MANILA, Philippines – When lead singer of U2 Bono honored female gamechangers all over the world during their first December 11 Manila concert – Rappler CEO and executive editor Maria Ressa included – fans reacted online: some were happy, while some were terribly confused.
Many fans were ecstatic to see U2’s social activism present on stage, hoping that U2’s message on protecting human rights and journalists would reach out, especially to the “government officials present during the concert.”
https://twitter.com/rapplerdotcom/timelines/1204935634831306753?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw“>Pro U2's politics – Curated tweets by rapplerdotcom
Some, however, were livid on the added politics to a night they believed was supposed to be just about the “music.”
https://twitter.com/rapplerdotcom/timelines/1204935683095195648?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw“>Anti U2's politics – Curated tweets by rapplerdotcom
U2 is known for speaking up on social and political issues – both on the stage, and off.
After performing “Beautiful Day,” Bono told the audience, “Human rights churn out human wrongs, that’s a beautiful day. When sisters around the world go to school with their brothers, that’s a beautiful day. When journalists don’t have to worry about what they write, that’s a beautiful day. When women of the world unite to rewrite history as herstory, that is a beautiful day.”
Before playing “Ultra Violet (Light My Way),” he dedicated the song to Maria Ressa and other iconic women, whose photos flashed on screen. Philippine Revolution heroine Melchora Aquino, zarzuela singer Maria Carpena, former president Cory Aquino, singer and actress Lea Salonga, Senator Pia Cayetano, the #BabaeAko movement, the One Billion Rising movement, Grrl Gang Manila youth activist Marinel Ubaldo, activist Lidy Nacpil Alejandro, and environmental and indigenous rights advocate Joan Carling were featured.
“Women who light up history, your own Maria Ressa, is an incredible woman. But the extraordinary thing is, even Maria will say it’s not about individuals. It’s about collective action. It’s about social movements. And so then all of you can grow up to be the President or Maria Ressa,” Bono said after the performance.
During a press conference in Manila on December 10, Bono also aired out his convictions on journalism, sharing that “the safety of journalists is very important, and I think a democracy requires a free press.” He sent out a “soft message” to President Rodrigo Duterte, saying “you can’t compromise on human rights.” – Rappler.com