Sunday, May 25, 2008
Every story has two sides:
According to several people in the crowd, while certain elements threw flaming articles, and bottles and pavers, after this the police waded in indiscriminately. The events of Friday took place in a heavily trafficed pedestrian shopping area, the part of Ferhadia that goes into Saraci, which in turn feeds into Bascarsija, a big tourist area and popular with Sarajevans for shopping. The Bascarsija was full of primary school kids from 7-13 years old. Friday is a popular school excursion day. Younger primary students were present with teachers showing them things like the metal working shops. The police were fully equipped riot police.
As well, adding to my upset yesterday, I noted that the sign for one of the sweet-shops directly across the street from where I usually have set up meetings was shown, meaning that my favorite meeting place was earlier, not a safe hangout either!
In fact, people were pursued well into Bascarsija which is unusual! I happened to be at the end closer to Zelini Beretki. I didn't even HEAR a thing of what under the 'San Francisco Formula' used to be called 'unpleasantries'
Monday, I will send both guys S.M.S.s offering a different meeting time and telling them that no initial meetings for information on the class are EVER going to be held on a Friday or on a weekend again, so don't even ask, and suggest late after noon times on Monday, or Tuesday. Classes might be on Fridays or even on weekends, but there are ways to avoid difficulties like unrest or bad traffic getting to my area. My area of town is very safe and if I hear of a demonstration ahead of time, I simply don't go into town, if I MUST go into town, I go earlier or way later, and the stops are such that they avoid the path of most bad situations.
That I was not stuck in the middle of it all was sheer blind luck.
Again, to repeat, the way people interviewed by Oslobodenje described things, the police may not have helped matters much.
In defense of the police, once the flares start getting thrown, things tend to get ugly.