply.com/video/item/111/Cebu_doctors_laughing_over_rectum_operation

    • Bencard on April 18, 2008 at 9:49 am

    the wrong kind of civil disobedience (the kind that gandhi, king, mandela and rizal did not advocate) is a breath away from anarchy, if not one already. this is the virulent form of disobedience that the most rabid gma critics are longing to see. fortunately, the majority of the people is not buying despite the non-stop rabble-rousing by a very noisy , persistent and militant minority.

    • juggernaut on April 18, 2008 at 10:20 am

    Stop deceiving yourselves (and others) that you can validate your existence by mere words or ideas. We are validated by what we actually do. Some are just couch potato variants (arm chair athletes, warriors) who are really weaklings or worst – cowards, hiding in a dark corner somewhere living a fantasy that they have vertebra.
    Reminds me of four-eyed geeks we used to terrorize in school…given access to a a pc they would like to believe they are anything but…but reality matters, after leisurely posting a comment, what then? Still the same nobodies but at least for a brief moment they felt alive, noticed…
    Shame on you, existing only to take, never to give, like the proverbial parasite…
    So I see you have graduated from bronchodilator inhalers to sildenafil citrate? What? Insulin shots too?

    • hvrds on April 18, 2008 at 10:50 am

    To every student of history this is no black swan moment. The final commoditization, monetization and capitalization of the global commons brings the world to the reality of global class war. Who cares if Mexicans cannot afford to pay for their tortillas? Suck it up and look for substitutes. Same goes for the Phils. We made our own bed so we have to sleep on it. We can always buy our stuff from SM or Robinsons.

    The province of Bohol does not want to ship their surplus rice to Albay. The governor there is telling Salceda in so many words, let your people eat soemthing else…. in a nice way. They also caught some Chinese people in Norther Luzon buying palay for export to the PRC. The price gap is huge so why not? Every man for himself.

    In a case where ideological beliefs in the benefits of unemcumbered and free wheeling markets hold true, Mr. Market will always overshoot since there are no limits for notional valuations. Greenspan is one such animal.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2007/12/18/business/18subprime.html_r=1&scp=1&sq=Critics+on+the+fed+of+subprime&st=nyt&oref=slogin

    “Edward M. Gramlich, a Federal Reserve governor who died in September, warned nearly seven years ago that a fast-growing new breed of lenders was luring many people into risky mortgages they could not afford.

    But when Mr. Gramlich privately urged Fed examiners to investigate mortgage lenders affiliated with national banks, he was rebuffed by Alan Greenspan, the Fed chairman.”

    “In 2001, a senior Treasury official, Sheila C. Bair, tried to persuade subprime lenders to adopt a code of “best practices” and to let outside monitors verify their compliance. None of the lenders would agree to the monitors, and many rejected the code itself. Even those who did adopt those practices, Ms. Bair recalled recently, soon let them slip.”

    • juggernaut on April 18, 2008 at 10:57 am

    GMA reigns only as long as she can keep the Alpha males/females sedated (or tied up). So we see a ruling class of squirts at the moment? Big deal. How long can it last? As long as the money flows?
    Everything has to end somewhere…and these propped up bloodhounds ie Gonzales et al (to include those who swore allegiance to uncle Sam) will be exposed for who they really are – sick old men living on borrowed, no BOUGHT power…

    • hvrds on April 18, 2008 at 11:22 am

    More on the Black Swan moment. Last night there was this so expert on Carandangs show, Abola. He said that there should not be any probelm in oil supply since Saudi Arabia has an extra capacity of over 1M barrels a day. In a world that is now consuming 80 billion barrels a day that is really very comforting to know that. The safety gap is really very reassuring since large part of the worlds oil has to be sucked out and traverse some of the most inhospitable areas of the world due to natural and man made causes.

    The U.S., China and nopw even India is enlarging their startegic reserves of oil as a hedge. Do you guys think we could trade perky Princess Lulli and get her engaged and wed to some Arab sheik in Saudi Arabia? Maybe we could simply merge tht two kingdoms. I know of two prominent pinoys who turned Muslims so they could have more than one wife who could probably broker the deal.

    One thing that speculators can smell better like all predators is weakness. Long term supply weakness for so many reasons are now coming out and the lag time to ramp up additional supplies to have enough reserves as a buffer will take time. That weakness is now migrating to all basic commodites since they all depend on the carbon based industrial economy where potential shortages are bound to happen. Add to this equation the different qualties of crude and the mismatch in refining capacity. Light sweet to heavy stuff. Oh what happened to Mesopotamia?

    Why so many people not using both sides of brain.

    • hawaiianguy on April 18, 2008 at 11:39 am

    Civil disobedience against corrupt and despotic govts (Arroyo’s in in league with them) is a right that concerned citizens can always exercise and wage. It doesn’t matter if only a minority will practice it, the economic effect could be crippling nonetheless. Imagine if 5-10% of those in the upper class decide not to pay their taxes, or only do so half-heartedly. This is more effective than, say, half or more of the poor people doing the same. Carried out, it will be a serious drain in the national treasury; it sends the govt to the brink of economic failure.

    There are many ways people can wage civil disobedience. A noise barrage, like what the 30 Ateneo students recently did, would have a more telling effect if, for example, a fifth of the city population nationwide decide to do it for 10 minutes a day, for several weeks or months, while raising some critical issues they would like addressed.

    Certainly, there will be a counter-noise created by a handful of rabid Arroyo loyalists, bloggers, and propagandists financed by Malacanan. But they won’t be of any significance in Arroyo’s constantly sagging image as the worst president the country has ever had. They can be equally or more vociferous, but nobody wants to hear them except the few who salivate for more power and money.

    • UP n student on April 18, 2008 at 11:46 am

    Two of the requirements for civil disobedience to be successful are : (a) a mass of people (more than one, more than twenty, more than fifty) to do the acts of disobedience that run them the risk of getting jailed, hosed down, tear gassed; (b) a leader.

    The third requirement — persistence / tenacity “against the odds”.

    ———-
    Judicial activism was done in the USA by the Federal Government (i.e. Executive Department) using the courts to overrule States’ Rights.

    • UP n student on April 18, 2008 at 11:50 am

    Third requirement — tenacity / persistence against apathy and antipathy. Gotta have money, too.

    • UP n student on April 18, 2008 at 12:00 pm

    Side topic: the new pope sends more signals on “democracy” in the Catholic Church….

    ——-
    WASHINGTON – For 46,000 Catholics, it was a Mass like no other, with the altar standing on centerfield at a ballpark and the presiding clergyman arriving in a bulletproof vehicle.

    But Pope Benedict XVI’s Mass in the nation’s capital Thursday was also different from a typical service in another way: Lay people were not asked to distribute Communion, which was administered exclusively by 300 priests and deacons.

    Organizers of the Mass at Nationals Park were only following the letter of church law. But to some Roman Catholics, the ceremony was symbolic of what they see as Benedict’s desire to erect clear boundaries between clergy and lay people.

    “What he wants to do really is to reinforce the old categories and classifications — different roles for different people,” said David Gibson, author of books on Benedict and the future of the U.S. church.

    “Men and women, priests and lay people. Each one has their role according to their talents, their ordained status in the church.”

    The clear division of roles doesn’t sit well with all American Catholics, who are used to living in a democracy. Some would like a greater say in church affairs, including choosing their parish priests. Others cherish the distinct roles held by clergy and point to several examples of the two working together in harmony.

    For example, the Vatican has issued a document reaffirming that only priests and deacons can touch and clean the chalice after Mass, something many lay people have done.

  4. Sir, bat wala pa po blog ko sa links moh?? nag email na ako sayo matagal nah.. pls add me to your link list sir. I Already added you nah. Thanks So Much Sir!

    heres mine: http://didyouknow.blogsome.com/

    • benign0 on April 18, 2008 at 1:22 pm

    Civil disobedience.

    Yeah right.

    Sabay pila naman for NFA rice. 😀

    • benign0 on April 18, 2008 at 1:26 pm

    The third requirement — persistence / tenacity “against the odds”.

    Two words:

    nignas cogon

    Kawawang Pinoy.

    – 😀

    • aurum on April 18, 2008 at 2:54 pm

    1. Switch channels when you see Gloria, Mike, Iggy, Datu, and Mikey Arroyo on the TV screen. Likewise when you see Raul and Norberto Gonzales, Ignacio Bunye, Anthony Golez, Lorelie Fajardo, Ricardo Saludo, Cerge Remonde, Edsel Lagman, Luis Villafuerte, and Hermogenes Esperon.

    2. Do not buy any newspaper with the photo or headlined name of any of the above on the frontpage. The same goes for any magazine with any of them on the cover.

    3. Do not invite any of the above as speaker in your activity nor ask him/her for a message in your souvenir program or printed ad. Likewise for any local politican who is a Gloria Arroyo chihuahua.

    4. Do not go to any gathering where any of the above will be present. That includes the mass. (Go to another church.)

    5. Do not ask a local Gloria Arroyo chihuahua to be a godparent or wedding sponsor.

    et cetera …

    • nash on April 18, 2008 at 4:06 pm

    @UP n,

    Gad, that pope benedict is so pre-Vatican 2.

    Leche, and we had to read the entire two volumes pa naman in high school only to learn that pope b is reverting to the old ways. Magtayo nalang kaya siya ng sarili niyang religion 😀

    • Jeg on April 18, 2008 at 5:35 pm

    Il Papa was one of the liberals during Vatican II. He worked for the more ‘liberal’ reforms in it, including the Novus Ordo mass (although the old mass still has a special place in his heart). If anything, he’s going back to Vatican II.

    I remember in an interview when he was still Cardinal Ratzinger, he laughed at his identification as a conservative despite his liberal position in Vatican II. He said something like, “Ive never changed my position for 40 years. It’s just that the church has moved so far to the left that Im seen as a conservative in comparison.”

    • PhilwoSpEditor on April 18, 2008 at 7:46 pm

    @Benigno

    About the NFA rice thing, even though we hold our own protests, we still have to eat. It’s made by the farmers who do an honest day’s living, not by Gloria and Crew, who do the opposite.

    @aurum

    “5. Do not ask a local Gloria Arroyo chihuahua to be a godparent or wedding sponsor.”

    So ironic how most people don’t do this one and curse the ‘president’ to the depths of the abyss. They’re still recieving dirty money. Better note that particular one with a highlighter.

    @UPn

    Honestly, a sacred host is supposed to be touched by a deacon or priest, not by a lay person. It’s not being anti-democratic, its specifying that everyone has a specific function that they should handle, not overstepping the jobs of others. It’s like asking a farmer to design an entire American football stadium.

  5. Civil disobedience is the active refusal to obey certain laws, demands and commands of a government, or of an occupying power, without resorting to physical violence.

    Aren’t we experts on this?

    How many really pay taxes?
    How many follow the traffic rules?

    • supremo on April 18, 2008 at 10:03 pm

    aurum’s civil disobedience examples are so lame. If you want government officials to get the message give it to them yourself. Go where they go and question them at every opportunity. I once did that to De Venecia when GMA was a given some kind of honorary degree at Fordham. He made the mistake of shaking my hand and I started asking questions and wouldn’t let go of his hand. The guy couldn’t do anything. Secret service guys concentrated on GMA. I only let go when he said he needs to go to the restroom. Lame excuse but I already made my point.

    • UP n student on April 18, 2008 at 11:27 pm

    Cindy Sheehan shows some of the ways of running a civil disobedience campaign, among others. [Cindy Sheehan is an American anti-war activist, whose son, Casey, was killed during his service in the Iraq War on April 4, 2004. Sheehan is one of the nine founding members of Gold Star Families for Peace, an organization created in January 2005 that seeks to end the U.S. presence in Iraq and provide support for families of fallen soldiers. She has spoken publicly against the Iraq war and occupation since 2004, and pledged not to pay her 2004 taxes.] She first gathered media attention August 6, 2005 when Sheehan created a makeshift camp in a ditch by the side of the road about three miles from George W. Bush’s ranch near Crawford, Texas and announced her intention to stay (sleeping in a pup tent at night) until she is granted a face-to-face meeting with the President. Sheehan started her protest the day the President started a planned five-week vacation. A few days later, the media began referring to Sheehan’s camp as “Camp Casey.” She also announced the Bring Them Home Now Tour, to depart on September 1 and arrive in Washington, D.C., on September 24 for three days of demonstrations. On the third day, Sheehan and about 370 other anti-war activists were arrested for demonstrating on the White House sidewalk.

    On January 31, 2006 Sheehan wore a T-shirt reading “2,245 Dead. How many more?” to Bush’s State of the Union address and was removed and arrested by Capitol Police.
    On March 7, 2006 Sheehan was arrested in New York “after blocking the door to the U.S. Mission to the U.N. offices” during a protest with Iraqi women against the war.

    In May, 2007, Cindy Sheehan ended her involvement in anti-war activism and her messages included the following sentences:
    –I am going to take whatever I have left and go home. I am going to go home and be a mother to my surviving children and try to regain some of what I have lost.
    –This is my resignation letter as the “face” of the American anti-war movement…. I am finished working in, or outside of this system…. I am getting out before it totally consumes me or anymore people that I love and the rest of my resources.
    –Good-bye America … you are not the country that I love and I finally realized no matter how much I sacrifice, I can’t make you be that country unless you want it.

    August 2007, Sheehan announced that she was going to run as an independent for Congress against House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. She officially opened her campaign headquarters in San Francisco on December 8, 2007.

    ————-

    Maybe Cindy Sheen gets into the US Congress.

    Martin Luther King did not.

    • Maginoo on April 18, 2008 at 11:42 pm

    @ UP n student

    I guess such forceful, yet solitary, civil disobedience acts are possible in the United States, where rights are guaranteed after one’s arrest.

    In our country, mahirap na. Baka mag-over-react and mga police and security people, madale ka pa.

    • Bencard on April 18, 2008 at 11:48 pm

    abs-cbn, the de facto erap propaganda network, is back to its old sordid business again. hardly a day (or night) passes without it’s news readers, in triumphant voice tones, reporting on erap’s obviously politicking activity, as though nothing had happened. the not-too-subtle manipulation of the undiscerning multitude is in full swing. examples: (1) the rehash and replaying of his old movies depicting him as a brave, honest, sincere, anti-crime superhero, or as a crusading politician (senator) fighting corruption; (2) making public speeches – a la miting de avance – that would put to shame a front-runner in a presidential campaign; (3) giving one-on-one interviews spouting his one-cent worth demagogic theory on how the administration is solely to blame for the rising price of rice, gas and other commodities; (4) doling out bags of rice and hotdogs to the poor of tondo under coverage of the fawning t.v. and other media outlets.

    altogether, i think erap is getting more coverage and attention (however asinine the occasion or statement given by him), than the official doings of the incumbent president. his birthday was in the news like it was of any significance to the country. now, his family is preparing for a “grand” wedding of his son jude, a guy who, i don’t think, has any visible means of support. it’s hard to believe what erap is doing does not cost wads and wads of dough. the source seems to be inexhaustible, despite the plunder conviction. i think the tax men should take note seriously and act accordingly.

    • mang_kiko on April 19, 2008 at 12:02 am

    Bencard si Erap ay Beneficiary sa lahat na katiwalian at dysfunctions nang pamahala-an sa atin. Kung tutu-usin dapat nasa Munti siya hanggang buhay..sin-o ang nag-Pardon sa Kanya?? si GMA nasa Puwesto, dahil sa tulong nang manga Opisyales nang Militar at Interpretation nang Korte Suprema, at siya ay Beneficiary rin nang Katiwalian nang pamahala sa atin. Marami sila, kaya huwag kang mabahala, alam ni Erap yan, alam ni GMA yan, Alam nang Bawat isa sa kanila yan, alam nang halos lahat yan..

    • UP n student on April 19, 2008 at 1:27 am

    Side-topic: Is :”Mexico (see below)” now happening in Pinas regarding OFW remittances?

    —-
    LO DE LUNA, Mexico — The effects of the subprime mortgage crisis and the downturn in the U.S. economy have cascaded into Mexico, causing a sudden, precipitous drop in the flow of money sent home by Mexican immigrants….

    In January, the remittances sagged almost 7 percent compared with a year earlier, the steepest monthly dip in at least 13 years, according to Mexican government statistics. Economists here believe the decline in remittances is already pushing thousands into extreme poverty

    Hit with particular ferocity are small villages that have been virtually abandoned by all but the elderly parents of migrants. In the Zacatecan village of Lo de Luna, a collection of crudely built brick homes six miles from the nearest paved road, seniors such asErnesto Hernández have been left nearly destitute.

  6. benign0 :
    Aling Bening este Benighted,

    “Two words:

    nignas cogon

    Kawawang Pinoy.”

    That’s the obvious and easy cowardly part where no genius is required to see society’s ills…… GMA and her apologist must love you for this. Well since you feel so superior above the rest of the “ningas cogon kawawang Pinoy” do you have any clue how to make them as “superior” as you capable of leading a confrontational sustained civil disobedience? Or are you content at deluding yourself to be “superior” above the rest of the “kawawang Pinoy” taunting them like a brat?

    • supremo on April 19, 2008 at 2:06 am

    ‘I guess such forceful, yet solitary, civil disobedience acts are possible in the United States, where rights are guaranteed after one’s arrest.’

    Since when were rights not guaranteed after an arrest in the Philippines?

    • hawaiianguy on April 19, 2008 at 2:11 am

    Mang Kiko:

    …si GMA nasa Puwesto, dahil sa tulong nang manga Opisyales nang Militar at Interpretation nang Korte Suprema, at siya ay Beneficiary rin nang Katiwalian nang pamahala sa atin.

    Pareho lang sila ni Erap na tiwali. Dapat sa kanilang dalawa ay magsama sa kulungan, di ba? 🙂

    • Bencard on April 19, 2008 at 2:14 am

    upn student, fortunately, unlike mexico, pinoy ofw remittances are coming from places all over the world other than the u.s. our euro-earning foreign workers, for one, must be remitting more than they used to. mexican migrants’ main, if not exclusive, destination is the u.s.

    • Maginoo on April 19, 2008 at 2:30 am

    “Since when were rights not guaranteed after an arrest in the Philippines?”

    On paper, yes if you have the money. If your poor, you’re guilty unless proven innocent. Now, if you’re the fall guy, better be prepared to rot in jail.

    Everybody knows that lawyers are trained to pay off the judges not to defend the case.

    C’mon I know you’re aware of this.

    • benign0 on April 19, 2008 at 7:21 am

    do you have any clue how to make them as “superior” as you capable of leading a confrontational sustained civil disobedience? – Pedestrian

    As a matter of fact, I do! 😀

    Check it out here:

    http://www.getrealphilippines.com/solution/

    It’s simple, really.

    • benign0 on April 19, 2008 at 7:26 am

    About the NFA rice thing, even though we hold our own protests, we still have to eat. – Philwo

    That’s right. This civil disobedience is all about the freedom to do so, right?

    Well, then prices rise because THEY CAN.

    That’s called a free market economy. There’s that ‘f’ word again. Free.

    Pinoys wanna be free, but can’t seem to fathom what this freedom ENTAILS.

    There it is, coming back to bite.

    Just like Erap is the product of the Pinoy free ballot, expensive rice is the product of Pinoy easy-way-out approaches to development.

    Pasensyahan na lang. 😀

    • UP n student on April 19, 2008 at 8:38 am

    to Maginoo: Maybe civil disobedience in the style of Mahatma Gandhi and Martin Luther King only works against Americans and the Brits… and the Israelis. Being fearful of overreaction by Filipino police and/or army personnel (and an unsupportive or a cowered population) may still be appropriate for the current times.

    The movement to support the Disappeared somehow seems to be on unstable ground in Colombia or Venezuela. I have not heard any nonconfrontational movement clamoring for “gay rights or internet access or freedom-to-travel” in Cuba.

    And I can not imagine a nonconfrontational Buddhist or Roman Catholic clamoring for freedom-of-religion surviving in the streets of Baghdad nor Riyadh nor Syria. I can’t imagine a gay-rights activist surviving in those same cities, either (nor even in Nepal).

    Practically all countries have signed one document or another to affirm their commitment to the universal rights specified by the United Nations, but FITNA does speak of large chunks of this world where Mohatma Gandhi-civil disobedience is not exactly a wise thing to do. And apparently, dissidents in Russia do run the risk of getting labeled crazy, then being shipped off to an insane asylum. It is a crazy world; one would understand why Abe wants life in US-of-A and Benign0 happy where he is right now.

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