Media, free expression groups to mount ‘Black Friday’ protests for press freedom

January 18, 2018 - 11:34 AM

MANILA, Philippines — Media and freedom of expression advocacy groups will be kicking off Friday, January 19, a series of protests against the bid to shut down news site Rappler and emerging threats to press freedom and other rights and liberties, including those in proposed amendments to the Constitution.

The National Union of Journalists of the Philippines, Let’s Organize for Democracy and Integrity, an alliance of artists and members of media, the College Editors Guild of the Philippines and Altermidya, a nationwide network of independent media outfits, will kick off the “Black Friday” protests with a 6 p.m. rally at the Boy Scout Circle at Tomas Morato an Timog in Quezon City.

The protest organizers also urged journalists and supporters of press freedom to wear black shirts or armbands on Fridays.

“Today Rappler. Who will be next?” they asked.

“The threatened closure of Rappler has proven that Rodrigo Duterte and his minions will stop at nothing to shut down critical voices even as they rush to amend the Constitution to produce an abomination that will not only perpetuate themselves in power but emasculate our rights and liberties,” they said.

“We cannot allow this to happen,” they added.