Netizens speak out for press freedom on Black Friday
MANILA, Philippines – Though physically absent, defenders of press freedom made their voices heard by showing support online for the Black Friday for Press Freedom mass action in Quezon City on Friday, January 19.
The solidarity gathering led by the National Union of Journalists of the Philippines (NUJP) brought together hundreds of journalists, bloggers, advocates, and members of the academe at the Boy Scout Circle intersection in Tomas Morato, Quezon City, on Friday evening.
That evening, the hashtag #BlackFridayForPressFreedom became a trending topic in the Philippines, reaching 3,114,972 accounts.
The gathering came after the decision of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to revoke Rappler's license for allegedly violating the Constitution.
In tweets, netizens expressed their support for press freedom, saying that the administration's moves to stifle free speech will only produce more courageous journalists.
Thank you, Duterte. Your attempts to suppress press freedom will undoubtably give birth to more Maria Ressas, more Pia Ranadas - more Filipinos holding the line, more Filipinos speaking truth to power. #DefendPressFreedom #HoldTheLine #BlackFridayForPressFreedom— Bakla With A Cause (@jonasbagas) January 19, 2018
While some netizens mocked the number of participants in the protest, other Twitter users called them out, and said social movements are inspired by the minority:
Those people calling the #BlackFridayForPressFreedom protesters as “irrelevant bloggers” are missing the point of world history. Movements are precipitated by small people. Do not underestimate the power of the weak.— Fronteros (@fronteros) January 19, 2018
The more authoritarian Duterte's regime gets, the stronger the resistance becomes.— Josh Makalintal (@joshmaks) January 19, 2018
Solidarity with @rapplerdotcom and all the other critical voices holding power to account. Tuloy ang laban - #HaranginAngDiktadura #DefendPressFreedom #BlackFridayForPressFreedom https://t.co/eKGZgcTw0t
Meanwhile, others who weren't at the gathering expressed their support online and reminded the public that the press will always hold government officials accountable.
#BlackFridayForPressFreedom There in spirit supporting @rapplerdotcom and freedom of the press. Keep #leadership and government officials #accountable. They serve the people; their salaries are paid for by the people. #DefendPressFreedom #OustDuterte— J Darwin (@CognitiveHeart) January 20, 2018
Messaged my former prof to thank him for standing up against the atrocities of our godforsaken government. #BlackFridayForPressFreedom— (@anneplaza) January 19, 2018
Take a look at other #BlackFridayForPressFreedom tweets below.