[Press Release] Rights group uses “Wakanda Forever” sign to protest Marcos Day Bill or H.B. 7137 -TFDP

PRESS RELEASE
September 13, 2020

Rights group uses “Wakanda Forever” sign to protest Marcos Day Bill or H.B. 7137

Human rights group Task Force Detainees of the Philippines (TFDP) uses the movie Black Panther’s “Wakanda forever pose” in their social media campaign “Never Again to Martial Law” to protest House Bill No. 7137 (setting September 11 as President Ferdinand Edralin Marcos Day in Ilocos Norte) and the present authoritarian rule.

TFDP adopts the famous “Wakanda Forever pose” which was originally a symbol of salute to the fictional country Wakanda in the movie, Black Panther. “The crossed-arm or the X sign for this campaign signifies our resistance. We use it to express the call ‘NEVER AGAIN TO MARTIAL LAW’ and to resist any form of dictatorship in the present time,” said Fr. Christian Buenafe, O. Carm, TFDP Chairperson.

The campaign was launched online and can be seen in the group’s official Facebook page @taskforcedetainees (https://www.facebook.com/TaskForceDetainees) and Twitter account @tfdpupdates.

“We hope it would become a platform and a means for people to express their resistance in a popular way. The Thai people uses the “Hunger Games” hand gesture to protest, we will try to popularize the Wakanda forever pose or X sign for our resistance campaign,” TFDP explained.
“We do not extol a dictator. We constantly remind ourselves of his gross violations of human rights and his record-breaking thievery. This act is just a part of the grand scheme of the Marcoses to completely cover up their atrocities. The victims and their families are still on the arduous road to achieving justice, added Fr. Buenafe.

Emmanuel Amistad, TFDP Executive Director, stated that, “The proposed law is just one of the means of the Marcoses to distort history. They have been obviously utilizing all fronts to their advantage, especially since there seems to be a Marcos copycat in Malacanang and Marcos allies in Congress. They have also used the COVID-19 pandemic to limit people’s protest actions.”

“It has been said many times over, and we say it again, declaring the birth of a dictator as a holiday, even only in his birthplace, is an egregious act that is nothing short of disrespectful to the real heroes and martyrs who fought against dictatorship. This is a grave assault on human rights, justice and democracy,” Amistad lamented.

TFDP is living witness to the Marcos atrocities. The group was founded in 1974 by the Association of Major Religious Superiors in the Philippines (AMRSP) as a response to massive illegal arrests and detention, enforced disappearances, torture, massacre, hamletting, and other human rights violations.

TFDP was able to document close to 10,000 victims of human rights violations who eventually won in the Hawaii Class Suit against the Estate of Marcos. Some of the victims were also able to claim compensation under the Human Rights Victims Reparation and Recognition Act of 2013.

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