Monday, August 5, 2013

Student Activism : Asserting The Right to Fight for What is Right ...the Leftist Way?

Wazzup Pilipinas!

What are your thoughts on student political activism in schools, universities and colleges? Both in public and private schools. Like Anakbayan, Akbayan, etc party lists calling on students to, "Stand up for your rights."

What do you call those students asserting their legal rights? Student activism? or Student deactivism? What about those who exploit their rights and those who are preventing their rights? Activism is not limited to popular demonstrators always rallying along Mendiola. Stereotype.

Yeah, in our school they're defacing walls and other facades and giving themselves high fives over it. Yeah, no problem with students asserting their rights. Question is, are those political parties recruiting members among students using their plight as an initiator to join them?

Short term: If you really are that sad in life and you want to blame government or big business - let it out.

Long term: That's a line you would likely omit from your CV's when you apply for a job.

Student rights are legal rights embodied in the Student Magna Carta and some are even enshrined in the Bill of Rights of our phil Constitution. One does not need to be a member of any patriotic organization in order to know and assert student rights. As long as long as their protests are peaceful and lawful, I see no problem. Let the students fight for their rights. Of course, they have to know what their rights are first.When students started to assert their rights, it only shows that they are learning their lessons. Joining any social, political, civic and religious organizations is guaranteed and protected under the Student Magna Carta and 1987 Constitution Bill of Rights.

It is the obligations of the State to educate and protect our basic fundamental rights. Some of student rights stipulated in Magna Carta for Students are already stipulated under 1987 Phil Constitution and International instruments. Basically, our "human rights are more than legal concepts; they are the essence of man, according to Jose Diokno. Our "Bill of Rights" is a product of French and American Revolution. It was not handed freely neither given at the very start of human civilization. The "Bill of Rights" is not a political concept. Read french and American Revolution.

Examples of Student Rights: Right to form organization and to join in any organization provided not contrary to law. Right to assemble and express grievances. Right to free education. Freedom of speech and expression.

The 1987 Phil Constitution is the FUNDAMENTAL LAW of our land. Students, farmers, rural poor, teachers are examples of sectors in our society. Regardless of sectors, the Bill of Rights provide and guarantee their human rights.

The Constitution talks a lot of talk but have very little walk. Yes, it's the fundamental obligation of the State to look after its people, yes it's stated that the State shall provide education, but the determination of what those academic duties, rights and freedoms are depend on a binding, whether local or foreign, reinforcement of what exactly those rights are.

I can continue to scream, "Students' rights violations!" every time I feel oppressed as a student but it's hard to take my screams seriously if there is nothing backing up my claims.

Activism for the sake of activism does nothing. Left leaning groups call for disruption, striking measures of government, corporations, and private individuals as "oppressive". Without a doubt that there are distinctively abusive characters in government and industry. But it is rather disturbing, as demonstrated by a few shameless activists here, that beyond peddling blind cynicism, they really don't have a plan.

It really gets tiring telling kids to be "patient and work together", "put aside the negativity, it is never a fair world and it will never be, but do not add on to it".Incidentally yes, I do question the majority of what these groups stand for. But I do support some of their advocacies such as agrarian reform and empowerment of women. Beyond that, all I hear are complaints with no alternatives.

A normal person has the right to enter a commercial establishment, but said commercial establishment still has his right to deny them entry given they do not meet certain criteria. Even further, government offices may deny people entry for certain reasons. If we are to talk about rights, what are the rights of a private school in enforcing its curriculum and policies as opposed to students' rights?

Private schools do have a right to determine their curriculum as long as it maintains compliance to a set of guidelines. You have a right to choose a private school befitting your inclinations. Too bad there's no such school around here that has a sickle and hammer on their colors. Again watch the rant noise vs. resolution ratio.

If our legal RIGHTS are subject to restriction then it is no longer human RIGHTS.

Rights are always subject to restrictions and regulations be it human or legal rights. There are some infallible rights that may not be taken away ie. Right to life, freedom of thought. But other human rights like freedom of expression, right to travel, right to property are subject to regulation. That's why you need a passport, that's why libel is criminal (I think it should be decriminalized) and that's what farmers have been fighting for.

Personally I can't stand all the negativity. I mean looking at Renato Reyes Jr.'s face I can see the perfect ad for a man that would be made happy by one night with his wife and a blue pill.

Look at it historically, and you'll see that no matter who is at the helm of our country, he/she always ends up as an effigy of a puppet of the US. But in campuses, these people will behave as cliques, almost like frats, who will go around recruiting the vulnerable, stupid, and generally disgruntled. They will get into fights and will instill fear pretty much like a gang.

The truth is -development takes time and it takes a constructive effort among everyone. If you don't want to help, at least shut up about it and let those who care to take the risk do their work.

I found it funny how Thomas Van Beersum was yelling at our policemen about Monsanto this and that. Who the really knows Monsanto around her? Na-nosebleed tuloy si mamang pulis.

I've asked a visiting activist one time years ago, "so what's your plan?" He really couldn't articulate one. And if you notice with some posters here, they're also rebels without a clue.

Magna Carta for women is a restatement and reassertion of inherent rights women have in society, that's why it's easier to defend women's rights, but students' rights... I saw a proposed bill that has been shelved but that's just it. Unless there's an international law or local law that clearly affirms students rights, it will continue to be a Mormon preaching to a Buddhist. Schools will act, students will call them out, schools will be baffled as to wtf they're talking about.

The 1987 Phil Constitution is the FUNDAMENTAL LAW of our land. Students, farmers, rural poor, teachers are examples of sectors in our society. Regardless of sectors, the Bill of Rights provide and guarantee their human rights. "No cause is more worthy than the cause of human rights… they are what makes a man human. Deny them and you deny man’s humanity." — Jose W. Diokno

Right now we students are protected by basic human rights, DepEd and CHEd memorandums and whatever special laws have been passed. But I'm saying that the reason students rights are so hard to defend is because there is no public declaration as to what they are exactly. Right now we're fighting for human rights, we're fighting for academic freedom, but as to students' rights, medyo shotgun spread pa rin 'yun.

Right to join organization. What if the school prohibits fraternities and expels frat members, can a student claim that it is their student right to join a frat of their choosing and not be sanctioned by the school given it is a private school?


And I quote:

Sec. 9. Right of Students in School. — In addition to other rights, and subject to the limitation prescribed by law and regulations, and student and pupils in all schools shall enjoy the following rights

1. The right to receive, primarily through competent instruction, relevant quality education in line with national goals and conducive to their full development as person with human dignity.
2. The right to freely chose their field of study subject to existing curricula and to continue their course therein up to graduation, except in cases of academic deficiency, or violation of disciplinary regulations.
3. The right to school guidance and counseling services for decisions and selecting the alternatives in fields of work suited to his potentialities.
4. The right of access to his own school records, the confidentiality of which the school shall maintain and preserve.
5. The right to the issuance of official certificates, diplomas, transcript of records, grades, transfer credentials and other similar documents within thirty days from request. chanrobles virtual law library
6. The right to publish a student newspaper and similar publications, as well as the right to invite resource persons during assemblies, symposia and other activities of similar nature. chanrobles virtual law library
7. The right to free expression of opinions and suggestions, and to effective channels of communication with appropriate academic channels and administrative bodies of the school or institution.
8. The right to form, establish, join and participate in organizations and societies recognized by the school to foster their intellectual, cultural, spiritual and physical growth and development, or to form, establish, join and maintain organizations and societies for purposes not contrary to law.
9. The right to be free from involuntary contributions, except those approved by their own he organizations or societies.

The left has a tendency to conjure up incredibly dystopic scenarios so as to create an undue amount of urgency. This takes attention away from more pressing matters because it is often escalated to a form of militant protest. At that point it is no longer a matter of resolution but a breakdown of order, and maybe offering a few martyrs, so as to give a greater impression of institutionalized oppression. Positive messages of progress, hope, and achievement are waylaid in favor of doom, gloom, and a push for "equality".

Schools are mandated to provide a safe and conducive environments for students to study. Simple lang ang sagot dito eh: Assert your rights in the right manner.

Asserting their rights in the right manner is right, but why do they call them 'leftists'? Because any opposition is considered the left. I understand their plight, I disagree with the status quo but I hate their methods.

By throwing our chairs out of classroom windows, burning them in the quadrangle, walking out of our classes and threatening those who do not join our plea?

I read this from the Bible, "Parents, dont provoke your children to anger". What causes our students to throw chairs out of classrooms? I am not saying that it is justified but there must be something evil that led them to anger? a bandwagon delusional anger, I mean?

Hormones and stupidity run high among the youth. That is why they are so impressionable. Just know which buttons to press.

Are you alone? Bullied? Join a gang.
You feel disempowered (don't care about what) -join a gang.
You lack direction? -We'll point you to one and just let er rip.

In some schools, it's now down to simple defacing. The party is using guerrilla tactics for now because they don't have much support from the students. What actually weakens them are students who actually go through the right channels to let their grievances be heard. What these kids now enjoy are the fruits of the sacrifices done during the 70s. Unfortunately, they don't know what it took for this generation to enjoy its freedoms.

There is no plan behind all these leftist protests but to only keep their leadership in public relevance. If there were, we'd know about it by now and we would be discussing its merits. I understand some people's hatred towards the popular methods of the stereotyped activists but there are also a lot of leftists who use civil ways: writing good books and articles, filing lawsuits, etc. There are worthy causes that the left stand for and bring forward in a civilized and legal manner. Though I personally wonder why it has to be a particularly left agenda. Possibly because the right are too busy counting their money.

I wish I met those civil activists. All I have seen are those noisy ones. I don't like that they condone violence as well. I don't like that they hand out fliers telling students to revolt, using other people's misery and misfortune as fuel to their flame. They can be very manipulative at times. I wish there were more of those, then I can be on their side as well (sort of already am).

If you have a problem, call the administrators' attention. if it doesnt work, sue. since the philippine justice system is pitifully slow, air your grievances over broadcast and social media and create a PR nightmare for the erring teacher/administrator, and bring a hidden camera/microphone when meeting with the school authorities. It worked for a group of students I knew. And a particular contractor who was being extorted by a government official. But you ran the risk getting kicked out or constructively dismissed. I remember being on the wrong end of that.

Our Philippine system of education is colonial because it caters to the demands of other countries instead of supplying to the demands of our nation; it is commercialized.

Knowing your rights and asserting your legal rights are simple commonsense. Why tagged them as activists when they are merely asserting the right thing?

Risa Hontiveros is one of them activists. Very intelligent discourse, an actual game plan. At the very least if there's a method we can discuss what's best to do rather than what labels to put on.

Please understand one thing. Most people, couldn't care less about the politics. It is when we label liberals and conservatives, left, right, rich, poor, that we lose sight of the best things human diversity can offer. We can't establish middle ground because a policy becomes "socialist" or "pro-big business". Simplistic people like to polarize discussions for the sake of power. This "I must win" mentality instead of "We must do the right thing" tends to really fuck things up. Once you take away all the excuses you really are just left with what you need to do.

Jose Rizal wrote many things against the Spanish rule in the Phils during colonial period? was he an activist? Andres Bonifacio waged armed struggle to fight for our independence? Was he a leftist/communist?

Well Boni wasn't Communist, but he WAS an activist. Jose Rizal would be more of a reformist - he didn't want us to completely break away from Spain. Under our present capitalist socio-economic system, there are only two sides and nothing in between or neutral: are you pro-capitalism or pro-socialism?

What is considered oppression also bugs me. A teacher who has a kwarto o kwatro policy is oppression. A school that kicks you out because of political beliefs is oppression. But when a school requires you to issue a promissory note before taking an exam, I think that's fine.

So if the pro-socialists would take power, are they gonna "re-educate" the pro-capitalists? Seems this is advocating a "if-you're not with us, you're against us" mentality here. I sincerely hope they and those they support will NEVER be in power. Socialism is defnitely not equal to communism. I'm for more socialism in government, but I think equating it to communism is a joke. "It is social being that determines our social consciousness"- Marx

Activism takes a big toll to any person, most especially and greater when they're already more established in their life. By the time they have much to think about (career, family, time, money, image, ties) and still haven't pushed for their beliefs, it'd then be unlikely they would ever. The logic there is that it is better to start early when one still hasn't much to lose/sacrifice.

I think this is not about leftist, communist, activist but simple commonsense and the love for country and the liberation of people from the yoke of ignorance and oppression.

"To socialists we are a capitalist system, to capitalists we are a socialist state... Go figure. We are neither, we are in between. We believe in social justice which has a very lengthy explanation in Calalang vs Williams".

"No. Social justice is “neither communism, nor despotism, nor atomism, nor anarchy,” but the humanization of laws and the equalization of social and economic forces by the State so that justice in its rational and objectively secular conception may at least be approximated. Social justice means the promotion of the welfare of all the people, the adoption by the Government of measures calculated to insure economic stability of all the competent elements of society, through the maintenance of a proper economic and social equilibrium in the interrelations of the members of the community, constitutionally, through the adoption of measures legally justifiable, or extra-constitutionally, through the exercise of powers underlying the existence of all governments on the time-honored principles of salus populi estsuprema lex."

Before the colonizers came, our ancestors used to practice "primitive communism" [egalitarianism].The chinese also referred to some of our rulers as kings (王), but this isn't an argument on why we should reform back to monarchical systems.


The village community was "administered" [not ruled] by the village chief [p. 33, Phil. History, A Past Revisited, vol. 1, by Prof. Renato Constantino]

Although the chief exercised executive, judicial and military functions when these were required, in most cases he remained as a farmer and wove his own cloth like the rest of the barangay members [p. 33, Phil. History, A Past Revisited, vol. 1, by Prof. Renato Constantino]

It started with a "communal economy" [pp.31,32,350, Phil. History, A Past Revisited, vol. 1, by Prof. Renato Constantino]

It started that the producer is the one that controls the means of production and not the purchaser who does not participate in production [p. 39, Phil. History, A Past Revisited, vol. 1, by Prof. Renato Constantino]

It started that no law that legalizes the transfer or sale of lands or the tools of production for private individual [p. 39, Phil. History, A Past Revisited, vol. 1, by Prof. Renato Constantino]

It started with the absence of exploitation and oppression [p. 32, Phil. History, A Past Revisited, vol. 1, by Prof. Renato Constantino]

During the pre-Spanish period, Filipinos knows how to read, write, music, arts and other cultural activities. They had their own system of alphabet composed of 17 letters [4 vowels and 14 consonants]. Education was taught at home by parents such as reading, writing, arithmetic and livelihood skills in response to the demand of other society [p. 29, Phil History- Filipinas Kong Mahal, by Teodoro Agoncillo]

It's always good for students be aware of the different issues and they should learn to think for themselves and decide what their stand is--and not rely on any activist organization to dictate what their stand should be. At the same time, the school has to draw a clear line between their official policy and the opinions of the student body.

Back in ADMU for example, the admin has a strict policy of neutrality when it comes to politics. Now compare how they and DLSU pulled it off compared to UST which now seems to functions as the de facto voice of the RCC, and actually bashed ADMU for "tolerating" dissenting opinions.

There is no "communism" yet as far as Marxist perspective is concerned. What we see in some countries are "socialist led States". Communism is the highest stage of socialism.

"Learning" in school is prohibited. Only "photocopying" is allowed. The educational system wanted to produce and reproduce its kind. Breaking this means "that the students have reached learning"

My profs didn't mind dissenting opinions on the lessons, provided we could back our points logically, and prove we understood the teachings well enough to take them apart.

I remember the day before EDSA Dos there were activist students who visit our college inciting a revolution. I'm no Erap supporter but when I heard them rationalized that "Because of the shear number of evidence presented in the impeachment it is impossible that none of them are true". I face-palmed. The advantage of the Youth is they're energy, but not in making the best judgement.

solicited by KimAn Pavon

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  1. For me those activist students are those students who don’t assert their proper rights. Maybe, their school is not giving them democracy to tell their opinion. Thank to our government that there is a particular Law that protect the rights of students in school.

  2. I respect those student activists for showing their concern for the status of our country. They make sure that their voices are heard. They fight for those issues that they think their opinion is right. But, they must also know that their opinion is not always the correct and the best one.

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