LIST: 2021 Independence Day protests, activities

Various organizations will stage protests and online discussions on Independence Day, June 12. This is the second time Filipinos are commemorating Freedom Day during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The rallies and discussions to commemorate Independence Day this year come in light of issues of Philippine sovereignty involving the Chinese militarization of the West Philippine Sea and President Rodrigo Duterte’s policy of dealing with China and its encroachment into Philippine waters. 

Groups have also emphasized that this year’s celebration will renew calls urging Filipinos to vote and choose the right leaders as the 2022 Philippine elections draw nearer.

Among the groups leading mobilization efforts are Anakbayan, League of Filipino Students (LFS), and Kabataan Party list.

Here’s a running list of protests and events on the Philippines' 123rd Independence Day:

Mass protests

Bagong Alyansang Makabayan (BAYAN), will stage #AtinAngPinas protest at the Chinese Consulate in Makati City on Saturday, June 12, at 9 am in a bid to urge China to keep its hands off the West Philippines Sea.

Other youth groups, including Anakbayan, Kabataan Partylist, Tulong Kabataan, and the College Editors Guild of the Philippines will gather at the University of Philippines-Diliman at 8 am before the protest in Makati.

The Malaya Movement, a US-based human rights group that seeks to broaden US-based support for freedom and democracy in the Philippines, will also stage protests in New Jersey (12 pm EST), Illinois (12pm CST), and Washington D.C. (1 pm EST) on June 12 for President Rodrigo Duterte's "failures to stand for Philippine sovereignty over the West Philippine Sea."

Meanwhile, Bayan USA Northeast will organize a rally on June 11 in New York (5 pm EST), to demand the resignation of President Rodrigo Duterte for his defeatist remarks in relation to China's incursions in the West Philippine Sea.

Webinars

To shed light on the issue of the country’s sovereignty, several organizations will hold online discussion a day before and on the day of the commemoration.

Some webinars will also tackle the challenges faced by Filipinos and other matters in relation to the upcoming elections.

Friday, June 11

  • "PILIPINAS: Nakamtan nga ba ang tunay na kalayaan?" at 1pm
    The webinar will be organized by he local student council of Bulacan State University-Bustos. This will be conduced via Zoom and livestreamed on the organization’s Facebook page. Interested participants may register online through this link
  • "InDEFENDence for Philippine Waters" at 2pm
    This webinar hosted by the Philippine Medical Students' Association, will feature Justice Antonio Carpio and lawyer Jay Batongbacal. Those interested to join may register here.

Saturday, June 12

  • #DemocracyTalks at 10am
    YouthLed PH, a 5-year initiative by The Asia Foundation and United States Agency for International Development will be conducting this webinar via Zoom. Those who are interested may register here.
  • "Kalayaan: Nasa atin nga ba?" at 2pm
    This educational discussion will be led by the League of Filipino Students-Metro Baguio. Join the event by signing up here.
  • "Isang boto, Isambayan" at 2pm
    The 1Sambayan opposition coalition will hold a webinar to discuss matters related to the 2022 election. Participants may sign up through this link.
  • "END-DEPENDENCE: Milk Tea Gathering" at 3pm
    Kabataan Partylist will host a roundtable discussion on the youth’s role in asserting national sovereignty, which will be participated by youth leaders from other Asian countries such as Hongkong, Taiwan, Thailand, Malaysia, and Myanmar.
Social media activities

Ahead of Independence Day, other groups will be organizing a youth-led discussion dubbed "Duterte’s Dignity has sailed away" on Wednesday, June 9 at 6 pm to tackle the South China Sea dispute and President Duterte’s response to this issue.

This will be followed by a social media rally on Friday, June 11 to protest against the Chinese aggression in the West Philippine Sea.

Aside from the online protests and discussions, DAKILA, along with #CourageON: No Lockdown on Rights coalition, will also be leading an online campaign and art exhibit on June 12.

The exhibit aims to speak up against attacks on Philippine independence.

Those interested to join may create a digital or physical artwork banner showcasing their version of freedom. People may display their artwork outside their homes, take a photo of it, and then upload on social media by sharing to Rappler Room and/or using the hashtags #BanderaNatinTo and #ArawNgKalayaan. People may also share these immediately online.

Artworks will be reposted on DAKILA and Rappler's Facebook pages.

See the full mechanics below:

– Rappler.com

Patricia Kahanap is a Rappler intern and a third-year journalism student from the University of Santo Tomas. She is also the executive editor of TomasinoWeb.org—their university’s premier digital media organization.