was the nonviolent overthrowing of the repressive regime
of Ferdinand Marcos in the Philippines
, February 22-25, 1986. While the movemement encompassed four days, its seeds were planted over a decade before. It all began when President Marcos declared martial law
, changed the constitution
, abolished the office of Vice President, and cancelled the 1973 election
Benigno Aquino, Jr., a champion of democracy, was expected to be Marcos' successor with his experience and political success until Marcos declared marital law. In 1972, Marcos had Aquino unjustly imprisoned and sentenced to death by a military court for the false charges of "murder" and "illegal possession of firearms". Though he was tortured and humiliated daily, Aquino ran for Parliament from behind bars in 1978. The First Lady, Imelda Marcos, robbed him of his place though the votes were in his favor. In 1980, Marcos allowed Aquino to leave for the United States for a heart bypass operation. Upon returning to the Philippines at the Manila International Airport, wearing a bullet-proof vest and in the company of foreign correspondents, Aquino was led through a side door of the plane leading to the ground. Seconds later, shots rang out causing pandemonium. After the shooting stopped, Aquino was found dead, shot from behind. For days, millions marched past his coffin to pay respect and show support. The procession of five million lasted 11 hours, making it the country's longest and largest funeral.
Aquino's death placed his widow, Corazon C. Aquino in the forefront of the campaign to regain democracy. She became a candidate for president in the 1986 elections. While Corazon Aquino had the votes to win, Marcos won as the elections were marred with widespread fraud and terrorism by his party. On February 22, 1986, Minister of Defense Juan Ponce Enrile and Vice Chief of Staff Fidel Ramos led a military rebellion against Marcos with some military support from their loyalists. Cardinal Sin appealed to the Filipinos to protect these two men from Marcos' forces. Thousands of civilians heeded his call, as Enrile and Ramos declared that they believed Corazon Aquino should be the real president. This started the Philippine revolution of 1986.
Men, women, and children, armed only with crucifixes, icons, hymns, rosaries, and flowers, made themselves human barricades between Marcos' troops and those of Enrile and Ramos. They faced and stopped armed Marines and tanks. Eventually, the people disarmed Marcos' forces. Soonafter, Corazon Aquino took her oath of office as president as Marcos fled into exile. People Power regained democracy for the Philippines.
Other instances of people power include the overthrow
ing of Czar Nicholas II of Russia
in 1917, the regime of General Hernandez Martinez of El Salvador
and General Jorge Ubico of Guatemala
in 1944. "Brotherhood" (loyalty of countrymen to each other) and religious commonalities and beliefs greatly helped the People Power Revolution in the Philippines
. In other countries where religion and brotherhood are discouraged, there is sometimes only conscience
to keep such a movement from becoming bloody
. People power didn't work in China
as thousands of unarmed pro-democracy protesters were killed by Deng Xiaoping
's "People’s Liberation Army" in and around Tienamen Square
in June 1989.