For all this talk about “hijacking” and an exchange of words dividing a critical mass, I think a more sober perspective on the Million People March is necessary. Not that I’m the most sober (irony intended) person to lend that perspective, but I’d like to take a crack at it. I would suggest reading the pieces of Tonyo Cruz and Jego Ragragio first before reading this one, though.
Let’s start with something basic and essential, but has often been downplayed throughout this whole conversation. The fact to the matter is that there weren’t a million people in the Luneta march, the EDSA march, or the Ayala march. So we bend the rules of math, and say that 70,000, 3,000, or 10,000 is equivalent to a million by virtue of metaphor. And we bend the rules of marching as well, and say that those who expressed their support online through Tweets and Facebook statuses are part of the march, by virtue of metaphor.
That extends to what these marches are all about. Some people claim that all discretionary funds are pork, and should be abolished. Still others claim that government needs discretionary funds in order to function. Some people claim that President Aquino should be ousted (or be impeached or that he should resign from his position) because of his involvement in the pork barrel scam. Still others claim that this is about government accountability and transparency, and not the ouster of the President.
All that extends to why we’re arguing in the first place. On the one hand, some blame the leftists for “hijacking” the Million People March for pursuing their own political agenda, relying on passé methods of protest that turn off the middle class who are at the center of this protest. On the other hand, some blame the pro-Aquino camp for “hijacking” the Million People March to preserve the President from any further criticism of this matter, that this is a black-and-white matter of being pro-pork or anti-pork.
And there’s the rub, I think: are you a “million people march” if you don’t have a million people, and the thousands you have march in different directions?