Friday, November 19, 2010

the dividing line

Being a student in a school in Mendiola, I have witnessed many rallies already, much more than I have seen when I was an undergraduate in UP. In fact, there had been so many, the rallies have lost appeal, not only to Malacanang but also to the common people. Students pass by the rallies sometimes not even with a second's pause to listen at the speech or to even just look at the crowd.

Recently, a huge gate has been constructed in the Mendiola arch, effectively dividing the schools (and the gateway to Malacanang) from the rally. Also, and more importantly, the police force no longer has to form the human barrier with their shields, effectively minimizing violence between the police and the rally crowd.

Since the Aquino administration, I noticed that the policemen are more "cool" in handling the rally. Just this week, I took the time to listen to the ever-emotional-and-ever-angry speech of the rally leader while I was drinking gulaman on the other side of the gate. There were only a few people in the rally, and there were also few policemen, both safe on their sides of the gate. And because these rallies are commonplace in Mendiola, the police were relaxed, smoking their cigars as if there's a cigar auction from the vendors, eating siomai and fishball bought from the food carts, and conversing with each other as if no rally was happening on the other side of the gate.

The students treated that day like any normal day, while the speaker encouraged the students not to go to class and join the rally. What?!? No one joined them anyway.

I witnessed the most funny thing that day: While the crowd in the rally was chanting their usual chants, one policeman was absent-mindedly chanting with them; apparently, he has memorized the lines already. =)

I believe in social justice. I just no longer believe in the everyday rallies. And their leaning toward (armed) revolution.

"Social justice is neither communism nor despotism nor atomism nor anarchy, but the humanization of laws and the equalization of social and economic forces of the State."

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