the good news: no one from SOAS got arrested or badly hurt.
the bad news: there was a lot of police violence, tear gas, pepper spray and police batons used on everyone. The demonstration did not achieve its aim of getting into the Bella Centre, and the delegates from the NGOs who were planning to walk out to meet the demonstration were prevented by the police from getting out. HOWEVER the demonstrators did manage to carry out a peaceful People's Summit justoutside the Bella Center, a democratic-ish forum for all the
demonstrators from all over the world to get together to exchange ideas and get them heard. As I type this demonstrators have marched peacefully back to the city proper.
I did not take part in the demonstration but I did make it to the People's Summit. I spent most of the night in the kitchen of the school we are staying in helping to get breakfast ready for the 100- odd activists. This involved skipping at the nearby supermarket at 3AM for fruits and bread and making many many pots of coffee. The first few people were up at 5AM. The police showed up around 7AM, and searched people's bags as they left. On the whole, it is still early to come to any conclusions, but I like to think today's action was a success, and the police left people alone after awhile. People were fearing violence from the demonstrators, but almost all of it came from the police.
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