Senegal's Security Beat Down Union Protest

We journalists do like action. It's also good when people start fighting for their rights.

So after security forces started tearing down informal stalls in usually sedate Senegal(bad), street vendors went on the rampage (good, in some ways).

Because of the fracas on this day of Dakar upheavaling, (President Wade had asked protesters to wear red armbands and not throw rocks and loot anymore, that edict became history on November 21st, 2007) authorities said they had to stop a planned union protest in the afternoon against government policies. The community of Dakar journalists were there to see it happen.

Here is a raw portrayal of this, video compliments of camerawoman extraordinaire, Kari Barber and photos and production by yours truly. Ive been told the pictures are a bit on the longish side, perchance, still finetuning thirdrate, endlessly.

There is a strike threat before the end of the year (maybe empty), and delaying of a ban on street vending (maybe there will be round two of confrontations, once holidays lead to hangovers).

With hoped for US millenium challenge account aid still not forthcoming for some reason, journalists being put in jail from time to time, the assembly empty of opposition following a boycott, Karim Wade, the president's son handling millions in Kuwait money for city renovation and construction ahead of a many times delayed summit of Islamic states, Senegalese youth continuing to flee to Europe by pirogue, meals getting harder to come by in poor areas, people still not finding work, while Dakar is getting a cleaner and cleaner look in some ways, yet more and more polluted in others, the only West African country "never to have had a coup" in typical journalistic parlance, may be in for some more action.

With my hobbled knee, I'll try especially hard not to get caught between the shifting line of police and protesters, which is not a safe place to be, any which way.

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