Friday, 19 June
9:00 am (Philippines) – 12 pm
(Thursday, 18 June – 6:00 pm – 9:00 pm Pacific time/9:00 pm – midnight Eastern time; Friday, 19 June, 1 am UTC)

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PROF. MARJORIE COHN, Deputy Secretary General of the International Association of Democratic Lawyers on
“Weaponization of the Law Against Popular Resistance in the US and Philippines”

ATTY. NERI COLMENARES, Chairperson of National Union of Peoples’ Lawyers
“The New Terror Bill: Stifling Dissent in the Midst of COVID”

JASSMIN POYAOAN, ESQ., Director of the Community Economic Justice Clinic at East Bay Community Law Center on
“Movement Lawyering from the U.S. to the Philippines: How Lawyers Can Support Social Change Outside of the Courtroom”

As the world is battling a deadly pandemic and worsening economic crisis, governments across the globe have proposed and fast-tracked new laws to quell the crises and resulting civil unrest. Yet, critics argue that these laws enable government harassment, intimidation, mass arrests, surveillance, and the criminalization of dissent. In the Philippines, President Duterte is very close to signing House Bill 6875 (Anti-Terrorism Bill), which grants the government full discretion on what constitutes terrorism. Critics fear that this will be unfairly used against peaceful protestors and other innocent civilians. In the U.S., the government has been criticized for allowing the prosecution of “Black Identity Extremists” as domestic terrorists, a designation used against protestors for Black Lives Matter. In the wake of multiple police murders of Black citizens in the U.S., President Trump has additionally encouraged law enforcement and military to use violence against Black Lives Matter protestors and journalists.

Given the current political moment in the Philippines and the U.S., how can lawyers, law students, legal workers, and other advocates continue to push the boundaries of the profession in order to empower marginalized communities and fight for justice?


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