Amid the tight security of the University authorities, progressive faculty members, graduating militant students and non-academic personnel creatively made bold statements on the country’s deteriorating political and economic situation reiterating the position of the Diliman University Council that “GMA must go!” during the UP Diliman Centennial Graduation ceremonies last April 27, 2008
POSTED BY BULATLAT
Vol. VIII, No. 12, April 27-May 3, 2008
Progressive faculty members, graduating militant students and non-academic personnel of the University made a series of symbolic actions at the UP Centennial Graduation ceremonies last April 27, 2008. Amidst the tight security of the University authorities, various groups creatively made bold statements on the country’s deteriorating political and economic situation reiterating the position of the Diliman University Council that “GMA must go!”
Around past four in the afternoon, breaking the somber mood of the keynote speech that was being delivered, activist teachers broke through the back section of the ampitheater and hoisted a streamer on red balloons that read “Oust GMA!”. As the streamer made its way up, it became visible to the faculty members and guests on the stage as well as the parents on the side of the ampitheater until it got entangled to a tree at the back of the ampitheater. The streamer was to remain there visible for all to see throughout the whole graduation ceremonies as a symbolic reminder of the University community’s stance in the wake of the series of scandals that has plagued the Arroyo administration. It was only the first of a series of actions that would take place in the ceremony.
After the conferment of degrees and the valedictory speech, University police and the Rayadillo cadets from the UP-ROTC moved to block the access points to the stage in anticipation of more symbolic actions. But this did not deter activist graduating students to break from their ranks on the grounds of the ampitheater. With a red banner that read “Serve the People!”, they marched to the front of the stage and raised their firsts while singing “UP Naming Mahal.” On the stage, progressive faculty members, with clenched fists, went down from their bleachers to unfurl two banners that read “GMA MUST GO!”
As the graduates sang the UP Hymn, the ampitheater transformed into a sea of clenched fists as faculty, students, and even alumni from the gallery symbolically joined the protest.
Not a few faculty members, parents, fellow students and guests were impressed about the militance that the actions represented. The afternoon’s symbolic actions were a reminder to everyone that on the occasion of UP’s centennial graduation ceremonies, the cherished University traditions of activism and nationalism cannot be forgotten. For as long as courageous souls emboldened by their UP education continue to speak truth against tyranny, these traditions will remain integral to the University’s soul. Posted by (Bulatlat.com)