To be honest, I had something on at 2pm which I couldn't miss, so I got to KLCC a little later than 3pm. Previous rallies and protests (especially the ones at Sunway Pyramid) have lasted over three hours before the crowd gathered and organised themselves and dispersed.
To my surprise, this one was over in a hurry. There was no doubt there was going to be an event there. Police presence at quite a distance from KLCC already assured me of that fact.
I asked around, and it appeared that police started arresting protestors shortly after some rousing speeches by the Suaram and PAS guys. Over 50 people were thrown into the slammer, apparently.
Looks like the cops are getting smarter at dealing with protestors by just hustling them into vans and driving off.
Heck, there was even a police bus there, though I wouldn't know if it was to transport the cops in or hustle the protestors out.
I hung about for a while, did some walking about and when I came out again at almost 6pm, there were STILL cops walking around, though most looked rather relaxed.
This police van was parked on standby - I have no idea what they were expecting. After all, they'd already sprayed chemical-laced water on the protestors, according to Screenshots. Unfortunately, I might have missed that by minutes.
By the time I arrived, things were quiet and peaceful. I took a few tentative shots, but I couldn't get too near as I didn't want my PDA phone with which I took the photos confiscated.
Even while I was taking these shots at a distance, the coppers were giving me the hairy eyeball.
Shagedelica managed to get some good shots though. The last one with the FRU trying to chase the crowd away is funny. :)
However, there are evidently still many amongst us who cannot appreciate the need for freedom of expression, much less the need for lower fuel prices. This guy, for instance who even goes all the way to look down on those who organised the demonstration.
Granted - Thailand, Vietnam, India, Philippines, Singapore and other countries have much higher fuel prices than we do. But we're comparing ourselves non-petroleum producing countries. Are we on par with Saudi Arabia for instance? Or Kuwait? Or Brunei? Huh?
Sheesh. It's so Malaysian to compare ourselves with those inferior to us. We need better management of our resources and the government hasn't been doing a good job. Hence the need for a protest of some sort.
We should ALL be holding those banners up high.