Monday, February 27

Retro Revolution

Just came from the presscon lead by Prof. Randy David at the Palma Hall steps in UP Diliman. There were probably a hundred people or more gathered at the steps, most of them students wearing black. He says that we must condemn Proclamation 1017 and make a stand as an academic institution. Because if we fail to do anything against it, we lose the essence of what it really means to be a university.

Panelists included former VP for Academic Affairs Maris Diokno, Dr. Bienvenido Lumbera, Rolando Simbulan. Meanwhile, former UP President Nemenzo said that he has no memory of the First Quarter Storm because he was in prison then. Mostly everyone gave their own recollection of the First Quarter Storm and the Diliman Commune. Of how the youth were involved, and the Philippine Collegian and the Diliman Review were the only uncensored and/or unbiased periodicals of the time.

For people who only view Martial Law, FQS and the Diliman Commune as events they read about in history books, or for those who can barely remember EDSA 1, we are living in providential times. While there are some people who claim to be T.I.R.E.D.,and there are some who see protests as the chance to dress up in black and wear cowboy hats, I think that this is a chance to prove that we can step back and look at the big picture, to go beyond our everyday concerns of getting our errands and homework done, and to stop yapping that our country is doomed and there's nothing we can do about it.

The educators and academics present in the presscon today suggested activities that were totally reminiscent of their times--let us hold teach-ins, another Diliman Commune, let's use rock music to protest against 1017. Copies of the Proclamation were distributed and then torn as a sign of protest--the way that Bonifacio and the Katipuneros tore their cedulas in 1896. Yes, it seems sototally retro.

There are camps who cry that EDSA was a unique event which can never be duplicated again, and I have to agree. I'm not saying that we replicate it, because the times were different then and we probably need to think of an entirely new way to deal with the situation. How we deal with it now: we fwd and txt brigade announcements and warnings, we blog about it. Someone once said that the revolution will not be televised, and I don't think it will be waged and won by blogging and texting either, but it's a start.

More retro/past-fwd ways of how to deal and protest Proclamation 1017:

Read the University of the Philippines' statement regarding 1017. Print it out and then do whatever you want with it. Somebody suggested that we all flush it down the toilet.

College of Law, Malcolm Hall. 3pm. There will be a forum that will try to determine and discuss the legalities of Proclamation 1017.

Quezon Hall, 3pm. Prof. Edru Abraham announced that his Kontra-Gappi will hold a concert in front of the Oblation. There was an open call to anyone and everyone who wants to express their discontent via song and rock music. Bring your own minus one and sing.

AS Steps, 28 February, Tuesday. Whether or not there will be classes tomorrow, everyone is invited to broaden education by taking it out of the classroom and into the streets. Free your critical faculties, free the text from the double-spaced tyranny of Times New Roman font 12. Join the teach in at the AS Steps, 9am tomorrow. This is open to the public.

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