Bravo, four protesters

August 15, 2005
Singapore Democrats

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To the four protesters,

That was an excellent move. Your bravery marks the start of a new era in Singapore history. In staging a short and symbolic protest, and portraying yourself as being peaceful but purpose-driven, while at the same time not getting arrest by the police, you have done two things:

1. You appeal to every caring Singaporeans’ long and suppressed desire to express themselves over things that are critical to them and not to just stand by and feeling helpless (and complain).

2. You have denied the authorities the chance to use the sledgehammer against the fly and to show the public that they can make any of such police excesses look futile and stupid. You walked off the place dignified and strong.

In the long run, such ‘guerrilla tactics’ can only lead to the same thing. The display of strength from the police force was meant to intimidate Singaporeans and to prevent and discourage them from exercising their rights. In such context it have very limited effect.

If they choose to take tough action by simply arresting anyone who dare express themselves over legitimate issues, they risk attracting the attention of the international community. And more importantly incurring the wrath of the average frustrated Singaporean who, due to recent events, cannot deny the importance of these issues without looking at their own helplessness.

Thank you, and good luck.