Activism

Tita Cory: Leader of EDSA revolution, mother of new hopes for real change

Former President Cory Aquino’s (1933-2009) demise did rend my heart. It did because she hung right there in that node in my political development during the latter 80s. I was an “EDSA baby” as my fanboyism with Marcos then ended when my foray into activism began.

I had a neither-hate-nor-like appreciation of Tita Cory (that was our usual term of endearment for her). The right side of my mind says she did great for the nation for leading the way to freedom without bloodshed. But the left side kept haunting saying that she wasted the dearly-earned freedom by letting oppression prevail (my political officer even argued that the EDSA uprising was not the correct path to change). Ah, I do remember what the national-democratic movement impressed on us at that time: That the Aquino government became the precursor and agent of the CIA-sponsored Low Intensity Conflict (LIC) that caused a great number of human rights violations particularly in the countryside. (This was the mantra that continued to play on in my mind even during the days of my campus paper involvement in college.)

There were surely many criticisms at the Aquino regime that practically outshone raves it had enjoyed from all over the world. Because of my deep involvement in student activism then, I was conditioned to think of the Aquino regime as no better compared to its predecessor. My political officer, while leading a basic course in an ED (our term for education activity), told us that dialectical materialism, or the revolution, for that matter, did not allow for centrism to influence our view of the path to change. It was plainly black or white. Or red or yellow. If you’re for real change, go red. If not, you’re yellow. And if you’re yellow, you’re actually an enemy of change.

I really feel sorry that during those days, I lived apathetic to Tita Cory. At best, though, this was a great disposition despite the flurry of critiques hurled at her at her every utterance of ‘propaganda’ statements. Remember that “mura pa din ang galunggong” statement of hers? In no time did we lash back at her as soon as the price of galunggong went up.

I even had the political reason to join the movement against her, along with her family, because of the Hacienda Luisita case, which had lives lost and which remains untouched for land reform. But I remained apathetic. Perhaps, that noble contribution of Tita Cory (of being our leader for the so-called “EDSA revolution”) served to counterveil or offset my supposed hatred of her administration.

It’s really sad that I had to be frank about my view of her in the wake of her passing away. But I have to admit that while I wrote this post, my eyes turned teary, re-realizing (my own concocted word) the great deed she contributed to our nation, which vindicated the great Ninoy Aquino’s death and pleased our God of history and peace.

Indeed, no one can escape from the fact that despite the failings of her administration, Tita Cory wrote a page for world history and sits beside Gandhi and other greats pushing for peaceful revolutions. May she continue to reign in our hearts of hearts and bring forth newfound hopes for Filipinos for real change. Perhaps her demise says it all: Let’s start working together NOW.

Virtual beer for the soul

“Want a beer?”

This invite from friend Arnold T. has been sitting in the queue of requests on my Facebook account. In fact, I also got a couple of “booze mails” already which I just ignored (sorry to friends who sent them) and failed to send virtual drinks to others as a way to “pay it forward”.

But that invite from Arnold is still there. I just feel amused at the sight of his avatar. He looks like a genius monk (baldheaded and wearing eyeglasses) with the neck of a bottle of Red Horse touching his forehead. That reminds me of my personality back in my college days. I was a person who could not last being a religious person in the midst of a mundane world of Quiapo, where MLQU was located. Love for beer and company of barkada, the very precursors of over-indulgence, were the main factors why I couldn’t even pretend to be like an ascetic. I have to admit that I was heavily influenced by fellas (some of them better off) to get hooked to mundane stuff like being in drink binges. I also have to admit that, in turn, I was an influence to others my junior.

The only consolation I had (for failing to be a faith worker) back then was my being a social activist. I spent two years in college (and then many years in my NGO work since then) being part of the larger community that wanted real better change in society. Guilt of not loving God eloped me from then on.

The love for beer extended to my being part of the country’s labor. Over ten years ago, I made it a habit to frequent a jazz bar in Malate after work, drinking at least four bottles of San Miguel Beer pale pilsen. Sometimes I did it with co-workers, sometimes I did it alone. (I developed love for jazz along with my addiction to drinking.)

I tend to believe that drinking beer with your clique is both a social function and a personal pleasure. It eases tension accrued from work and at the same time reinforces one’s sense of belongingness. But (and this is a big but), when done on a frequent basis and in an excessive manner, the social and personal functions turn into life’s dysfunctions, like work tardiness and health problems.

This is a hard lesson I got from decades of making romance with beer. I guess that my being a father since 1998 has also contributed to my dwindling passion for it. I’ve had to scrimp on my hard-earned money to ensure steady provision for my family. That means that I only drank (or threw drink parties) when there were reasons to celebrate like my kids’ first birthdays and baptismals. And the last of the factors is my health. Predisposed as I am to heart and liver diseases, I have to fight off the temptation to engage in a (heavy) drink now that I’ve already reached 40. (They say life begins at 40.)

Last week, I was able to track KSA-based Larry W., my best pal during my third and fourth years in college, through Friendster. He had been my great influence when it comes to drinking lots of beer like it would run out of supply tomorrow and forever. He asked me over email to see him in December this year and engage in a binge like we did in college. I kiddingly said yes.

OK now. I just ignored Arnold T’s beer invite just because he did it in the spirit of Octoberfest. It’s already November now. But perhaps, when I get another round of virtual booze requests from him and other Facebookers, I’d just oblige. Because, however vicarious, virtual drinks taste like food for the souls of the physically-challenged beer lovers.

Can the Trillanes’ online petition strike while the iron is hot?

While the Arroyo government looks distraught as shown by a political blunder after another (e.g., Erap pardon and whitewashing probes into Glorietta 2 bombing and “cash gifts”), Rebel-Senator Antonio Trillanes IV is able to generate gradual support for his call for the resignation of the country’s top two leaders and a snap election within 60 days from their resignation. This is via his online petition that as of this writing (3 Nov. 11:00 am) already has 831 valid virtual signatures (from out of 1225 that includes 291 voided, 41 rejected, and 62 pending approval).

Probably because of the day of the dead and saints when people got disconnected from the Internet that the increase in number of signatories is much less from October 31 to present (average of 70 signatories per day) than from October 27 to October 31 (average of 108 per day). The government must have rejoiced deep inside while appearing contemplatively silent on behalf of the dead.

November 5 will be an ordinary day again and everyone’s going to have a hold on their keyboard. Will the online petition gather much more support from then on at a faster speed while the Arroyo government is beleaguered by corruption issues?

Meanwhile, there’s an offline petition supposedly going on as well. I checked the related blog site and was surprised to know that the signatories include three Senators (including a former one), church leaders (including one Bishop), former military officials, former government officials, media persons (including my favorite Conrado de Quiros), businesspersons, lawyers, and of course, a number of social and political organizations.

However, the blog site has wasted the campaign’s chance to get further traction as its supposed signature form download service is out of function.

Trillanes’ online petition to change government leadership now moderated

Rebel-Senator Antonio Trillanes IV’s online petition for Pres. Arroyo and VP De Castro to step down and for a snap election to be held thereafter has received moderation from the petition’s author. That move has sent a message to the public that Sen. Trillanes’ camp is serious about its calls. While everyone is free to say his/her piece through this petition, the author has all the prerogative and obligation to separate the wheat from the chaff, so to speak. Each signature entry is automatically marked “pending approval”, subject to the author’s screening.

When I blogged about the petition 4 days ago, the number of signatories was 470. I noted a number of observations that point to the petition’s apparent lack of potential to deliver. As of this writing, the number shot up to 1,014, making the petition signed by 136 people each day.

Out of the 1,014 signatories, 289 are marked “line voided”, 23 “signature rejected”, and 12 “pending approval”. A potential nuisance signatory should then be advised not to waste his/her time as his/her entry will definitely not be “counted.” I quoted the word “counted” because the “pasaway'” signature is still added to the total number that is indicated on the total signatures page.

My only beef is that the petition’s total signatures page must be revised so that it also separates the number of signatures marked “line voided” and “signature rejected”. For if we’d deduct these types from the total, it will show that those who subscribe to the petition are 702 only, or 69%.

Lastly, let me tell you that I did sign the petition, not as a “pasaway” but as a social activist disgruntled at the kind of government we don’t deserve to have.

Making things easy through Perl

I want to be known as a social activist who uses Perl. Are there any in this doggone world? It sounds outlandish, yes, but that’s just me. Besides, there are two kinds of human beings in this planet: the freaks and those struggling not to be freaks.

My interest in Perl started when I was a budding Linux enthusiast in 2001. Although, the interest did not immediately morphe into an expertise because I was too tied to my work then. (I was in a work transition from IPD to PEACE.) I can’t imagine myself hacking on a terminal while I’m busying myself with writing terminal reports.

But I couldn’t resist it. Linux is to blame because with it goes my curiosity as to what makes the free operating system stick after all the years. Perhaps, my experience in VBA programming (Microsoft Access flavor) fed into my continued passion for tinkering with codes to automate things. But of all the programming languages, why Perl?


use heart;
my $learning = undef;
my @apps = ();
&write_apps;
foreach (@apps) {$learning++;}

A typical programmer surely understands that poetic code. I found Perl cryptic at first. I felt like having to wander far to look for the treasure trove containing the secret to understanding Perl. But as soon as I started to use my heart (sounds corny, right?), and understand the fundamentals like the basic variable types (scalar, array, hash) and regular expressions, I began to feel like focusing more on my coding objective than being bogged down by my learning of the language.

Until of late, social activism and hacking have been two separate worlds. The two have crossed paths when the software development industry became highly commercialized and politicized and when the digital age was criticized for its contribution to social divides. Thus, the birth of the Richard M. Stallman-led free software movement and other free-software-inspired communities like Linux users groups, Open Source Initiative, Alliance for Progressive Communications, and Creative Commons.

I can say that I’m a manifestation of that phenomenon, modesty aside. I do activism (though no longer going to the streets as often as I used to) and use the ICT (basically gadgets and the Internet) to facilitate and spread that activism. But why in a hell am I using Perl?

I use Perl because it’s a great tool to process text data. I remember when I had to translate an NSO dataset (not in spreadsheet but in raw text format) into our database. The manual solution could be to print out the dataset and ask someone to encode it through a user interface. But I was emboldened by the fact that Perl is an expert in processing text files and producing reports from out of them. So I tried to learn Perl and create a script to do the task.

I also created a Perl script for my collection of words that I’ve learned. With it, I can add an entry and look in it for particular words I’d like to retrieve. Then, as I posted here, I created a script to automagically rearrange a list of disordered names according to lastnames.

The latest adventure I had with Perl was in relation to my WordPress.com-hosted blog. I wanted to keep a local database of all my blog entries. So I created a perl script to convert the XML-formatted backup to CSV, which I used to export the entries to my PostgreSQL-based database. Then I wanted to keep local log of visits to my blog entries, so that I can assess which entries are popular and have ideas on how to improve my blog. So I wrote a Perl script to do so. On daily basis, here’s what I do:

  1. Open the blog page showing entry hits on a particular day.
  2. Select and copy the list of entries with the corresponding numbers of hits.
  3. Paste the copied list into an editor buffer and save it.
  4. Run the Perl script, which asks for the date of the hits report. The local database is then updated.

Surely enough, Perl will be there to help me automate more things. I’m bent to use it not only for text-processing tasks but also for system administration and web programming. And I’ll not run out of a string of beads called Perl.

Support popular protest in Burma!


The writing on the wall says that Burma is on its way to achieving real freedom from military dictatorship. More and more Burmese people have joined over 30,000 monks who are in the forefront of the march since Monday. This has ushered in the groundswell of the movement that opposes the current form of government in Burma, which has not done any to address the country’s chronic problems of poverty, lack of access to basic social services, and the general feeling of insecurity in the society.

As of this writing, there are already over 100,000 protesters. And people remain unfazed despite the draconian curfew rule that the government has just promulgated. (See Yahoo! News slideshow on Myanmar protests.)

The Burmese people need our help. Let’s pray for the success of their cause, that there may be no bloodshed as a result of government’s counter-pressure to stop them. Let’s also sign up to two online petitions that are targetted to gather support from the world and to pressure other governments and the UN Security Council to intervene in the seemingly insurmountable political crisis in Burma:

An appeal to the UN Security Council to protect the people of Burma

Stand with the Burmese Protesters

Let’s prod all our fellow bloggers and online loved ones and friends to do the same: Pray for the safety and success of the Burmese protesters and sign the online petitions.

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Can activists organize without mobile phones?

The Burmese military government’s recent move against democracy is ‘hi-tech’. It has cut off the phone services of activists and journalists. This developed as the government had feared that another wave of popular protest would unfold through mobile phones. Because of speed and cost efficiency, campaigners have resorted to mobile phones as indispensable tools to spread information aimed at social mobilizations.

Actually, the government showed “a bit of democracy” by announcing the warning first. And then right after that, the cutting off of the mobile services. Of course, members of the opposition National League for Democracy (NLD) were not exempt from the measure. Even their office’s landline phone was disconnected.

I can’t imagine myself living in Burma when my mobile phone would suffer that fate. It’s like having an accident in the middle of the road without any way to call for emergency. Besides, a mobile phone has been a work gadget, without which I would deliver practically nothing.

Catching up with the digital age, activists consider mobile phones as extensions of their hearts and minds. They are their last resort in tough times, when it becomes impossible for them to reach out to their constituencies. But digital age threatened by the ghost of feudalism has to bear with the “glitches” like what Burmese government did. I call it glitch because government will surely think of ways to retain the business of mobile phones while effectively curbing popular protests. (I wonder if Philippine government would do the same disservice to Filipino activists of all hues without any pressure from telcos which would incur loss from it.)

The problem facing the pro-democracy movement in Burma is that government has the monopoly over the telecommunications through Myanmar Posts and Telecommunications. And it will use all its military machine to stop others who’ll attempt to break it. In fact, in 2006, government successfully launched a crackdown on “illegal” importation and use of cheap China-made mobile phones. Even business people use Chinese mobile phones because of the better services.

Let me digress a bit. Can Filipino activists of the second millennium go on with their political lives without their mobile phones? Look, mobile phones do not only provide quick and cost-efficient delivery of information; they also provide a relative security for the info senders in terms of anonymity. I’m not saying that mobile communications are the only way. Mobile phones are tools and they must be seen as only complementing “offline” tasks of activists.

But I’m interested to know whether new-generation activists can really dispense with their mobile phones. Can they instead use a landline, a fax machine? Can they use what they predecessors loved doing–spreading copies of a piece of onion-skin or palara paper folded many times to avoid attention  from the police or enemies because such paper bears incriminating information?

I cannot live without my mobile phone. And I think I will die (or I will kill) if I’m denied connection to the Internet for life.

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Organized farmers call for DAR revamp

I’m posting here an important piece concerning the organized farmers’ call to revamp the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) starting with the top leadership. This after two years of waiting for the leadership’s concrete actions in response to issues long raised in his office. The update was written by me, thanks to the inputs by a colleague.

UPDATE

UNORKA and TFM Direct Actions Calling for DAR Revamp and CARP Extension with Reforms

7 September 2007

Background:

Since Mr. Nasser Pangandaman was appointed in 2005 by President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo to replace Rene Villa as head of the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR), farmer communities have not seen nor felt almost any sincere effort from him to lead the implementation of CARP. He has practically become a figurehead as he has been wont to merely representing the Department in public events without any self-initiative to face the farmers, much less act concretely and favorably on policy and operational issues levelled against his agency, to wit:

  1. Non-installation of agrarian reform beneficiaries in the landholding already owned by them, including the Hacienda Malaga in Negros Occidental.
  2. Agrarian violence, which escalated during his term;
  3. Exemption ruling by the Supreme Court despite the existence of share tenancy relations and farming activity in supposed livestock areas;
  4. Non-revocation of Stock Distribution Option (SDO) despite the evidences pointing to its failure in Negros and Hacienda Luisita, Tarlac;
  5. Unbridled approval of applications for exemption and land use conversions;
  6. Corruption within the Department, as perpetuated by officials that give in to the pressure and influence by landlords and real estate developers;
  7. Committing over half a million hectares of CARP lands for the anomalous and widely-opposed RP-China deals.

Direct Actions and State Responses:

September 3 (Monday)

At 8 am, about 150 farmers from UNORKA and TFM trooped to the DAR Office of the Secretary, fourth floor, to pressure Sec. Pangandaman to face the farmers and have a dialogue with them. Backing them up are over 800 farmers outside the gate of the DAR.

At first, the Secretary wanted to just send Undersecretary Nieto and others to represent him but the farmers opposed it and raised their voice in demanding that the Secretary himself show up to them. The Secretary then committed to show up in two hours, 10 am. But it was already 11:30 am and no trace of the Secretary was seen in the vicinity. The farmers decided to count down from 50 to give him a chance to figure in. If he failed, the farmers said that they would force themselves inside the office to peacefully occupy it. The countdown was proceeding when he finally appeared.

He requested that only a maximum of two representatives per land case be allowed inside the DAR Board Room. The farmers obliged, with the Secretary realizing that his two-reps formula still resulted in a great number of farmers he would have to dialogue with inside, 120 from UNORKA and 20 from TFM. Pangandaman first heard the cases of TFM and then later those of UNORKA.

The supposed dialogue went on until 6 pm, when the farmers realized that the Secretary has not really made concrete actions. Most of his commitments were basically to review the cases. This drew the ire of the farmers, who at 6:50 pm, called the dialogue a deadlock. Then, the farmers outside the main entrance gate mounted a noise barrage and started chanting the words: “Pangandaman resign! Reform DAR!”

The farmers inside the Board Room stayed put. They asserted that they would not go out until their demand is met: Sacking of Usec Madueno, HEA Coleto, Dir. Omar, and no less than Sec. Pangandaman.

Before long, about a hundred police forces came and proceeded to the Board Room. At 10 pm, they dispersed the farmers and dragged each of them down the ground floor and out of the DAR building. They, however, remained inside the gate and sat down, an indication that they still push their demand for the DAR revamp, starting from the resignation of Pangandaman, Madueno, Coleto and Omar.

At 10:30 pm, a fire truck came. The firemen have braced themselves waiting for an order for water dispersal.

At 11:35 pm, the farmers have decided to self-disperse because the number of police forces has almost doubled and they appeared ready to disperse the farmers violently. Together, the farmers went back to their assembly place. They will assess the day, take some rest, and face the next day possibly with a direct action after another until their demands are met.

September 4 (Tuesday)

Coming from their assembly place, Claret Church in Quezon City, about 700 farmers marched to the DAR. Then a noise barrage took place outside the DAR gate.

While the action was taking place, a policeman coming from DAR was able to get a farmer leader from TFM. He was manhandled inside the DAR as shown by some photographs from a media person.

Deeply concerned about the situation of their colleague, several farmers insisted that they be allowed to get inside and bring him back. As a consequence of their insistence, the police forces responded with force, hurting several of them. Ka Evangeline Mendoza of UNORKA was one of them.

Media persons were called to cover the situation, including the harassment the farmers have been experiencing from the security and police forces. Apparently pressured by the presence of the media, the captured farmer was turned over to his colleagues outside the gate.

Meanwhile, the camp-out remained set up at the DAR gate.

September 5-6 (Wednesday to Thursday)

The camp-out remained, together with a program of activities including a noise barrage.

Later in the evening of September 6, based on their reading of the situation—deadlock in dialogues with Pangandaman and his ongoing inaction on the issues—the farmers decided to come up with nationally-coordinated local actions calling for the revamp of the DAR and CARP’s extension with reforms. They will ask their friends from the civil society as well as the Church to support their cause.

September 7 (Friday), 5 pm

At past 10 am, while the camp-out picket is mounted, the farmers received a report that Pangandaman has ordered for its water dispersal (through a firetruck’s hoses). Greatly concerned, they asked Atty. Christian Monsod to intervene and negotiate with the DAR leadership not to push through with the order.

The negotiation was going on while the farmers were doing a noise barrage outside the gate. Part of the program was a symbolic crashing with their bare hands of the supposedly hard-locked steel gate. The farmers did not realize that the gate was actually weakly secured, so it caved in in front of them. On impulse, about 50 farmers rushed inside the premises and ran straight up the fourth floor, where the Office of the Secretary is located. A commotion inside the DAR building took place.

As usual, the farmers mounted a sit-in strike about the central lobby of the fourth floor. Minutes later, a throng of police forces in full battle gear came and forcefully dispersed them through kicks and their bludgeons. The farmers were coerced to go down the building and outside the gate.

As a result of the inhuman dispersal, all 50 farmers were hurt, with two of them brought to the East Ave. Hospital. Aside from this, UNORKA’s officer, Ka Apolonio Pacardo, was arrested and detained in Camp Karingal, Quezon City.

A charge of human rights violation is being filed with the Commission of Human Rights against the DAR and the police forces detailed at the DAR’s premises.

There is a mass going on at 5pm, wherein participants will pray for the safety of the injured farmers and the immediate release of Ka Apolonio. The mass will also be their source for spiritual guidance for their next actions.

Wanted: ‘Rural poor’ journalists

This year’s Ramon Magsaysay Award for Journalism, Literature and Creative Communications goes to Mr. Palagummi Sainath, an Indian reporter in his early 50s so honored for his 14-year devotion to covering stories of India’s rural poor amidst and despite the “corporatization” of mass media.

I was amazed by his profile. Like Jesus Christ led by the Spirit into the wilderness and tempted by the devil for 40 days, Jesuits-educated Sainath manages to live in the rural areas of India for about 300 days a year and produce journalistic stories that highlight the struggles of the rural poor as well as ironies in the countryside arising from the globalization that has hounded the country.

With his flair and commitment, Sainath warded off the temptations by the corporate media. He chose not to raise funds from government and other entities with vested interests and instead use his income from writing to continue writing for and about the rural poor.

Sainath could be characterized as the product of the souls and minds of Gandhi, Nehru, Thomas Paine, and Jesus Christ. Their common traits are dissidence, sacrifice, and perseverance. They would rather not conform to the realities that perpetuate inequality and inequity; they would go out on a limb and attempt to change them. To do it, they would stick it out even though it means putting their lives at risk.

I would consider Sainath as a leader then. Because leaders have been there before us; they blazed the trail for us to follow. They have the moral high ground. They do inspire. They do galvanize actions. Sainath deserves to be an icon for journalists who want to be identified with the poor. His exemplary life must prick the conscience of those who have hopelessly bowed to the corporate interests.

Karl Marx said that “philosophers have interpreted the world; the point is to change it.” Noam Chomsky interpreted the evils of the corporate media. Sainath has worked to fight those. Mainstream journalists would believe that there is something wrong in society but do not have guts and wherewithal to right that wrong. Sainath is one of the few that struggle righting that wrong.

Thanks to Yvonne Chua for covering Sainath. A progressive journalist herself, she did justice in describing a foreign journalist that must stir, if not revive, a discourse in the Philippine journalism: Has Philippine journalism become not of the masses but of “the stakeholders”, to quote Sainath’s words?

Sainath is here to pose a challenge to the progressive journalists in underdeveloped and developing countries, whether they are in the mainstream or in “indiestream”: In this globalized world, can we become journalists of the rural poor? Bloggers are no exempted from this challenge. I am not, either. This blog of mine runs a pot pourri of social and political topics, but admittedly, I post a very few entries about the rural poor struggles and rural ironies. I have blogged about the difficulties faced by peasants before the opponents of land reform but I feel that it is not enough. I feel that I need to be infused with some blood of Sainath to be able to draw a more realistic picture of the rural realities.

To try to bring rural poor struggles in the front pages, engaging the mainstream media through feedbacks (through letters to the editor) and “working” with them (through media briefings, press conferences and press releases) is not enough. The greater challenge is how to produce and maintain “Sainathans” in this nation of ironies. Nevertheless, I’m beginning to sound optimistic as Sainath. Who knows, if we, social activists, continue to be dissident, selfless, and persevering, chances are journalists of the rural poor will be born in our midst.

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Guide to doing an online petition through PetitionOnline.com

This is a simple guide to doing an online petition using the PetitionOnline.com site. Comments are most welcome.

  1. Organize a group of persons claiming stake in an issue or problem that is sought to be resolved through an online petition.
  2. Collectively, clarify on the following:
    • The issue or problem. The more specific, the better.
    • The target person or set of persons who has the authority or accountability to act on the issue or problem.
    • Communities who may be targetted to join the online petition (by signing or allowing his/her name to be included in the signatories). Also, the number of signatures that is needed before the petition is formally submitted to the target person or agency.
  3. Analyze the issue or problem and be clear on the following:
    • Facts and figures about the gravity or magnitude of the issue/problem.
    • Consequences
    • Human rights affected by the issue/problem.
  4. Make the output of the foregoing exercises clear to the group. And then adjourn the exercise.
  5. Together with a colleague, go to http://www.petitiononline.com/create_petition.html and fill up the submission form. Most of the information you’ll fill in are based on the output of the foregoing group exercise.
  6. Together, review the data you filled in the submission form. Apply the “power-of-three” and grammar rules. Then finally submit it.
  7. Write down the web page address for your online petition. Bookmark it on your del.icio.us account or post it in your blog. Tip: Look for the links below your petition submission form.
  8. Send an email to all your contacts and appeal to them to a) join the online petition (by providing the link to that page) and b) forward the email to their respective contacts.
  9. Constantly check the petition page for the number of signatures collected. Once the target number has already been reached, decide with your organization or group whether or not to print the petition for submission to the target person or agency.