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E. II.8.a. Resisting Marcos, 1983-86

The people power movement has been well covered by the literature on civil resistance – partly because it provided an impressive example of unarmed mobilization, which influenced many later people power protests, and also because the Aquino family and the Catholic resisters consciously adhered to nonviolent principles and took part in training sessions on nonviolent action organised, including some organised by an affiliate of the International Fellowship of Reconciliation. The events of 1986 have also been described and analysed in the broader literature on politics and rebellion.

Arillo, Cecilio T., Breakaway: The Inside Story of the Four Day Revolution in the Philippines, February 22-25 1986, Manila, CTA and Associates, 1986, pp. 288

Account focusing primarily on role of military and using extensive military sources, but also discusses the role of people power.

Bello, Walden, Aquino’s elite populism: Initial reflections, Third World Quarterly, Vol. 8, issue 3 (July), 1986, pp. 1020-1030

Observes that Cory Aquino’s movement seen as a third force by the US, though author rebuts US claims to have supported her before the fall of Marcos. Describes movement as ‘a genuine populist phenomenon’ with base in urban middle class, bringing onto the streets the lower middle class, unemployed workers and shanty town residents. Aquino avoided ties to the left, and did not need them to win the election, though – Bello claims – the left had paved the way for her ultimate success.

Bello, Walden, From the ashes: The rebirth of the Philippine revolution – a review essay, Third World Quarterly, Vol. 8, issue 1 (January), 1986, pp. 258-276

Leftist academic discusses sympathetically the role of the left and armed revolution in the countryside, but also explores the ‘legal, semi-legal and clandestine mass struggles in the cities’. Notes the creation by 1975 of a militant workers’ movement and the 1975 year-long wave of over 400 strikes, as well as networks among Catholics, professionals and students.

Cortright, David ; Watts, Max, Left Face: Soldier Unions and Resistance Movements in Modern Armies, Westport CT, Greenwood Press, 1991, pp. 296

The chapter ‘The Philippines: another Portugal?’, pp. 220-28, challenges the view that the Reformed Armed Forces Movement was ever a revolutionary movement, concluding ‘The primary thrust for the overthrow of Marcos and the installation of Cory Aquino came from the people themselves, notably the church and the middle classes’.

Ellwood, Douglas J., Philippines Revolution 1986: Model of Nonviolent Change, Quezon City, Philippines, New Day Publishers, 1986, pp. 60

Includes material on role of local peace movement, nonviolence training and a 1983 statement on ‘creative nonviolence’.

Fenton, James, The snap revolution, Granta, issue 18, 1986, pp. 33-155

Johnson, Bryant, The Four Days of Courage: The Untold Story of the People Who Brought Marcos Down, New York, Free Press, 1987, pp. 290

Emphasis on role of military and Catholic Church.

Komisar, Lucy, Corazon Aquino: The Story of a Revolution, New York, George Brazillier, 1987, pp. 290

Discusses role of Benigno Aquino and Corazon Aquino’s involvement in politics; pp. 105-23 focus on mutiny and popular protests.

Lee, Terence, The Armed Forces and Transitions from Authoritarian Rule, Comparative Political Studies, Vol. 42, issue 5 (May), 2009, pp. 640-669

Mendoza Jr., Amado Jr., ”People Power” in the Philippines, 1983-86, In Roberts; Garton Ash, Civil Resistance and Power Politics: The Experience of Non-violent Action from Gandhi to the Present (A. 1.b. Strategic Theory, Dynamics, Methods and Movements), Oxford, Oxford University Press, pp. 179-190

Discusses if the role of civil resistance from 1983 onwards ‘derived from a principled rejection of violence, or from particular strategic, moral, and cultural considerations’. Suggests all relevant to the moderate coalition against Marcos. Also discusses crucial role of US government – though divided – and notes the continuing problems facing Philippine democracy.

Mercado, Monina Allarey, People Power: An Eyewitness History: The Philippine Revolution of 1986, Preface and scenarios by Francisco S. Tatad, Manila and New York, J.B. Reuter and Writers and Readers Publishing, 1987, pp. 320

Pascual, Dette, Organizing “People Power” in the Philippines, Journal of Democracy, Vol. 1, issue 1 (winter), 1990, pp. 102-109

Brief but illuminating account, by the founder and chair of the National Women’s Movement for the Nurturance of Democracy in the Philippines, of the role played by her organization and two related civil society groups between 1983 and 1986.

Schwenk, Richard L., Onward Christians! Protestants in the Philippines Revolution, Quezon City, Philippines, New Day Publishers, 1986, pp. 102

Examines role of various Protestant groups and stresses Christian basis of nonviolence.

Thompson, Mark R., The Anti-Marcos Struggle: Personalistic Rule and Democratic Transition in the Philippines, New Haven CT, Yale University Press, 1995, pp. 225