I find it ironic, how the government had to postpone today’s celebration of EDSA in order to “prevent traffic congestion on the major thoroughfare”.
It seems that collective indifference has now gotten grip of most of us, that we seem to be more afraid of traffic jams than the potential neglect of the events in history. These are the occasions that ultimately gave us the freedom to practice citizenship that assumes full responsibility for ourselves and our nation.
Yet I cannot blame our shared disinterest in remembering the EDSA People Power Revolution on anyone, because come to think of it, 28 years later the democratic political system of the Philippines is still fragile and flawed. From a fascist dictatorship, we now have patronage politics and an elite democracy, where natural resources are mostly exploited to the point of near depletion.
Every day, we are reminded of the universal struggle, for the faint whisper of justice is innate to the human experience. And if there’s anything that EDSA teaches us, it’s that we need take it into our own hands to decide the fate and welfare of our nation. This can only be done by responding to that faint whisper collectively and non-violently.
EDSA also serves as our cue to continue upholding our core value of non-violence as the 1st People Power Revolution served as a prototype to other non-violent uprisings around the world, including those that ended totalitarian governments in Eastern Europe and captured the imagination of the protesters in Tiananmen Square in 1989.
The challenge that EDSA poses to us now is to go beyond mere sentimentality and become activists that are working and looking forward to a better world.
As Kumi, our International Executive Director puts it:
"Activism is not the privilege of a select few. It is the responsibility of us all. It means making changes in our lifestyle but at the same time also looking at the social dimension of our lives, which entails standing up and engaging the powers that be, to be fully accountable to the public for its decisions and actions."