|Photo Courtesy of the Associated Press.|
Expect the usual. Rallies in Plaza Mendiola, or Liwasang Bonifacio, leftist politicians vociferously launching tirades against the government, describing it as a puppet of the United States, as enemies of the poor, as opponents of the working class. There will be calls for the passage of the P125 across the board wage hike. They will ridicule the administration’s latest round of wage increases as “cheap” or “loose change”. We won’t hear anything we haven’t heard in the past Labor Day demonstrations.
As usual, a lot of people will be attracted to these rallies: college students wanting to become rebels without a cause, urban poor citizens from private lands they’ve squatted, rural farmers disenfranchised by decades of feudal landlordism. I wonder if after all these years of attending rallies, they will finally get what they really seek from it. They way I see it, they are being exploited by leftist politicians in their “12 hours of Hate”, their own version of Two Minutes Hate from Orwell’s “1984”. These politicians will convincingly try to develop to the mindset of these people that they are oppressed by a certain “ruling class” that the system of things in this country has to be overthrown and overturned in order to shift the balance of power in favor of the oppressed. This illusion has been set in the minds of the attendees for past Labor Days, an illusion they still dream of becoming a reality in this democratic country.
What these people don’t realize is that by attending these demonstration, they are oppressing themselves even further, as they are missing out their chance of uplifting themselves out of poverty and misery. If the unemployed, who will come to bash the government’s labor policy, will instead flock to the DOLE’s Job Fairs tomorrow, then they will have a greater chance at finding employment, whether temporary or permanent. After all, better to have a temporary job than no job at all. If these misguided youths would instead apply for a summer job in order to save up money for their tuition fees come June, then it wouldn’t be harder for them despite the increase in matriculation this year. Indeed, there are better things people could do instead of being part of this conspiracy of hate against our democratic way of life.
If only the Left Movement could do something different this year. Something more positive and pro-active, perhaps public opinion won’t be against their favor (at least for this year). In the past Labor Days, we haven’t seen leaders of the Left organize a job fair in cooperation with the DOLE, or launch a campaign that would help government agencies crackdown on employers violating wage laws. We don’t see the Left Movement organizing fundraisers for the purchase of lands people have squatted, or for the construction of housing complexes meant for the relocation of informal settlers. “Any action committed in anger, is bound to be doomed”, as Paolo Coelho once said. Definitely, any action committed by the Left tomorrow out of anger for our way of life, will just plant seeds of oppression, depression and desperation on the part of the poor. They will simply supplant an already deep-seated seed of illusion which they call in their language, “revolution”.
Enough with hate, Reds! It’s time that mass actions on future Labor Days be geared towards the achievement of positive and proactive solutions to the long-standing problems plaguing the plight of the ordinary working class, poor Filipino. TSS