Friday, 4 May 2012

Violence and Bloodshed- All over an Empty Patch of Cow Grass ...

It is now a week since Bersih 3.0.
I couldn't really make much sense of what happened- to the Police, that is- for them to unleash the violence which they claim was provoked by the protesters at Dataran, when the barriers were breached.
One moment they were all relaxed and cool- the next, vicious rottweilers attacking those they are entrusted to protect.

Me- I was with the Medical Team walking from Brickfileds, thru Jln Tan Cheng Lock to Pasar Seni .... then on to Masjid Jamek (carrying an +/- 8kg backpack with equipments/supplies). We were there to provided medical services to anyone who may have needed it.
During the walk from Brickfields- everything was really cool (except the sun- which was blistering hot). I was actually impressed with the restraint shown by the police, and was actually full of praise for them ...
But suddenly I heard someone say "We are under Attack!! We are under attack!!" the walkie-talkie .... then pops of the tear gas.
Then we started going about with the work we came for- courtesy of the Pasukan D'Rottweiler Malaysia ... and as they say, the rest is history.
During that time, I chose to focus on my work, and so didn't pay much attention to what was happening around me- but I was horrified to see what actually took place via Facebook/ YouTube/ images/accounts/articles later that night.

And all these injuries/violence and criminal intimidation was over 
An Empty Patch of land with Cow Grass??!! 
What could the worst outcome of the "breach of barricades" have been? "Occupation" of public space by the public? Isn't that what it is for?
Datuk Bandar/IGP/Hishamudin fears Damage to the grass?
What- do our KL Datuk Bandar, Home Minister or the PDRM need the Cow Grass so badly for their meals or something?
Yeah- maybe they really are cows up there ...

Here are some excerpts of an account- from a journalist himself ...

"In all my years as a journalist, I have never felt 
as threatened and intimidated 
as I did that day. 
And I am one who has reported in conflict zones 
such as Afghanistan, Lebanon and Pattani.

If the police felt like they were justified 
in what they were doing, 
why then did they not allow journalists to document it?"

Violence against Malaysia

Zan Azlee is a documentary filmmaker, journalist, writer, New Media practitioner and lecturer. 
He runs Fat Bidin Media

May 04, 2012
MAY 4 — I waited for almost a week before actually writing ... There were so many emotions, I wanted to make sure that I was calm and coherent before actually commenting on it.......

Once everyone was as close to Dataran Merdeka as possible, I heard the leaders declaring the rally a success and calling for the crowd to disperse.
The crowd didn’t disperse ........................
The protesters had breached the barricade.

Here we go, I thought to myself ..............

But what happened next was something that I had never seen or experienced before. It was when the violence started.
Groups of policemen suddenly started attacking the protesters. They would gang up on individuals and just unleash punches and kicks.

I, along with many other journalists who were there, started shooting these attacks and arrests.......

But last Saturday was different. When we journalists started documenting what was happening, we instead ended up on the receiving end of the aggression.
The police started screaming at us in a very hostile way to stop shooting. I had police shoving my camera arms, pulling and pushing me away.

At one point, I was even detained by the police who had accused me of shooting a group of them (around 20, I think) beating up a protester......

I was lucky. Many of my other colleagues were assaulted and attacked just for doing their jobs. They were punched and kicked and suffered terrible injuries. Their equipment was confiscated and many even had their cameras and lenses smashed and destroyed.

"I also noticed something very strange. At one point, I saw that all the policemen who were in uniform had removed their Velcro nametags."

They were also moving in droves away from Dataran Merdeka and into the streets and they were just attacking, beating and arresting people.

Since I was witnessing all this and could not shoot anything, I started feeling sick to the stomach and decided to just walk to where I had parked my car and go home.

For the full article please go to The Malaysian Insider.