people power

discuss strategies for ending dictatorship, while ensuring that no liberal democracies, including Israel and America, are harmed in the process

people power

Postby julia » 2011-02-13 05:29

We've seen how many countries have won back democracy after people power protests. They all started with people going out to the streets to be counted. The Egypt protests seem to remind Filipinos that the 25th anniversary of the EDSA People Power Revolution is near. Like EDSA, Cairo protests show that people will always hunger for change and now have the power to be "the change they believe in." As i look at the images of Cairo protests, i remember EDSA and the lessons of EDSA. The power of people prevails :D
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Re: people power

Postby kerravon » 2011-02-13 06:49

julia wrote:We've seen how many countries have won back democracy after people power protests. They all started with people going out to the streets to be counted. The Egypt protests seem to remind Filipinos that the 25th anniversary of the EDSA People Power Revolution is near. Like EDSA, Cairo protests show that people will always hunger for change and now have the power to be "the change they believe in." As i look at the images of Cairo protests, i remember EDSA and the lessons of EDSA. The power of people prevails :D

Hi Julia.

When I was growing up in Australia (during the Cold War) I always wondered why people didn't just go out onto the streets and be free so that we could end the terrible Cold War. The left-wing was always protesting against the US having nuclear weapons instead of protesting against the USSR being a dictatorship. No-one really cared if the Russians and Eastern Europeans simply voted for communism.

Then in 1986 (I was 18 years old at the time - ironically I had gotten my own human rights a few months earlier - no more fear of arbitrary unlimited physical violence as punishment for alleged crimes with my parents acting as judge, jury and executioner) I watched on TV (and was flashing the "laban" sign at the TV - not that the TV noticed) as you guys staged a successful and wonderful and bloodless revolution. It looked so damned easy and I was hoping that the Russians etc would see how easy it was, and copy it.

For some reason it appeared to take time for news to spread, but In 1989 the Chinese decided it was time to copy your revolution. June 4, 1989 was the day that I started associating the mass slaughter seen in WW1 as people went up against automatic weapons, with what happens when civilians go up against automatic weapons! That was the first and only street demonstration I have ever been on (in Sydney) - against the Chinese dictatorship (consulate) - never against US nukes etc!

In 1990 I was hoping that the Iraqis would rise up and this time US air cover available so that they were likely to win. Unfortunately they rose up in 1991, after a ceasefire was in place, and it was a mass slaughter instead (100,000 Iraqis died - count them - 100,000 - for nothing).

Then finally the Eastern Europeans were able to hold successful revolutions.

But generally speaking, these attempts at rising up are usually unsuccessful. If it is a truly cruel dictatorship, as Saddam was, then there is mass slaughter. In those situations, the only way to remove the dictator is either military coup or external invasion. In both Tunisia and Egypt - and indeed, the Philippines - the military was encouraged to change sides.

Unfortunately this is what normally happens:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-12441180

"Anti-government rallies in the capitals of Algeria and Yemen, inspired by events in Egypt, have been broken up."

At the end of the day, the security forces have way too much weaponry, if they choose to escalate as high as required (e.g. as high as warplanes). In 1991, Saddam escalated as high as helicopters. In Egypt we saw warplanes doing flyovers of Cairo, but the main shooting showdown never occurred. If there ever is, those planes become crucial. Interestingly, in 1989, there was an attempted coup, and the Philippines president called on the US air force for assistance. The US planes merely needed to take to the sky from their Philippines base and the rebels knew they couldn't win, and surrendered to the pro-government forces.

So your statement "The power of people prevails" really needs to say "sometimes prevails". Other times, the power of automatic weapons prevails. As harsh and cruel as that reality is. :-(

So I think we need a combination of revolutions, military coups and external invasions if we want to liberate the world. I'm open to suggestions. Any comment?
kerravon
 
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