Warning: The content below may be too violent for some readers
In a horrific example of police brutality and use of excessive force, a police van brutally rammed into protesters in Manila, Philippines.
About 1,000 demonstrators, comprising of students, tribespeople and workers, were involved in an anti-USA protest that demanded an end to the presence of visiting American military and called on President Rodrigo Duterte to come up with a foreign policy not dependant on the United States.
They also opposed Duterte’s current attempt to negotiate and strike a deal with China.
The campaigners came from prominent left-wing group called Bayan (Nation) which has organized mostly peaceful protests in front of the U.S. embassy for decades.
But in an unprecedented show of violence, the rally turned bloody when a police van mowed down the protesters. In front of the horrified crowd, the van reversed suddenly, dispersing dozens of protesters. Then it rammed forward mowing some students directly under it.
Some demonstrators shouted out warnings while other threw stones at the van and hit it with wooden batons snatched from the police.
Officers hurled tear gas into the crowd and a
firetruck doused the protesters with water. However, some students broke through the riot police line and hurled stones at the officers. Others took hold of the water hose from the fire engine and wrote “U.S. troops out now” on the embassy’s border wall.
Police arrested at least 23 people from the crowd. It is not yet confirmed how many were injured by the police van but at least 3 students were hospitalized.
“There was absolutely no justification for it,” Renato Reyes said of the police tactics. “Even as the president vowed an independent foreign policy, Philippine police forces still act as running dogs of the U.S.”
The #USEmbassyManila rallyists look like people hired to wreak havoc.— The Winter Soldier (@PolarisUncanny) October 20, 2016
The violent incident took place at a time when the country’s government is under increasing scrutiny for its bloody war on drugs.
Meanwhile, President Duterte is currently in Beijing in a bid to strengthen ties with the nation which was formally in a dispute over the South China Sea with Duterte’s predecessor.