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The Protest

Police block the highway en route to the Bella Center

Police block the highway en route to the Bella Center

Update: Click the pictures for better view.

After watching protesters get pushed around by police online in front of the Bella Center, I jumped on the bike and rode 3 miles on a wet and muddy bike path and took the following shots.

The main thoroughfares and highway bridges were blocked by strategically parked police vans surrounded by officers directing traffic. They were dressed, I believe, in riot gear and bright yellow vests that read “Politi.” Three Politi helicopters buzzed over head.

There were several dozen young people on bikes also traveling through the marsh en route to the Bella. I spoke with one group of 12 or so young idealists who were wearing orange ribbons.  They were energized yet chill and told me they were trying to find a path to join the other demonstrators. When I asked why, they said that world leaders weren’t listening to them nor were leaders being productive at this summit.

Police vans and emergency crews line the streets

Police vans and emergency crews line the streets

Protestors embark through the marsh

Protestors en route through the marsh

As I rode on, I crossed several police check points with no issues. I could see police directing everyone on the paths towards one of the holding areas. I hid my bike in the bushes and walked the final stretch towards the Bella Center. I saw thousands of police, and hundreds of police vans. There were three city buses with temporary “Politi” signs taped to the sides, obviously converted to assist in the case of mass arrests. Protesters were cordoned off in two, possibly three, large areas surrounded on all sides by chain fences, thousands of police, some with dogs.

Despite this ominous scene, the protesters were singing peacefully while police sipped their coffees.

Politi intercept, and check for credentials

Politi intercept, and check for credentials

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2 Comments

  1. Posted December 16, 2009 at 9:20 am | Permalink

    Awesome reporting! Way to get right in the action of things!

  2. Leslie Staudinger
    Posted December 16, 2009 at 11:22 am | Permalink

    We’re not hearing much about protests on this side of the Atlantic. Thanks for covering it!


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