I was perched on that big tree outside the Brickfields Police Station the night the arrested the 5 lawyers. I watched the peaceful vigil begin, and was enjoying the calm candlelight when the shouting began. I will say that when it happened, I thought it was all rather ridiculous, and left after about half an hour.
Apparently a lot has happened since that night.
The PJ Pigeons who hang around the Dewan Sivik told me about the Bar Council’s EGM and the Mamak Sparrow Sect have also updated me on what people are saying about it, and what’s been in the news.
Needless to say, I was a little disappointed by it all. I was shocked to hear about how the police treated the lawyers. I was shocked to hear the “lawyers are not above the law” sentiments.
I went to see the Hajar the Kingfisher who lives in the lawyers’ parking lot outside the KL High Court and she told about the lawyers’ protest.
We are angry. It’s not fair what the police have done, something has got to be done about it. We are marching again. This is not something to be taken lightly, it has gone too far.
(Even though I asked for her account of the protest, Hajar has a habit of repeating things she has heard verbatim. This can be a little confusing at times, but she’s a most reliable source.)
Anyway, the good news is that I was back in Brickfields the other night, and I saw the most wonderful thing that I must tell you about!
A big group of lawyers had found a different way to protest. They came in numbers and they came dressed in bright colours. Instead of candles, they came with balloons of different shapes and sizes filled with helium.
It was the most bizarre thing I’d ever seen. There were so many balloons in so many colours that the view from where I was perched made the whole area look like a massive child’s play pen! Some had gone the extra mile and brought balloons with personalised messages such as “I love you Malaysia, I know you are capable of so much more!” and “We still believe in you, don’t let us down please!” and “Let this be the final mistake!”.
Others brought giant dragons and fairytale castles and ninja turtles. There were flowers too, everywhere, big and bright. Someone turned a stereo on and they started singing and dancing wearing big smiles on their faces. It was a sight to behold.
Again, he emerged and told them they were in breach of Section 27 and that it was an illegal gathering. But they seemed to have expected this, held on to their balloons and continued dancing. They danced around him and did not stop smiling. Some of them offered him flowers and hugs, but this seemed to make him even angrier, and he ordered his men to arrest them all.
I think he was a bit confused by this bizarre behaviour because he shouted:
INI ADALAH PERHIMPUNAN YANG TIDAK ADA PERMIT DAN ANDA SEMUA TERLALU GEMBIRA.
before stopping when he realised what he had said.
The officers, meanwhile, seemed to have trouble arresting people, given the numbers, the dancing, and the larger balloons. I watched as he got angrier and angrier, struggling and pushing the dancing lawyers away from him. I thought things were going to get ugly, but that was when he suddenly stopped.
The lawyers were surprised so they stopped dancing, and all was still apart from the radio that had started playing… “YMCA” by the Village People.
Slowly, he said:
Saya.. suka lagu ini.
A young girl took his hand, and started dancing with him. This time he obliged, smiled widely, and danced madly. It was a night of many firsts. I had never seen a police officer do the YMCA so well.
I think the lawyers knew they had achieved what they came for because as soon as the song finished, they stopped dancing, let go of their balloons which drifted slowly into the night sky, and walked away, still smiling.