Right, here are some photos from the protest. Sorry they are so poor quality. There was very little light, and my camera sucks.
Above you see the goon patrol, armed with tear gas and shotguns, looking like the goonheads they are.
Here you see the goons confronting a demonstrator. Notice how the goons are armed with shields and helmets and shotguns, while the protester is armed with shorts and flip-flops. The head goon that you see in the middle without a helmet is enemy number one. He was a real a-hole. If you happen to see him on the street, please fart on his face repeatedly for me, to get revenge for what he did to us tonight.
Above you see the gang of 10 who were later arrested. I was stuck with them for some two hours because the goons would not let us leave. The goons thought I was a demonstrator with them. Thanks you guys for keeping me entertained during our time together! We shared some good laughs with each other before the trouble started. I hope they are released soon.
I know this next picture is really crappy, but you can just make out all of the other demonstrators in the back on the main highway, and up on the bridge.
This is when the gang of 10 laid down on the ramp blocking traffic from entering the main highway.
This picture is of the goons handcuffing and arresting one of the gang of 10 who were lying on the ground.
This picture is when the remaining protesters decided to sit down and block the main highway after the gang of 10 was arrested. (Sorry for the crappy quality again).
Just after this the goons fired the tear gas and everyone dispersed, and my camera's batteries also decided to die on me. So the end.
Check back tomorrow afternoon sometime for the full story. I'm sure some of the news agencies will have released reports by then, so go and search Yahoo News also. Bed time for me.
This entry was posted
on Friday, October 29, 2004 at 10/29/2004 02:15:00 am. Permalink
Chanad i'd just like to ask, whether the goons yesterday were 'naturalized' goons, local goons or goons from the US Naval & Support base.... because there are several reports going around that there were US forces on ground that started the whole tear gas and rubber bullets fiasco is juffair, along the highways and in janabiya/budaiya as well....
if anyone of the organizers or media crews from the protests are reading (as usually they do)this , if u want a really really good impact, i'm not saying the previous demos haven't been impactful,
u really need to get out on the roads in the week day morning between 8am to 11am and 2pm - 3pm and have yo ppl lying across the roads, caged to traffic signal poles and to the highway barriers, have some of yo ppl handcuffed to each other and have a chain of handcuffed portesters lying across the road from one side of the street ot the other chained to traffic signals........
This is probably one of the most effective ways to get yo word out!
Secondly, since the goons have started clamping down on drivers at the rallies, arresting them n charging them a fine of a 100bd for disrupting traffic, bloggers in bahrain reporting on the protest news may be fined as well - tho tht news is currently not publicly known.... but chanad u're doing the ppl in bahrain a grt favour by keepin us all informed......
Just a heads up here that sourced from AI(UK)Have been doccumenting evidence of police brutality against demonstrators from such protests in the recent weeks (thanks to the bloggers in bahrain for info in various protests)... & AI correspondants are amongst the protesters as well......:-)
I'd still like to know if the us goons at the naval base had anything to do with the rubber bullets that were fired on demonstrators around the embassy and in juffair late last night...
Anon, when I speak of the "goons", I am referring to our good old "public security" forces, who are mostly naturalized pakistanis and jordanians. I don't like calling them the "public security", because that's not what they do.
Now I was only the flyover on the highway that goes from the saudi causeway through to Mina Sulman. I wasn't able to go to the American Embassy area, so I can't speak about what happened there. But where I was, I did not see any Americans anywhere. All of the forces there were under the control of the Bahrain government. At the start it was restricted to the "public security" forces. And then when things got heated they sent in a few truck loads of those guys in blue camouflage uniforms. I don't know whether they come under the police or the BDF. I saw first hand the guys who let off the first few shells of tear gas, and they were most certainly not Americans.
Regarding your proposed strategy of blocking the roads during peak hours, I have to say I disagree strongly. While I agree that civil disobedience is a legitimate option since it is non-violent, one must be wise to weigh the gain in publicity against the public nuisance these acts may cost. I think the rally that was planned for yesterday was a reasonable means for demonstration because it didn't completely block off traffic. The idea was that the demonstrators would take up the rightmost lane only, allowing regular traffic to continue.
The only time I would resort to something like blocking off a road is when the authorities are denying you to hold any type of peaceful and non-intrusive protest. Apart from yesterday and a couple previous times, the authorities have allowed the protesters to demonstrate relatively freely. Therefore I don't think it is necessary to stop kids from going to school and people from going to work. However, if this option is permanently denied by the authorities, then maybe one can start thinking about creating a public nuisance. But right now I don't think it's worth it.
oops, sorry for the above link, i cut and paste the wrong one, hereis the one i meant to send http://www.newsday.com/news/nationworld/world/wire/sns-ap-bahrain-arrests,0,3066954.story?coll=sns-ap-world-headlines
Well those "goons" must have been the Jooos, cause Americans would have taken over the entire island and set you free. Of course, somebody would have accused us of doing it for oil. Got any oil on the island?
Listen, study the civil rights demonstrations of the 60's with MLK. Not the acts of violent disobedience, but the peaceful ones. Chan'ad's right; it has to be peaceful. Slowly more and more people joined until the government had no choice but to acknowledge civil rights of everyone because there is strength in numbers and it's a no brainer.
well i think tht what i said before .. should be taken into consideration cos according to a report filed by the OMCT (http://www.tunezine.com/breve.php3?id_breve=842) the protesters are being denied their right to peacefully protest & new sources from the demos have this info as of early today morning that Mr. Abdul Rawf Al-Shayeb, spokesman of the National Committee for Martyrs and Victims of Torture in Bahrain and Mr. Mahmud Ramadan, a board member of the Committee, were arrested by the anti-riot Police, together with several dozens demonstrators during a Car Parade protest march organized by the Committee.
Mr. Abdul Rawf Al-Shayeb, Mr. Mahmud Ramadan and the other demonstrators arrested are currently detained in West Riffa Prison. About a hundred demonstrators received letters of summons to appear at the Police department. Moreover, on October 28 in the morning, Mr. Al-Khawaja's wife received a phone call from the police summoning her to appear at the police department. She was threatened to be arrested if she failed to do so.
Anon, If you have been following my coverage of the Al-Khawaja affair, you will know that I have attended in person about six demonstrations now I think. Asides from the rally held this Thursday night, at all of the other protests I have attended the demonstrators were allowed to protest quite freely, with a level of freedom that I have never seen before in Bahrain, nor had I expected to see. At these protests the police had a minimal presence and generally tried to stay out of sight.
The only times that the cops have really got in the way of the demonstrators is when the car parade protests have been done, such as on Thursday night. I think it is wrong of the govt to deny these protests, but I don't necessarily see it as a denial of free speech altogether. I feel then that maybe the demonstrators should continue holding the normal protest marches (which the govt is tolerating) rather than force a showdown by insisting on having these car parade protests. I believe it is possible to think of creative ways to get mass public attention without being a public nuisance.
If however the cops were to crack down on ALL types of public protests, only then would I consider civil disobedience as a legitimate option.
Thanks for the coverage Chana'ad and taking the effort to go, putting yourself at risk.
Did you speak to any protestors? Whats the general mood in the protest? I now when some Bahrainis see a foreigner taking a photo they think he is Mukhabarat so be careful. The Mukhabarat are loved by Bahrainis about as much as the local population of cockroaches.
7alaylia, yes, I did get to talk with protesters. As I mentioned I was stuck with the group of 10, including Abdul-Rauf Al-Shayeb, that were later arrested. I will have a full post about it soon (sorry, I've been slacking).
I've been covering the protests for quite a while that many of the protesters are beginning to recognize me, so I think they know I'm not Mukhabarat. And they are generally looking for all the publicity they can get. Many times I've been asked by demonstrators to take shots of them while theyre posing.