Today, Jun. 3, 173 lawmakers from the House of Representatives voted in favor of the Anti-Terror Bill. This means that now the bill only needs to be signed into law by the president. (If he doesn’t sign it, the bill could still lapse into law after 30 days.)
Things might seem bleak and hopeless now, but that doesn’t mean we should give up. There are still ways to protest against it, whether by going on the streets—be safe and wear face masks! The pandemic is still happening—or by joining the email protests.
How does the #emailprotest work? Every night “until they get rid of this bill” at 8 p.m., protestors send emails about junking the Anti-Terror Bill to different government officials. Check this Google Document to see sample templates, as well as other important information you’ll need for the protests. You can also check out this handy guide we made. (Remember: It’s imperative to keep yourselves and your information safe.)
If you want to draft your protests with other people (or need someone to walk you through it), you can join Developh’s “Anti-Terror Bill Email Protest.” They’ll be holding a Zoom room which will be “a space for us to write and send emails together that can be joined by any vouched-for person.”
Just as a reminder of why we need our voices to be heard: The Anti-Terror Bill can be abused to punish critics of the administration, with the bill allowing suspected terrorists to be wiretapped for 60 to 90 days, arrested without warrant, detained for up to 24 days and imprisoned for 12 years (or even for life).
As Chel Diokno said about the bill: “It’s very easy for the administration to go after the persons they perceive to be critics. I myself have been subjected to a case of inciting to sedition, which was later found to be without basis at all. So I can say that from experience, it’s not beyond the realm of possibility that critics will be charged with inciting to terrorism even if they have nothing to do with terrorist activities.”