Saturday, December 17, 2005
quoting from CNN "...But the protests never matched the level of violence that marred WTO talks in Seattle, Washington, in 1999 and Cancun, Mexico, in 2003... Before Saturday, the fifth day of the conference, demonstrations had been largely peaceful, tainted only by a few minor scuffles, but South Korean protesters vowed to step up their protests on Saturday.
And step it up they did, attempting to break through a barrier marking the designated protest zone. When their attempts failed, between 1,000 and 1,500 protesters split into smaller groups of about 12 each, fleeing police over several square blocks before returning to the convention center and pushing forward.
The nearest the protesters got to the convention center was Saturday night, when they inched within 100 meters of the convention center entrance.
Police donned gas masks and propped up riot shields as they fired the hoses, tear gas and pepper spray -- an unusual tactic in normally peaceful Hong Kong.
Forty-one people were reported injured in Saturday's clashes, said Hong Kong Police Commissioner Dick Lee.
In an effort to continue the protests but stem the violence, a South Korean urged his fellow demonstrators, via megaphone, to be arrested with dignity and asked them to lie down and be taken away in a nonviolent fashion.
Police eventually quelled the violence, but the protesters refused to leave.
A main thoroughfare in the densely populated commercial and residential district was closed because of the standoffs and clashes with police.
Between 6,000 and 7,000 protesters showed up at the talks, but only a portion of them participated in Saturday's violence, and though 2,000 police have been deployed to the area, Hong Kong has drawn criticism for choosing a building that is so accessible and establishing a protest area too difficult to contain."
trapped in the maze of time..11:09 PM