LIST: Important tips for newbies in rallies
MANILA, Philippines – Different groups from all over the country will stage a nationwide protest on Thursday, September 21, to mark the 45th anniversary of the declaration of martial law. (LIST: Martial Law 45th anniversary activities, protests)
Organizers expect thousands of people to participate in the nationwide activities after President Rodrigo Duterte suspended government work and classes in public schools on Thursday and dubbed it as a "national day of protest."
According to Manlaban Para sa Karapatan (Fight For Your Rights) organizers, it's important for protesters, expecially first-timers, to know their rights and rally protocols.
Rappler asked human rights advocates for important tips for first-time protesters. Here's what they said:
1. Bring your conviction
Shamah Bulangis, a Youth Resist leader, said that the purpose of rallies is to educate people.
Having your friends around during rallies is fun but according to Bulangis, it is beyond that – one must research about the cause being fought for before joining a protest.
"You have to have affinity to the cause itself. Try to understand where it's coming from and do research about it."
2. Bring water, cap, or umbrella to protect yourself from heat or rain
Be ready, rain or shine. Also keep yourself hydrated.
3. Be careful who you give your name to
According to Marj Salandanan of the Coalition of the Marcos Burial, it is important to be safe during rallies. Don't just give your name to people you don't know.
4. Have a buddy system
Salandanan advised first-time demonstrators to stick to their buddies or stay with their friends in case protesters would be dispersed.
5. Approach the ushers or organizers for problems or other concerns
Do not hesitate to approach the organizers or ushers in case you have questions or concerns regarding the program.
6. Tell your family or friends where you're going
It's important that people know where you are. Tell people you trust where you're going.
7. Bring an open mind
You're going to a social and poltical event. You will be meeting a lot of people. Bring an open mind with you.
8. Listen to other people
Learn to listen to what other people think. You will be meeting different kinds of people with different opinions.
9. Express yourself. Bring placards or artworks, if you want.
According to Josua Mata of KALIPUNAN, rallies are all about expression. If you have artworks, poems, or songs, you can show or perform them. Bring placards. Show your utmost support to the cause being fought for.
10. Don't be afraid
Lastly, fear has no place among Filipinos who are united. – Rappler.com