307 #Kita Lawan a success

More than 5,000 people attended the Kita Lawan rally

More than 5,000 people attended the Kita Lawan rally

Last Saturday, more than 5,000 people decided that for justice, it was worth spending an entire afternoon on their feet, marching from one end of Kuala Lumpur to another.

Their clothes and hair were dampened by the kind of piddling rain that lasted hours without doing a thing to cool the weather, and that smelled strongly of heat and tar when it ended. It was not ideal conditions for a rally — but then again, it never is — but the crowd did not care.

The rally was called Kita Lawan, (literally translated as ‘we fight’) and for sure, the fighting spirit was there to send a message about the injustice which has seen opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim imprisoned for the second time, for a crime he has been accused of committing before.

Anwar is now serving a five-year jail sentence after being convicted for sodomy last month.

The crowd began gathering as early as 2.30pm, when the rally was slotted for 4pm.

Small groups of people gathered around the heart of KL city, that is, at Central Market, Masjid Jamek, and the Sogo shopping centre area (near Jalan Tunku Abdul Rahman). The groups grew into a crowd, which grew into a mass and this black-clad mass walked from their gathering points to Sogo.

The crowd that day may not have rivalled the days in 1998 when Anwar was first arrested and thrown into jail, but there was no mistaking the energy.

One could not ignore the outrage against the miscarriage of justice to have been gravely committed against Anwar, and they showed it in every chant, every shout, every speech made by the leaders who attended.

As they marched, they shouted “Hidup rakyat!” (power to the people) and “Bebas Anwar!” (free Anwar), never flagging even as the rain got heavier. Police presence was light, barely felt in fact, although a small handful of blue-uniformed policemen observed from afar.

At about 5pm, the crowd had reached the compound of Sogo shopping centre, where several leaders rallied the crowd with speeches that vowed to continue the fight to free Anwar, including Anwar’s eldest daughter Nurul Izzah, and PKR president Wan Azizah Wan Ismail.

Despite Sogo being the originally planned rally location, the crowd was directed to march to the Petronas Twin Towers and Suria KLCC, which they did.

The rally ended at about 6.30pm, after almost half the crowd had dissipated.

The 5,000 people who showed up were a good mix of young and old, and of all races. More significantly, a fair number of young activists had come out to support the rally, among them student activist Adam Adli.

Leaders from PAS and DAP also came out to support Anwar and PKR, including DAP’s political education director Liew Chin Tong and Serdang MP Ong Kian Ming, and from PAS, election director Dr Hatta Ramli, Youth chief Suhaizan Kaiat and Shah Alam MP Khalid Samad.

-The Rocket

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