- The aim of the rally was to demand clean and fair elections.
- The organisers wanted to have everyone assemble at Dataran Merdeka.
- They were denied permission to use Dataran Merdeka (in fact, a court order was issued, disallowing the use of Dataran), but were offered stadiums instead.
- They rejected these offers, saying it would've been confusing/catastrophic to have a last-minute change of venue.
- They went ahead anyway to 'as close as they could get to Dataran'.
- It was supposed to be a duduk bantah (sit-in protest).
- It was supposed to be a peaceful protest.
Here's what happened at Bersih 3.0:
- started up anti-BN chants -- "Hancur BN!" ('Crush BN!')
- did not leave the venue after Ambiga asked the crowds to disperse.
- broke the barricade set up around Dataran Merdeka.
- pummelled and threw things at a police car.
- got hit by said police car of which the driver seemed to have lost control.
- overturned said police car as they thought there was someone trapped underneath.
- beat up a photographer whom they seemed to think was the driver of said police car.
The following video is proof of the last four points. Please note that the man with the helmet whom they kicked and pummelled ran in front of the camera at 0:15. He was carrying a camera of his own and the helmet was most likely just good foresight. He was not the driver of the vehicle.
- brought out water cannons and tear gas only after protesters broke the barricade.
- continued firing tear gas at the protesters though they were obviously retreating.
- were extremely brutal and would not allow photos/videos of their acts, threatening those who tried to get them.
- beat up photographers who did (or tried to) anyway.
I'm sure there are tons more videos of the police brutality that took place (from cameras that didn't get purposely broken by the police), but you'll have to look for them yourself. I couldn't even finish watching that last link -- it was horrible.
Now, it's pretty obvious that the breaking of the barricade outside Dataran was what turned everything bad. In fact, people who attended the rally say things were peaceful and had a festival-like feel in the hours before. A question that occurred to many: Were the people who broke the barricade Bersih supporters? Apparently not. These guys have been captured on camera, and people are saying they're Perkasa members who were planted in the rally to cause trouble.
We'll have to wait and see if this is true, but if it is...wow. Wow, I cannot express how incredibly angry I'd be. I cannot.
There's a lot of uncertainty floating around, but a good general rule to follow is 'pics/vids or it didn't happen'. From numerous sources, too, because even some videos are horribly, horribly misleading. Articles don't matter anymore. Newspapers matter even less. Blogs are slightly iffy, but here's Daniel's post on the rally. He was there, so he talks about what he saw and experienced.
It's nice to see that there are people who went for the rally and didn't think the whole thing was a super, major, wonderful, incredible success. Because, in my opinion, it really wasn't, never mind whose fault it was.