We might as well have been protesting in Syria, as we were beaten up by the police and then arrested. What’s the difference? Bullets are all that’s missing from the scene. Taking to the streets the ‘Glasgow Free Syrians’ organization organized a peaceful protest followed by a flash mob, protesting in condemnation of the bloody war started by Bashar Assad which has been unrelenting for 2 years, with over 70,000 men, women and children killed so far. This protest coincided with the recent 31st commemoration of the 1982 Hama massacre carried out by Hafiz Assad (Bashar’s father) killing 70,000 within a week, as well as the recent massacre of innocent, unarmed students at Aleppo University.
Finishing our protest, in which the police supervised, we started to head down Buchanan Street to set up our flash mob. Opposite where we were setting up the flash mob there was a group of three buskers playing the bagpipes, one of the organisers went up to them and kindly asked them if they could stop for 10 minutes in order for us to perform our flash mob. The police then intervened, saying that we were not allowed to do this. The police then cornered an organiser and began to push him around.
He was then punched to the ground by the police. He shouted in pain and screamed for help. His siblings and friends tried to reach him. His sister helplessly shouted to him and struggled to help him, only to be pushed away. He called for help, for his sister. He asked the police what he’s being charged with – only to be handcuffed and dragged to the police van. As a result of his brutal treatment at the hands of Strathclyde Police, the man’s wrist was broken.
After the van went away, the brother of the man arrested was being interrogated. He asked what his brother was being charged with; he replied, “With breach of the peace.” The activist then shouted that his brother was only protesting for all the thousands of women, children and men killed in Syria every day. The cop took hold of his hand violently and more officers ran and jumped on him. Like his brother, they dragged him away. The man, only 18 years old, shouted for us to continue recording, to record the injustice he faces by the police – the way they beat up him and his two brothers before him, the way they arrested them for peacefully protesting.
So what began as some Syrian people peacefully protesting against the crimes taking place in their country – the raping, arresting, murdering. They themselves are arrested, beaten up by the cops and charged with “breach of peace.”
What kind of democracy do we live in today?