Saturday, July 16, 2011

Anecdotes and Annotations of Bersih 2.0 Rally

Author's note: This is the final part of the companion piece of the Bersih rally coverage. Consists of the transcript of the live coverage recorded on 9 July, following by a pics gallery (rest on Facebook album). It is advisable to refer to the transcript and coverage before reading on.

Because this posting will eat a lot of space if most pics are included, I will put in comments based on pics number. Key for looking pic numbers is from (left to right, top to bottom, 4 in a row).

1 - 5: Hopping off from Bandaraya LRT station. I overheard the police telling the LRT personnel there to shut down the place no later then 12 noon. Direct entrance to Sogo was blocked off, so the security guard said to use the side entrance at the basement. I saw some people around the main street of Jalan Tuanku Abdul Rahman. From those pics I took, it was I was sitting while at the same time I was turning on the Cover It Live feature, which many of the audience have tuned into it. Most cops do not have numbers and names on uniforms simply I have the suspicion of people remembering the names. But the squad that was at Sogo was from the Sentul branch, judging from the FRU shields seen in #5 and #8.

6. The cops where doing a short marching drill up to the street and coming back down. 

8. Sitting in front of the Sogo main entrance.

10. At Masjid India. At least there are a few stalls up, and at least there is some fire sale that can be made from there.

13. At the end of Merdeka square, it's definitely sealed off, but obviously no one is going there, so technically it's an empty field there.

11-12 - It's a ghost town along Jalan Tuanku Abdul Rahman

15 - MPSJ councillor Michael Tamil and Masjid India Bumi Traders Association Chairman Muhd, Hafifuddin - who was wildly stating of "wanting to know the extend of losses happened on that day".

16 - 23: It's around noon time and scores of people were arrested in Masjid Jamek area. While being here, I was told that scores of people arrested in Brickfields and in Sogo area. Hundreds in Brickfields while people got beaten in batons and rotans, as I was informed.

18 - Masjid Jamek LRT just closed its doors. 

24 - 33: FRU trucks on the ready from Merdeka Square junction / Tun Perak. They got word of the convergence at Kota Raya later on. 

34. Squad of cops at the junction

40: Lawyers monitoring the proceedings. They took note when Mahfuz Omar and Salahuddin Ayub was arrested.

41. Truck is on standby -ready to move at Hatta Ramli's group later on. 

44 - 47: Shouts of "Takbir" and "Allah" were heard that loud and every reporter / photographer would rush to there in front of Standard Chartered Bank. Hatta Ramli was giving a few words to the crowd surrounding there. I am told that Chegubard was there, but could not see whether in the crowd or not.

49 - 57: The cops and FRU squad are ready to come after Hatta's group in case they decide to go down into Jalan Melaka, but it didn't happen, they bypassed the road and the crowd later showed up in front of Maybank HQ.

58: Jalan Tun H.S Lee is pretty quite quiet at that time.

59 - 70: The crowd at Maybank HQ swelling. At the same time, Chegubard and Hatta was giving a few more words on a loud bullhorn. Suhakam and Lawyers were seen in the scene as well.

71 - 72: Crowd from Petaling Street and Tan Cheng Lock converging together. 

80 - 88: Crowd with DAP leading coming from Jalan Bukit Bintang converging to Jalan Pudu heading towards Maybank HQ. The numbers swelled a lot, forming an estimate of 32000 by the time all are in (see pics 89-93).

94: Tear gas fired with water cannons first time. They are from the truck convoy first spotted at the start of Jalan Tun Perak. There were warnings given by the FRU squad commander.At this point of time between 1.30 to 3.00 pm, I was unable to do live coverage as the phone signal strength at Maybank HQ was weak.

95 - 99: The crowd would move back and forth just to make sure that the FRUs are not firing more tear gas and water cannons. After a pause, they would move to Jalan Pudu, intending to reach the Merdeka Stadium. 

100 - 101: MP Ipoh Barat M. Kulasegaran

102 - 107: Moving along Jalan Pudu towards Times Square. 105: Shamsul Iskandar PKR Youth chief drinking a dunk load of water.

108: It's raining and when I was sheltering at Tung Shin - it's quite heavy.

110: DAP's Ngeh Koo Ham and Fong Kui Lun

111 - 116: Walking along Jalan Pudu

118: The other end of Jalan Pudu was blocked by FRUs preventing anyone from reaching Times Square. This is just after the other end of Tung Shin Hospital

119: Sheltering in the parking lot due to heavy rain, not because of cops coming in from left and right.

121: Standing at the hospital main entrance. After this was taken, two canisters of tear gas were fired in the surrounding area of the hospital. Many bear witness to that moment, so that would be no lying from other officials.

124: With the rain reduced to drizzle, I decided to move out and fortunately two Al-Jazeera reporters where walking right at the entrance, so I managed to blend in with them. Fortunate though. The two guys are seen in # 126. I must say that this part is my close call section. I couldn't find a power outlet to recharge my iPhone as I am also doing live coverage. Fortunately to find one and recharged it to half-strength full.

127 - 135: FRU squads are closing in on the hospital area.

136: Ngeh and Sivarasa were trying to negotiate with the police to let the rest move out. But there was no dea in the end. Ngeh and Sivarasa taken to the police station. #137, partially hidden is Sungai Petani's Johari Abdul, whom I bumped into him in KFC after that. #138, Sivakumar from Perak

139: Water cannon is being fired again.

144 - 150: Pics of those FRUs who those arrested in front of the hospital.

151 - 152: A squad of cops charged into the hospital and simply arrest those who have yet to leave the hospital. 

159 - 162: More footage of those arrested after the raid.

163 - 164: At 4 p.m, the event was called to a close as indicated by the organizers. A Samad Said that they were unable to hand over the details of the memo to the Agong as the police blocked them 200 yards

165 - 169: 4.45 pm - press conference by some of the Bersih sterling committee members at Midah Hotel.

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