When Social Punishment is counterproductive
CDM – non CDM and Social punishment
Civil disobedience is the central pillar of this revolution. It’s important to understand the effort of these heroes and at the same time to understand the reasons of the ones who continue to work.
When soldiers started to shoot live bullets at protesters, many stopped going on the streets because of fear of being shot or being arrested. Less and less people stayed in the front lines. After 4 months protests changed form, now only few very brave youths engage in guerilla style protests that last 1 minute or so.
CDM is also becoming increasingly more difficult. Civil workers are like front liners. The government has their names, home addresses, phone numbers. Thousands CDMers have been beaten, arrested, evicted, suspended or fired. Many are hiding, many had to return to work because they have not received any financial support in the last three months. The ones who joined CDM are sacrificing a lot, and many are willing to go to the extreme, but can we blame the ones who don’t?
After all not everyone was in the front lines during the protests, and not everyone are joining the PDF (People Defence Force). Many are not even banging pots anymore because it’s dangerous. Can we blame people for not protesting on the streets? Can we blame people for not joining the PDF?
These are some factors that make it easier for workers to join CDM:
– financial security
– no family/children
– having a safe place to hide
– working for non
– key departments or for indulgent bosses
– living in big cities where people don’t know them
These are factors that make it harder to join:
– financial problems (debts, rent, no other income sources)
– family and children (also makes it harder to escape)
– not having a place to hide
– working for key departments or for pro military managers
– living in small villages/quarters with many dalans
Not all workers are the same. Depending on these factors joining CDM can be easier or harder. Many workers with more limitations will not join CDM. But just like most other people, they can find other ways to oppose the coup. Understanding other people’s limitations is a fundamental part of a democracy.
In exactly the same way, when rich people can afford to give more, it doesn’t mean that poor people who can give little, are worthy of punishment. People should be allowed to contribute according to their own capabilities.
Practically, after 4 months Social Punishment against non CDMers is not going to make them change idea. Actually right now there are many CDMers who are going back to work because of financial problems. How can we blame nonCDMers when even many CDMers are going back to work?
SP should be reserved to the ones truly benefiting from the coup, Tatmadaw, cronies and people clearly supporting the regime.
Verbally or physically threatening normal people will only cause divisions and anger among local communities and will push regular people away from the revolution. It’s very dangerous, and it can easily cause real problems (making people call the police, or seeking revenge).
A popular revolution can’t only be made of few radical people. It needs to be inclusive and to grow in size. The example our CDM and PDF heroes are setting, should be a source of inspiration for the moderate people in order to strengthen our movement. It needs to unite millions to oppose the real enemy: the regime and its oppressive system.