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Jul 2, 2008

Rising Street Protests


WATER CANNON AND TEAR GAS USED IN THE HINDRAF PEACEFUL ASSEMBLY IN BATU CAVES

More than 40,000 protested on 10 November and about 50,000 went out to protest on 25 November 2007. It was a huge amount t of protesters in Malaysia’s history after almost 10 years. A total of approximately 100 000 Malaysians who have taken o the streets in peaceful and non-violence protests, not counting the smaller protest against fuel price hikes, toll rates hikes, judiciary reforms and various issues regarding ethnics.

Hundreds are netted by police, the larger portions that are released after some hours of detention. What goes on during those hours of detention, only those who have been in can tell. No doubt, police will try to weed out the ‘ring leaders’. Yet all the mainstream media reports, however biased, there is noticeably a common denominator-it is the police who started firing tear gas and used water cannon to spray and disperse they unarmed crowd.

The police alleged that they have used minimum force against protestors, but using machines like water cannons and tear gas is not a minimum force towards the peaceful protestors. It could be construed as an unjustified amount of force against people who were in no way being violent in defending themselves. Television footage showed that some even not defending them.

Those who went out into the streets to openly express their frustration with the breakdown of law and order, the denial of constitution and human rights, the increasing deterioration and distortion of electoral system, and the rising living cost in the absence of comparative increases in incomes, were told that they were being “un-Malaysian”.

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