World Events: Highlights of February 25, 2017
The Democratic National Committee elected former Secretary of Labor Tom Perez as their new chair. He becomes the first Latino to head the Democratic Party. He named as Deputy Chair his opponent, Keith Ellison . . . .Donald Trump says he will not attend the White House Correspondent’s Dinner. This comes after days of disparaging the media that covers him. . . . Syria’s Army war planes conducted air raids on the city of Homs, following synchronized attacks by insurgents in Homs. . . Zimbabwe’s President Robert Mugabe celebrated his 93rd birthday with a lavish party. Thousands of supporters came out to celebrate their president.
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Story Of Today, February 25, 2017
Philippines 1986 People Power Revolt Is Alive Worldwide
Women at the forefront of change.
The worldwide Women’s March on January 21st, the day after the presidential inauguration of Donald Trump, began as a woman’s reaction to what she saw as Trump’s treatment of women. In 1955, when Rosa Parks refused to give up her seat on a bus for a white woman, her actions sparked the protests that became icons of the Civil Rights movement. In 1986, the revolt that overthrew the dictatorship of the Philippines President Ferdinand Marcos began with the courageous actions of 30 women. . .
It was a snap election. After 20 years with Marcos as president, the Philippines were rife with discontent. Uprisings against Marcos were huge. Partly to quash the opposition, and partly to affirm his own legitimacy, President Marcos called for an emergency election.
As results poured in, computer technicians connected with tallying the vote were told to manipulate the outcome to favor Marcos. Some 30 or more female computer technicians quietly took a bathroom break. They never came back. Their refusal to allow the Marcos government to manipulate election results served as an inspiration to the protesters.
Overthrowing A Dictator – Then And Now
The protests grew so big and so forceful, Marcos fled the Philippines, and went to Hawaii. His opponent, Corazon Aquino, became the next president of the Philippines.
That was February 25, 1986. The anniversary of the uprising has been celebrated every year since. This year, however, Philippines President Duterte did not make a big deal of the celebration. He stayed home in his hometown.
In Manila people took to the streets. Not like they did last year for the 30th anniversary of the People’s Power Uprising. This year they went to the streets in protest . . . against Duterte . . . . for the same reasons people rose up against Marcos 31 years ago.
Duterte’s relationship with the Marcos family creates an uneasy feeling for those who would celebrate overthrowing the dictator. . . Not long ago, Duterte had the body of Marcos exhumed and buried in the Heroes cemetery. The Heroes Cemetery! – reserved for men and women to be honored – not a deposed dictator.
People’s Power – In The Philippines AND Around The World
Outside the Philippines we hear of Duterte’s violent war on drugs. . . .How thousands have died – not all of them criminals – not all of them adults – because of Duterte’s policies. Outside the Philippines we hear how Duterte talks like a thug, swearing at people he doesn’t like, putting down people who disagree with him.
In the Philippines, people protest corruption. They protest the rise of authoritarian rule in Duterte’s regime. They protest the rapid loss of democracy in their country.
The Philippines is not the only nation with reason to protest. Authoritarian-like leaders have been popping up all over. In Europe as well as Asia and Africa. In South America as well as North America. They are encouraged by the presidency of Donald Trump.
Which is a very good reason for Americans to undo their mistake as quickly as they can. (After only a month of Trump’s presidency, there is already serious movement toward impeachment.)
Maybe history is on our side – the side of the people who value freedom and liberties for all people, not just the rich and powerful. In 1986 at this time, Filipinos showed us how the people prevail. Without bloodshed, without violence, with just their feet and their voices they overthrew a dictator. They can do it again. . And so can we.
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