June 25, 2020
Malaya Movement Statement
On the Harassment of Pride Protest
Movement strongly condemns the illegal arrests of members of progressive LGBTQIA+ organization, Bahaghari, and the violent dispersal of their peaceful Pride protest by officers of the highly militarized Philippine National Police. Even ahead of the enactment of the Anti-Terror Bill into law, fascism runs wild in the streets wearing fatigues and combat boots.
Just hours ago, Bahaghari (rainbow in Tagalog), conducted a peaceful Pride protest to oppose discrimination and violence against the LGBTQ community, as well as the Anti-Terror Bill. As seen clearly in videos posted on Bahaghari’s social media page, attendees at the Pride protest observed proper social distancing protocols and donned face masks.
Yet as they began their program, dozens of police officers swarmed the attendees and began arrests. Ten Bahaghari members and a number of others from GABRIELA and GABRIELA Women’s Partylist, a Filipino women’s organization, who all attended the Pride Protest are currently detained at the Manila Police District Headquarters, awaiting legal counsel.
Bahaghari is all too familiar with the violence and harassment constantly being experienced by LGBTQIA+ Filipinos when walking around city streets, and that interactions with police or military do not offer any assurance of safety or protection. This past April, in a gross display of the vicious nature of Duterte’s COVID-19 quarantine measures, three LGBTQIA+ persons were forced by a police captain to perform a “sexy dance” in front of a 15 year old adolescent. When the captain was not satisfied with their performance, he forced two of the three detained to kiss each other.
Malaya Movement stands with Bahaghari in boldly proclaiming that “Pride is Protest”! We lift up these brave defenders of democracy, who fight to rescue freedom from the clutches of fascism. We proudly stand alongside them in upholding and asserting the human rights inherent and inalienable to all Filipinos!
The Malaya Movement demands the immediate and unconditional release of those who were arrested at the Pride protest. We also urgently demand that President Duterte immediately vetoes the Anti-Terror Bill.
Pride is Protest!
Maki-beki! Wag Mashokot!