‘Is this the new normal?’ Catriona Gray questions Pride march arrests
MANILA, Philippines – Miss Universe 2018 Catriona Gray was among the celebrities who spoke out against the arrest of at least 20 Pride march participants on Friday, June 26.
Members of the LGBTQ+ rights group Bahaghari and other progressive groups as well as two drivers were arrested in Mendiola in a gathering meant to celebrate Pride month and protest the anti-terror bill.
The groups wore masks and observed physical distancing during the protest, but were dispersed by police.
The police later said they were being charged with Disobedience of Person in Authority in relation to Republic Act 11332, otherwise known as the Law on Reporting of Communicable Diseases, and Batas Pambansa 880, otherwise known as Public Assembly Act.
Referring to the arrests of the protesters, Catriona asked on Twitter on Friday, "Is this the new normal?"
Is this the new normal? Earlier today a peaceful #PRIDE rally held in Manila where mask wearing participants practicing social distancing were met by police in riot gear and arrested.— Catriona Gray (@catrionaelisa) June 26, 2020
"If proper health guidelines were being followed (social distancing, mask wearing), why the use of force?" she wrote.
"Why the withholding of rights (witnesses said they were not read their Miranda rights before arrest nor given reason of arrest)? Videos circulating online confirm this," she added.
If proper health guidelines were being followed, (social distancing, mask wearing) why the use of force? Why the withholding of rights (witnesses said they were not read their miranda rights before arrest nor given reason of arrest)? Videos circulating online confirm this.— Catriona Gray (@catrionaelisa) June 26, 2020
She then implored her followers to raise their voice, reminding them, "Pride since the beginning has been a protest."
"Now is the time to speak up," she said, adding the hashtags #FreePride20 and #PRIDE2020.
Other artists and celebrities have condemned the Pride march arrests, and called for the detained protesters to be freed. – Rappler.com