Monday, May 11, 2009

"Recycle for Justice" - Gentle Protest via Automatic-Stabilisers

(This continues the 'creative peace-making for Malaysian Politics' series started here)

A few months ago, there were massive morning jams on all roads leading Kuala Lumpur because the government decided to put police roadblocks on the day of earlier-mentioned Pakatan Rakyat events happening in the city. Police stopped and checked numerous cars for questionable items and in so doing caused bottlenecks all over.

But here's the interesting part: The authorities did this as a reaction to PR plans. Conceivably the road blocks would NOT have occured if Anwar & Gang didn't declare they were going to have gatherings and such.

The bottom line here is that the problem of (unusually) heavy jams in the morning was suddenly a function of Anwar & Co.'s announcments, and for the sake of smooth traffice, Pakatan had to stop making announcements in such a way that the authorities acted to check cars. It is undeniable that more than a few pro-PR voters were hoping for a change of method.

BN had thus - unknowingly? uncaringly? - created an 'automatic stabiliser' to counter Pakatan's plans.

How can these be turned against the government, in line with creative peace-making and reconciliatory protests? What actions be taken such that the moment BN tries does something questionable, wheels are set in motion in such a way to make BN itself wish they hadn't done what they did?

Some ideas to illustrate the point:
  • for every week someone is in ISA, can a certain percentage of the populace reduce their use of electricity and/or office phones (and in some way 'punish' the government via lower revenues for Tenaga / Telekom?)...this may also be an act of suffering 'on behalf of the prisoner'
  • for every time a candlelight virgil is violently broken up, could more (dark-coloured?) flowers be bought and sent to Dato' so-and-so or selected Cabinet Members? (could this be a gentle, non-sarcastic act of protest which would ALSO encourage more greenery AND make certain members of high-society slightly more uncomfortable with the, say, hundreds of flowers suddenly showing up on his doorstep?) furthermore, proceeds can go to charity funds - again this is a form of 'suffering for the injustice in a way which benefits the unfortunate/under-privileged in society [a huge effect is that our protest is comingled with aid for the poor, so our attentions can never waiver into protests for protests' sake]
  • for every illegitimate arrest made, can X amount of money be withdrawn from MayBank (or some other government-supported financial institution)and channeled to a pro-Pakatan NGO? or into a Tabung for the families of the imprisoned? Similar action can be applied to government-supported restaurants, tour companies, insurance companies, hotels, media, etc. [the point is that illegitimate action starts to beget self-damaging consequences for the ones in power]
  • for every instance of brute-force, can 1 million "We-Forgive-You-Because-You-Can-Change" emails be spammed to all members of the parliament? [this would be 'forceful' without being 'rude']
  • for every Pakatan MP ousted draconianly (e.g. Gorbind Singh), can we employ our global connections to ensure that all Malaysian embassies abroad receive something like the above?

Likewise, what can be done as gentle form of protest which IN ITSELF is fruitful? Instead of wearing black (which unfortunately doesn't 'help' society all that much), how about:

  • "Recycle for Justice" programs?
  • "Plant a Righteous Tree" projects?
  • "Feed the Hungry to Starve Oppression" campaigns?
  • "Lights Off to Dim Corruption" initiatives?

This way the acts themselves serve as salt for the earth and aren't MERELY acts of protest. Also, organisations like Malaysian Care and World Vision can be easily roped in.

Note that the above has to be consistent with the principle of creative peace-making and radical reconciliation posted earlier. These ideas are a way of BOTH voicing our dissent towards political injustice AND blessing our communities WITHOUT making dissent the virtual be-all and end-all of our efforts.

No comments: