Thursday, December 15, 2005

More and Less on the WTO

Yesterday the police had some of their riot shields stolen and the protesters especially the Koreans were a little more violent. Many had their face wrapped in Saran-wrap or wore clear visors or goggles over their faces. This made the peper spray less effective. Looks to me like it is time for tear gas. They managed to break the police cordon and beat up a couple of officers. However, the police returned the favor by knocking a few protesters loopy with batons. The Koreans had a coordinator or cheerleader of some sort behind the lines yelling instructions through a bull horn. I'd be willing to bet that if they try that again he'll get a rubber bullet in the chest.

I think the police were taken a bit by surprise yesterday because the day before they'd managed so well. I bet the Koreans try to escalate today and the police respond better. I really feel for the police. They are working 12 hour shifts and have to be ready all the time. The baboons can go and sleep and protest when they want. I would assume that by now they'd be tired. I would be.

I should also say that most of these people haven't been that violent. However, they have not condemned those that have either. The time or two that I've walked through Victoria Park this week I've not felt threatened and contrary to my fears they don't appear to have trashed the park, at least not yet. This is a real eclectic group and they seem to be protesting both sides of this issue.

Others appear to be simply what I would call political tourist. I think they show up at these things and protest for the fun of it. It probably doesn't matter what the issue is. It is enough that they feel morally superior for having protested.

One positive thing the protesters did yesterday was to protest at the EU and Japanese embassy's. At least they are not blaming the US for everything. If they really wanted to get smart they'd protest the New China News Agency which is the mainland's voice here and publisher of the propaganda rag "The China Daily." China has not only high trade tariffs but dumps products at below cost in third world nations to destroy local production and dominate the market. China also manipulates its currency so that it has a competitive advantage abroad. You want to protest unfair trade? Protest China.

Sorry no pictures today. The batteries on the camera were dead

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