Movement Against Tyranny unfazed by limited space for protest at Luneta
It’s all systems go for protest actions on Thursday to denounce the alleged tyranny and extrajudicial killings in the country despite the limited space allowed by the National Parks Development Committee (NPDC), the Movement Against Tyranny’s (MAT) said on Wednesday.
“It’s all systems go for the Movement Against Tyranny Sept 21 #FightTyranny #StopTheKillings protest at the Luneta, on Burnham Green, 4 p.m.,” the group said in a statement.
The protest actions were slated to culminate at the Luneta park to commemorate the 45th anniversary of martial law declaration.
The group, however, criticized NPDC authorities for “trying to limit space” for its massive protest actions.
“(T)he space in Luneta ‘assigned’ to the MAT rally at the Lapu-Lapu monument is not large enough to safely accommodate the tens of thousands expected to join the Sept 21 protests,” it said.
MAT also pointed out President Rodrigo Duterte’s earlier statement that said all parks are open to be venues of peaceful protests after declaring Thursday as “National Day of Protest.”
“But this is belied by the actions of his officials at the National Parks Development Committee (NPDC) who would like to relegate the rally to an insignificant portion of Luneta,” said the group.
Despite having been informed of the group’s rally, the NPDC has assigned the Burnham Green, which can accommodate a crowd of 100,000, to the Lions Club for its event that has only 2,000 participants, the coalition said.
Lions Club officials told MAT members that they will abide by whatever will be the NPDC’s decision, the group said.
Despite this, the group assured that “tens of thousands of Filipinos (will) not (be) prevented from gathering tomorrow to express our commitment to #StopTheKillings and #FightTyranny.”
“MAT asserts the constitutional right to free assembly. We strongly suggest that government officials exercise common sense and cooperate with the protest coalition in ensuring a proper venue and peaceful atmosphere on the national day of protest,” the group said. /idl
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