Video cameras will be our ‘weapons’ on the day of the SONA, said Metro Manila police director Chief Superintendent Roberto Rosales. What a bizarre turn of phrase, I thought. The police made similar proclamations before the multi-sectoral Anti-Conass mobilization last month. They were to install CCTV cams in Makati.
When authorities make these kinds of announcements, it doesn’t matter whether they’re true or not, whether they have actually installed cameras or not. It is enough that the police have made such an announcement. The threat or promise of the camera’s gaze will be enough to alter the behavior of the observed. It is designed to impose a subtle means of control.
The only way to resist the power of the observer’s gaze is to return it. So today, while we all know Gloria Arroyo will be lying through her teeth, let us all tune in and look right back at her. Watch the SONA, document, take pictures if you are on the field, webcast from your homes, make notes and write.