The passage of the Anti-Terror Bill in the House of Representatives last June 3, 2020 has sparked outrage both online and offline. The current outrage is only the latest in a political campaign to #JunkTerrorBill ever since it was introduced in Senate. All over the country, we’ve seen the outpouring of online protests, Twitter rallies, petition signings, contacting representatives, and even offline mobs in UP Diliman, Bacolod, and more.
The Anti-Terror Bill’s broad definitions of terrorism and lack of checks and balances have been the subject of the protests. Many youth groups, social organizations, and even individuals have united to show their opposition.
In the context of a woman, and as a feminist, the implications of this bill are terrifying. Being a woman struggling against the patriarchy in our personal lives, careers, and in politics means that our mere existence is a continuing battle for gender equality in society. We speak up. We talk to our friends about our issues. We join online discussions. We support relief operations for and by women. All of these actions would make us a suspected target under the Anti-Terror Bill.
Over the past years, we’ve welcomed the voices of women from all types of backgrounds and ideologies to share their own stories. At a time when all of us are under attack, it is now, more than ever, that we encourage people to resist in the ways that they can.
We all come from different contexts. Some might not be able to join the physical mobilizations because they live with immunocompromised family members, no transportation, or are not comfortable with the health and safety risks. This doesn’t mean that their contributions are not equally valid. People can still support the movement by calling or emailing their district representatives, signing petitions, joining online protests, sharing posts, and other many ways to support them. Even educating ourselves and spreading awareness can help reach others in our network who might still be on the fence about the topic.
When all of our individual contributions come together, we’re able to build a stronger opposition that is both far-reaching and encompassing of every single Filipino. We stand together for a better future. We stand together for a better Philippines.