Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Revolution without Tears: Notes on People Power and the February 1986 Uprising in the Philippines

Randolf S. David

When it finally came, Ferdinand Marcos's fall from power was swift, sudden and dramatic. For more than 20 long years he had ruled the country, and it was natural that Filipinos should expect that the elimination of such entrenched dictatorship would require a protracted and ultimately bloody struggle. But the actual uprising that brought the Marcos regime down took only four days, from February 22 to 25, while the sporadic armed clashes which were more the exception than the rule claimed a total of exactly four lives, three of whom were soldiers all belonging to the Marcos troops, and one civilian. Yet, it should not be forgotten that the struggle against the dictatorship had been going on for many years--certainly long before the middle class, which was at the center of the February events, had even dared to join the growing mass actions in the streets. Moreover, it should ever be borne in mind that the Marcos regime claimed countless victims from all social classes throughout the dark period of its rule.

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