Cops, protesters clash at embassy

SEE VIDEO http://www.ottawasun.com/2011/12/06/cops-protesters-clash-at-embassy

At least three people were arrested — one hit with a Taser — Tuesday as hundreds of protesters squared off with RCMP and Ottawa police in Sandy Hill outside the Embassy of the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

Police in riot gear were called in Tuesday evening to manage the fiesty crowd on Range Rd.

“We are not happy because of what’s happening to our country,” said Francois Nsoki, referring to the Nov. 28 election overseas.

“They say the current president is winning. This is not true.”

Early results show incumbent Joseph Kabila edging out opposition leader Etienne Tshisekedi.

Things got unruly as people threw items — including pieces of cement and bottles of water —  at cops guarding the embassy entrance, demanding to be let in.

Pepper spray was used on those who tried to cross the line.

One person was charged with obstructing a police officer and an RCMP officer sustained minor injuries.

“We just want people to listen to us. We don’t want to act violent,” said a 23-year-old woman who gave her name as Deo-Gratias M.

“We have family members back home calling us, telling us, ‘we don’t know if we we’re going to live after (Dec.) 6.’”

She said they wanted to enter the embassy and remove Kabila’s photo, then rip it up and burn it.

Cops had closed part of Range Rd. between Laurier Ave. and Osgoode St. after about 75 to 100 demonstrators gathered.

Demonstrators also threw rocks and spray-painted a window.

A door and door window were damaged, along with at least one RCMP cruiser that had a flat tire.

More than 100 men and women sang and danced, taunting police who silently watched.

Combining French and Lingala, “We need him to disappear out of the country” they chanted about Kabila.

When the riot squad arrived the crowd booed, then resumed chanting.

Prior to their arrival people were taking their frustrations out on cops.

“F— you! F— you,” one woman near tears screamed into cops’ faces.

One cop walking by a group of people leaving the protest was greeted with a racial slur.

“Hey n—- you’re one of us, how can you do this to your own people?”

He ignored them and kept walking toward the large crowd.

Depending on the outcome of the election, Nsoki said, “in the coming days it will be worse.

In Toronto police arrested three people after calling in reinforcements to deal with the protesters who brought midday traffic to a halt along University Ave. Some 250 people chanted and laid on the road at University Ave. and College St., bringing traffic in the heart of downtown to a standstill.

@ottawasunkroche

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One Reply to “Cops, protesters clash at embassy”

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