I left with 3 friends yesterday to attend the vigil near Amcorp Mall last night at about 9.00pm. Knowing there were several roadblocks set up around the area, we decided to chance parking near the civic center. As we were walking, we saw small groups who were obviously there for the same intention. Bumped into Chin Huat, and was informed the group in front of Amcorp had already been harassed, and were ordered to disperse. We were then told they would be re congregating in at the park near the civic center.
The group of us decided to proceed there. As we approached, we saw a crowd of maybe a hundred people gathering in the middle of the park, regular everyday people just like you and me. They were talking, holding candles peacefully and basically were there out of goodwill and a shared cause. YB Ronnie Liew and the Bersih chairman gave short speeches on the commemorating of the Bersih rally last year, and how the fight for free and fair elections not over yet. None of the demands have been met, i.e clearance of the voter list of phantom and dead voters, indelible ink etc etc.
As the speeches were made, someone said 'look RPK is coming'. Everyone immediately craned their necks to search for him, the chairman's speech was interrupted briefly.
When RPK started his speech, me standing at the back of the crowd heard police sirens. Soon there was a police force assembling the FRU team in a line. Used to this scene, I ignored the feeling of unrest in my heart and continued listening to what the speakers had to say.
Then I heard shouts of commands by the police to the FRU team. There was an aura of unrest around me, people were shifting their attention away from the speeches, looking nervously at the team of armed men behind us. I overheard conversations of people asking who the OCPD in charge was. YP Ronnie Liew had stepped to the back of the crowd. He was walking towards the police, accompanied by a couple of people, an obvious attempt to seek negotiations with the police force.
The crowd had at that time broke into a 2nd round of Negaraku, as the words "tanah tumpahnya darahku" were being sung, the FRU team started marching forward with no prior warning. YB Ronnie Liew who was walking towards them lifted up his hand in signaling them to halt.
Obviously this failed, the FRU continued marching at a rapid pace towards the crowd, people were starting to walk away in a brisk manner as the last words of Negaraku was sung. The sounds of loud and violent shouts by the police filled the air. I pulled my friends and we broke into a sprint. Bad idea being caught before we are called to the Bar, an arrest and conviction could ruin our careers for life.
As we ran away, we heard shouts and batons being banged on the shields. People were scattering like ants being ambushed. I got separated from Shar, who we came with. When we finally felt safe, we stopped near where our car was parked. I called Gus to locate Shar, and to my shock found out Gus had just been arrested.
We later reconvened at the fishing place, and exchanged stories around. Apparently 24 people had been arrested, some teenagers, some elderly people, mostly innocent civilians who couldn't get away in time.
I heard an old lady got pushed by the FRU team when they arrested her husband and she was trying to pull him away. She hit her head on a flowerpot... I also heard another lady was bashed in the back of the head by the FRU team, she was bloodied and sent to Assunta Hospital.
Nobody was spared, lawyers, MPs, innocent civilians, all were taken.
Here's something to note; this violence will not scare me away from attending a cause I believe in. This abuse of police power will not make me respect authority, but merely cause me to loathe them even more. This event will not turn me away from joining the cause, instead it has fanned an even greater passion in me.
My friends join me in the same sentiment, their exact words were "now that i've seen what abuse this country is being put to, I feel angry, let me know the next time we fight a cause, because there's an even greater reason for us to join in now.
So thank you Polis Diraja Malaysia, thank you Federal Reserve Unit, you have succeeded in fanning and igniting the passion and desire for change in the rakyat.