I Can't Believe The News Today
Oh, I Can't Close My Eyes
And Make It Go Away!
U2 - Sunday Bloody Sunday
For reasons that are many, Walski couldn't attend Sunday's vigil commemorating the one year anniversary of 10/11 - the November 10th Bersih rally. And going by what happened, once again, the police manage to turn a peaceful gathering into mayhem.
From Malaysiakini (subscription required, emphasis by myAsylum):
Riot police today dispersed about 300 people who had gathered at the Petaling Jaya Civic Centre.
The police moved into the crowd just as they were singing the national anthem and getting ready to leave. Before that they have heard short speeches from several politicians.
It's interesting that the riot police were deployed, as if the police presence there was to ensure that there would be a melee. And you wonder why the crime rate has spiralled upwards?
(hat tip: Crankshaft)
It seems that nothing pisses the cops off more than patriotic "troublemakers"...
(roadblocks, blockheads, and more, in the full post)
It's no wonder then that Malaysiakini reported Sleepy Head as saying:
Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi today defended the police in arresting 23 people, including three opposition leaders, who participated in a gathering in Petaling Jaya last night.
He said that the police had valid reasons to act against the 23.
(source: Malaysiakini, subscription required)
And Botak Head agreeing. When it comes to troublemakers, the patriotic kind are the ones these fuckers really can't stand....
Now, wouldn't it be more crime-deterrent effective if similar resources were deployed to fight crime, instead of causing chaos? The Royal Malaysian Police seem to think otherwise. In addition to the FRU, roadblocks were set up around the area as early as 7pm yesterday evening. More resources deployed, in other words.
Of course, the police probably think that deterring the crime of peaceful assembly probably weighs more on the scale of importance, compared to, oh... let's say, housebreaking, kidnapping, murder, and other less important crimes. Priorities, you know?
Anil Netto has, by the way, diligently catalogued accounts and stories of what happened last night (see here and here), as well as the day after. On a more cynical note, Walski's wondering if a fatwa against carrying candles in public places would be issued soon...
When protests - peaceful ones - against the status quo are treated with such strong-armed action, one can only wonder whom exactly the police "protect" and "serve". And Walski is not the only one who asks this question.
Certainly not the interests of the people at large... and certainly not those who feel that elections should be free and fair. And definitely not those who feel that in a civil society, attrocities like the ISA have no place whatsoever...