In the wee hours of dawn today, the students’ and Occupy Dataran encampment in KL was violently ambushed by a group of thugs. After the ambush, everyone sat down and victims of violence started to tell stories of what happened. Temme Lee reports.
Everything started at 2.36am.
A group of people on motorbikes rode in and parked. They walked towards the field and started shouting. From the fountain, another group of people came and started pulling and breaking tents in which people were sleeping.
There were altogether 60 people from the group and there were around 40-50 people who were part of the encampment, both students and non-students.
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At one tent occupied by a woman, the thugs kicked her head when she was still in the tent. They shouted and hit the tent.
They kicked a few tents and shouted at people to get out. Dragged a few people (non-students) from the edge of the camp to the field and ‘belasah’ them.
One guy was held in a choke-hold and made to surrender his camera. He was dragged off.
One woman was holding a camera and they pulled her bag, took her camera, smashed it on the ground, pulled her around, and pulled her bag.
One woman had gone to relieve herself and was walking back to the camp from the direction of the fountain. She took out her camera and started filming when around 15 people surrounded her and one man snatched her camera. They shouted and pushed her to the ground until she let go of her camera. After she got up, another man pulled her bag and pushed her around.
One guy followed behind and started filming. His camera was snatched and stamped on.
One guy was in a tent; he opened it, heard people shouting and managed to get out of the tent before they pulled the tent. He sat at the mats with a few people and the thugs started provoking them to get a reaction. They dragged another guy off the mat and beat him.
The thugs threw food around, destroyed all the tents, and the donation box was taken.
One guy was dragged to the street and five people beat him because he had a camera in his bag.
One woman was picked on and called a ‘lesbian’.
About five police cars arrived but they apparently did nothing.
One man wearing a kopiah was slapped twice. He asked what was happening but was beaten, abused with obscenities and told he would never get into heaven.
A guy tried to take photos with an iPad but they hit him and tried to take his iPad.
A few people saw a man in plainclothes carrying a revolver. Could he have been a Special Branch policeman?
A man identified one of the person in the attacking group as a member of Umno Youth.
After the ambush, campers cleaned up the place. We collectively decided that we would not be intimidated by the violence and we would sit peacefully to defend Dataran Merdeka as the people’s square and our right to occupy peacefully.
Temme Lee is an activist participating in the Occupy Dataran encampment