They braved the rain; their spirits were not dampened
Singing Bob Marley’s “Redemption Song”
Bob Marley performs the Redemption Song
I was wondering how many people would actually turn up for the final candlelight vigil seeking the abolition of the ISA because it started pelting down at around 9.00pm again. Unlike last week, the rain did not clear for a while. But when I arrived, I was heartened to see so many people had already gathered there, some with brollies, others without. This was probably the largest crowd gathered over the last six weeks of vigils – in the rain, some more!
They sang, they listened to speeches, they took an ikrar (pledge) to continue the struggle to abolish the ISA. Among the speakers was Aliran president P Ramakrishnan, who revealed that a police officer had asked him, minutes earlier, to get in touch with an inspector at the station for reasons unknown. “I have nothing to do with the inspector and if he wants to speak to me, he should contact me,” Rama told the crowd.
Earlier on Wednesday, Suaram Penang coordinator Lau Shu Shi was asked to report at the police station in connection with these vigils. Apparently, they wanted more information on what was happening with the campaign.
The police were there again mostly in plain clothes, taking videos and snapping pictures, but most of the participants of the candlelight vigil didn’t seem to mind. They were committed to the struggle to abolish the ISA, and they had made their point about reclaiming the right to the basic freedom of assembly.
A young girl, perhaps around six years of age, walked up to the mike and said, “Free RPK!” much to the delight of the crowd.
The next GMI (Abolish ISA Movement) event is the commemoration of the 21st anniversary of Operation Lalang on Sunday outside Prangin Mall at noon.
Taking a pledge to continue the struggle to abolish the ISA