Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Black Friday Action

The following is a letter written by our lead convenor, Enteng Romano, to his fellow e-Mandirigmas. Enteng is the lead convenor of e-lagda. We hope you will find the time to join us. Please check out our blog for updates regarding this letter:

My fellow e-Mandirigmas,

Last Friday, February 24 – as the nation was preparing to celebrate the freedom we regained at EDSA two decades ago, Ms. Arroyo issued Proclamation 1017 declaring a state of emergency, in response to a military uprising.

In the hours and days that followed, it became evident how GMA intended to implement this presidential decree. We saw the excessive use of police power in dispersing the crowds. And even after the military threat was decisively contained, we saw the warrantless arrests of known opposition leaders, the closure of newspapers, and the barefaced intimidation of media owners and practitioners.

EO 1017 is eerily similar to PD 1081. And the pattern is unmistakably Marcosian. Crackdown on the reds – the public has no love lost for them, anyway. Control media. And prop up the illusion of a new order after the purging.

I’m glad that many, who have been sitting on the fence all this time, saw through the farce and finally came out to take a stand. I saw prominent businessmen, showbiz personalities, and working professionals go to the streets to defy the proclamation.

Sadly, however, there are those who remain unmoved. Worse, they even embrace the GMA propaganda that this is ultimately for the greater good.

I am reminded of 1972 where many in the middle class and the business community actually welcomed the “New Society” of Marcos. They lauded the arrests of known communists; they deserved it, many thought. They didn’t mind reading and watching government-censored news. They didn’t mind the imposition of curfews and the curtailment of some basic rights. All these were a small price to pay in the interest of stability and prosperity, or so they thought.

Until one day, the government began sequestering their businesses. Until one day, they began arresting someone close to home and they realized they had very little legal recourse to protect their rights.

It is time for the business community, the middle class, and all other sectors to make a stand.

Today, we launch the Black Friday Protest Movement to give you an opportunity to be counted with low risk and nominal involvement on your part. All you need to do is, every Friday, you and your friends can wear black, go to a designated place and hang around for about 30 minutes and leave.

How will you know the designated time and place?

Register by sending a blank email to BlackFridayProtest-subscribe@yahoogroups.com. When you’re registered, you will receive an announcement every Wednesday evening (Manila Time) of the designated time and location for the coming Friday (example: 5:00 to 5:30 PM at the nearest Jollibee restaurant from your place).

There will be no speeches or programs at the designated place. Just people in black hanging around for a few minutes to be counted. All these are within the bounds of the law, even a repressive one like PD 1017.

The Book of Ecclesiastes teaches us there is a season for everything. I believe this is the season for mourning… the death of democracy and the numbing of our national conscience.

It is time to reawaken. It is time to be counted. It is time to say, “tama na! sobra na!” Please register now by sending blank email to BlackFridayProtest-subscribe@yahoogroups.com and pass this on to all your friends, colleagues, and egroups.

By God’s grace, we may yet see a better Philippines for our children.

God bless,



The Black & White Movement