A left wing rally in the Philippines outside the US embassy has turned violent:
A Philippine police van rammed into protesters, leaving several bloodied, as an anti-U.S. rally turned violent Wednesday at the American embassy in Manila.
At least three student activists had to be taken to a hospital after they were run over by the van driven by a police officer, protest leader Renato Reyes said.
AP Television footage showed the van repeatedly ramming the protesters as it drove wildly back and forth after protesters had surrounded and started hitting the van with wooden batons they had seized from the police.
Police later arrested 23 protesters, who broke into a line of riot police and hurled red paint at the policemen and a U.S. government seal at the seaside embassy.
“There was absolutely no justification for it,” Reyes said of the violent police dispersal of about 1,000 protesters. “Even as the president vowed an independent foreign policy, Philippine police forces still act as running dogs of the U.S.”
The violence happened as the protesters gathered to demand an end to the presence of U.S. troops in the country and to support a call by President Rodrigo Duterte for a foreign policy not dependent on the U.S., the country’s longtime treaty ally.
Duterte was on a state visit to China, where he is seeking to repair relations strained under his predecessor over territorial conflicts in the South China Sea. Duterte is also seeking to expand two-way trade and investments and seek financing for badly needed infrastructure projects. [Associated Press]
According to ABC News this who the protesters were:
The protesters, consisting of students, workers and tribespeople, were demanding an end to the presence of visiting U.S. troops in the Philippines and to support a call by President Rodrigo Duterte for a foreign policy not dependent on the U.S., the country’s longtime treaty ally.
The activists came from the largest left-wing umbrella group called Bayan (Nation), which has organized regular anti-U.S. protests in front of the embassy for decades, most of which are peaceful. [ABC News]
The left wing protesters also claim that they don’t want to be dictated to by China:
Amid an uneasy relationship with the U.S., Duterte has tried to reach out to China and Russia, bringing uncertainty to his country’s long alliance with America.
But the protesters also opposed the president’s effort to lean toward China. “The Philippines will not be dictated on, whether by the U.S. or China,” they said in a statement.
These people obviously live in a fantasy world. What has the US supposedly “dictated” to them? The nearly $200 million in aid dollars or the immediate disaster response relief the US has given the Philippines in the past?
Who is currently dictating to them is the Chinese who are forcibly seizing actual territory from the Philippines. I find it interesting that this group of left wing protesters could not find the time to go and violently protest the seizing of Filipino territory in front of the Chinese embassy.