Much has been said about the EDSA Tayo prayer vigil/rally/something something set for September 11 at the EDSA Shrine, very little of it from the organizers themselves.
Many, including the apparent leading lights of the supposedly spontaneous “Million People March” at the Quirino Grandstand on August 26, have either distanced themselves or have denounced the so-called “Million People March 2”, saying it has nothing to do with them.
Our favorite activist of convenience even made a plea over Twitter to “STOP calling the EDSA protest on September 11 ‘MillionPeopleMarch2’ because it is NOT. Thanks.” And although this website is not a fan of some of the organizers of the EDSA Tayo rally and also finds the coincidence of it falling on the late Ferdinand Marcos’s birthday questionable, they are at least to be commended for having the balls to come out for something that, if online traction is any indicator, will bring in much fewer people than the August 26 protest.
The supposed organizers of the “Million People March” have expressed fears that the event, or even the call to scrap the Priority Development Assistance Fund, will be hijacked by interest groups and “operators.” Never mind that they themselves, in essence, hijacked the issue by suddenly appearing as organizers when it seemed apparent that the crowds were coming.
Their presence was necessary, of course. With tens of thousands (a million, even) people expected to converge at Quirino Grandstand, it was important to have some people acting as point persons for the event. We thank them for their service but not for the disservice of suddenly claiming to own something that the thousands of people who attended were there for on their own volition.
Nor for the further disservice of disparaging other groups who want to follow up the protest with a similar activity that goes along pretty much the same lines. Organizers have said the event will not be a political rally and will not be calling for the resignation of President Benigno Aquino III. What the organizers say they will be demanding is for the President to give up his own discretionary funds. “Walang placards, walang banners, walang sigawan.”
Whether this is all that people will demand, and whether the rules will be followed have yet to be seen. But this was also the case with the “Million People March” and, as it turned out, some groups did bring their banners, placards, streamers, and slogans.
Nobody is required to attend EDSA Tayo. Nobody was required to attend the “Million People March” either and skipping either or both is your business. It is unfair, though, to dismiss a political exercise that is just as valid just because you don’t like the people involved, or worse, just because they aren’t you.