Use of sonic weapon is ‘US-style fascism’
We at Agham—Advocates of Science and Technology for the People—strongly condemn the Philippine National Police’s use of sonic weapon Long Range Acoustic Device (LRAD) against participants of the mobilization coinciding with the Asean Summit. This brutal attack is a manifestation of the increasing fascism of the Duterte administration and its readiness to use dangerous methods to suppress people calling for their demands.
LRAD is a sonic weapon which indiscriminately emits a loud sound way above the average human limit for hearing without damage at 85 decibels. Its intense, high-pitched sound is proven to have health consequences, causing potential ear damage or permanent loss of hearing to activists, bystanders and members of the police force alike. The PNP’s indiscriminate use of such device placed all within hearing range of it in
serious potential harm.
The use of LRAD is patterned after “US-style fascism” to suppress the people by whatever means. LRAD was first used to disperse a protest in 2009 during the G20 Summit in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, where victims sustained permanent hearing loss, tinnitus (ringing of the ears), barotrauma, ear pain and disorientation when the LRAD was activated without warning.
It is the people’s right to voice out their legitimate demands against the anti-people agenda of the United States, China, Russia and other imperialist countries in Asean. For 50 years, Asean has served as a platform for these nations to keep control of their neocolonies, where the member-countries enter into multilateral and bilateral agreements on trade and security at the expense of sovereignty.
In concrete terms, Asean is one of the mechanisms that has led to the current state of the country’s import-dependent and export-oriented economy where we become a source of raw materials and cheap labor and a market for surplus products.
At a time when science and technology is being used against us, we will strengthen our collective action and raise our voices against President Duterte and US President Donald Trump’s fascism and militarism. We will continue to struggle for justice and genuine change, and for science that serves the interest of the people.
DR. GIOVANNI TAPANG, chair, Advocates of Science and Technology for the People, firstname.lastname@example.org
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