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Program Information
 CAN A REVOLUTIONARY MOVEMENT OVERCOME ITS AUTHORITARIAN TENDENCIES? 
 
 Speech
 Bobby Garcia, Peace Advocates for Truth, Justice and Healing (PATH)
 Kevin Walsh  
 For non-profit use only.
The talk will revolve, and hopefully evolve, around the phenomenon of authoritarianism thriving within a movement that challenges State hegemony. It will look into how absolute dogma, and absolute exercise of power, can penetrate various layers and poles
Producer: Kevin Walsh kev@tao.ca
Uploaded by: Kevin Walsh kev@tao.ca
The Philippines is no stranger to authoritarian rule. Its people suffered under the Marcos dictatorship for nearly two decades, with Martial Law snatching away all democratic avenues and freedoms and instilling a culture of repression and institutionalized violence.

The underground Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) and its armed wing, the New People's Army (NPA) was a key player in the broad social movement that brought down the Marcos dictatorship. It figured prominently in shaping the Philippines' recent political history, and still occupies an important place in the country's present political landscape. As a movement, however, the CPP-NPA is marked by a strong authoritarian streak that manifests in various ways: intolerance of other progressive groups outside its mantle; intolerance of dissenting opinions within; and perhaps most significantly, the torture and execution of its own comrades in a series of anti-military infiltration purges in the 1980s.

The talk will revolve, and hopefully evolve, around the phenomenon of authoritarianism thriving within a movement that challenges State hegemony. It will look into how absolute dogma, and absolute exercise of power, can penetrate various layers and poles in a society, even that which purportedly struggle against them. Finally, it will explore ways of addressing this social phenomenon towards a deeper appreciation of democracy and empowerment.

The Peace Advocates for Truth, Justice and Healing (PATH), is a newly-formed community of peace and human rights advocates in the Philippines. It seeks to develop a viable approach to the issue of realizing and enforcing human rights accountability by non-state actors, and in particular, rebel groups and revolutionary movements. PATH's formation came in the wake of the anti-infiltration purges which the CPP-NPA undertook in the mid- to late 1980s. Aimed at ferreting out suspected military agents within its ranks, the operations led instead to the tragic loss of lives and violations of human rights of CPP cadres and mass activists. Robert Francis Garcia was one of those who survived such operations. In 2001, he came out with a deeply moving book "To Suffer Thy Comrades," which attempts to make sense of his and other survivors' experiences, and the lessons and insights they may hold for the underground Philippine Left's revolutionary practice.

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01:25:00 English
 University of Wisconsin-Madison
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