Writers’ Manifesto of Unity on the Freedom of _Expression

Writers’ Rights

Writers' Manifesto of Unity on the Freedom of _Expression

Prepared by the Amado V. Hernandez Resource Center, March 2006

Kapag malubha na ang init, sumasabog din ang bulkan

Pag labis ang pagkadustay naninigid din ang langgam;

At ang bayan, kahit munti, kung inip na sa karimlan

Sa talim ng isang tabak hinahanap ang liwayway!

-           Bonifacio, Amado Hernandez

We are writers belonging to various organizations, publications, academic institutions, and artist formations, or simply individuals, who manifest our commitment to the full realization of the freedom of _expression.

The practice of writing in our country is a witness of history. Since literacy has only been enjoyed by the majority of the people in less than a hundred years, much of writing has focused on dealing with immediate demands. We often write when we fill out record forms, we write when we study, we study in school for a better future; we struggle for a better future in our daily living.

But the significance of writing is communicating with the widest audience possible concerning the most important issues of the day. There are many examples in our history: the 19 th century ilustrado propaganda movement in Spain, the activists' second propaganda movement in the 60s and 70s detailing society's ills and offering concrete solutions, the mosquito press during the Marcos dictatorship, and the many exposes on graft, corruption, and conspiracy of the present.

Writing is inscribing reality. Writing is speaking truth to action.

Writers now are troubled by the suppression of the freedom of the press along with the freedom of assembly and speech. We maintain that our commitment to writing is our right as an individual that must never be violated by any entity. We believe that our right to write corresponds with the people's right to know. With the people, we fight all forms of harassment, surveillance, confiscation of materials, arrests, detention, and killings done in the name of protecting whatever interests that run opposed to the writer's freedom to express.

As writers, we strongly manifest the struggle for the people's hard-earned freedom of _expression.

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