Her name is Michelle R. This is her personal reaction to the December 15 incident.
i was the student pushed against the door of the malcolm hall theater (up college of law) by the angry mob led by the Diliman USC and the Student Regent who stormed Malcolm shouting, damaging property, insulting students, administrators, and innocent bystanders in their effort to find the members of the Board of Regents.
i blocked their entrance to the theater when, after witnessing them shake the College’s main door off its hinges, i saw that communication, meaningful and productive communication, could not be had, and i realized that there was no knowing what they were capable of doing to the theater and to its occupants, who were students preparing for the night’s year-end program.
i told them the regents were not inside the theater, and that only students were inside. when they persisted, hurling invectives and insults my way, i moved to the front of the theater door. the mob, MY FELLOW STUDENTS, men and women, pushed me against the door and tried to shove me away when i still blocked it.
it was probably only when the Student Regent realized that i was a student that he moved to stop them from verbally and physically harassing me. the LSG president came to my aid, as did a Law employee who had been guarding the other theater door. when the crowd was finally dispersed, still hurling insults our way (“mga puta kayo traidor kayo”), the damage had been done.
i am no longer the mildly amused student who passed by mobilization notices and shook my head, not wanting to be part of it yet still admiring my fellow students for standing up and fighting injustice.
i had always thought there was a better way to show displeasure and fight for principles. but i had never been one to stand against their chosen way.
as i child, on my father’s shoulder’s, i was there during EDSA 1. as a high school student, riding the lrt and mrt for the first time to head to the EDSA shrine, i joined the million strong who protested against the seeming triumph of corruption and injustice. but i had never joined in school mobilizations, never participated in propagandist gatherings, instead preferring the solution of getting an education the traditional way, in hopes of being able to contribute towards a better society.
that was not the only way, i knew, there were others. but always, always i respected the people who always found the strength to protest one more time and stand up one more time.
in the aftermath of december 15, i am the disappointed fellow student and scholar now more than ever convinced that courage of conviction must always find a way to respect the dissent of equally courageous conviction.
now more than ever, of the belief that no matter the level of breeding, no matter the level of education, there is no justification for violence and destruction. especially violence against fellow students and destruction of property we are merely holding in trust for the students of the future.
no justification at all.
to the people who made up the mob, the honorable individuals who banded together to form an incoherent, furious, destructive crowd, i say this:
visit the college of law again, where certainly we are also victim to petty differences and at times narrow mindedness, and you will find that the apathy you think we project to the rest of the University is not apathy at all, but the awareness that the five hundred plus people in the college have different beliefs, opinions, and principles, the acceptance of those differences, and the respect for those differences through the refusal to engage in violent methods in order to force the majority belief (should there be any) down other people’s throats.
should you visit us again, though, in the manner you did last, i daresay you will find more than just me blocking whatever door you intend to force your way through.