[Statement] We Won’t Be Silenced! – Lilak Statement on the Arrest and Detention of Young Women Environmental Activists

Lilak strongly condemns the Chamber of Mines of the Philippines’ (CoMP), Sofitel Philippine Plaza Manila’s, and the Philippine National Police’s (PNP) violent response to what was meant to be a peaceful and non-disruptive protest action.

On September 10, Tuesday, a silent protest amid the Mining Philippines International Conference and Exhibit by young women from the Alyansa Tigil Mina (ATM) Women and Mining Working Group was violently disrupted. The young women were then arrested and detained.

Young women from LILAK (Purple Action Indigenous Women’s Rights), together with indigenous women from the Maporac Aetas Organization (MAO), the National Rural Women Coalition (PKKK), and Oriang, painted their bodies with the words Kalikasan, Kabuhayan, Karapatan, and Kinabukasan in protest of large-scale mining in the Philippines.

The women including a Lilak representative who was documenting the silent protest were arrested, detained, and taken to a police precinct where they were questioned. The Sofitel’s security staff, which was composed of undercover security personnel, extracted the young women using brute force and went as far as to cover the women’s mouths and noses with cloths. One of our sisters begged the security to let her breathe. This forceful extraction caused injury among three of our companions.

The overreaction, violence, and uncalled for arrest and detention from the security officers of Sofitel and PNP is a testament of CoMP’s and the Philippine government’s intolerance against environmental activists.

Lilak, as a collective of women human rights activists supporting indigenous women’s struggles and as a convener of the ATM Women and Mining Working Group, will continue its fight against large-scale mining and extractives, against the displacement of indigenous peoples, and against prejudice and violence of environmental and human rights activists and women human rights defenders.

#WeWontBeSilenced #KababaihanLumalaban #KababaihanLabanMina
#KatutubongLilak #LILAK

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