The numbers have been increasing and today, they were big enough to mount a battle with the police..and invite heavy shelling..the number of students was significant.
it started off in Aabpara, moved to press club in front of holday inn...Imran Khan joined shortly after.. The protesters were escorted by cops all along..the police tried to stop people when they were turning into f-6, right around where the old american express office.. the women charged the police first, followed by students and everyone else..
they pushed the police back, i would say, a good 200 feet... thats when the police started baton charging... students retaliated with their own tiny sticks, and stones...somewhat like the intifada..
police shot tear gas shells...initially one...which actually fell very close to where I was and I got scared, as I was not sure what it was or how it would act.. ;-)
Thats where it got extremely bad...people were spread all over the place..there were around 2/300 police, armed atleast one APC (Armed personnel career) I must say that I was pleasantly surprised to see the emotions of students...and women...old and young...and people... there were tiny kids in the protest...people joined with their families... people were getting injured, and were retreating... many, i saw, were injured, and by this time, the entire ground was full of tear gas smoke...
by this time, people tried to stop students who wouldnt give in.. the people retreated into the parking lot of intercontinental under construction...there were cars there and they thought they would be safe from police throwing shells and stones at the crowd.. went on till dark...and people very very slowly and reluctantly dispersed... no one seemed in a hurry
my impression is that only if we could double the number we had today, (which shouldn't be a big deal), they will have to call in army to control this... the people, especially the youngsters are very angry...that was my impression... also, it was a long walk from Aabpara to Marriott Islamabad...and i met a number of interesting people on the way...
i hope the arrested are freed, and the injured get well soon... i just rambled...and i am sure i was not able to capture the energy of this protest... i salute all pakistanis who joined in today...love you all (message for those who are away) I can understand how you feel being away.. but you are part of this struggle anyways... do you know that all those people who are away, they are contriuting by paying attention... there is something very spiritual about attention...it is a huge contribution, I must say...
we are, as they say, Brethren in the Resistance.
please keep writing, keep pushing..every effort counts..whatever we can..thanks