Wednesday, March 19, 2008

My Role on 15.Mar.2008 Tak Boleh Tahan Protest

My objective:

  • Take Pictures & Videos of the event not just the activists but mata in particular.
  • Witness the event to report in on my news blog.
  • Become an eye witness in case famiLEE LEEgime charged activists.
  • Police against the unfairness of famiLEE LEEgime mata.
  • I am also a consumer with my own share of consumer rights.
What I did:

  • I went to Parliament alone on taxi.
  • I alighted behind Victorial Memorial Hall.
  • I walked along Singapore River to survey for matas.
  • I found the matas hidding around Parliament.
  • I found that no activists had arrived yet.
  • I found that reporters and video / camera crews were there already.
  • I began filming the Parliament's building on video.
  • Few seconds into filming, I saw the group in Tak Boleh Tahan Red T-shirts arriving from opposite side of road.
  • I began filming them and ran over the field of Paliament Sq to film from nearer position.
  • I captured the arrival of the group in Tak Boleh Tahan Red T-shirts, and their crossing of road from Supreme Court to Parliament.
  • SPH reporter & activists recognized me and greeted me, (captured on video) as they arrived.
  • Activist in gray cap said to me "Hi UncleYap, we miss you", I only waved to those who greeted me, since I didn't want to get my own voice captured unnecessarily on my video.
  • I kept filming non-stop, running around with video recording continuously, until the Tak Boleh Tahan Group posed for photo taking, I stopped video recording and used the same camera to take still shots of the Tak Boleh Tahan Group posed photo.
  • My video covered the activists and matas.
  • I took 2 more short video clips of the Tak Boleh Tahan Group posed photo, while changing the video camera's mode settings, I missed some the slogan chanting on video.
  • I continued to do video recordings, and only stopped again to change camera to still shots mode to capture higher resolution photos of placards.
  • I had not taken part in the Tak Boleh Tahan Group's activities at parliament, I didn't distribute flyers; didn't speak to press / media nor public; didn't carry placard; didn't put on Tak Boleh Tahan T-shirt; Didn't chant slogan; didn't take part in group photo.
  • The activists tried to talk to me, but I was too busy filming I simply told them I am too busy filming and have no time to talk nor help them carry out any thing.
  • I moved around and positioned myself to take video from necessary angles, to capture the event and the matas.
  • My activity at the Parliament is same as the reporters' camera men. I was as busy as they were.
  • When ASP William Goh crewed out from his hiding, I captured him walking toward the Tak Boleh Tahan Group, captured him threatening the group with arrest - he did not ask any question just began straight with threat of arrest as soon as he showed up.
I witnessed that the Tak Boleh Tahan Group was on their way leaving, and ASP William Goh rushed out to catch the Tak Boleh Tahan Group before they could leave. Although his words were to ask the group to leave, but my video proved that he was hiding to monitor the whole time when the Tak Boleh Tahan Group did all their things at parliament, and rushed out to catch the group only because the group began to leave on their own - before ASP William Goh showed up.

I am not impressed with ASP William Goh's action of hiding all this while and suddenly rushed out before the group could leave to threaten an arrest, he was just merely catching his opportunity to serve a formal warning on activists which is an opportunity that he nearly missed.

In detest of such unreasonable threat which was just delivered without even asking any question, I commented that he can arrest me first, that was meant to be that if he wish to perform unreasonable enforcement on the activists as he threatened, then apply that to me first, and don't be discriminative; selective and unfairly targeting. I didn't want to ask him why not arrest the other reporters and camera men who were also there, because that is not nice to the media crews there, so I excluded the rest of the camera men & reporters and just mentioned only myself.

Tourists were also there taking photos, beside reporters. ASP Goh claimed that because it is Gazetted Area that the Tak Boleh Tahan Group is deemed as Illegal Assembly. Then why don't he arrest or threaten the tourists and media camera crews who were also there? What sort of discrimination is that?

The fact is that famiLEE LEEgime had indeed no straight law to ban protest. And they abused a fundamentally flawed law of banning assembly of 5 or more persons to selectively apply on protesters only. In this case, including myself who was only filming and not protesting. This is very stupid and clumsy.

  • I witnessed that Dr. CSJ just softly replied to ASP Goh's threat of arrest saying "we are leaving", as he joined the group on his way out. ASP Goh followed Dr. CSJ who left parliament with the Tak Boleh Tahan Group.
  • To capture the scene of the group leaving, I ran ahead on field, aiming camera at the group which walked on the pavement.
  • I ran past the group and got ahead of them to film from front angles so that their faces could be seen on my video.
  • I crossed the road (Parliament Place) to Supreme Court's pavement, and filmed the group which were awaiting to cross the other road towards Satham House / High Street.
  • As the traffic light changed to cross, I filmed the group which is opposite me across junction of South Bridge Road as I also crossed it on the side from Supreme Court.
  • I continued to film the group which were at the corner of Satham House as I stood at corner of The Treasury.
  • As I filmed the Tak Boleh Tahan group across the junction, I saw a dozen of women in white T-shirt bearing police logo rushing towards this side. I filmed them. I shouted "PAP mata in white" to the group across junction to inform them what I noticed.
  • As proven by my video ASP William Goh & his men took part in the procession which he himself alleged to be illegal. I however did not, because I did not take the same route. I ran ahead to film from better angle, he walked behind the Tak Boleh Tahan group at the same pace. ASP William Goh & his men walked among the Tak Boleh Tahan group, while I was kept apart by a road junction which's width is several lanes.
  • I captured ASP William Goh & his men crossing High Street with the Tak Boleh Tahan group. Then he & his men blocked Dr. CSJ's way to stop Dr. CSJ the Tak Boleh Tahan group stopped as a result. This cause the 1st congestion at the road junction. I approached nearer to film.
  • The other media reporters and camera men also closed in to capture this development of event. This all happened at the corner of The Treasury. The total number of people including matas; activists; reporters; camera men congested at the tiny corner of The Treasury is between 20 to 30.
  • The pedestrian and members of public stopped by to observe what happened, the traffics also slowed down to make observation. The congestion wouldn't be so bad if the group were on the move, and there were no congestion all the way from the Parliament, until ASP Goh & his men blocked the way of Dr. CSJ. Their action at that corner caused a congestion to be developed, a congestion that didn't occurred all along the way just began to form up by ASP Goh & his men blocking the activists & the media & camera men including myself crowed close up to get the camera coverage.
  • The public and traffic got affected since that action of mata took place. The group walked peacefully and crossed 2 roads orderly, and nicely before this, and there were no problem as proven by my video.

Note there is a ear piece stuck inside ASP William Goh's right ear visible in this still capture from my video. He received instructions from higher level (then himself) of the famiLEE LEEgime. He took part in his own alleged iLEEgal procession walking next to Dr. CSJ, as evident by this picture. :-)

  • The 1st congestion lasted not for very long and ended after Dr. CSJ's reasoning with ASP William Goh that he and his Tak Boleh Tahan group was only leaving the parliament exactly in compliance with what ASP Goh himself ordered. The group followed Dr. CSJ and moved on and the entire congestion resolved.
  • I quickly followed the resumed move and continued to film.
  • My video recording was continuous and non-stop since from the parliament.
  • I didn't opened my voice to reason with ASP William Goh as Dr. CSJ was obvious able to do his own this time.
  • ASP Goh's men began to do nasty filming from here, they were originally filming reasonably since from the parliament. But they began to put camera very near to face of activist as they walk.

  • The activists were very happy to be able to proceed, and spirit higher up, and began to joke about Mas Selamat Ke-Lari on their way.
  • I continued to film the mata and the activists on the sidewalk until ASP William Goh stopped Dr. CSJ again right before the Funan Digital Mall.
  • The Tak Boleh Tahan group was unable to proceed anywhere further then that spot because that was where the famiLEE LEEgime mata arrested them all, and they did so by starting with arresting me first and pushed me to mata van first.
  • There was a 2nd congestion that began from the moment when ASP stopped Dr. CSJ for 2nd time before the Funan Digital Mall, it lasted through the whole process of arresting all the 12 of us. The situation became very chaotic began with a string of reasoning between activists and ASP Goh, the questions posted by media reporter etc.
  • Before the Funan Digital Mall, ASP Goh threatened for the 3rd time to arrest Dr. CSJ, but only Dr. CSJ and not targeting any other activists, these are all captured in my video.
ASP Goh did nothing throughout the entire process the Tak Boleh Tahan group completed before the parliament building, and he rushed out just before the group managed to depart parliament to threaten arrest and ordered dispersal, which are both unnecessary, because the group was already on their own move leaving.

When ASP Goh & his men caused the 1st congestion, he made 2nd threat to arrest Dr. CSJ. But this time around not for the cause of wanting activists to leave parliament, and instead he now wanted the placards.

Captured on video, he did not say why placards are illegal. Even when reporter posted the question to him. He did not state under what act or law he wanted to seize activists' placards. He kept modifying his demands from leaving parliament to handing over placards, all without asking any question, nor making any explanations, nor make any promise, nor give any guidance, nor any advices to the organizers of Tak Boleh Tahan, as an enforcer of law and peace. His action caused congestion twice, cause activists to be injured and police radio set to broken. Caused a scene and screwed the public image of SPF, I worry for his future promotion in SPF.

I know ASP William Goh since before the General Election 2006. He came to serve a formal warning to me during one of my election events selling The New Democrats. Some other activists also know ASP William Goh because he took part in the investigation in other events such as the CPFB 4 person protest of 2005. ASP Goh is not a bad guy in our impression from the pass few years, he do his job according to only instructions from the higher levels of famiLEE LEEgime.

I believe that his instructions came to him via the ear-piece won in his right ear.

My role on 15.Mar.2008 was only as stated, I didn't take any part of Tak Boleh Tahan protest, nor in any planing nor meetings for this action. This is part of a deal I made with Dr. CSJ and few other activists, that they don't interfere with my own Cyber-Activism, and I don't take part in their activities. I didn't want to reveal this, but the public would be otherwise unable to understand why SDP declared that I am not a part of their group, and I was only filming and recording video like any other camera men in this activity. I need total freedom in my own Cyber-Activism and can not be restricted any other activists just because I am supportive of them and took part in some activities. There are sufficient and increasing number of activists to take part in activities already, I can use more space and freedom to break into areas that no activist had ever ventured in Singapore, this is needed by the reform. There are some activists feeling uncomfortable with my brute fierce open style of Cyber-Activism within the group, I weighted my choices and decided to not be a part of the group. This is the same reason why I am not a member in SDP. This is best for reform best for the group and SDP as well as myself. We are friendly and supportive but not formally related to burden and restrict each other bilaterally. :-)

Restricting myself under the formal party framework or the informal group will too seriously restrain my free form to fight famiLEE LEEgime. These lame bastards got away from my attacks on the NKF scandal during GE2006, due to such restrictions which I agreed and undertook with SDP. This was a brute stab which I wanted to take on the famiLEE LEEgime taking part in GE2006 campaign, and my undertaking with SDP forced me to withhold this stab. So ever since, I will never lightly agree to any undertaking of political retrains. :-)

As a result to these background reasons, I had never been a part of Tak Boleh Tahan activity on 15.Mar.2008 which is a fact that is hard to convince even the supporters without showing the reasons.

Sammyboymod thread



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