Anti-ISA vigil: 21 charged with illegal assembly

Jan 23, 09 11:00am


Twenty-one people were charged with illegal assembly at the Petaling Jaya magistrate’s court this morning.

They also faced a second charge of failing to adhere to a police order to disperse.

The group, which included one member of parliament and two state assemblypersons, was accused of committing the offences during an anti-ISA vigil at the MBPJ compound in Petaling Jaya from 9pm to 10.10pm on Oct 9 last year.

They were charged under Section 27 of the Police Act (for both the offences) and face a possible fine of between RM2,000 and RM10,000 and/or a jail term of not more than one year for each charge.

They were represented by Gobind Singh while prosecuting was done by deputy public prosecutor Noordin Badaruddin.

Among those charged include Petaling Jaya Utara MP Tony Pua, Selangor Exco Ronnie Liu, kampong Tunku state assemblyperson Lau Weng San and MBPJ councillor Tiew Way Keng.

Catholic priest Paulino Miranda was also one of the 21 charged.

Some 70 people also turned up at the court this morning to support the 21. They include six priests, Bar Council chairperson S Ambiga, DAP MP for Segambut Lim Lip Eng and popular blogger Raja Petra Kamarudin.

‘They’re not dangerous’

Ambiga told reporters that the attorney-general should drop the charges and put in efforts into prosecuting real crimes and not on people exercising freedom of expression.

“These people are not dangerous,” she said.

In court, magistrate Rozina Ayob allowed a bail of RM1,500 each and fixed March 10 to mention the case for trial.

The DPP earlier sought for a bail of RM5,000 be imposed on the accused persons. She also wanted them to surrender their travel documents to the court.

Defence counsel Gobind objected to these, submitting that the court should instead impose a personal bond on the 21, failing which a bail of RM500 was sufficient.

Rozina also ruled that it was not necessary for the accused persons to surrender their travel documents.

[Full report to follow]

post letter writing & vigil

the un-named and un-spoken collective in queer/feminist bloc have no blogs or myspace so we have to “tumpang” mockmeat.

so yesterday we did two things. one was the letter writing for the israeli prisoners who refuse to participate in the war against palestine and the following one was a candle light vigil/performances for the palestinians. here, we wanted to mourn the deaths, the rapes, the torture from the war in palestine.

the letter writing was awesome because it was pretty laid back and we got a lot of people who were hanging out at the park to join in to write some messages of support. there was this pak cik guard there who tried to chase us away but then we told him that, “we are just a bunch of kids having a picnic and doing a study group. we are here almost every saturday.” and then he was like, “so whats with the leafleting?” then being smart asses that we are, we said, “its lecture notes. these are our notes. we are just having small group discussions”. he bought it and left. we continued our “picnic/study group”. yeah, we had some lempeng (malaysian version of pancakes) and also tea.

as we were explaining to people about what we were doing there, they were like, “wait a minute. we are writing to israeli prisoners or palestinians?” but with a little explanation and some flyers people came to understand not everyone in israel are in support of the war and not all of them are zionist.

about 6, we left to bukit bintang for the vigil/performance. we had a guitar and some poetry. we got there, looked for a decent spot, and started our vigil. we laid our beautiful banner on the floor, placed some candles around it, and started leafleting. the place that we forst chose was not strategic so we decided to move after 15 minutes.

we moved to another spot. here, two friend from this un-named and unspoken collective sang two songs and another friend recited a couple of poetry. i will admit this, i at least had a hard time getting the message across to the kids there who were 80% of our crowd. most still thought that all jews are zionist and isrealis are fucked up. but we did see some people nodding as a sign of  “yeah, that makes sense”. we stayed there for another 20 minutes plus.  we had to leave because someone told us that things were gonna get ugly cos some kids wanted to get into a fight. yeah, there was some pushing and shoving. we folded our banner and “lepak-ed” somewhere nearby waiting for our busker friends to start playing.

this saturday is all about:tea/chekodok/lempeng/letters/candles

Dear everyone,

this saturday is all about letter writing in the park while sipping some sweet sweet awesome tea and munching on some very delicious home made lempeng/pan cake with peanut butter (if we can afford it) or sugar.

the queer/feminist bloc and kudeta will be organizing a letter writing session in the park and after that a candle light vigil as a reaction to the conflict/war in palestine.


letter writing session the park

which park? there are so many parks?

date: 17th jan 2009, saturday
time: 4.00 pm – 6.00 pm
venue: KLCC park

candle light vigil

date: 17th jan 2009, saturday
time: 7.00 pm
venue: BB

so the plan is to sit at the park and write letters and then at about 6pm walk to BB for a candle light vigil. bring whatever necessary; pencil, paper, laptop, mac book, placards, guitars, candles, tea, coffee, whatever. anything which feels hippie like.

what’s with the letters?

i think we have nothing good to say about israelis. we always assume that all isrealis are in support of the occupation and war. but the truth is, there are israelis whom are against the occupation and dont want to support the war at all and they are not willing to compromise their principles for anything and rather end up in prisons. military service is mandatory after high school for young jewish israelis. so it is very simple, you dont wanna join the army, then go to prison. so what we are going to do on saturday is pretty simple; write letters to them to show support and that they are not alone. send them some message of love and support. and we are sending the letters to this particular group; the group is called december 18th.

not another vigil!
this candle vigil is to remember and mourn the death, the rape, abuse, and murder of the war victims in you know the drill. bring placards, candles, banners, and yourself.

that’s about it. hope to see you at the park and/or vigil!

p.s: if you are there and you cant seem to find u do give us a call. the number the call/sms 017 630 6795.

the queer/feminist bloc consists of people who consider themselves queer or feminist and queer/feminist collectives/movements. it is not a collective/movement/NGO and the bloc belongs to everyone. anyone can use the name of the bloc. so go ahead and run with it! whereas kudeta is a collective which has been around for quite some time. they have done a lot on no g8, anti-homophobia, and now they are moving on to other stuff.

21 arrested at anti-war vigil

Malaysiakini Team | Jan 10, 09 10:33pm
The police have arrested 21 people, including Klang MP Charles Santiago and several top leaders of PSM, at an anti-war vigil at Dataran Merdeka, Kuala Lumpur.

The vigil was organised by Anti-War Coalition to show support to the victims of war and aggression in Palestine and Sri Lanka.

About 200 people had gathered at about 8pm for the vigil, which was declared illegal by the police who were also present at the venue.

About 100 light strike force personnel were on hand to control and disperse the crowd.

The crowd was ordered to disperse and the 21 were arrested for their failure to leave the area.

They were then taken to the Dang Wangi district police headquarters. They are still being held at the police station.

Among those held were Parti Sosialis Malaysia leaders Dr Nasir Hashim and S Arutchelvan, PKR’s Kuala Langat MP Abdullah Sani and several activists from Suaram and Jerit. Nasir is also the Kota Damansara state assemblyperson.

Abolish ISA Movement activist Norlaila Othman was also among those arrested. Also taken in was a teenager. They are believed to be investigated for illegal assembly.

Small crowd at police station

Eye-witnesses told Malaysiakini that the anti-war protesters had first gathered at the Bar Council building before beginning to march towards Dataran Merdeka – some 300 metres away.

Upon reaching the historic field, they then begun to lit their candle lights and unfurl their anti-war banners. These were stopped by the police.

Attempts by Charles and Nasir to negotiate with the police to seek permission for a quick vigil were also turned down.

A small crowd had already gathered at the police station to show support for those arrested. They are being watched by the Federal Reserve Unit.

This is the first time the police have acted against an anti-war vigil in recent days.

Yesterday thousands had marched to the US embassy to object the Israeli aggression in Gaza without any police intervention.

Similarly another group of protesters in Kampung Baru was also allowed to burn the US and Israeli flags in the middle of the road yesterday afternoon without any police interference.

A police mockery

Meanwhile an activist narrated to AFP on the arrests.

“We were holding a candlelight vigil to demand the end to the killing of innocent lives in Gaza,” said E Parameswari, 30, an activist with Jerit, a group championing the rights of marginalised people in the country.

“Police used force to break up the gathering and arrested the 21 people including opposition lawmakers Charles, Abdullah Sani and Nasir,” she told AFP.

“Police said our gathering was illegal,” she said.

Parameswari condemned the police action, adding that the demonstrators did not provoke the police.

“The police action is an abuse of power,” she added.

Arutchelvan, the secretary-general of the PSM, told AFP they were being held in a police lockup.

“Our arrest makes a mockery of the position taken by Malaysia to condemn Israel.

“The way the police acted against us is no difference from the way the Israelis are treating the Palestinian people,” he said from the police station.

Kuala Lumpur police chief Mohammad Sabtu Osman confirmed that they were arrested and taken in for questioning.

“They were arrested while gathering at the Dataran and taken to the Tun HS Lee police station for questioning,” he added.