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Collaboration as a Form of Resistance

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Presentation of my paper for Anthropology 275 (Seminar in Problems of Contemporary Culture Change: Social Movements and Collective Actions) graduate class at the University of the Philippines Diliman.

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Collaboration as a Form of Resistance

  1. 1. Collaboration as a Form of Resistance: The Struggle for On-Site Relocation among Informal Settlers of Quezon City Jessie G. Varquez, Jr. Anthropology 275. Professor Mary Racelis. University of the Philippines Diliman 12 March 2012
  2. 2. OutlineI. IntroductionII. Doña Imelda as the Site of ResistanceIII. The Struggle for Security of TenureIV. Covenant with the President; Co-optation with the StateV. Peoples Planning ProcessesVI. Negotiation, Ambivalence and SuccessVII. The Continuing Saga
  3. 3. Introduction• Community Organizers Multiversity (COM) – Profile of the NGO: VMG, leadership and staff – Projects and activities, funding partners – Victories, challenges and constraints• Fieldworks conducted – Workshops, Technical Planning, Public Hearing, Interviews and Observations
  4. 4. Theoretical underpinnings“In other words, like it or not, the state does matter, andone needs to take into account when discussing thepotential of urban subaltern activism.” (Asef Bayat, 2010)“Thus, the relevant point is not whether squatters arepoliticized or whether they have political connections,but that their very existence and identity as collectiveactors are entirely defined and enhanced by the politicalsystem in a patronizing relationship vis-à-vis the franchiseof their right to settle in the city.” (Manuel Castells, 1983)
  5. 5. Doña Imelda as the Site of Resistance • 2007 Population: 17, 647 • 17 Informal Settler (ISF) communities; 1, 136 – 8 Riverside – 9 Non-Riverside • Riverside communities are located in Kapiligan St • Ugnayang Lakas ng mga Apektadong Pamilya sa Baybayin ng Ilog Pasig at mga Tributary (ULAP)-Doña Imelda
  6. 6. The Struggle for Security of Tenure• Some 2,610 families have no security of tenure• More than half or 1,136 families are living along the banks of the San Juan River (Kapiligan ISF)• Houses in riverside communities are mostly makeshift• Sharers, i.e. families living with other families in a single structure, are common.• All houses in riverside communities have second or third floors.
  7. 7. Covenant with the President; Working with the State1. Walang ebiksiyon kung 5. Trabaho walang disenteng 6. Kapayapaan. relokasyon. 7. Rehabilitasyon pagkatapos2. Pagsasaayos ng mga ng Bagyong Ondoy. maralitang pamayanana sa 8. Paghirang. mga lungsod.3. Paghahatid ng mga batayang 9. Pakikilahok ng mga serbisyo sa mga komunidad. mamamayan.4. Badyet sa pabahay.
  8. 8. People Planning Processes• Land Research• Identifying sites for Near-Site Relocation• Housing Design• Costing• Workshop with Technical Assistance Organization (TAO)-Pilipinas• Meeting at FDUP for the soil test• Public Hearing at Barangay Hall
  9. 9. Negotiation, Ambivalence and Success“At ito ay isang breakthrough. Ibig sabihin nito, sa kasaysayanito ang nauna. Nanganganay, mahirap i-ere.”“Tinutuloy ko pa rin ang pangungulit sa gobyerno. Tayomahusay tayong magtulak, kaya magtiyaga tayo mga kasama.”“Mixed emotion din ako eh. Ano ba talaga ang mangyayari‘pag gumalaw na ang project na ‘to? Pero masaya ako dahilnatulak natin ang advocacy natin.” – Jose Morales, ULAP President In addressing his fellow community leaders
  10. 10. Negotiation, Ambivalence and Success“Bumaba talaga siya sa ilalim ng tulay, dinaanan niya ang mga bahay natinitirhan namin. Kaya buo ang pag-asa namin na may patutunguhanito. Maayos naman siya na kausap.”“Sa hirap po nito, ako mismo hindi maggaganito kung wala itongpatutunguhan.”“Eh kung walang sobra, saan kami, sa langit? ‘Wag niyo na kamingtawagin kung nagtataguan tayo rito! Totoo yan, ‘di kami nagbibiro.” - Zosima Evardone 81 Kapiligan Community Leader
  11. 11. The Continuing Saga• Collaboration with government agencies – Quezon City LGU (UPAO), DENR, DPWH, PCUP, NHA, HUDCC• Issues at hand – Local resistance – Land: research, reclassification, acquisition – 3-meter easement – Staging site – Costing and design
  12. 12. Working referencesBayat, Asef. 2010. Life as Politics: How Ordinary People Change the Middle East. Stanford, California: Stanford University Press.Brown, Michael F. 1996. “On Resisting Resistance”. In American Anthropologist, New Series, Vol. 98, No. 4 (Dec., 1996), pp. 729-735.Castells, Manuel. 1983. The City and the Grassroots: A Cross-Cultural Theory of Urban Social Movements. London: Edward Arnold (Publishers) Ltd.Friedmann, John. 1992. Empowerment : The Politics of Alternative Development. Cambridge, MA : Blackwell.Ortner, Sherry B. 1995. “Resistance and the Problem of Ethnographic Refusal”. In Comparative Studies in Society and History, Vol. 37, No. 1. (Jan., 1995), pp. 173-193.

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