VOTE AGAINST ELECTORAL FRAUD AND VIOLENCE

22 Feb

Arrest Gloria Presents Artists Vote Against Electoral Fraud and Violence
Feb. 26 and 28, @ mag:net Katipunan

Feb 26
5pm Screening of THE FOURTH WORLD WAR a film by BIG
NOISE

6pm – 9:30pm Poetry and Music
Bobby Balingit
Lourd de Veyra
Jess Santiago
Vim Nadera
Kilometer 64 Poetry Group
Datu’s Tribe
Agaw Agimat
Anak ni Aling Juana
Republika de Lata
Tolongues Death Squad

Feb 28
5:30pm Screening of BANTA NG BAYAN a film by TUDLA

6pm – 9:30pm Poetry and Music
Cynthia Alexander
Bayang Barrios
Dr. Bien Lumbera
Vivian LImpin
Peryodiko
Rockbato
Gapos
Traumaligno
The Brockas

Vote against Fraud and Violence

The history of elections in the Philippines has so farbeen a historyof fraud and violence. Always, someone’s votes were padded and nother’s votes were shaved, and there werevotes that went to the highest bidder. Always, a candidate and another would be thrown out of the race by the bullet, and a ballotbox would be seized at gunpoint.

The 2004 elections were the worst so far. Just when we thought we had seen the worst of electoral fraud in the 1986 snapelections, we had independent poll watchdogs and even some commissioners of the Commission on Elections (Comelec) describing the 2004 elections as the most fraudulent ever. No less than the Philippine National Police
(PNP) said the 2004 elections were “the bloodiest”ever.

It is in these elections that Mrs. GloriaMacapagal-Arroyo was supposed to have won by more than a million votes overher closest rival, the late actor Fernando Poe, Jr. The discrepant figures in the copies of election documents collected by the independent poll monitor Patriots, together with theso-called “Hello Garci” tapes, tainted the credibility
of the 2004 election results beyond redemption.

Thrown to the defensive by the resultant popular outrage, the Arroyo administration has resorted to repressive measures –including the physical elimination of activists and other government critics by state forces.

The May 2007 elections is going to be a confrontation between, on one hand, the Arroyo administration; and the broad base of anti-Arroyo forces, ranging from progressive party-list groups affiliated with the cause-oriented movement to the traditional opposition
parties, on the other.

Both sides are determined to achieve their respective objectives. By the various means by which it has shamelessly bent the law to strengthen its hold on power, the Arroyo regime has shown that it is bent on preserving its usurped authority. On the otherhand, the anti-Arroyo forces have also shown by their various actions – which have included two impeachment complaints against Arroyo – that therewill be no rest for them unless they see a change in the country’s leadership.

The Arroyo regime may be expected to do all it could to prevent its opponents from gaining the headway in the coming elections. It has infact begun to take specific steps, including: the mass suspensions of local officials affiliated with the opposition, the rush to pass anAnti-Terrorism Bill which defines “terrorism” so broadly that the slightest criticism of government could be classifiedas an “act ofterrorism,” the continued killings of activists and other governmentcritics, and the mass registrations of military personnel as voters intheir areas of assignment – not residence, contrary to election laws.

They who perpetrate the fraud and violence in elections recognize thepower of artists, and they have frequently scoured our ranks for elements to be used as instruments in the campaign of deceit that inevitably has to be carried out if fraudulent and violent elections are to be made to appear as clean and peaceful. We thus make known our stand – as artists whose work stands to be either debased by complicity or apathy, or uplifted by taking the sideof reason.

We vote with our poetry, music and other works forgenuinely clean and peaceful elections this year and beyond. We vote against all who have benefited from the vicious cycle of electoral fraud and violence – a cycle that has to be broken.

Arrest Gloria!

Southern Tagalog Exposure + KASIBULAN Women VisualArtists’ Collective + KUMASA (Kulturang Ugnayan ngManggagawa at Uring Anakpawis sa Timog Katagalugan) + ARTIST, Inc. (Arts Research and Training Institute inSouthern Tagalog) + Kilometer 64 Poetry Group +Tambisan sa Sining +TUDLA Productions + APLAYA(Artistang Pangkultura ng Mamamalakaya sa TimogKatagalugan) UPLB Umalohokan + Paolo Martinez + Andrea Muñoz + Gian Paolo Mayuga + Jeffrey Ferrer + OninTagaro + Bobby Balingit + Winnie Balingit + Lourd deVeyra+ Dong Abay + Ninj Abay + Con Cabrera + BabesAlejo + Teny Arellano + Vivian Limpin + Roselle Pineda + Heidi Takama + Cynthia Alexander + Fred Rebadulla

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